Rain Garden

A Rain Garden is a fast-draining depression created to collect runoff from a roof, sidewalk and driveway. It allows the rain water to filter through the soil, removing pollutants naturally and recharging the groundwater, keeping polluted storm water from ending up in our streams, rivers and lakes.

A Rain Garden is :

–Built in soil that will drain within 72 hours or less.

–Has no standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Native plants are added to help filter the water and add beauty.

Mike Nelson’s Rain Garden creation showing how Rain runs off roof and drains into the Rain Garden where it is filtered and cleaned by the soil and recharges the groundwater.

A “riot” of color with pink yarrow and yellow Monkeyflower

The Plants in the Rain Garden include:

Tree/Shrub layer:

Native Red-twig Dogwood – tall native shrub known for it’s beautiful red stems for winter color. Blooms in the spring and bear fruit that wildlife enjoys, then the leaves turn red in the fall.

Native Douglas Spiraea – A great flowering shrub that is native to southern Oregon stream banks. Beautiful “cotton candy” pink flowers in summer that butterflies and native bees love.

Native Ocean Spray – A deciduous native shrub best known for its fragrant cream colored flower clusters. A favorite of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, and why we used it in three different gardens.


Rain Garden with rainwater in it! Red twig dogwood and yellow Monkeyflower on right and Echinacea and yellow-eyed grass (not blooming yet) and Oceanspray on left.

Groundcover and Perennial layer:

Native Yellow-eyed Grass – Bright sunny yellow flowers, leaves that look like miniature iris, and a fondness for places that are wet part of the year make this Oregon native a perfect candidate for a rain garden!

Native Oregon Iris – Small plant with lavender flowers in spring. Good for the upper parts of a Rain Garden that will dry out more in the summer.

Native Yellow Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus) – Bee-pollinated perennial that loves wet places!

Native Wild Ginger – pretty evergreen groundcover that prefers moist shade.  The shrubs in this bed will grow and eventually provide the shade it needs.

Echinacea (Coneflower) This is a hardy plant that is so beloved by bees and butterflies that we put them in a drier part of our Rain Garden as well.

Yarrow – Repeat for Yarrow what we said for the Echinacea!

Zinnias and Portulaca – These plants volunteer in our Rain Garden each year and we welcome them since Zinnias are a butterfly favorite and Pollinators love the Portulaca!