Rain Gardens 2018-07-20T10:08:31+00:00

Rain Gardens

R-2011-Blue-Thumb-logo-Transparent
The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens »
R-2011-Blue-Thumb-logo-Transparent
The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens »

Rain Gardens are gardens that are made to collect rainwater and soak it into the ground rather than letting it run off down a driveway or drain. They are designed with a shallow bowl shape to hold water and are located near sources of rainwater runoff such as downspouts, driveway edges, or sump pump drains.

They collect stormwater runoff, soak it into the ground, and dry out between rainstorms. In doing so, raingardens help retain soil moisture in our landscapes. Raingardens can fit into general landscaping or be used for butterfly, pollinator, and cutting gardens. They are also sometimes called rainwater gardens or downspout gardens.

This page has several references for download on how to build a raingarden in the Resources section below. The paper Introduction to Rain Gardens provides a summary of the key considerations for constructing rain gardens. It is a good starting point.

Two of my workshop presentations are available for download. Why Raingardens describes how we have altered the natural landscape, the consequences of those changes, and why backyard landscaping and raingardens are important. Raingarden Construction provides step-by-step instructions and photos that follow the topics in the introductory paper.

Rain Garden Planting Plan is a sample garden plan for the central Midwest using native plants that also provide a butterfly and pollinator garden.

If you would like more detailed information, plant lists, and garden plans, consider ordering the book, The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens. It was written with Rusty Schmidt and Dan Shaw two talented landscape ecologists and designers, and I hope you will find it helpful.

Rain Gardens are gardens that are made to collect rainwater and soak it into the ground
RESOURCES
GALLERY

Resources

The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens: Design and Installation for the Upper Midwest, by Rusty Schmidt, Dan Shaw, and David Dods.

This is a book on raingarden design and construction for homeowners with easy to follow step-by-step instructions, extensive plant lists, and multiple suggested planting plans. Single copies or small orders are available from Terrace Horticultural Books:
http://www.terracehorticulturalbooks.com/
For large orders of ten or more books, contact me through the Contact page on this site.
The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens Design and Installation for the Upper Midwest by Rusty Schmidt Dan Shaw and David Dods-

Plants for Stormwater Design, by Daniel Shaw and Rusty Schmidt.

This is an excellent book by my friends Dan and Rusty on picking plants for lakes, wetlands, detention ponds, and rain gardens. It is used mostly by professional designers but is worth remembering as it has the best information on plant water depth tolerances. If you are planting at water’s edge, check it out. Available as a free PDF download from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/plants-stormwater-design
Plants for Stormwater Design, by Daniel Shaw and Rusty Schmidt

Introduction to Rain Gardens

This is a seven-page paper that summarizes the basic steps in designing and building a rain garden. It is a brief summary of The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens.”

Introduction to Rain GardensView Presentation

Rain Garden Planting Plan

This is a native plant pollinator garden plan for the Kansas City region. The plants are applicable in much of the Midwest U.S.

KC Pollinator Raingarden - Planting PlanView Planting Plan

Blue Thumb Program: Planting for Clean Water

This program of Metro Blooms in Minneapolis, MN provides a good online raingarden and native plant resource for the Midwest U.S..

http://www.blue-thumb.org/

R-2011-Blue-Thumb-logo-Transparent

Raingarden Construction

This is a workshop presentation on raingarden design and construction that follows the outline of the summary paper and our book..

Rain Garden Plants-oView Presentation

Why Raingardens?

This presentation is from my workshops. It illustrates the importance of backyard landscaping and raingardens by showing how development has altered the natural landscape, affecting stormwater drainage in our cities, habitat for pollinators and wildlife, and the climate. .


why raingardens
View Presentation