Water management is crucial in some parts of the world. Many places have to watch how much water they consume, as using too much could lead to a drought. When a drought occurs, everything suffers, including our landscape.

People are coming up with innovative ways to keep their landscape in pristine condition, without utilizing too much of the city’s water supply. One way of doing so is by designing a rain garden.

A rain garden is basically what it sounds like – a garden that holds rainwater after a storm. It is a low spot in the garden that should hold up to a foot of water on average. You don’t want the water to sit like it would in a pond. A rain garden only holds water before it seeps back into the ground for your garden to feed off of.

Creating a rain garden is simple. However, there are a few tricks to learn to maximize their effectiveness. Take a look at our guide on designing a rain garden.

The Size

On average, a good sized rain garden is about a minimum of 150 square feet. Although your rain garden will vary, this is a good starting point to go off of.

The Shape

Utilize the natural landscape you have in your yard. If you don’t have the luxury of having different levels in your yard, then you’ll have to create one manually. Make rounded shapes like an oval or teardrop. A good way to visualize what it looks like is to lay a hose in the potential shape of your rain garden first.


You’ll want to keep in mind any underground utilities and tree roots before placing your rain garden. Another point to remember is if you’ll be diverting the roof gutters into the rain garden to maximize the water from a storm. If that’s the case, then your rain garden should be closer to your home, but at least 10 feet away.

Design Notes

If you have to dig the rain garden, ensure that all the edges are smooth. The bottom should be flat, and the sides should have a gentle slope. To help slow down the water from flowing into the rain garden, and to add aesthetics to the area, you can place river rocks around the diameter.

Types of Plants

You don’t want to add just any kind of plant to your rain garden. With how a rain garden works, using perennial plants are the best option. Any plants that you have in the center of your rain garden should be ones that thrive with lots of water. They will be in the area with the most saturated soil amounts. On the outside of the rain garden, use plants that can withstand little water, as these plants won’t get wet very often.


A rain garden is still a garden, which means you need to maintain it. When you first make one, you should give the garden a lot of water infrequently. This will encourage the roots to grow deep. Make sure to remove any weeds to keep the garden healthy.

Create a rain garden for a sustainable landscape and reduce the amount of water you use.