A staple in the Southwest where monsoon rains can come suddenly, dry creek beds can channel water to basins in a garden’s low points. Just dig a trench from 2 to 5 feet deep, then line it with stones and sand-colored pebbles.
The simplest form of a rain garden is a shallow basin located at least 10 feet from your house, where you can direct runoff from your roof or paved surfaces. Dig a 6- to 12-inch-deep basin with sloped sides and a flat bottom in fast-draining, well-amended soil. Plant it with species that can take both wet and dry conditions. This 14- by 24-foot-wide basin holds up to 18 inches of water. Grasses and native irises fill it. California fuchsia, which likes dry conditions, grows on the brim. Find…
Dry creeks lined with rocks and pebbles direct the water downslope and away from the house. Succulents and grasses flank this one.
Rocks such as this one, partially wedged beneath a bridge, help hold back water in places along channels, so some of it soaks the soil en route.
Slabs of Arizona flagstone form bridges over rock-lined channels. The rocks help slow the flow of water underneath.
Roof runoff spills from downspouts into a shallow depression planted with grasses and succulents.