Apr 6

Standing water can create a breeding ground for pests, and a lack of solutions for draining excess water can encourage gullies and erosion. So how do we create a remedy for both?

Enter: The Rain Garden

Living in the Greater Austin area can provide homeowners and landscape professionals with interesting challenges concerning large amounts of both sun and water. On one hand, our lovely city is drenched in heat and light for months on end; then twice a year almost like endcaps, we get waves of rainstorms that give us our much needed water – just all at once. These rhythms make drainage and grading even more pivotal in your landscape. 

Usually designed with a berm, an inlet and an outlet, the rain garden can take advantage of rain water in your yard and simultaneously prepare ways to disperse any overflow. A wonderful way to serve visual and practical purposes, rain gardens help drain water from places it naturally gathers and provides an unconventional focal point for viewers. On the design side, rain gardens grant additional opportunities within the layout of a space and ways to create even more diversity in the planting plan. For example, our designer Dillon mentions Little Bluestem: native to Texas and beyond, is often under utilized in our area despite it’s attributes. A great feature of Little Bluestem is that it changes color throughout the seasons and has upright stalks that remain visually interesting after many other grasses have begun to die back. Being seasonally versatile, Little Bluestem has drought and flood tolerance, so it can handle a rain garden placement in full or partial sun.


Another drainage solution is the dry creek. For instance, the homeowners at the top were backed up against the greenbelt and as geologists wanted a functional design that mirrored the natural processes of this slope with native plants and rockscape. This design not only gave the homeowners something interesting to look at, but also mitigated issues with runoff and washout. A smaller example is the image above, where the main concern was placing a water route from the storm gutters out of the recreational common areas. So you see, there are plenty of options that can be customized to each space and your needs as the homeowner.

If you have drainage issues, reach out! We would love to turn a problem into a project!

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