Rain Gardening in the South
By NCSU horticulturalists Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford
ISBN 978-0-9820771-0-8, Published 2009, Paperback, 146 pp, Illustrated color photos
Rain Gardening in the South is a readable how-to guide on creating beautiful gardens that capture, filter, and use water that runs off roofs, driveways, and other hardscapes. Written by NCSU horticulturalists Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford,.
Rain Gardening in the South helps gardeners wisely use our most precious resource—water. Rain gardens maximize rainwater, enhance the landscape, and promote good environmental stewardship. Runoff contributes significantly to polluting our waterways. The rain garden, which functions as a miniature reservoir and filtration system, offers an effective, visually pleasing solution that dramatically reduces toxic runoff, resulting in cleaner rivers, lakes, and oceans.
The authors define the rain garden as “a garden slightly sunken below grade designed to capture rainfall, store that water to nurture the garden plants, and cleanse runoff, thus removing pollution.” Ironically, rain gardens are more drought-tolerant than conventional gardens. Because of their plant selection and ability to store water, rain gardens flourish during dry spells, as well as rainy seasons, making them particularly conducive to the South. “Water-wise gardeners are conscious of both the need to limit their water use and the need to minimize runoff, thereby dramatically reducing water pollution,” write Kraus and Spafford. “Not only are rain gardens extremely effective in addressing water and pollution issues, they are gorgeous.”
Rain Gardening in the South addresses the specific environmental circumstances of southern gardens, such as climate issues, plant selection, and soil types. It details step-by-step instruction on constructing a garden, from the design stage to post-planting maintenance, including plant lists and troubleshooting tips.