A gardener on Reddit recently showed off photos of their ingenious strategy for making the most of the rain.
The post appeared in July in the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit, where users share tips for growing native plants and post about their results. One topic that comes up regularly is rain gardens — areas where the gardener digs a small bowl in the ground to catch rainwater, then plants a garden there.
According to a comment from the original poster, this rain garden was about three years old.
The Redditor’s photos show a healthy, blooming bed full of black-eyed Susans, butterfly milkweeds, tickseeds, goldenrods, stonecrops, and sunflowers. A layer of mulch prevented weeds from springing up without blocking rainwater from soaking into the ground.
“I have heavy clay soil so I amended it quite a bit,” said the original poster in a comment. “First I dug out the bowl and then filled it with half sand and a quarter each of top soil and compost … making sure to keep the bowl shape.”
“I also put in a drain that moves water from a downspout and into the garden,” they added.
The result was a win for the plants and the property alike. The system catches as much moisture as possible to keep the flowers watered while moving rainwater away from the foundation of the home to prevent damage and flooding.
The Redditor also had a few ideas to make the area even more attractive. “I also have a few bird feeders and a bird bath,” they said. “I would love to add a little nature pond for dragonflies and frogs!”
Unfortunately, they had a few minor setbacks. “I also lost a few plants the first two years due to drought and flooding,” they shared. “I would recommend watering the first two years in the heat of the summer if needed!”
Commenters loved the small but thriving rain garden.
“This is awesome!” said one user, who also planned to build a rain garden of their own.
Another user called the whole system “magic.”
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