The first thing that comes to your mind when one mentions rain is the lovely droplets falling onto the ground and quenching the thirst of the parched earth. In fact, a rain garden does as a matter of fact, do something like that. So, what is a rain garden? A rain garden is a garden that is made in a slightly depressed area in front of a home. It is built near a source of surface runoff, which is its primary source of irrigation.
When you make a garden in a depression close to a water runoff source, like a water spout, a slope, or even a sidewalk, the water runs into the depression (read rain garden) and gets absorbed into the earth there. It is a great method of rainwater harvesting, than simply letting the water stagnate and be of no use. This Buzzle article will give you some ideas for rain garden design for homeowners, along with some tips on how you can go about building one.
I happened to see a garden shaped like this and I simply had to share it. What you can do is, design your garden in such a way that it forms the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. You can have different types and colors of soil in the pieces of the puzzle and plant different plants in each individual patch. For instance, you can have dark soil and a flowering bush in one piece, and sand and a cactus variety in another. This way the garden will look nice when there are no plants too, because of the different colored soils and also after the plants grow and bear flowers!
Grasses and Flowers
Although this may be one of the simplest ideas, its effectiveness need not be doubted. Get yourself some really tall native grass seeds and plant them in the patch that you've chosen for your rain garden. Also, get some pretty flowering plants that grow in stalks rather than clumps or bunches to accentuate the beauty of your little green patch. For this idea, you can outline the patch to form a kidney shape. It will have a welcoming and charming appeal to guests and passersby!
Pebbles and Fountain
Here's another good idea that you, as a homeowner, may want to try out in an attempt to make your rain garden not only drain enough water, but also look pleasing to the eye. What you need to do is, first outline the patch that you've decided to plant with some really pretty white pebbles. You can get big, smooth pebbles, or you can even use gravel for the outline. Now, within the patch, in the center, you can place a self watering fountain or simply place a huge painted pot to resemble a cauldron. Around this fountain or cauldron, you can either simply plant lawn grass or plant one single variety of a flowering bush or shrub. The contrast will look very pretty and inviting and render a cool environment to the visitors.
In order to make the best use of these rain garden designs for homeowners, take care that you use good rain garden plants. Also, make sure that your rain garden is at least ten feet away from your home, to avoid seepage into the foundation of your home. Plus, use appropriate soil that is capable of draining the water well. You can test the draining ability of the soil in the area by digging a hole and filling it with water to check how much time it takes to drain. Follow these steps and have a gorgeous garden in your front or backyard and save precious water!