Pollinator gardens. Vegetable gardens. Herb gardens. Cut flower gardens. Native plant gardens. Community gardens. Butterfly gardens. Flower gardens. There are many different garden types in our world. The list above has several well-known concepts, especially over the last few years, when the bee population has declined. During a quarantine summer, I had several friends’ plant cut flower gardens to allow them and their children the joy of outdoor exploration and some cheer into their home daily when they made a bouquet to bring into the house.
As interested as our society is in gardening, rain gardens have not caught on in the same way. Rain gardens help serve the purpose of slowing down and cleaning up stormwater- helping to create cleaner waterways that promote healthier wildlife in and near our streams. While out in public talking to residents in Allen County, I have learned about several misunderstandings of how these gardens work that keep people from jumping into this trend. Therefore, during this post, we will be breaking down some common myths of rain gardens!
Myth 1: Rain gardens are a breeding ground for mosquitos
The number 1 reason people have no interest in rain gardens is also the number 1 misunderstanding about how these systems should work! If a rain garden is working properly and designed correctly, there should not be standing water in the garden for more than 1-2 days. Mosquito eggs need water for 5-7 days to hatch; therefore, rain gardens are NOT a breeding ground.
Myth 2: The rain gardens and the plants are high maintenance.
In my opinion, this is an interesting myth. Any well-designed rain garden has minimal maintenance that is required other than some periodic weeding. If the designer takes time to find a proper location, create the proper depth, and have intentional plants, these gardens take care of themselves.
Myth 3: Rain Gardens are ugly.
First off, beauty is in the eye of the beholder- what some people find to be beautiful; I might define it as manicured. What I find to be beautiful, some might think looks weedy. However, in all seriousness, rain gardens can be designed to look as purposeful or as “natural” as the planner wishes. Some rain gardens look very similar to perennial gardens. One interesting thing to note, most rain gardens are made up of native plants because their deep root systems are ideal in helping water infiltrate the soil!