Landscape architecture by Jeffrey Carbo ASLA. Residence located in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Lush Landscapes: How a backyard rain garden makes stormwater meaningful and manageable [Sponsored]

Sponsored by CARBO Landscape Architecture

As communities expand, the massive volume of stormwater runoff from rooftops, roads, driveways and sidewalks increases flooding and carries pollutants from streets, parking lots and lawns into local streams and lakes. 

CARBO Landscape Architecture shares its Woodland Rain Garden, which is functional as it is stunning. Landscape Architect Michael Percy, PLA, shares some clever ways to manage stormwater.

“A rain garden is an opportunity to show water movement in a visual, interactive way,” says Percy. “Stormwater doesn’t have to be ugly; it can be a statement.”

This serene Woodland Rain Garden property sits on approximately five acres with a ravine. It is also the drainage corridor for approximately 100 acres of surrounding forest. Water levels in the ravine can rise as much as 8-10 feet above normal levels after intense rains.


Rain gardens capture water and prevent the rapid release of excess stormwater into municipal water systems. The process of filtering down through a rain garden naturally cleans the water and filters out pollutants. In addition, these gardens create an excellent habitat for birds and butterflies.

A rain garden is not a pond—in fact it’s dry most of the time. These gardens are designed to drain within 24 to 48 hours, and in areas with better soil drainage, that time can be as little as 12 hours. This window is too small for mosquitoes to breed in the environment. CARBO selects soil and plants specifically to absorb water. The designers prefer to use a variety of native plants to best tolerate a range of conditions. 

Aside from the utilitarian benefits, rain gardens can be aesthetic assets to your property. They can create seasonal interest, Zen retreats, as well as pollinator habitat, while protecting your home from stormwater.

The plank bridge, of milled cypress logs, connects otherwise disconnected spaces and extends linear views from the master bedroom toward the escarpment. The rain garden brings the forest up to the bedroom window, so the homeowners can enjoy the wildlife and birds that it attracts. 

The outfall of rainwater into a river rock filled basin provides an opportunity for an intimate seating area surrounded by lush landscape.

Rainwater moves within the steel trough, which is filled with river rock, to an existing bog.

The clients deemed this an immediate success, as they did the drive entry. They say they now enjoy the drive as much as the house and garden spaces, recalling early meetings where CARBO explained how the rain garden could make the entry drive a more tranquil experience.

CARBO Landscape Architecture is committed to the idea that simplicity is the essence of great design. For 25 years, CARBO has cultivated an extensive portfolio of residential gardens that interpret classic traditions into more contemporary forms. Visit to explore CARBO’s gallery, spark your imagination, and connect with its award-winning team to create the serene, functional and timeless outdoor space for you.