You could install a rain garden. Rain gardens are basin-shaped gardens with deep-rooted water-loving plants. They're designed to catch and hold rainwater until it can percolate down into the soil profile. Another idea is a dry stream bed lined with rock. Like the rain garden, it would give the rain water a place to pool until it can soak in. You can direct the water where you want it to pool by sloping the stream's route. Another option is to install a French drain; basically a pit filled with gravel that holds excess water. French drains are often hidden 8-12 inches under turf with a layer of thick landscape fabric to prevent soil from washing down into the gravel pit. All of these solutions may create a problem if you have a basement near your patio. The dry stream bed, at least, can be used to route water away from your home. If water is puddling on the surface because your ground is compacted (in the case of new construction, for example) try core aerating the entire lawn.
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