In May of 2010, we planted a rain garden in the soggy area of The Woodlands Community Garden. Gardeners Mandy Katz and Todd Greenberg from Bartram’s Garden generously donated the plants to us (and Mandy suggested the idea in the first place!).
A rain garden is planted in a depression where runoff from surrounding impervious surfaces (like asphalt and rooftops) can be directed. The plants help the water soak into the ground instead of running off and causing erosion and pollution of surface water. Our rain garden is in a depression where water naturally collects from the surrounding asphalt, and water from the roof of the neighboring building is diverted to the spot (the black tube in the photos). We’ve planted wetland-tolerant plants, some of them native. See the list of plants below.
This kind of action will become increasingly necessary for storm water mitigation in The Woodlands and surrounding areas because residents of the city of Philadelphia will soon be charged for the amount of storm water their property produces. Here’s the Philly Inquirer article about it.
Plant list: Inkberry holly, Ilex glabra ‘Densa’; white turtlehead, Chelone glabra; swamp hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos; and Joe-Pye weed, Eupatorium fistulosum.