Rainscaping Guide: Design & Build a Rain Garden

Now that you have determined that a rain garden is right for your site, you are ready to design and build one! These steps will guide you through the process (click on each topic in the flowchart below to view that section):

Flowchart

Design and Build a Rain Garden flowchartOrganize Water Flow

Several options exist when deciding how to direct water into the rain garden:

  • Underground pipe leading to rain gardenWhen designing a rain garden to manage runoff from the roof, redirect your gutter downspout(s) to point towards your rain garden and reroute the water through an underground pipe or a bioswale.
  • If a rain barrel has been installed on the gutter downspout, redirect the overflow from the rain barrel to the rain garden through an underground pipe or a bioswale.
  • In some cases, the topography of the property allows for a natural flow of water. Take advantage of this when designing a rain garden and/or bioswale.
  • Be sure to reinforce the area where water enters the rain garden if there is a potential for erosion with erosion netting and/or stone.
  • It may be a good idea to leave your rain garden “off line” for an initial period. By allowing time for your plants to become well-established in your rain garden before redirecting gutter downspouts or adding the directional pipe or bioswale to route water to your rain garden, the plants will become strong and tall enough to withstand flooding.
Continue on to Select Plants

 

Link to Is a Rain Garden Right for Your Site? section Link to Determine Rain Garden Size and Depth section Link to Decide Which Rain Garden Elements to Include section Link to Organize Water Flow section Link to Select Plants section Link to Gather Tools and Supplies section Link to Lay It Out and Dig In section Link to Plant the Rain Garden section Link to Maintain the Rain Garden section
Rainscaping Guide Quick Links

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The Missouri Botanical Garden Rainscaping Guide is partially funded by the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation and US EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (subgrant number G11-NPS-15), under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.