Playful Rain Garden


Daily ActsPetaluma | A Neighborhood Project

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This garden is featured on the Daily Act’s Resilient Homes Tour.

Garden Features:

  • Graywater System
  • Rainwater System.
  • Chicken Coop.

Veteran Eco-Friendly Garden Tour garden hosts Jesse and Jennifer introduce their garden:

Since Jesse and Jennifer moved to Petaluma in June of 2014, they have been in the process of transforming their once-barren yard with help from friends, neighbors, and Ryan Johnston (Live Well Design). The front yard is approximately 800 sq. ft and the back is around 1200 sq. ft, and is now a delightful living playground for their two young children.

The first step in transforming their space was the installation of a Laundry-to-Landscape greywater system last August with the help of Daily Acts and volunteers. With two small kids, a small flood of washing machine water is now being diverted to the garden, drastically reducing the need for potable irrigation water. There is also a newly-created rain garden in the front of the house, lined with reused bricks rather than cobblestones (which are usually mined from a river and have a large environmental footprint). Because of the bricks, the rain garden also doubles as a walkway during the dry months. In large storms, water from the upper rain garden pools flows over a small wall, creating a water feature, and then fills a curbstrip rain garden. Jesse and Jennifer added extensions to both their own downspout and their neighbor’s to redirect the water from the side of both houses to the front, and are working on keeping as much water as they can in the yard.

Several new fruit trees (plum, peach, apple, mandarin, and lemon), bamboo, fruits and vegetables, and a variety of other useful plants provide nutrition, fiber, and wonder for the whole family. The large weeping mulberry in the front yard serves as an enchanting fort for the kids. The family also has 5 chickens in their backyard chicken coop/run. Because the front yard is primarily dry shade, this is an especially informative and inspiring garden for people looking to fill that challenging niche in their own yards. Permaculture ideas are germinating rapidly at this charming home!

Plant List

A printable plant list is available to download for this garden.

Harvest More Rain in the Landscape with Rain Gardens!

A rain garden is a garden which takes advantage of rainfall and stormwater runoff in its design and plant selection. Usually, it is a small garden which is designed to withstand the extremes of moisture and concentrations of nutrients, particularly Nitrogen and Phosphorus, that are found in stormwater runoff. rain gardens are sited ideally close to the source of the runoff and serve to slow the stormwater as it travels downhill, giving the stormwater more time to infiltrate and less opportunity to gain momentum and erosive power. With a planted depression or a hole, a rain garden takes full advantage of scarce resources with the opportunity to be absorbed, integrated, and saved.

Benefits of Rain Gardens

  • rain-gardenReduce the amount of polluted stormwater reaching our rivers
  • Filter pollutants such as oil, fertilizers, salt, pesticides, metals and bacteria out of runoff
  • Promote infiltration and recharge of the groundwater table
  • Reduce local flooding potential
  • Conserve water
  • Create diverse habitat for birds and butterflies
  • Reduce landscape maintenance in terms of time and money
  • Increase property value

For more information on rain gardens please visit Daily Acts website by clicking HERE.