Where should your garden go?

Once you make the decision to install a rain garden on your property, it's time to figure out the best place to put it.

Your rain garden should be in the spot that'll supply it with the most rainfall runoff possible. Start by identifying a location that you would like to add a garden. Ideally this location would be downhill from a downspout or paved area, or wherever most of your yard's rainwater collects and runs off.

Stay at least 10 feet from your house and garage to keep water from damaging the foundation.

Here are some things to do and things to avoid:

  • DO:
  • Decide whether you want to capture water from your roof and your lawn, or just your roof.
  • Think about the big picture. Where do you want your garden in relation to other landscaping features? Should it be visible from inside the house? Should it be a focal point or just a detail?
  • Check with your municipality concerning any regulations that may apply.
  • Check with your local utility companies to identify any possible buried utilities.

  • DON'T:
  • Pick a spot closer than 10 feet from your house. Otherwise you'll be drawing water into your basement.
  • Start digging where the water always pools after a rain. Standing water means poor infiltration.
  • Place your garden on top of your septic system.
  • Choose a spot under a tree. You risk damaging the roots when you dig, and the extra moisture could also harm the tree.