Environment-Friendly Rain Gardens Transformed This Puyallup Neighborhood

With help from Rain Dog Designs, one Washington community gets greener.

A little extra rain may not seem like a big deal for Seattleites, but stormwater runoff can collect pollutants and be harmful to the environment, contaminating streams, wetlands, lakes and marine waters. Rain gardens, which help to absorb and purify the water before it makes its way into underground aquifers, are an aesthetically pleasing solution, says Marilyn Jacobs co-owner of Rain Dog Designs (Gig Harbor, 253.459.3539; raindogdesigns.com), a landscaping company with extensive rain garden installation experience. 

Creating a rain garden and maintaining one hardly require a green thumb. Jacobs suggests planting it with native, sustainable plants, such as evergreen huckleberry or boxwood honeysuckle, for the easiest maintenance and the most ecological benefits. Those who want their garden to stand out can bring in plants with brighter blooms. For example, Rain Dog designed a colorful, residential garden for a homeowner in Puyallup with a mix of small trees and plants that includes an Acer “Fireglow”maple, yellow twig dogwood, dwarf pines, Autumn Joy sedum, Russian sage, red Echinacea, black-eyed Susans and daisies.

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