Tucker-Hill Rain Garden
One of our first installations back in 2012, the garden design consisted of a rain garden and swale to encourage infiltration in this large front yard space. The system worked well for a number of years and the plants flourished and filled in. When we revisited the garden for some routine maintenance in the summer of 2020, however, we noticed that the GI system needed a touch up.
While the garden was lush and beautiful as always, the bioretention elements of the system were no longer properly infiltrating stormwater. The rain garden basin had filled with sediment over the years and the sides of the swale had eroded, cutting a craggy canyon through the garden. We began a more intensive GSI maintenance plan by conducting a soil test, and then removing plants from the area we would be working in, while keeping everything else in place. We re-shaped the swale by hand, widening it slightly and easing the side slopes, and put down a layer of river rock. We then re-dug the rain garden, removing the accumulated sediment, and filled the basin with fresh rain garden soil (a mixture of topsoil, compost and sand).
With routine maintenance and the occasional large intervention, a rain garden will remain lovely and functional for years.