Banyon Tree Design PortfolioContemporary Landscape, Seattle
Surface runoff gathers in this new rain garden, densely planted with ornamentals and natives. The elongated pavers are recycled concrete from the existing patio space.
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Typical project length: A professional crew can accomplish the installation in about a day. If you do it yourself, it will take longer, as it’s a pretty physically demanding project. Best time to start: Depending on where you live, fall or spring is the best time to plant your rain garden. “Fall is a good time to build one here in the Pacific Northwest, because the rains have started, making it easier to dig,” Whitworth says. “Plants are easiest to establish at this time of year as well, giving them three wet seasons for good root growth before our first season of drought, summer.” It’s also possible to break up the process. “I’ve dug them in the fall and planted them in the spring,” Lathin says. He adds that in regions with wet, cold winters, it’s important not to plant too late in fall, as the water and the freeze-thaw cycle can lift and wash away young plants that haven’t developed strong root systems yet. “You should never use seeds for a rain garden, because rain will wash them away and leave bare spots for weeds,” he says.
Mini rain gardens can be situated at the low side of a yard to filter excess runoff from the lawn. Even if you've gone organic in your lawn care regimen, there's still the problem of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other elements) entering waterways. They don't just make your lawn grow; they can accelerate algae growth, which in turn upsets the habitat of fish and other aquatic life.