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Sweet Kate Spiderwort.jpg

Tradescantia sp.

Rain Garden Plants

Featured plants in the gallery above are Ohio natives suitable for use in rain gardens. They can be said to 'need', 'enjoy' or 'tolerate' the extra water that storm-water runoff provides.

What is a Rain Garden?

A Rain Garden uses native trees, shrubs and/or perennial flowering plants that appreciate the extra surge of rain water that is directed to them from hard surfaces. Beautiful gardens are designed with plants that capture and filter storm water, allowing it to soak in, or before it is conveyed to nearby bodies of water. Often the water comes from roof tops and delivered by way of the downspout. Water can also come from driveways, parking lots or any impervious surface.

Why care about storm water runoff?

Hard surfaces like roads, roofs and parking lots are not natural. Under natural conditions most rain water would simply soak in to the ground. Cities and suburban communities are built to move water quickly away to the nearest water bodies. This water carries with it many contaminants including oil, fertilizer and pesticides. Rivers and lakes are impaired by these pollutants. Rain Gardens intercept excess water, process and degrade these undesirable inclusions and allow water to move into the ground where it would normally go.



Many communities have not been able expand their storm sewer systems as more subdivisions were created, hard surfaces increased and more runoff was generated. During heavy rain events these over taxed systems generate combined sewer overflows, a condition when sanitary and storm systems are overwhelmed, releasing untreated sewage into nearby bodies of water. In some neighborhoods this combined sewage backs up into peoples basements.

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