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Rain Gardens: sustainable landscaping

A rain garden is basically an area where water collects and infiltrates on your property, rather than rushing to the municipal storm sewer system.

Occasionally, if your soil has good drainage and plants are well established, simply adjusting the landscape so that downspouts and paved surfaces drain into existing gardens is all that’s needed.


However, many plants don”t tolerate saturated roots for long periods of time, and more water runs off one”s roof than people realize. More often the required location and storage capacity of the garden area must be determined prior to construction. Rain garden plants are then selected to match the situation, not the other way around.

Building a rain garden into your landscape design is beneficial for many reasons: they improve water quality by filtering runoff; provide localized flood control by reducing the surge of water to urban creeks following a heavy rainfall; are aesthetically pleasing; and provide interesting planting opportunities. They also encourage wildlife and biodiversity while tying together buildings and their surrounding environments in attractive and environmentally advantageous ways.

A rain garden provides a way to use and optimize any rain that falls, reducing or avoiding the need for irrigation. Rain gardens allow a household or building to deal with excessive rainwater runoff without burdening the public storm water systems, and since the water will infiltrate the ground within a day or two, they do not allow mosquitoes to breed.



  1. Stacey on April 22, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Derek, you did such a great job with collecting storm water in the pond in the #coolestbackyardever, I’m wondering about your ideas for a rain garden in the front. It would have to be raised bed/container, as it’s right next to the house. Not a lot of room though…

    • Derek Lippert on April 28, 2015 at 9:04 am

      We can totally help you out with that:) Both of the guys are on the 2015 Grand River Adventure trip until Saturday May 2nd…Derek will be in touch to discuss more once he returns. Hope all is well folks.

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