Garden of the Day – Reader Submitted Rain Garden

“Dear PoP,

You had mentioned the River Smart Homes Program here. I thought you might like to see one of the rain gardens that the River Smart Program helps fund and construct. The program had last year installed a rain barrel, which I love. This garden was installed (in Petworth) in July – right before the really bad storms, and worked very well. This garden soaks up a large amount of water from my gutter (after my rain barrel fills), and keeps the water from going in the storm drain that is right next to my house. As I’d prefer that my basement wouldn’t flood, this is a good thing. I’m still re-working the drainage after the garden overflows, but so far its only overflowed once.

The goal of this particular type of garden is to help keep the DC sewer system from overflowing during severe rains. Next up for me – a permeable pathway to help prevent runoff. I no longer qualify for more River Smart help, but I’ll still keep redesigning my backyard. And I want to say online thanks to the program for the help and inspiration.”

7 Comment

  • Interlocking brick pavers make for a good, stable, permanent, permeable garden path.

    The synthetics while nice on the feet, have stability and longevity problems.

    Design with no straight lines either. There are no straight lines in nature.


  • Looks great – wish I had space for a rain garden.

    I was able to get a shade tree & Bayscaping through RiverSmart Homes – it’s a great program!

  • I just discontinued usage of my rain barrel. It wasn’t able to keep up with the combination of high water flow and roof silt. The filter clogged within a single rain on -23 occasions ( I cleaned it between rains) and the overflow mechanism failed completely leading to water around my foundation and basement flooding.

  • Looks great! I’ve heard so much about rain gardens but I haven’t seen photos of them in action before – so nice to see how it works.

  • don’t these breed mosquitos?

  • Sorry for the delay in reply – I’m the owner of this particular one. The water soaks into the ground shortly after the rain, so there’s no pooling that would allow breeding.

    @ragged dog – bummer on that. Mine is still working, but the filter fell into the interior and I need to fish it out. It has a tiny leak at the base too. Thanks for the heads up about potential overflow problems!

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