Making the Garden

Youth Rain Action Storyboard

Making the Garden

By: Cynthia Acuna

This week, we must put all we have learned thus far into a garden plan that considers a few limitations:

  1. Plant tolerance
  2. Soil conditions
  3. The amount of water
  4. The amount of light
  5. Aesthetically pleasing and functional

The plants to be planted in the rain garden must meet a few requirements. They need to be suitable for clay soil, the copious amount of water they will receive, and they need to be adapted to full sunlight conditions. The aesthetic appeal of the rain garden will depend on the arrangement of the plants and their seasonality.

Our group is building a native plant garden. We need to think about spacing of the plants, form and texture, and seasonal appeal. Planting in multiples is a good idea because the garden looks fuller faster, it helps insects find their way to a food source, and it helps build habitat. The amount of shade that plants will provide will make a micro-habitat because shady areas will remain shady for the entire day and have a slightly different temperature than the rest of the garden.

Participants working hard on creating their designs

Participants working hard on creating their designs

For aesthetic appeal we must plant only about four to five colours of plants, that way the garden will look more put together. Planting for all seasons also helps in the appeal of the garden because there will be something to look at throughout the entire year.

Everyone in our group had ideas about which plants to include in the rain garden from the list of plants we were provided. There was great energy when we were thinking about what the final design would look like and if the public would like our garden design.

This week was very exciting for all of us.

Our design will be presented to an architect who will be finalizing our designs with a computer program.

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.