• Home Home

Homeowner shares incredible before-and-after photos after transforming their swampy yard: ‘I didn’t have much of a choice’

“Plants, rocks, and mulch were $250-ish.”

“Plants, rocks, and mulch were $250-ish."

Photo Credit: iStock

One handy homeowner jazzed up their yard with an incredible rain garden that got commenters in the r/landscaping subreddit excited to do the same.

Rain gardens are trending as more and more gardeners discover this natural and gorgeous solution to muddy or flooded yards. For instance, one homeowner started with a yard that became a swamp whenever it rained — and ended up with a beautiful flower bed and seating area.

“Plants, rocks, and mulch were $250-ish."
Photo Credit: Reddit

All you have to do is identify the spot where water is pooling in your yard, usually an area of low ground or where water runs off a roof. Often, your lawn will have a bare or patchy area, indicating that the spot is just too wet for your grass. 

Once you find it, use river rocks, gravel, or wood chips to keep the spot from eroding, and plant moisture-loving plants with deep roots. This helps the water soak into the ground, and the plants will thrive while protecting the rest of the yard from flooding.

That’s what this homeowner did when they discovered a large area of mud and patchy grass at the corner of their house. 

“I had a damp and shady area where grass wouldn’t grow and mosquitos thrived,” they explained in a comment. “Watched a bunch of rain garden YouTube videos and I’m hoping this reduces runoff to the street and long term puddling.”

The rain garden in their photos is luxurious and layered, with a central stream lined with gravel and surrounded by mulch beds on either side. Several multicolored plants and shrubs liven up the design.

“Plants, rocks, and mulch were $250-ish,” they claimed. “Wish I had an action shot with rain but when a storm rolls through, there’s a huge stream of water that lands at the top of the rocks and funnels down.”

According to the original poster, finding the right plants was as easy as asking. “The one in the bottom of the main reservoir I dug is papyrus, basically thrives in wet or submerged soil,” they said. “Everything else is full or partial shade, and likes damp soil. I just asked at my local nursery what they recommended.”

After one commenter mentioned installing the garden near a tree, the poster replied: “Kinda felt like a palaeontologist at times trying to excavate and keep roots in tact. So it made that part pretty difficult, but I didn’t have much of a choice for location.”

Choosing plants adapted to the local conditions — especially native plants — is an easy way to save money since they need much less irrigation than a traditional lawn. These eco-friendly selections also require less maintenance, saving homeowners time and resources. 

Even a partial replacement of your lawn with native plants or low-maintenance alternatives like clover, buffalo grass, or xeriscaping designs can provide these cost-effective benefits.

“This is amazing and would work wonderfully in our yard!” said one commenter.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider