Archive for rain garden

Portland Backyard Needs an Outdoor Living Space Fix Starting With the Front Walk: Part 2

Corner Lot Landscape Transformation in Rose City Park Neighborhood

We return for Part 2 to the challenging Portland corner lot project completed by Landscape Design in a Day’s Alana Chau. Exceeding the expectations of our clients for their corner lot landscape design in Rose City Park neighborhood.

This N.E. Portland home needed a welcoming entry walk and a back yard. The entry was not near convenient parking and the utility pole blocks the view of the old fashioned double gate.

Rain Garden Functional for Drainage and Fun Play Space for Kids

The rain garden location was chosen to handle water from a downspout that was completely in the way of the new walk. We had to take the water under the pathway and that opened up more choices for us.

Fencing for City Lot

Now the corner of the property is the very useable play back yard.

The addition of fencing by Cascade Fence and Deck makes this space private and keeps this city play area puppy-poo free while the rain garden is an additional place for the kids to play.

Installation for this difficult project was handled by D & J Landscape Contractors with Donna Burdick. Alana was on-site from design and through the installation which is something we love to do.

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We enjoy a good challenge.  Landscape Design in a Day was the perfect fit for this active young family.  The clients were thrilled with the design and felt very much a part of the design team.  Making their landscape work functionally and fulfill  the clients dreams was a joy for Alana.  Contact us to talk about your ideal hardscape landscaping and planting dreams.

Rain Gardens Just in Time for Fall

Rain Garden plants like dwarf golden acorus add drama.

Rain Garden with attractive evergreens makes the entry look great even in winter. (Smith Entry)

My clients had disconnected their down spout and sort of had a rain garden but rain water flowed across the front walk making it slippery, mossy and messy.

After I created a basic design for the rain garden, I brought in Donna Burdick of
D & J Landscape Contractors.  We worked together to finalize the design and then placed the rock to create the stream effect. Plantings were the finishing touch.


Year Round Interest Plants Used

Wet area needs Rain Garden

Before Rain Garden: The Smiths enjoy their holiday flamingos in a wet untamed area by their front door.

Christmas Plantings Look Great

The plantings look good even at Christmas with glossy gold grass and dark green leafed plantings.

Now when the Smith’s get out their flamingos for holiday decoration, their entry looks lush and welcoming.



Rain Gardens are not just a ring of drainrock!!!  Courtyard entries are the norm in Charbonneau, a planned community in Wilsonville, Oregon.

The client and Carol Lindsay of Landscape Design in a Day placed the  rocks and plantings.   No more standing water.

Courtyard Entry w Rain Garden

The rain garden fits into my clients’ garden style beautifully.









Rain Garden Solves Entry Pond Problem
Small courtyard entries are the norm in Charbonneau, a planned community in Wilsonville, Oregon.  My clients had a yearly winter pond in their courtyard entry.

Heavy Clay Soils Present Design Challenges
The soil has heavy clay and does not drain well. My clients in this area do a lot of soil prep. They have to install drains or take drastic measures to deal with winter rain water.

One half of the courtyard was buried in several inches of water every time it rained. It would take days or even weeks to drain away.  We decided a rain garden with pizzazz might solve their water problems and fit in with their garden style.

Landscape Design in a Day Comes to the Rescue
The client and Carol Lindsay of Landscape Design in a Day placed rocks and plantings. We used the large-sized Gold Acorus grass (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’) with Kelsey’s Dwarf Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Kelseyi’) along the back wall. We may look at using a dwarf Compact Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra ‘Compacta’) instead as the garden continues to develop. The client installed their own perforated pipe under the rain garden – resulting in no more standing water going for over five years now.