11 Ways to Make Your Drainage Ditch Look Beautiful

Make Your Drainage Ditch Look Beautiful

(ADD / pixabay)

One of the most important, but also most unsightly parts of a garden area, can be the drainage ditch. While it may not be a feature you dreamed of adding to your yard, the drainage ditch serves an vital role, moving rainwater to avoid water building up on a lawn and in garden bed areas.

Since the water must flow somewhere else, you’ll need the drainage ditch, but it doesn’t have to look unsightly. It can actually look attractive and match the creative design of your garden flowers, plants, and décor. Below we list some ways to help create a drainage ditch system almost as beautiful as your favorite plants and flowers.

1. Existing Landscape

One of the easiest solutions is to use the landscaping rocks you already have in your garden area to create borders within the garden that direct the flow of water. Using existing pebbles, small rocks, mulch, and plants, you can create a simple redesign to aid with the proper flow of water.

2. Grates

Commercial grates may not sound visually appealing, but they can add a different aesthetic to your garden. Grates are made in a variety of designs and colors, which allow you to match the grate to the look of your garden area. They are simple to lay down and easily create a way for excess rainwater to drain.

3. River Rocks

River rocks can be found at most landscaping centers and garden stores. You can use them to fill a drainage ditch so that the ditch looks like a dry creek bed. You can get creative and add some plants along the edge of the drainage ditch to complete the riverbank look, or you can make it more formal by adding bricks or paving stones.

4. Rock Wall

For those who have a drainage ditch near the end of their driveway, a rock wall can be a beautiful option. The rock wall can act as a container for the garden bed and cover the drainage pipe at the same time. Adding mulch to the garden bed that sits above the drain area along with some of your favorite plants that are easy to care for will give it an added personal touch.

5. Eclectic Look

If you’re looking for a more interesting and eclectic look for your drainage ditch area, you can combine pebbles, large rocks, and mulch. Then add some ferns, ornamental mosses, or other water-loving plants in the mulch areas to add a green touch. Natural beauty does not have to be planned and symmetrical. Controlled chaos can be very appealing to the eye.

6. Waterfall

If there is an area in your garden that tends to collect more water than other areas of the garden, you can use that to your advantage and create a waterfall or other water feature. Find a fountain that you love and add it in here!

7. Japanese Gardens

Some of the best examples of waterfalls and water features are Japanese Gardens. Go to your local bookstore or library and find some books with photos that inspire you. Sometimes, Japanese Gardens are enclosed with concrete edging, pebbles, and paving stones. These can be creatively combined with sculptures to enhance the natural beauty of the area.

8. Potted Plants

Potted plants are another fun way to play up a drainage ditch area in your garden. The runoff will take care of watering your plants, and the fun planters can add a whimsical touch!

9. Bridge or Walkway

If your garden area is large enough, you may also consider a small bridge or walkway area that runs over the drainage ditch area. If you add in a wooden bridge, it can create a rustic feel to the garden area. You can even find some affordable wooden arch bridges online.

10. Bugs, Birds, and Squirrels

Do you have children that enjoy bugs and exploring nature? You can also make your drainage ditch a feature area by adding in a squirrel feeder, birdbath, or creating a butterfly garden. It can turn into a fun weekend project for the family.

11. Rain Barrel

Placing a rain barrel at the edge of a downspout can also be a way to add in a decorative touch. It also allows you to go green as you can re-use the collected water for the garden area or indoor houseplants. Add one of the fun planters mentioned above and create a theme for your whole garden.

As landscapers specializing in drainage in Aurora, we know that many homeowners are concerned about the visual impact a drainage ditch will have in their yard. But, there are many ways to dress it up so that it contributes to the overall aesthetic and beauty. Whether it’s rocks, fun planters, a waterfall feature, or a place for insects to hang out, have fun with it. You can even contact your local drainage contractor for ideas. There is no wrong way to make it beautiful.


No matter how unsightly a drainage ditch is, we cannot deny the vital role it plays in our garden. It is the one responsible for preventing water buildup by moving rainwater out of our gardens. So, what can we do to make this system match the current aesthetic of our lawn? We have several creative ideas you might want to try.

11 Ways to Make Your Drainage Ditch Look Beautiful Infographic