The term “rain garden” is kind of a catch-all term given to different landscaping installations that involve capturing rain water.
This can cause confusion in conversation, and can also create an issue with municipality permitting as they are not able to differentiate between very large commercial installations and the small backyard rain garden.
There is a need to create different categories of rain gardens so that different rules and regulations can be applied to them, and in an attempt to start this process, I have created to list the different categories of rain gardens as I see them.
This will be a very fluid practice with categories being added and removed, but I hope to start the conversation with my list.
First is my standard rain garden definition, following by the other rain garden categories in alphabetical order:
A garden whose primary design considerations is to detain rain water for a period of 48-72 hours.
A rain garden that utilizes mechanical systems to pump water beyond its design capacity to another location.
A rain garden whose native soils have been replaced or heavily amended with a specified soil mix to a depth greater than 1′.
A filtration rain garden that utilizes engineered soils to facilitate faster drainage times to a perforated under drain.
A rain garden where rain is detained on-site and then may pass on to another location via a perforated under drain.
A rain garden whose original soils have been amended solely for healthy plant establishment, and vegetation is native to the region.
A rain garden that has a riser pipe inlet that is below the elevation of any overflow point of the rain garden, therefore passing along any rain water beyond the rain garden’s designed capacity to another location.
Am I leavings something out? Let me know in the comment section below!