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11 Decorative Drainage Ideas for Your Outdoor Spaces

When working on landscaping, one thing you never want to overlook is having effective drainage solutions in place. While the options available are not always the most attractive, it is essential for protecting outdoor spaces and your home's foundation from water damage. These days, there are creative ways to incorporate drainage solutions into your landscape design.

Here are 11 decorative trench drain ideas to consider for your outdoor space:

1. Add Elevation to the Space

Add Elevation to the Space - Decorative Drainage

Adding elevation is a great way to improve drainage. It could solve your issues without spending hundreds on adding new soil to your space or resulting in soil compaction. There are several ways to add elevation, including berms and raised beds.

2. Garden Terraces

Another way to incorporate decorative drainage ideas into your outdoor space is through garden terraces. These terraces create a stair-stepping effect, guiding water runoff down the slope, and are beneficial for preventing soil erosion. As an added benefit, it is an excellent way to showcase various flowers and plants.

3. Create a Berm

Create a Berm - Decorative Drains

Berms come in different shapes and sizes. They can be a small raised area in an edible garden or be an entire area of the garden at a different elevation. The idea is that a berm will allow you to bring new, potentially better quality, soil into the space without digging. They are also a great option to create an area of interest or increase the privacy of the space.

4. Go with Native Plants

Go with Native Plants

It is always best to choose native plants, as they will thrive in your area's climate and soil conditions. That means that if you live in a rainy area, the plants are more likely to be able to thrive in moist conditions. With these plants in place, they can act as decorative drains for your yard.

5. Choose Plants That Love Water

An easy alternative to decorative trench drains is to choose moisture-loving plants. They can help absorb the excess moisture and add beauty to your outdoor space. There is a wide variety available on the market; talk to a landscape professional to see what variety would be best for your yard.

6. Convert Wet Areas to Hardscape

Convert Wet Areas to Hardscape

Sometimes, the best solution to drainage issues is converting wet areas into hardscapes. Certain hardscape materials, like gravel and pavers, provide better drainage than soil, allowing water to drain more easily. The space can double as a gathering area by adding comfortable seating and a fire pit.

7. Add Mulch to the Garden

Add Mulch to the Garden

Mulch is incredibly beneficial for any yard. While mulch is known for preventing moisture loss, which seems counterintuitive for drainage, it can help slow down the water absorption rate into the soil. It is a simple addition with many benefits, including a more decorative drainage solution.

8. Create a Dry Creek

Create a Dry Creek

You can create a dry creek as another alternative to the traditional decorative trench drains. Dry creeks help divert water from your yard, using rocks to guide the water to a specific destination. You can line the dry creek with beautiful plants to make it more of a feature and disguise its true purpose.

9. Create Raised Beds

Create Raised Beds

For a more structured style of decorative drains, consider raised beds. Adding raised beds to your outdoor space will allow you to bring more high-quality soil into the space, which can help with drainage. Adding water-loving plants will help with water runoff and create a beautiful feature.

10. Give the Sun a Chance to Shine

Give the Sun a Chance to Shine

While shade is vital in backyard spaces, there are also benefits to letting more sunlight hit the area. The sun will help wet areas in your yard dry quicker, with less need for additional drainage features. You can call a professional to help prune trees to allow more sunlight without having to remove them.

11. Create Gravel Beds

Create Gravel Beds

Using small landscaping rocks like gravel is another method of decorative drainage. The rocks create an attractive landscaping feature and help manage water runoff from rainfall and melting snow. Adding small plants can create more interest, and the plants will also help absorb the water into their roots.

A Different Route for Decorative Drains

Drainage is essential for yards, and there are countless creative ways to incorporate it into your yard without turning to unattractive drainage systems. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider a proper landscape drainage system, especially for outdoor spaces with a great deal of excess water.


Landscape Drains has the perfect option for decorative trench drains, the Slot Drain. This sleek system will virtually disappear into your landscape design while providing the necessary drainage to protect your space‚Äďand your home.

Contact the experts at Landscape Drains today to learn more about this decorative trench drain and how it can help your space.