Growing with Rain in the City!

Growing with Rain in the City!

By John Stack, Averil Gannon, and Sinead Hurson

DCC’s Water Framework Directive Office has a team of engineers and scientists who are very passionate about green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. Through engaging with communities our team realised there was a need to provide guidance and information on smaller, localised nature-based solutions for homeowners, schools and community groups.

They have been diligently testing and trailing designs for rainwater planters to provide you with a guide book so you can build your own and start growing with rain in the city!

What are Rainwater Planters?


Normally, when it rains, clean rainwater flows directly into the sewer network to be treated at the nearest waste water treatment plant. However, if the pipe is full of waste and rain, the sewer network is designed to overflow into the local river. This means that clean rainwater and dirty foul material can end up untreated in your local river. This pollutes your local river.

The good news is rainwater planters are a simple solution to this problem!

If you build a rainwater planter, you are making sure that your rainwater is not going directly into the sewer network. Instead, your clean rainwater is being used by plants in a new planter in your garden. This increases the biodiversity (vegetation) and amenity value in your space.

More good news! Rainwater planters are low-cost, versatile, easy to make and come with lots of benefits for your local environment. These benefits include:

  • helping reuse water
  • adding an attractive colourful feature to your garden or space
  • helping keep your local river clean
  • improving local biodiversity
  • helping pollination of plants
  • helping local wildlife flourish
  • being part of a climate change solution

Ready to Make Your Planter?

Yes? Great! You can find our guidance booklet here and watch us in action here It is based on personal experience, years of research and trial and error, that allowed us to perfect our design.

We really hope you enjoy your rainwater planter as much as we do ours.

One pro tip – we don’t advise growing mint, it will take over, unless you really like mint…

We also want to see your projects and how you have personalised your planters, so share them with us by tagging Dublin City Council in your photos on social media or through this website!