With our very rainy spring and summer, and extreme weather events increasing in frequency, many residents wonder what they can do on their properties to better manage stormwater and reduce ponding. Rain gardens, rain-chains and soakaways can help and even add curb appeal and value to your property. Adding these features to your yard is called rainscaping.
A rain garden is a landscaped feature that replaces an area of your lawn in order to collect stormwater (rain and melted snow) that runs off your grass, roof and driveway. Formed by a shallow depression, it has loose, deep soil that absorbs and naturally filters water, preventing it from entering the storm drain system and, eventually, our waterways. Rain gardens can be beautiful additions to your front or back yard. You can fill them with blooming plants and even shrubs. They soak up more stormwater than an average garden. By releasing this water slowly, you will help avoid ponding in your yard.
Soakaways are gravel storage areas that capture rainwater and rooftop runoff to allow it to drain into the ground. Soakaways can be almost invisible, covered with grass and require little maintenance.
Concern about ponding isn’t the only reason to rainscape. You can direct downspouts toward planting beds, so you have less watering to do. Directing storm water to a rain barrel captures water for use in gardens and landscaping, saving money and providing untreated, chlorine-free water to your plants, who will thank you with growth and blooms.
Learn which options are right for your yard and how they can add curb appeal and value to your home. Sign up for one of CVC’s upcoming Rainscaping Workshops at Riverwood’s Chappell House on September 20 or at Port Credit Library on October 26. Visit www.cvc.ca for more details.