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What is this To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’.

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away!

Building a Rain Garden

With the funky weather we have been having in the past few years, it seems as though Mother Nature is either sending too much or not enough rain our way. Those who find themselves becoming drenched in the spring and summer months, or are having problems with standing water and flooding, should explore the idea of building a rain garden. It helps alleviate problems such as erosion, standing water, and will also create a beautiful statement and attract wildlife to your outdoor space.

Building a Rain Garden is fairly easy, just follow these simple steps:


Raindrops on Fern foliage

Rain Gardens are becoming increasingly more popular each year, and for good reason.

Choosing Your Area

When choosing the location for your Rain Garden, you will want to make sure to examine rain flow patterns. If you haven’t had much rain lately, run a hose down where you receive flooding and build your rain garden where most of this water seems to collect. Make sure to build the rain garden at least 10 feet away from your house to prevent any flooding. Remember to choose an area that could use landscaping, as the rain garden will be aesthetically pleasing.

Designing Your Rain Garden

Rain Gardens can be calculated based on many factors, but most gardeners will create a Rain Garden that best suits the space they have available. You will want to dig the garden at least 8 inches deep (the deeper, the better) and slope the sides down towards the center, to help guide the water. Make sure there is a direct route for the water to get down into the Rain Garden – When necessary, many gardeners will use a pipe or dig a ditch to guide the water directly towards their garden.


Swamp Milkweed - Cinderella in bloom

Swamp Milkweed, much as the name suggests, is a moisture-loving option for the damp parts of a raingarden.

The best choices of plants for a Rain Garden are plants that are native to your area. They thrive naturally in your area and require less care. We also suggest planting Grasses and Groundcovers among other plants to help with erosion and resist weed growth. You will want to choose plants based on the moisture in the different aspects of your Rain Garden.

The center of your Rain Garden will have the wettest soil, so try planting things such as Caesar's Brother Siberian Iris. The borders of your garden will not get too much water, so plant items here that will do well with less water, such as Creeping Phlox. If possible, apply around 2 inches of mulch to the tops and side of your Rain Garden.

Moisture-Loving Perennials >> View All

  • Soulmate Swamp Milkweed

    Starting at $16.98

    Sale: $8.49

    Per Plant - 3.5" pot

  • Lady Fern

    Starting at $17.98

    Sale: $8.99

    Per Bag of 3

  • Minuteman Hosta

    $10.98

    Sale: $5.49

    Per Bag of 1

  • Ruby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea

    Starting at $29.98

    Sale: $14.99

    Per Plant - 3.5" pot

  • Common Milkweed

    Starting at $14.98

    Sale: $7.49

    Per Plant - 3.5" pot


Maintaining Your Rain Garden


Creeping Phlox in bloom filling lawn

Creeping Phlox would be a good choice for any bordering areas of the rain garden that won't get too wet.

Make sure to water your plants every few days for the first several weeks. Once the plants are established, natural rainfall should keep them watered and fed properly. Only weeding and end of season care is necessary.

Once your Rain Garden is established, it will not only help with any standing water or flooding problems you have been having, but will also create a beautiful look to your outdoor space and provide nourishment and protection for wildlife.

What are your experiences with Rain Gardens? Please feel free to share below.

Happy Gardening!

4 thoughts on “Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away!”

  • Tracey L. Kosenski

    My rain garden is one of the favorite features of my landscape, functional and beautiful.

    The Pacific Chorus frogs love it too!

    I love that clients are very open to the idea of installing them as well. After all, we do live in very rainy Washington!

    Reply
    • Amanda Shepard
      Amanda Shepard March 22, 2012 at 6:26 am

      Hi Tracey,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Rain Gardens! I'm sure they are a very popular garden feature in Washington.

      Best,

      Amanda

      Reply
  • David Hymel

    For more on a recent rain garden installation, please visit our 8th Ave NW Street of Green project at http://raindogdesigns.com/wordpress/?page_id=1877

    Reply
    • Amanda Shepard
      Amanda Shepard March 26, 2012 at 5:44 am

      Hi David,

      What a wonderful post about your rain garden installation. Thanks for sharing!

      Best,

      Amanda

      Reply
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