Rain Gardens DO
  • Reduce pollution going to ponds, rivers, and the ocean.
  • Reduce flooding and erosion. 
  • Recharge groundwater. 
  • Attract butterflies and birds. 
  Rain Gardens DON’T:
  • Attract mosquitoes. 
  • Hold water for more than 2 days.
  • Cost a lot!
How and Why to Build a RAIN GARDEN
Build a Rain Garden in 5 Steps
LOCATION: Choose a flat or gently sloping spot — at least 10 feet from foundations and septic systems — where water tends to flow or collect during storms.
SOIL: Test your soil to see if it drains well by digging a hole, filling it with water and timing the drainage. A 6 inch by 12 inch hole should drain within 24 hours. Soil mixes for rain gardens are ideally 50-60% sand, 20-30% topsoil, and 20-30% compost. 
SIZE: Estimate the square footage of the impervious (roof, paved areas, etc.) surfaces that will send runoff to the garden, divide this number by six, and you have the approximate size your rain garden needs to be to absorb runoff. Smaller rain gardens, help, too.
MAKE IT: Dig bowl to depth of 6″, slope sides using a shovel, loosen bottom 3″ of soil, cover with compost, select native plants with good root systems (see box at right), plant them, and apply mulch. 
MAINTAIN IT: Water and weed as needed, avoid fertilizers and pesticides, enjoy!
RAIN GARDEN:  a bowl-shaped garden built to capture rain and snowmelt from your roof, driveway, or street so that the water and pollutants are absorbed and filtered by plants and soil, recharging the groundwater, instead of becoming runoff. 
Plants for New England Rain Gardens*
blackeyed susans
  • Dogwood
  • Dwarf Fothergilla
  • Grow-Low Sumac
  • Highbush Blueberry
  • Lowbush Blueberry
  • Potentilla
  • Shamrock Inkberry
  • Slender Deutzia
  • Sweet Pepperbrush
  • Winterberry
  • Beebalm
  • Blackeyed Susan
  • Blazing Star
  • Coneflower
  • Crested Iris
  • Dwarf Aster
  • Foamflower
  • Joe Pye Weed
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • Yarrow