Flood and Mud: Using Rain Gardens to Control Erosion and Flooding

We have had quite the rainy summer in southern Ontario this year! Have you noticed issues with flooding or soil erosion in your garden? If so, constructing a rain garden may be an excellent way to minimize this problem.

If you live in a particularly hilly area, rain gardens can be an ideal way to minimize flooding issues because they are able to hold more water than a regular garden, and  help to prevent soil from washing away.  Rain gardens can also be used in conjunction with rain barrels to capture substantial runoff from your property.

Rain Gardens at Ecohouse

Rain Gardens at EcoHouse

It’s easy to construct your own rain garden! For details on construction, visit http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/la/la_005.cfm.  Remember, in order to capture the maximum amount of water, try to strategically place your rain garden in depressed areas where water naturally pools or where downspout water will collect.

Once you have constructed your rain garden, it is important to plant native species in it.  Native plants are accustomed to local conditions, and have deeper roots to increase the permeability of your soil.

Foxglove Beardtongue

Foxglove Beardtongue

As your plants mature, their roots continue to spread, increasing the amount of water your garden will be able to hold.  Remember that most water will be stored in the centre of the garden, similar to a large bowl.  Cardinal Flower, Foxglove Beardtongue, Joe Pye Weed and Service Berry are a few examples of plants we have in the middle of our own rain gardens at Green Venture because they favour a wetter environment. For a list of native shrubs and plants, visit http://water.greenventure.ca/rain-gardens.


Green Venture is currently involved in the Shell- Fuelling Change competition.   Our aim is to build community awareness and support for lot-level storm water management measures, like rain gardens.

Currently, just over 800 more votes gets us in the top 4! Please help us out in this competition by voting for our program here:




Posted by Edward


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