The Key to Success is Knowing Your Flowers

Youth Rain Action Storyboard

Post 9: The Key to Success is Knowing Your Flowers

By: Eninna Luli

Mike from Fern Ridge Landscaping was able to join us in teaching how to design a rain garden. His presentation focused on plant selection for a rain garden.

Research is key in knowing which plants to use. Mike advises to go to gardens and nurseries and read the tags of the plants, as they provide valuable information such as average height in full bloom, and their respective Latin name. For example, coneflower is suitable for a rain garden because it can handle extreme hot and cold weather as well as wet and dry. In addition, coneflower comes in various types of colours which can provide an aesthetic component in a garden.

He advises using native plants, instead of invasive ones, due to ecological purposes and because it provides a balance with native species who are able to feed on the plants. It is good to buy different plants because if one plant is attacked by a species, the other plants will not be affected, thus the garden will still survive. It is advisable to avoid monoculture by buying a mixture of plants that are aesthetically pleasing in various seasons. In addition, it is cost- and time-efficient to find plants that are suitable with the available soil instead of changing the type of the soil in order to work with other plants.


Visit the Youth Rain Action project page to learn more or contact Emily Dutton at

The Youth Rain Action Project is led by Ecosource in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Burnhamthorpe Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), and Sheridan Nurseries, and is generously supported by the Government of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.