Rodda and Sons Landscapes builds rain gardens. A rain garden is a water catchment system to solve a drainage problem or to keep water from downspouts and hard surfaces, such as patios and driveways, on your own property. It allows this water to percolate gradually into the soil. As the water seeps downhill, it is filtered naturally by plants and soil before it reaches our local streams, lakes and Puget Sound. Most drainage water in the greater Seattle area eventually ends up in Puget Sound. Unfiltered drainage water carries pollutants such as driveway oil, pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizer chemicals into the Sound, damaging the environment for all marine life.
A rain garden may have standing water in it during our Northwest rainy season and be dry during July and August, when we often have drought conditions. Rodda and Sons designs and installs rain gardens as a separate project or an integral part of a total landscape.
Creating a rain garden involves grading out a low area (think pond) or a drainage swale (think dry stream bed) for the excess water to flow into. If you want the water from your driveway or house downspouts to flow into the rain garden, a catchbasin and drainlines may need to be installed. The rain garden will also need an outflow channel or pipe in case there is overflow water during excessively stormy weather.
We design rain gardens to fit the style of the house and surrounding landscape. The surface of the garden depression can be a good soil mix planted with small trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials that will tolerate standing water. This should then be mulched with bark or compost to protect the integrity of the soil and keep down weeds. Another option is to cover the surface around the plantings with river rock to create a dry streambed. We like to add granite boulders around the edges and stepping stones across the rain garden for a more natural look. We have built bridges and small decks that “float” over the rain garden. A rain garden can be be almost any style from very formal and architectural, to Japanese, to loose and informal or a native planting.