In spring of 2011, I bought an assortment of native Minnesota rain garden plants from the Rice County SWCD (Soil & Water Conservation District). For several years, I had wanted to convert a very small “wettish” area of my lawn into a sample rain garden. Once I took delivery of my 40-plus assortment of healthy new plants it seemed I was committed to this project or my money and plants would be wasted. I removed the sod layer and started planting a few of those new plants.
The area I chose for my little rain garden was frequently saturated after a rain – a good thing for a rain garden. It was along my neighbor’s split rail fence so I would no longer have to tediously mow under the lowest fence rail – another good thing. My neighbors had plantings on their side of the fence which was yet one more good thing and here is why. Author Douglas Tallamy, in his book titled Bringing Nature Home, encourages urban/suburban homeowners to plant along each other’s property boundaries because it provides a larger segment of habitat for native insects, birds, etc. versus each neighbor having an unattached garden in the middle of their property.
A little more than a year after planting, here is what’s blooming in my little rain garden: