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What Is a Rain Garden & Why Build One in Your Yard?

A garden has purple salvia flower shrubs in the foreground and pink roses in the background with a rock retaining wall.

Creating a beautiful and functional garden can be a rewarding endeavor. Raising plants is a great way to spend time outside and support the environment, and rain gardens can beautify your yard. We will explain what a rain garden is and why you should build one in your yard.

What Is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a shallow depression designed to collect and absorb water runoff after heavy rainfall. Property owners place them strategically in a yard to accumulate water that flows from impervious surfaces like roofs, driveways, and walkways. Rain gardens typically have native perennials and grasses with deep root systems that thrive in wet conditions.

Benefits of Rain Gardens

Now that you understand what a rain garden is, review the main reasons why you should build one in your yard.

Environmental Conservation

Rain gardens have numerous environmental benefits, including collecting stormwater runoff. They slowly absorb large quantities of water to prevent flooding and polluted stormwater from entering lakes, rivers, and streams. A rain garden can also prevent erosion, filter out pollutants, and provide habitats for pollinators like bees and butterflies, which support biodiversity in plant life.


One notable benefit of rain gardens is their cost-effectiveness. They require less maintenance than grass lawns, which often need regular watering, fertilizing, and mowing. Over time, rain gardens can provide savings on water bills and landscaping costs. A well-designed rain garden could also make your home more attractive to potential buyers and increase your property value!

Aesthetic Appeal

With a variety of plants, colors, and textures, a rain garden can be visually appealing. It breaks the monotony of a grass lawn and adds interest to your landscaping.

Tips for Building a Rain Garden

If you would like to build a rain garden in your yard for your home, follow these tips for the planning and construction processes.

  • Establish your rain garden in partial to full sunlight with one or two downspouts and away from utility lines.
  • Your rain garden should slope gently from the edges to the center to allow water to flow.
  • Native plants with deep root systems are best for rain gardens, as they thrive in the local environment.
  • Choose a creative shape and plant arrangement that makes your rain garden a standout feature.

Although digging and planting your own garden can be highly fulfilling, hiring professional landscaping services may be better if you are not comfortable doing the work yourself. Landscaping professionals can use their expertise and tools to install and maintain your gardens year-round.