A rain garden is simply a garden that makes the most of rain and slows the flow during heavy rainfall to reduce the risk of flooding. Our thanks to the Postcode Local Trust who have supported us in building rain gardens across the Tyne catchment.
Here are five ideas to make your garden more rain friendly.
A water butt is an easy way to collect water when it rains and store it for when you need it.
According to Waterwise, if every household in the UK got a standard water butt this would save about 30,000 million litres of water each summer. If your water is metered, you could also save on your bill.
Biologically, rainwater is better for plants than tap water so it makes sense to use it for watering your garden.
2. Gravel, grass and gaps
Choose a permeable surface like gravel, grass or cobbles with gaps. These surfaces drain water much better in heavy rainfall than large paved areas. Having gaps or a permeable surface absorbs rainwater and allows it to drain slowly, avoiding standing water which can lead to flooding.
3.A small pond
A pond, no matter how small, helps to store water during heavy rainfall. If your garden’s on a slope, position it at the lowest end so that water runs into it. It can be made from an old sink sunk into the ground.
A pond is also a great habitat for wildlife, especially during dry spells.
4.Hedges not fences
Hedges slow the flow of water and their root systems store water which all helps to reduce surface water and the risk of flooding.
They also provide a home for wildlife and allow creatures like hedgehogs to move from one garden to the next.
5.Water loving plants
Choose grasses and plants like yellow rattle which thrive in wetter soil.