Everything You Need to Know About Water Collection in Your Garden!

Much has changed in our land and gardens in recent years. Most of it is due to the gigantic climate change and the associated regulations from our government, but also to the ingenuity of our garden producers and the social ambition to be as sustainable as possible.

15 years ago, the summers were less hot, the rain showers were less heavy and so frequent. 15 years ago, we just let all the water drain into the sewer or the street. 15 years ago we did not need extra sprinkling water in the summer. 15 years ago the ditches, canals, and gullies could still handle the rain showers and 15 years ago there was no spraying ban in the summer.


The Gardens of Appeltern have been around for about 30 years now. We have experienced the changes in our climate little by little. Our paths were never flooded in the past. In the past, we hardly sprayed in the summer and rarely blown a tree or fence over it. At the new gardens that we create every year, we are much more concerned with the water problem than we used to be.

For a number of years, it was mainly about water regulation; sending the rainwater to the sewer or a lower garden area. Nowadays we try to collect the excess water and store (store) it for later use.


Provide sufficient planting in your garden

We always say that you only become happy in your garden when your total garden area is filled for 2/3 with greenery (plants and lawn). This distribution means that a lot of rainwater can be collected by the garden itself. More and therefore too much pavement on balance results in less permeability.

Provide well-drained garden soil

Clay soil is much less ‘permeable’ than sandy soil. You can change the structure. Clay soil can be made more permeable with masonry sand and lava granules. A richer soil life (worms, etc.) Also ensures more air and water flow. The reverse often has to be done with sandy soil. The point is that you retain the water better or longer. With compost and clay particles you make the sandy soil a bit more nutritious and more water-retaining. For every soil type, deeper distracting layers must be broken, otherwise sooner or later the layer above it will drown with all the consequences for the plants.

Provide as open as possible pavement

It actually makes a lot of sense. The closer the stones or tiles are to each other, the less water can sink to the surface in between. You have several choices for your pavement. For example, you can opt for decking or metal grids. You can also opt for a semi-paved surface through which the rainwater sinks. In The Tuinen van Appeltern we increasingly work with Achterhoeks Padvast from Hardeman from Veenendaal . It is very stable and looks nice and natural. Completely new are water-permeable stones and tiles. They let the water through for 100%. The ceramic tiles with a water buffer system and so-called Zoak bricks are available through our partner Buiter Beton .

Provide natural storage

You have probably heard of a lower part in your garden where you consciously let the excess water run to. They call it a Wadi. Depending on the size and height of the groundwater level, you can lose a lot of water, which will sink there after a while. You do have to choose the plants in such a wadi carefully, as they must be able to grow in both dry and too wet periods. Sometimes an overflow is built in a homemade Wadi for when there is more supply than drainage. The system is actually no longer completely natural. In De Tuinen van Appeltern several inspirational gardens have been laid out with a Wadi.

Provide horizontal and vertical drainage

If your garden soil is insufficiently permeable and also structural improvement offers insufficient results, you can help with drainage hoses in a trench with gravel and vertically dug holes (filled with gravel) . This drainage can offer a solution, especially in an existing garden where you do not want to turn the entire garden upside down. We in Appeltern sometimes apply it along hedges that threaten to get too much water. Watch the horizontal drainage pipes must drain and be able to dispose of the water in a ditch or sewer. An Appeltern Garden Expert is happy to give advice!

Provide above-ground collection for reuse

The most famous above-ground water collection is the old-fashioned wooden rain barrel. You sometimes see them at an old farm, and they are still for sale. The old-fashioned water barrel has been replaced by all kinds of new modern designed systems. With taps in the reservoir, you can tap water to pour your pots and borders.

Provide underground storage for reuse

Simply put, create an underground basin that you can pump water from if you need to. Imagine a decking terrace with a large preformed pond basin underneath. Fortunately, there are also ready-made products such as the RAIN4ME rainwater buffer tank from ACO Easy garden. Before clean rainwater from your roof ends up in the storage tank, it is first filtered so that no dirt particles get into the system. A standardRAIN4ME tank is 2000 liters in size. With several tanks linked together, you can build up a stock of 8000 liters.

Make sure that the rainwater infiltrates your garden soil

A new way to ensure that the water does not sink, but remains available for your trees and shrubs. You can even influence the groundwater level with it. The operation is fairly simple. There is a product that first stores the water (such as a sponge) and then releases it when the surrounding soil dries. The dry soil sucks the water out of the material. ACO Rain Bloxx, that is the name of the blocks and strips that you use underground in your garden to measure. The ACO Rain Bloxx is made of rock wool. They are sturdy, stable blocks and slabs that your terrace can simply be laid over without it sagging. ACO has been working on water conduction and collection for years. Everyone now knows their line of gutters for collecting water along paths and terraces. You also need these gutters with accessories to guide the water to the ACO Rain Bloxx. We are happy to show different applications.


Infiltration is letting water sink into the soil. In built-up areas, the large percentage of surfacing hinders natural infiltration.

  • Infiltration directly under your water gutter at the end of your terrace
  • Infiltration in a layer under the sand of your terrace
  • Roof water infiltration with built-in overflow
  • Infiltration in wet places where water remains after a shower
  • Infiltration at the end of your terrace with gravel slabs
  • Infiltration in raised planters
  • Infiltration along hedges (in soil that is too dry)
  • Infiltration through trees
  • Infiltration under wide gravel strip


More and more municipalities would like you to take measures for the water problem. In some municipalities, it is already mandatory to collect the water from your roof in your own garden. Many municipalities have also made subsidy schemes for this. Inquire about it or let your gardener find out what is the best approach and arrangement for your garden. In the near future, more and more products for collection and infiltration will come onto the market

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