Spring 2009

Wisconsin's Water Library

Rain Garden Reading List

April showers bring rain gardens! Plant a rain garden for your May flowers and prevent potentially polluted runoff from going down a storm sewer. Rain gardens capture runoff in a shallow depression planted with water-tolerant vegetation that absorbs and filters the water as it seeps into the ground. This recharges local groundwater supplies and helps protect the water quality of our lakes and streams. To learn how to start, check out the following titles from Wisconsin’s Water Library.

Rain Gardens: Managing water sustainably in the garden and designed landscape
By Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2007. Rain gardens can be used to capture, channel, divert, and make the most of the rain and snow that fall on a property. Using the innovative and attractive approaches described here, it is possible to enhance outdoor spaces and minimize the damaging effects of drought, stormwater runoff, and other environmental challenges.

Rain Gardens: A how-to manual for homeowners
By Roger Bannerman. Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, 2003. This manual provides homeowners and landscape professionals with the information needed to design and build rain gardens on residential lots or even roof runoff at commercial and institutional sites. However, they are not appropriate for parking lots, busy streets, and other heavily used paved areas.

Rain Gardens: A household way to improve water quality in your community
By Roger Bannerman. Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, 2002. This pamphlet is a shorter version of A How-To Manual for Homeowners.

Design Guidelines for Stormwater Bioretention Facilities
By Dustin Atchinson, Ken Potter, and Linda Severson. Madison, Wisconsin: UW Water Resources Institute, 2006. This publication provides guidelines and presents a numerical model that can be used for designing bioretention facilities to meet a specified objective, such as maintaining recharge volumes.

Water Gardens
By Susan Lang, T. Jeff Williams, and the editors of Sunset Books. Menlo Park, California: Sunset Books, 2004. From planning and designing a water feature to basic construction techniques and installing wiring and lights, this lushly photographed volume covers everything needed to create and maintain the inviting sights and sounds of water gardens.

The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens
By Rusty Schmidt and David Dods Dan Shaw. River Falls, Wisconsin: Waterdrop Innovations, 2007. Thoroughly researched and beautifully illustrated, this book is approachable for beginners, yet contains detailed information for landscape professionals.

The Rain Garden Planner
By Terry Wallace. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2008. Rain gardens to suit any style or size of property are within anyone’s reach with this clear and detailed guide to creating a beautiful and enjoyable home garden while preserving the natural environment.

Please visit the Water Library at http://aqua.wisc.edu/waterlibrary for more information.

Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow these books. Just email askwater@aqua.wisc.edu

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents