A rain garden is a depression built into the landscape, located where water will drain off of the property, designed to catch and contain the water so it can filter down into the ground rather than run off the property and into area lakes and streams. Rain gardens have been around for a long time, but they are now growing in popularity due to the increased awareness in the quality of our local water supplies.

As the premier Austin custom home builder, we have designed rain gardens into several of our current projects. Since we are so often the preferred builder for waterfront properties, our drainage plans required a solution to sending surface water off the property and directly into adjacent water systems. A properly designed rain garden will mitigate the impact of the project on our water supply while providing our homeowners with a beautiful, natural component to their landscape plan.

Some clients have asked, “Will the rain garden create a damp area where mosquitoes can flourish?” When properly constructed, the rain garden will drain within a few hours. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and require 10 – 14 days to hatch. So the rain garden shouldn’t create a mosquito issue.

So what do you plant in a rain garden? Many rain garden experts, suggests that you think of your rain garden as a meadow. Start with planting grasses and/or sedge, which will lay down a solid root system for excellent filtration. Then augment those plantings with other native plants if desired.