Sunday, November 22, 2009

Plants for a Beautiful Rain Garden!

Several have asked for information about which plants are suitable for a rain garden. I am in zone 9a, very hot and humid in summer, quite mild in winter. (I say that, but you just watch us have a record-breaking cold winter this year!)
This is our Native Plant Garden with the rain garden when it was very new. It has grown so much, and the rain garden is about full of plants now.

This is the list of plants that are in our garden. Bear in mind that ours is a garden of natives.
Plants in our
Native Plant / Rain Garden
(common names)
buffalo grass, bald cypress tree
redbud tree, Texas mountain laurel
agave, agarita
heartleaf hibiscus, blackfoot daisy
blackeyed susan, butterfly weed
Mexican hats, sunflower
esperanza, Indian blanket
fairy duster, Turk's cap
verbena, Texas sage
coral bean, coral berry
Barbados cherry, buttonwood
purple coneflower, Gregg's mist
salvia Greggii, salvia coccinea
cross vine, Texas clematis
equisetum, spider lily
lantana, pickerel weed
Joe Pye weed, yaupon
hairy wedelia, rock rose
coral honeysuckle, flame acanthus

Were we not bound by the confines of using plants that are native to Texas, we could use a lot of other plants, like some species lilies and roses. These would be used on the perimeter, and not in the rain garden proper, but that is o.k. You will want pretties in the whole garden.

Now, for those of you who live in different parts of the country, I myself do not know all that you can grow that I cannot. But somebody knows all about you. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden has a site that has a lot of information about plants for rain gardens. Check this out.

Also, the North Carolina Extension service has a good list too, and they explain the difference in planting in the rain garden, as opposed to planting around the rain garden. This is their site;

I hope this will help you. Play around with it. You can always Google 'plants for a rain garden' and come up with a lot of information.

This is the garden now.
The red bloom in the right corner is a coral bean.It is absolutely gorgeous! AND, it will grow to tree proportions. We won't let it get that big, but we could. The equisetum (horsetail) escapes it's boundaries, and that Texas sage is on the verge of blooming. It is called the 'Barometer plant', because it always signals rain. I love when it blooms.

Look, Noelle, we don't chop our Texas Sage into cupcakes!


tina said...

That yellow bush? Wow!!!!!

NellJean said...

That Yellow Bush is Esperanza, known to many of us as Tecoma stans. It grows well in my zone 8b garden, killed back to the ground by hard freezes but comes back in the spring and grows to 8' tall when established. Easily grown from seed.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It looks great! I love that it's all natives. What great information. I also am amazed by the Esperanza!

LeSan said...

The Esperanza is incredible and you have made the most of it with that little corner retreat. Thank you for remding us to seek out native plants more often. It is easy to get caught up in the nurseries sales tactics and forget how many beautiful and highly efficient native plants we all have.

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Wendy said...

THanks for the info and the links!! I love the photos of your rain garden. It's helpful and is inspiring me to take some action on my sloggy side yard.

Jim Groble said...

I can't get butterfly weed to winter over, even if we protect it.Joe pye weed we can grow as well as sunflowers and cone flowers. We have swamp mallow and marsh milkweek in our very wet area. It is interesting to see how different regions deal with water or the relative lack of. Our water problems usually revolve around too much water.

Mary Delle said...

Janie, I loved your post. You have so many natives growing in your rain garden. What we need here is more rain. But I love reading about your solution to too much rain!

janie said...

Mary Delle, it isn't actually too much rain. It is a way to efficiently deal with whatever rain we have. We don't want to waste any of it. The rain garden helps us do that.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Very interesting, Janie! I am intrigued by the Barometer plant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie, I'm really looking forward to witnessing your rain garden take shape. Are you using Salvia?

From the sounds of it, weather wise at least, Texas is not a place for wusses. LOL

Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.


mania said...

I am in favour of planting native trees and plants in my home garden. I live in Pakistan but it seems we have a lot of plants in common like agave, hibiscus, spider lily, Indian blanket and many more. Love to see you rain garden in full bloom.

Thomas said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Janie! I hope you and your family have a wonderful day.

Thomas, Marc and Jonathan

Beth said...

Nice blog. Your selection of flowes for creating a rain garden looks wonderful. Expecting some more picture of rain garden on your upcoming blog.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of a coral bean, it looks like an awesome plant.

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