Rainscaping...it sounds like a word used to describe the process of getting lost in your rainy thoughts, but that is not the case. Let's break it down. Rain: moisture condensed from the atmosphere that falls visibly in separate drops. "-Scaping": a root word meaning to make (usually a piece of land) more attractive by altering the existing design. Rainscaping is very similar to Landscaping which is the process of making a yard or other piece of land more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, planting trees, shrubs and adding other decorative features. Rainscaping is doing the same, but for the purpose of retaining, infiltrating or conveying rainwater.
Read a little more on the graphic below...
Below are some tips presented by Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, who wrote Creating Rain Gardens with Apryl Uncapher.
Yards vary, and rainscaping designs must be site specific. Some suggestions:
• Perk. Conduct a soil test to see if your yard will percolate (drain) rainwater, Sauer said. “If it doesn’t perk, then all you’ll be left with is standing water. If your yard is hard, like concrete, you’ll have to improve the soil.”
• Plant native. Plants with deep roots help soak up stormwater, filter pollutants and recharge groundwater levels, Sauer said. “Using native plants also helps ensure they’ll survive their new setting.”
• Installing a residential rain garden, which is a saucer-like depression in the ground that captures rain from a downspout, driveway or patio, is the simplest and least expensive way to retain stormwater, Woelfle-Erskine said. But here’s his kicker: “They won’t work if your yard is uphill from your house.”
• Use permeable materials like bricks, paving blocks or gravel on driveways and walkways, with spacing that allows water to seep into the soil.
• Edibles. Berries, asparagus, fiddlehead ferns, fruit trees, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and culinary and tea herbs can be creative additions in the right rain garden sites, but use them with care. “Be aware of where the water is flowing into your rain garden from,” Uncapher said.
Slow it down ~ spread it out ~ soak it in!!!
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Warren County SWCD Staff Blog
A blog to keep you informed on all the latest news at Warren County SWCD and in the conservation world.