We all know how beautiful Oregon is and why so many people move here for the natural aesthetic, but that beauty comes at a price. Oregon averages about 44 inches of rain per year overall, but the coastal areas see can see almost 90 inches of rain per year, while the west slopes of the Coast Range can see upwards of 200 inches per year.
That being the case, you must consider incorporating solutions into the design of your home to account for this type of rainfall, and we are not just talking about runoff solutions. One of the more popular ways to prevent flooding in Oregon is by incorporating a rain garden into the home’s landscaping.
Understanding Rain Gardens
A rain garden is a shallow, constructed depression in the landscape, often planted with native shrubs, perennials, and flowers. When this is designed, it is strategically placed to receive the runoff for various areas of the home, such as the driveway, compacted lawns, and yes, even the roof. The design of the rain garden will allow the water to be absorbed naturally, preventing erosion of the landscape by slowing down the flow of the rainwater.
Benefits of Rain Gardens
Water Filtration – the rain garden serves as a natural filtration system to remove harmful elements such as pesticides and pollutants from the water before the rainwater enters the waterways.
Wildlife Habitat – this is a great way to make your home more environmentally friendly. By using plants native to the area, the rain garden will attract local pollinators, such as bees, birds, and butterflies.
Aesthetic Appeal – as you can see from the image we created, rain gardens can instantly improve the home’s aesthetic appeal.
Reduced Erosion and Flooding – as noted above, one of the critical benefits of a rain garden is the reduction of soil erosion by absorbing excess rainwater, which significantly reduces the risk of flooding in the area.
Designing a Rain Garden in Oregon
As with anything, location is the key when placing your rain garden. Ideally, you want it around 10 feet away from the home, ideally a bit further, which will help avoid damage to the home’s foundation via water seepage. Look for a natural low point or depression in the year for the placement. The overall size of the garden is determined by how much water flow will be directed to the garden.
You will want to choose plants that are native to the area, which will be able to handle the natural wet and dry conditions that we see in Oregon. Some popular choices are ferns, iris, and red-twig dogwood.
Integrating Rain Gardens with Other Drainage Solutions
Rain gardens are a great start, but as we have noted in other posts, they are only one aspect of managing drainage. You can redirect your rainspouts to flow directly to the garden as well as using a water harvesting system to collect rainwater. That, in turn, can be used for outdoor household chores, such as washing the car, watering the lawn, and cleaning your sidewalk. More advanced systems can be used to help offset your indoor water costs as well.
Looking for more ideas on how to design the ideal Oregon custom-built home? Better Build Now offers a wide range of managed residential construction services, which include 3D image virtual walkthroughs so you can experience your new home in stunning detail before ground is ever broken on the construction project.
For more information on these services, click here, or give us a call at 888-402-4180.