Easy and Efficient Rain Gardens DIY

After so much wonderful rain, there couldn’t be a better time than now to invest in a rain garden. Creating one is simple and is all about location, soil, and plant selection. Follow Life is a Garden’s guide on how to grow a functioning rain garden to prevent flooding, curb water runoff, and play your part in reducing pollution.


A swamp or sanctuary?

Besides adding stunning décor features to the landscape, rain gardens are super useful and easy to maintain. However, a rain garden is not a swamp and there are some important elements to understand when creating one. Have a look at these key differences:

Rain garden do's and don'ts

Sip on this → By temporarily holding and filtering all incoming water, a rain garden diverts rainwater from directly entering a municipal stormwater system AND prevents polluted water from directly flowing into streams and rivers – amazing! Another win for the backyard eco-warrior! 


Location is key

The first factor to consider when planning your rain garden is where to dig your bed. When in an optimal location with appropriate plants, your rain garden will act like a sponge and natural filter that absorbs and collects all incoming water, cleans it, and then percolates it slowly into the surrounding soil. You can also grow multiple smaller rain collecting beds as there is no limit to the size or amount you can have in a space. Ideally, look for areas in the garden that:

  • Are naturally lower-lying spaces (downhill, at the bottom of slopes, ditches). If your garden is flat, however, dig a trench to direct rainwater or install gutter/irrigation pipes and slabs to navigate water flow straight to the rain garden.
  • Areas that receive full or partial sun.
  • Near a runoff source would be ideal (downspouts, driveways, rooves, gutters).
  • At least 3 metres away from a building (to avoid deteriorating foundations).