Homeowners turn to rain gardening

Rain Garden (Natalie Stoll/KXAN)
  1. (1/4)In the midst of a drought in Central Texas, more and more people are turning to water saving landscaping. Beyond zero-scaping or just using native plants, there's another option -- a rain garden.
  2. (2/4)Rain Garden (Natalie Stoll/KXAN)
  3. (3/4)Rain Garden (Natalie Stoll/KXAN)
  4. (4/4)Rain Garden (Natalie Stoll/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) - In the midst of a drought in Central Texas, more and more people are turning to water saving landscaping. Beyond zero-scaping or just using native plants, there's another option -- a rain garden.

In West Austin, Joanne and Hamilton Richards used to have a St. Augustine yard. Tired of the watering, upkeep and wanting something more interesting to look at, they gave it a makeover several years ago.

Now, their yard consists of lush native plants and a unique design, that thrives with limited rainfall.

"We actually replaced our windows in our house and made them larger so we can actually look out and actually see something beautiful, " Joanne Richards said.

Rain Garden (Natalie Stoll/KXAN)Cathy Nordstrom designed the Richards' rain garden.

The yard's gentle slope helps funnel rain down a creek and into a holding pond where the water can soak in. The design solves drainage issues and keeps the water around longer.

"This holds nutrients, holds water, and of course that will be an obvious benefit, " said Nordstrom, a landscape designer. "It prevents (the water) from washing down into creeks and polluting our water supply."

Rain gardens aren't new. The idea started on the east coast as a way to protect water quality.

While the concepts are the same, there are some changes to make if you build a rain garden here.

"Ours that we do here are different from in Maryland where it started, " Nordstrom said. "They have to be different because we have different conditions."

Source: www.kxan.com

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