Rain gardens are another way to capture water in your xeric garden. With the climate changing so rapidly rain rarely falls in carefully measured amounts at the right time for your garden. Usually, it's either drought or torrents.
Building rain gardens can give the soil in your garden a longer time to soak up the storm water preventing pollution and erosion. It can also serve as a water reserve for times of drought.
...can be simple or complex. The least complicated is to build a swale, dry streambed or shallow ditch lined with plants that don't mind alternate inundation and drought. To be really accurately described as a rain garden, the swale should drain to a low depression also planted with perennial plants with similar characteristics.
You can drain the water to ponds, or construct a deeply dug area with very well draining soil underlain with rocks or other drainage.
Another feature you can use to give the water some place to settle out is a bog garden.
The main criteria is to slow the water down, giving it a chance to soak into the subsurface. This prevents silt and pollution from getting to the streams and rivers.
Planning is crucial when designing any xeric garden project so please research your project before starting construction.
Keep in mind that building a rain garden can be a long term prospect. Fine tuning the plan to fit your specific needs and conditions can take time; spending enough time in the planning stage and observing water drainage patterns will give you the best possible success.
Searching out plants that are native to your area will give great results, as they'll be adapted to the local climate and growing conditions.
Many of the familiar cottage garden and xeric plants due to their adaptability will work well too, shrugging off seasonal inundation and drought with equal ease.
Other non-native plants with similar needs and which tolerate wet feet at times are also good choices to plant in the rain garden.
Many sedges, or Carex species, are adapted to seasonal changes in water levels, as well as other grasses. Some can be hard to find locally, so seek out mail order sources of ornamental grasses, perennials and native plants.
Thyme lawns or steps are drought resistant and tough enough for any environmental challenges.
It used to be that once in a while these kinds of plants would come to the fore, and successfully maneuver dry summers, but now it's obvious that these are the most suited to what is becoming the norm.
Seeing how beautiful these unique landscapes are and how well they perform in challenging conditions will encourage others to find unique plants to use in their own xeric garden.