Wetland gardens can be created in a basin with water provided from the overflow of roof water, diverted with plastic piping.
Photo/Illustration: Mike Wanke
I have created a wetland setting near my house, watered by the runoff from my roof. When I found a damp depression in the yard, I dug a basin about 1 foot deep in the deepest part. I dug a trench between the spot and the downspout of the house. Using an adapter, I attached a flexible, nonperforated 4-inch-diameter plastic pipe to the downspout, laid it in the trench, and covered it with soil and sod. Each time it rains, the depression fills with water. During the summer, the water often evaporates or percolates downward, but even so, the soil always remains damp enough to support plants that like it wet.