Summit Landscapes – Rain Garden

Your quick guide to green


A rain garden is not only good for the land – it can look amazing too. By allowing the rain at your home to soak into the ground in your lawn, you help the environment. For us, it’s just a good excuse to grow more Iris!

Reducing run-off protects our natural resources, as well as helping to recharge natural water supplies and protecting your area from flooding. Also, with a little design flair, it can be a great enhancement to your garden and benefit wildlife.

Mosquitoes? Don’t worry about them. There are gardens that are designed to hold water, but this is not one of them. Yours should allow water to soak into the ground within a few hours.


Plan your rain garden at least 10ft from the house; you don’t want to have water soak in near your foundation.

Find a flat area for your rain garden. This is because the rain will need to have a chance to soak in a steep slope and will just give you run-off. When you’ve got the right area, you can create a low berm around it so the water won’t escape. A typical depth is between 3-8 inches.

Your home guttering is great for rainwater gardens. You can direct your guttering with a buried extension or a swale. Again, make sure it is at least 10ft from the house.

It is important to remember not to put your rain garden over your septic system or sewer lateral. You also don’t want to place it in an area that is already wet; if it’s a wet area, it’s not draining well enough.

Also, it’s not recommended that you build it under a large tree. This is because trees’ root systems draw a lot of water and also the roots might get damaged.


The size of your rainwater garden is determined by two things: your home and your soil. You can calculate the square footage of runoff from your roof. Measure the length and width of your house. Then, multiply the square footage according to what type of soil you have and how far away your rain garden is from the house.

When you look at your home, how much of your roof run-off runs through your downspout? If your home is roughly 40x50ft, your home square footage is 2000 square feet. If ¼ or 25% of that runs through one gutter, multiply 2000 by 0.25 and your answer is 500 square feet of run-off through one gutter.

The location is important. If it’s closer to the house, it should be larger. This is because you’ll want to make sure it soaks into the ground faster. If it soaks in slower, it could be bad for your home. If it is further than 30ft away, it could be smaller. Some of the rain will soak in before it gets to your garden.


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