Rain Gardens - SWFL Landscape & Design
Summer is our "wet" season here in Southwest Florida. Rainwater soaks into our soil and the excess water runs into low-lying drainage areas. Proper drainage is important in controlling the run-off of fertilizers and contaminants into our area's rivers, ponds, lakes, and even the Gulf.
Detention Areas Don't Have To Be Ugly
I know what you're thinking, who wants a water pool in their yard! Don't worry, with a little planning, these detention areas can become points of interest and diversity in your yard. That's where the term "rain garden" comes into play.
Rain Gardens Beautify Your Drainage Area
They can improve the aesthetic and curb appeal of your property. They also allow you to include certain plant types that thrive in more wet environments that you otherwise wouldn't be able to include in your landscape.
The short-term retention of water on the property will also increase the amount of wildlife habitat for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects like dragonflies and bees.
What About Mosquitos?
That was my first thought too. But I've learned from our landscape engineer, Leigh Gevelinger, that planting in these otherwise stagnant areas helps keep pests like mosquitos at bay. You see, the water-loving plants in your rain garden help filter and reduce the water that would otherwise become a breeding ground for mosquitos.
What Type of Plants for Rain Gardens?
When I asked Leigh for some suggestions on plants for rain gardens, here are a few she mentioned...
Fakahatchee Grass (Florida Native)
Bee Balm (Florida Native)
Blue Flag Iris (Florida Native)
Leather Fern (Florida Native)
Palmetto - Silver or Green (Florida Native)
Consulting the Experts
Of course, there are a number of other plants, including non-native Florida plants that can thrive in a rain garden. We suggest you talk to Leigh at Coastal Vista Design or your landscape company for suggestions specific to your property.