Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rain Garden

Last weekend's project was a rain garden. Exhibit 1, my backyard after torrential Houston downpours last April.
I'm planning on taking a three-pronged approach to this problem. First, was spreading 4 yards of dirt around the yard in hopes of slowly raising the level. Second is the rain garden. And third will be gutters and a rain water collection system.

I've been wanting to build a rain garden for several years. I've even had most of the plants that are now in the garden for at least a couple of years. You'll notice the picture below is the same location as the first picture above, which looks like a lake.

I filled the rain garden with Louisiana iris, colocasia (elephant ears), wood fern, iris cristata, white tip sedge, and a few plants that I got from the rain garden workshop I attended at the Houston Arboretum. This is the lowest part of the yard, so it is a natural location for a rain garden. I removed about 2-3 inches of the existing soil. It just so happens that it was great soil, most likely this was a garden bed sometime in the house's history. And, it just so happens I needed some extra soil about 8 feet away, in the bed I'm building around the gazebo.

Here is a Rain Garden fact sheet from Angela Chandler, a Harris County Master Gardener.  There is a great plant list on the last few pages.

I still have room for a few more plants in the rain garden, but I'll wait for some of the existing ones to fill in a bit. Now, I'm waiting for the torrential rains to find out if it will work. Let's hope the build it and they will come approach will work.


  1. Wow - those before pics are something else. I hope you get a chance to see how the rain garden will work, and not another drought like last year. Our rainbarrel was our best ever investment, I think.

  2. I have been wanting to put a rain garden in our backgarden - thank you for the chance to see yours and the information. Congratulations on starting your new blog. I heard/read about it through Cindy's (My Corner of Katy)blog and popped over for a visit. The picture of the Hydrangea is great! Enjoy your time in Buffalo!


  3. The link to the Rain Garden Fact Sheet from Angela Chandler isn't working anymore. Looks like they've moved it here: I just wish they had good photos (overview of size/shape as well as close up)!! I spend so much time trying to look for good photos to figure out what the plants will look like when they're mature, and what their growth habit is.