Rain Garden Design


From sunny to shady, from shrubs to perennials, there are several options for rain garden plant designs. The City of Owatonna has created 6 designs for rain gardens that will work in the soils for Owatonna.

Design Options

Available designs include:

  • Butterfly Rain Garden (PDF) - Butterflies are naturally attracted to the temporary rain puddle that forms at the bottom of rain gardens. This garden is planted with native plants that provide food for caterpillars and nectar for adult butterflies. A large palette of flowers creates swaths of colorful blooms throughout the season, from spring yellows to summer pinks.
  • Prairie Rain Garden (PDF)  - A diverse range of native prairie flowers dominate this planting layout and ensure blooms throughout the season. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds will be attracted to the bright colors all summer long. Shenandoah Switch Grass provides a backdrop that retains its warm copper tones during the winter months. This garden is for sunny areas.
  • Shade Rain Garden (PDF) - This low maintenance garden is filled with four plant varieties that grow in sun or shade. Hostas and daylilies form a border around Blue Flag Iris and Hop Sedge, which are tolerant of moist, shady locations. Substitutions or supplemental plants include Astilbe cultivars, Large-leaf Aster, Wild Geranium, and Jacob’s Ladder.
  • Shrub Rain Garden (PDF) - This garden was designed for larger areas with full sun to part shade. Dense white blooms on the Hydrangea shrub surround the purple flowers of the bush-like New England Aster. Small Spirea shrubs and masses of light blue Aromatic Aster flowers provide a tidy border. This garden can be low maintenance or not, depending on the pruning plan.
  • Sunny Rain Garden (PDF) - This simple garden design is for sunny areas - places receiving more than six hours of direct sunlight per day. Blue Flag Iris and Prairie Smoke give early spring color while Aromatic Aster provides a unique fragrance late into fall.
  • Swale Rain Garden (PDF) - A swale is a linear depression, like a small ditch, that is meant to carry water downstream as well as temporarily store it. Swales can be useful in properties where water is already being routed through. Property lines are a common location for swales. Swales can be planted with as little as a single flower or grass variety to keep maintenance minimal. This garden can be planned for sunny or shady areas.