If it ever rains again, we’ll be in good shape.

Once upon a time, it rained in Texas. And when it did, our yard turned into a swamp.

Swamp city is not a great situation for anyone. After lots of planning and scheming, we decided installing a rain garden would be an effective and earth-friendly way to control the water flow. The idea is that by digging out a trench, you divert the water to a designated area, rather than letting it flow here, there and everywhere. Then, you fill said area with strategically placed rocks and native plants so it’s pretty to look at as well as being functional.

The Red Clay Valley Association encourages its residences to make rain gardens in small backyard depressions like this one.

From gardenfowl.com

Minnesota Public Radio did a neat feature on how to install backyard rain gardens, like this one, for its listeners.

Once again, we enlisted the help of my garden guru to figure out the best way to incorporate a rain garden into the back yard. Since the water seems pretty intent on puddling in one particular area, we thought, why challenge it? We opted to start there and then manipulate the existing landscape around it—making the rest of our yard accoutrement work with the soon-to-be rain garden rather than the other way around. Once that was determined, the only thing left to do was start digging.
Heath dug a few inches into the soil to make a clearly defined low area where the water could easily drain. From there, he tilled the soil to prepare for future plants.
Then we got to play architect, deciding on how and where to place the rocks that would exist in and around the garden.
A few rocks and plants later, we had a bona fide rain garden!
It’s functional, earth-friendly and it creates quite the precious backdrop to our entertaining area.
So far, I’m a big fan of our newest addition. Hopefully we’ll be able to give it a test drive soon.
Happy gardening!

7 Comments on “If it ever rains again, we’ll be in good shape.”

  1. kmom says:

    I so hope you get rain, for the sake of all the plants as well as testing out the effectiveness of the garden. I know the chickens like it, hope it works as intended.

  2. Doc C says:

    someday I’m going to beat kmom and be the first to comment. Until that day congrats on the awesome rain garden. Why are all the pictures of the rain garden blurry? Is it a cousin of bigfoot?

  3. bkcsquared says:

    what a gorgeous garden! :)

    Be sure to check out the collaboration lifestyle blog between my twin sister and I that features everything that inspires us from fashion to food!

    http://www.BKCsquared.com

    & follow us through our email subscription, via bloglovin’, or on your Google Reader feed (or get updates through our twitter @BKCsquared).

    xo, K

  4. realcom says:

    Water is so necessary to a garden but we always seem to get too much or too little! We inherited quite a big garden which slopes down from a field towards the house. The previous owners put in “French drains” to channel water from below the veg plots, down through a pipe system into a series of waterfalls and fern gardens and into a pond. See the fern garden pic at http://froggartscottagegarden.blogspot.co.uk/2012_07_01_archive.html
    Unfortunately they didn’t do the last bit and when the water table is high (like now!) we have a rather awkward water feature right outside our back door!

  5. […] Check out this Texas couple’s awesome story of successfully building a rain garden in their backyard: http://thedoodlehouse.com/2012/08/09/if-it-ever-rains-again-well-be-in-good-shape/ […]

  6. […] finally rained a long hard rain in Austin this weekend–giving us a chance to put our newly implemented rain garden to work. She performed like a champ. No more yard lake, just a happy and contained […]

  7. […] a rain garden to help with […]


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