Rain gardens are a smart landscaping feature that traps rainwater runoff by guiding it into a low-lying area full of water-loving plants. This serves the triple purpose of irrigating the plants for free with rainwater, adding visual interest to an ordinary lawn, and preventing flooding and muddiness across the rest of the property.
They’re one option for installing native plants or other low-maintenance, water-saving species.
In this case, photos show two beautiful rain gardens outside a public library, catching runoff from the building’s roof and from a nearby paved area.
Several saplings, shrubs, bunch grasses, and even a few flowers are arranged beside or even in the pools of water, where they can make the most of the extra moisture and help it soak into the ground without disrupting the lawn or the library building.
People who install rain gardens with native plants can enjoy the added benefit of reducing their lawn maintenance time and costs. They also contribute to water conservation efforts, which may lead to lower water bills.
Even those who aren’t ready to commit fully to a rain garden can still see significant environmental and cost-saving advantages by undertaking a partial lawn replacement with these water-smart and low-maintenance alternatives.
The original poster was RVAH2O, an organization “on a mission to bring cleaner water faster to Richmond and the James River.” According to a comment from the same account, the rain gardens in the photos are part of a broader push to improve the landscaping around local public buildings.
“The gorgeous green infrastructure working hard to slow, filter, and store stormwater runoff at the Broad Rock Branch Library was installed as part of the Greening Richmond Public Libraries Initiative, spearheaded by the James River Association and brought to life through funders, partners, collaborators, and volunteers. We are proud to be among them,” it explained.
“The North Avenue, West End, and Westover Hills branch libraries have all also had green infrastructure practices installed as part of the Greening Richmond Public Libraries Initiative.”
Commenters were excited about the developing project. “This is awesome!” said one user.
“Agreed! We just love to see it and love being a part of making it happen even more!” replied the original poster.
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