We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Rain Garden?

By N. Phipps
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A rain garden is a shallow depression in the ground, natural or man made, that is designed to hold rain that would otherwise turn into polluted runoff. According to studies, many of our natural water sources are polluted with runoff that comes from roofs, lawns, and driveways. While rainwater is filled with nutrients that are good for plants, it can become contaminated as it flows along dirty roadways or through storm drains.

With rain gardens, however, the rainwater soaks into the ground rather than running down streets or drains. Planting a rain garden not only helps keep water sources clean, but also benefits local wildlife, which are dependent on lakes, rivers, and streams for much of their drinking and food supply. Rain gardens are not expensive or difficult to maintain, though during periods of drought, watering may be necessary. In addition, a rain garden can be an attractive landscaping feature.

A rain garden is an easy garden design to construct and doesn’t take up a lot of space. The best time to design a rain garden is during heavy downpours. This makes it easier to determine what areas of the landscape receive the most rain, including drainage or runoff patterns. Most properties have an existing drainage pattern that can be used in creating a rain garden. Low-lying areas make the most suitable location for rain gardens. If no natural low-lying spots exist, simply dig one out.

A rain garden varies in depth, from 3-6 inches (7-15 cm.), and is dependent on its size and location. Rain gardens can be designed to accommodate nearly any type of gardening style in a variety of landscape settings. Rain gardens can even be added to existing buildings or other structures. Typically, rain gardens should be placed at least 10 feet (120 in.) away from foundations to prevent flooding problems.

While a rain garden is most often placed near a downspout to catch rainwater running from the roof, it can also be situated along a walkway or driveway to prevent runoff into these areas. Likewise, rain gardens can be tucked away into waterlogged areas along the side or back of the home as well. Backyard rain gardens are usually larger and can be integrated with existing gardens.

A rain garden must be able to absorb runoff water easily. Therefore, the soil should be amended with organic matter. Define the shape of the rain garden and select appropriate plants. While its design can take on nearly any appearance, the typical home rain garden is usually bowl-shaped. Native plants should be chosen for rain gardens, as they tend to be more adaptable. Plants in a rain garden should also be well suited to both wet and dry conditions.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.