Rain Gardens: Drainage Solution That’s Easy On The Eyes

Is poor drainage in your yard causing you to get some serious wear and tear out of your billy boots? Introducing the rain garden! It’ll drink up the excess water surrounding your house, and it’s easy on the eyes too.

Many of us have tried to solve the issue of unwanted water in our yards by installing expensive french drains. But, don’t you hate spending money on something you never actually see? French drains can eventually collapse or get clogged, so if you can avoid them, opt for a gorgeous rain garden. It’s a long-term solution to your drainage problem and can filter runoff and protect groundwater from pollutants after a big rainfall.

Here are some popular water-loving plants that will be more than happy to take the “plunge” for you.

Siberian Iris

Rain Gardens

You’ll love this low-maintenance plant for its lush, long-lasting blooms. Better yet, their dainty flowers will open with early season colour, and remain attractive after the blooming period is over. Sounds like the perfect perennial, doesn’t it? Get creative with your colour scheme and choose from pinks, whites, blues and purples. The Siberian Iris can grow as tall as 3 ft., so they’re best used as a background border. They will do well in full sun to partial shade.

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Tufted Sedge

Rain Gardens

This grassy-looking plant absolutely loves wet soil, so it’s the perfect choice for your rain garden. Whether planted in the semi-shade or no shade, expect this baby to thrive. The Tufted Sedge is on double-duty; it’s great for erosion control, but it’s a looker too, with bright gold foliage and green margins. It’s considered an evergreen perennial and can grow 3-4 ft. tall, and about 1-2 ft. wide.

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny is great for rain gardens

We just love a good creeper. Who doesn’t love rapidly-spreading groundcover? This low-growing plant is a beautiful green, but in the summer produces tiny, yellow flowers. Careful though; while it likes very damp conditions, Creeping Jenny does best when it’s in well-drained soil. In full sun, expect the plant to grow fast and furiously. It will do well in partial shade as well and has a spread of 30 ft. or more.

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Cardinal Flower

Rain Gardens

This vibrant red, trumpet-shaped flower will bring a new wave of life to your rain garden when many other perennials are starting to fade. They love the summer heat but will do well into fall as well. They grow nice and tall and do best in locations with morning sun and afternoon shade. Here’s a bonus: this wildflower will also attract hummingbirds to your garden.

Hardiness: Zones 1-10

Candelabra Primrose

Rain Gardens

If you’re looking to bring beautiful clusters of colour to your rain garden (and keep the deer at bay), the Candelabra Primrose is for you. Deep-pink to purple flowers appear in large number in late spring or early summer. This plant is thirsty! She loves wet soil and will tolerate full sun as a result. Don’t just plant a little bit of this primrose; it looks so beautiful when grown in mass. The perennial quickly establishes and can grow up to 2 ft. tall and wide.

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Indian Rhubarb

Rain Gardens

With all that water in your backyard, why not add to the tropical vibe and plant some Indian Rhubarb? It’s umbrella-like leaves bloom in the spring and has a span of up to 2 ft.; one single clump of this plant can grow 4 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. It will also provide clusters of starry, pink or white flowers. It’s incredibly low-maintenance, grows fast, and will do very well in sun or partial shade.

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Tip: You can give your rain garden an added boost by working plenty of organic matter into the soil before planting.

Featured image courtesy of Sheridan Nurseries.

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.