8 Eye-Catching Landscape Drainage Solutions

Summer in Gettysburg means highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s, plenty of sunshine to entice you outside, and enough rain to drown your lawn to the point of no return. Yes, that last part was a bit hyperbolic, but warmer months in our city tend to bring gallons of water from heavy rainfall that can flood your landscape. And if you don’t have the right drainage system, your once healthy lawn will suffer.

While effective and worth the cost, traditional drainage isn’t always the most attractive option. Our team at The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg wants to help you protect your landscape from excessive water and flooding with these attractive drainage ideas for your backyard.

1. Utilize Plants and Mulch

Mulch as drainage

Mulching is a landscaping service many homeowners utilize to provide nutrients to their lawns. It’s also beneficial for regulating soil temperature in winter. But did you know that mulch can provide natural drainage for your landscape? You truly don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive drainage system to protect your plants and lawn from flooding. The right mulch can absorb rainwater and use it to fortify your turf.

2. Use Landscaping Rocks Under a Downspout

Landscaping rocks

Gutters and downspouts are vital for protecting your grass, siding, and roof from standing water. According to This Old House, the most common residential size gutters are 6-inch half-rounds. Still, larger properties in areas that frequently receive heavy rainfall should invest in wider downspouts for adequate drainage.

Your downspout can be functional and serve to create a visually stunning fountain with just a little ingenuity. Stack and stagger flagstone under your downspout to help redirect water from your yard and simultaneously create a beautiful water feature.

3. Dig Swales to Divert Rainwater


Swales don’t require pipes, drains, or excessive soil disturbance and primarily depend on your landscape’s natural slope and topography. Often, properties are built on leveled land so that a natural swale wouldn’t be as effective. In that case, the Office of Efficiency & Renewable Energy recommends constructing a swale to collect and control stormwater runoff. This inconspicuous and effective drainage system should be sufficient enough to accommodate a 6-month to 24-hour severe storm or rainfall event.

4. Incorporate Gravel in Edging

Gravel Edging

Edging is a great way to create a boundary between your lawn and garden beds, and it makes your yard look cleaner and more defined. With this aesthetically pleasing picture, you can also enhance your overall drainage by incorporating gravel in flower beds. We recommend ½-inch to 1-inch gravel for this drainage technique, accompanied by a drainpipe for areas with increased flooding after heavy rainfall. If you’re installing river rocks without a drainage pipe to aid in removing water, consider adding 2- to 3-inch river rocks at a depth of 4 inches.

5. Design a Rain Garden

Rain Garden

You don’t have to have hardscape materials to create an effective landscape drainage solution for your backyard. A rain garden is one of the most stunning and natural drainage systems that requires consideration for the specific plants and flowers added to the areas. You’ll want flood-tolerant and native greenery because your rain garden will periodically collect and hold gallons of water.

Rain gardens are installed at your lawn’s lowest natural or man-made point. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your rain garden and add depth to the area with evergreen trees and shrubs that draw the eye and create a focal point. Remember, rain gardens are like other gardens prone to weed growth. Lawn maintenance and upkeep are key to preserving its effectiveness and keeping it healthy.

6. Add an Inconspicuous Catch Basin

Catch Basin

While catch basins aren’t aesthetic landscaping elements like rain gardens or river rocks, they still keep your driveway, turf, and walkways from flooding during the heaviest rainfall. Because catch basins require you to bury the drainage pipe, hiring a professional landscaper to install 6-inch basins with a 4-inch pipe inlet is ideal. The grate on top helps strain any dirt, sand, or large rocks that could potentially block the pipe.

Make sure your catch basin is installed where your landscape slopes so that it naturally drains into the basin and carries the water away from your lawn. The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg performs a slope assessment to determine the fall and at what height your basins should be installed for sufficient and long-lasting drainage.

7. Construct Retaining Walls for Adequate Drainage

Drainage walls

If you’re planning to build a hardscape feature like a retaining wall as a landscape drainage solution, it’s important to understand why they’re so effective and eye-catching. You can use various colorful and textured stones to create a retaining wall that eliminates soil erosion, protects your foundation and home from excessive moisture exposure, and defends your lawn and plants against flooding.

A retaining wall by itself can only do so much. You’ll have to incorporate a simple drainage system to keep water from moving soil against the wall and creating pressure that could cause your retaining wall to collapse. A drainage system behind your wall will eliminate moisture, keep weeds from germinating, and extend the operation life of your retaining wall.

8. Apply Turf Stone or Grass Block Pavers to Your Driveway

Turf Stone

When we think of turf stone pavers, images of an old and quaint English cottage come to mind. Turf stone pavers allow water to absorb into the ground instead of pooling on the surface. This green drainage idea is ideal for your front yard, especially a driveway. In fact, many towns install pavers to reduce flooding and weakened foundations.

Turf stone pavers are perfect, attention-grabbing drain options because they require zero sealing (you want the surface to be porous for effective absorption), prevent soil compaction, and promote strong root growth. Additionally, turf stone pavers allow for heavy or light and prolonged vehicle traffic; still, regular maintenance is key. Weed control and removing sediment buildup are necessary to properly preserve your grass block pavers.

The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg Installs Efficient Landscape Drainage Solutions

The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg is your expert landscape and lawn care company supporting Gettysburg property owners with routine maintenance, hardscape installation, and drainage landscaping. “The other guys” are likely booked six weeks or more in advance. However, we prioritize your needs and deliver prompter landscaping support to help you anticipate flooding due to severe storms between July and September.

Call today or request your free estimate for drainage solutions in Gettysburg, and we’ll get you on the schedule as soon as possible.