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Steps to Creating a Rain Garden

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1. Information

Get information about rain gardens here.

Rain Garden 101

A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects water from roof downspouts, asphalt or sump pump discharge and allows it to soak into the ground rather than enter the storm sewer system.  Less runoff from your home means less channel erosion and fewer suspended solids and pollution in the waterways.  

When planted with native grasses and flowering perennials, rain gardens can be a cost effective, low maintenance and beautiful way to reduce and filter runoff from your property.  Create butterfly habitat, prevent flooding and make your lawn more attractive by installing a rain garden at your own home!



*The key here is to find flowers and grasses that like rain / water to fill your “rain” garden. Do you have some useful information? Email it to us.

2. Resources

Obtain resources for rain gardens here.

Plants That Like To Be In Water:

Types Of Plants That Tolerate Wet Areas General Water Plant Care

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Most plants don’t do well in soggy soil and excessive moisture results in rot and other deadly diseases. Although very few plants grow in wet areas, you can learn which plants like wet feet. Some moisture loving plants thrive in standing water and others tolerate soggy, poorly drained areas of your garden. Read on to learn more about these plants. Plants That Tolerate Wet Areas Here are just some plants that can take moist conditions. Water tolerant perennials and bulbs include:

  • Lily of the valley

  • Bugbane

  • Crinum

  • Sweet woodruff

  • Daylily

  • Rose mallow

  • Blue vervain

  • Monkey flower

  • Iris


Certain grasses add beauty and texture to damp areas.

For example, the following grasses perform well in moist soil:

  • Northern sea oats

  • Indian grass

  • Little bluestem

  • Cordgrass

If you’re looking for a vine or a groundcover for a damp area, keep in mind that most vines and groundcovers require some drainage and don’t perform well in areas that are flooded or consistently wet. That being said, these plants are worth a try:

Information On Caring For

  • Pothos Plants

  • Ajuga

  • Trumpet creeper

  • Carolina jessamine

  • Liriope Plants


That Like to Be in Water There are a number of plants that can withstand long periods with wet feet. These make good additions to garden ponds, bogs, rain gardens, or just those difficult areas of the landscape that stay too wet for planting anything else. Perennial plants that tolerate standing water and flooded areas include:

  • Water hyssop

  • Pickerelweed

  • Cattail Iris

  • Canna Elephant’s ear

  • Swamp sunflower

  • Scarlet swamp hibiscus


  • Many ferns tolerate wet areas and thrive at the edge of ponds, including: Cinnamon fern

  • Royal fern

  • Sensitive fern

  • Painted fern

  • Marsh fern

  • Holly fern

However, don’t assume that all ferns like wet feet. Some types, such as Christmas fern and wood fern, prefer dry, shady areas. In addition to the ornamental grasses that tolerate moist conditions previously listed, muhly grass enjoys damp soil and pond edges. Most types of sedge do well in wet, sandy soil. Sedge is available in a variety of sizes, forms, and colors. Keep in mind that soil moisture is only one thing to consider when choosing plants for wet areas.


Other important factors include light, soil type, and temperature hardiness. A local greenhouse or nursery can provide information about specific water tolerant plants for your area.

Source: Garden Know How

Survival Gardens

Survival Gardens have become very popular since the pandemic as some seek to create fruit bearing / edible gardens as a source of food due to food shortages and to maximizing spending dollars during uncertain times while increasing savings if possible. Start your Survival Garden today.

4. Implementation

Learn how to implement that creation of your rain gardens here.

3. Training & Education

Learn about rain gardens here.

5. Collaborate & Exemplify

Collaborate with people in your community to establish your rain garden and see how its done here.

Design and Install Your Rain Garden
Collaborator, City of Norfolk


Maintain Your Rain Garden

Collaborator, City of Norfolk

Norfolk offers a credit on your stormwater fee for the proper design, installation, and maintenance of a rain garden!

Do you or will you collaborate or exemplify for your neighbors rain gardening? Contact us and tell us your story!

6. Community Champions & Partners

Learn about community champions or partners who have (or are) established a rain garden or contribute to the establishment of rain gardens here.

Are you or will you be a community champion or partner in establishing rain gardens? Contact us and tell us your story!

7. Repeat

If you have completed this process, complete it with your neighbor and become a community champion or partner.

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