Our client, a passionate volunteer in several local conservation organizations, wanted to take a portion of a Travis Heights front yard and incorporate rainwater collection, a rain garden, and native plants to contrast with the clean, modern landscape they had. They enjoyed sitting in their front yard in a shady area beneath a large pecan tree.
Our plan incorporated a 20’ X 10’ rain garden swale with berms, native karst limestone boulders, a 1,000 galvanized cistern, and 220 native plants covering 20 species. We cut and repurposed 1/4” steel edging, as well as moved part of a limestone block wall that encircled the pecan tree trunk. We built an 8’ X 8’ CMU tank pad and 5-foot pony wall to screen the side yard. The CMU surfaces were finished with stucco to match the existing foundation. We added a honed-limestone slab sitting area and galvanized-pipe trellis to help screen the tank when native coral honeysuckle vines get established.
The combined cistern and rain garden will hold approximately 1,980 gallons of rainwater before it overflows or infiltrates the soil. In a one-inch rain, our client’s roof would collect 840 gallons of rain. We pipe half of that into our system. Overflow from the tank enters the rain garden, and the rain garden is designed to overflow to the lawn.
By the Numbers:
200 sq. ft.: Rain Garden swale area.
1,000 gallons: capacity, galvanized steel cistern
625 sq. ft.: Zoysia turfgrass removed.
1,980 gallons: approximate rain garden and cistern combined capacity.
420 gallons: rain captured from impervious surfaces in 1” rain event.
317: new native plants installed.
17: native plant species used.