Gardens are a beautiful part of a home. There are different kinds of gardens, but one kind in particular is extremely important for easing stormwater problems and catching runoff: raingardens. Raingardens are just like many other gardens, but have additional beneficial purposes. They are shallow depressions planted with natives and grasses, strategically placed to catch runoff from driveways, roofs and sidewalks. During rain they fill with water which then filters into the soil instead of running into the street and flowing into storm sewers, which empty polluted water into nearby lakes and streams. By doing this, raingardens self-irrigate, cleaning the water as it filters into the ground, and prevents stormwater runoff.
They are also a gorgeous and colorful way to show off native plants. The best raingardens create a habitat for bees and butterflies and increase beneficial insects that can help reduce pests in the area. As an intern at Metro Blooms, I have seen many native plants attracting many kinds of pollinators. Among my favorite flowers, and the most abundant, are narrow-leaved purple coneflowers, wild bergamot, and blazing star. I also see many kinds of butterflies and bees like monarchs and bumble bees.
My position as an intern gives me the opportunity to visit and evaluate raingardens each week. When I visit, I take note of all of the native plants present, any pollinators I see, and if the garden meets the requirements of a successful raingarden. Each garden is unique, with particular combinations of flowers and plants, mixed with various trees and shrubs. Raingardens also vary in location, for example with some in boulevards and some at the edge of the yard by the sidewalk. I love seeing all of the different designs and how the raingardens differ from one another, each one bringing something special to the landscape. As an intern, I get to see all of these amazing gardens done by Metro Blooms designers, and how well their work has held up over the years. Here are some of my favorite gardens: