Rain Gardens

Local rain gardens featured in Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

Check out this article about how Bothell neighbors are helping conserve in their communities by installing rain gardens.

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a bowl-shaped shallow planted area in the landscape where rain water collects and absorbs back into the soil. It is designed to slow, filter, and infiltrate runoff from roofs or pavement to safeguard local water quality. A rain garden uses spongy living soils and native plants to achieve its goal.

Having a rain garden on your property helps recreate the natural water cycle. It mimics the natural environment of the undisturbed soils and forests that once covered the Puget Sound area. 

Rain garden benefits (click to open PDF)

Rain Garden Benefits (JPG)

A rain garden is a low impact development (LID) technique

There are many techniques and design considerations that help capture and move rain water while improving the aesthetics of your property - rain gardens are just one example. Low impact development manages the rainwater that falls on your property by allowing some to evaporate back into the air, some to absorb into the ground, some to be captured and used later as needed, and the rest to slowly pass into the stormwater system and into nearby streams. Learn more about low impact development techniques in Bothell.

Rain garden anatomy (click to open PDF)

Rain Garden Anatomy (JPG)

Path of rainwater to a rain garden vs. a storm drain (Image credit: Kitsap Conservation District)

Illustration of rainwater traveling from a home to a rain garden, vs to a storm drain

Rain garden guides and resources

Managing Rainwater: A Homeowners Improvement Guide for Low Impact Development (LID) in Bothell 

City of Bothell created this simple guide to help you learn about the different low impact development techniques and options available to help you get started. View the guide.

Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington: A Guide for Design, Maintenance, and Installation

WSU Extension, Department of Ecology, and Kitsap County created this step-by-step guide. It will help you determine whether a rain garden is right for your property and will guide you through the process of building one yourself. View the guide.

Rain Garden Care: A Guide for Residents and Community Organizations

This guide - created by RainWise, King Conservation District, 12,000 Rain Gardens, and Stewardship Partners - offers tips about seasonal care, weeding, watering, mulching, caring for the plants, and keeping the water flowing. View the guide.

Rain Garden Plants

See a list of native plants that can tolerate both saturated and drought conditions.