Before Andrew left, he helped me plant a rain garden. Admittedly, it's a work in progress. Since I got my back yard re-graded, a lot more water flows around the south side of my house. I planted a few ferns and lilies on the slope outside my fence. From there, the water flows down to the road. Andrew and I picked a spot that was fairly level and made a roughly 8' x 4' depression in the soil. The rain garden area is about 3" lower than the surrounding ground. It has some irises, lilies, and ferns right now. Andrew had the brilliant idea to put rocks at the front (uphill) part of the garden to slow the flow of water so that it doesn't trample the plants.
I went outside during a storm earlier this week and water had flooded the rain garden and was rushing over the backstop. Turns out that it eroded part of the backstop. I put a couple rocks where the dirt used to be. I guess that the rain garden doesn't get to filter a high percentage of the runoff water during a torrential downpour. However, I think that it might service a very high proportion of the water that falls in a light shower.
One of the irises is already shooting off another set of leaves via underground runners. Hopefully the plants in there will reproduce and fill up the area to make better filtration. I would like to plant more stuff in there some time. Like I said, it's a work in progress. In order to improve it, I might go to Esposito or some other garden store. Apparently Tallahassee has a program where they'll reimburse you up to $150 for materials used to make a rain garden. The city sure does have a community consciousness.