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10 Green Lawns Without a Blade of Grass


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Rain Garden
A rain garden collects runoff from your roof to support plants that thrive in wet environments.
A rain garden collects runoff from your roof to support plants that thrive in wet environments.
Nacivet/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Do you have some low-lying areas in your yard that just won't dry out? Well, a rain garden may be the solution you've been looking for. Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the ground that collect water from roofs and gutters and allow it to soak into the ground. They're often landscaped with mulch and rocks and planted with water-loving perennials that don't mind getting inundated with water every once in a while. If there's no pond or creek bordering your property, a rain garden can make a great water feature for your lawn.

Rain gardens can be installed anywhere, but they're especially beneficial in wet, flat landscapes where standing water often occurs naturally, like the Upper Midwest in the United States. Here, a rain garden can capture water that might otherwise run off into creeks and rivers and channel it into underground reservoirs known as aquifers. They're also a great habitat for insects, including pollinators like bees and butterflies. And once they're established, rain gardens pretty much take care of themselves -- no watering necessary!

There is one annoying downside, however. The standing water in a rain garden can be a great breeding ground for mosquitoes, so if you've already got some buzzing around, it might not be a good idea to encourage them further.


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