A Mixed Bed/Rain Garden in LaGrange, IL

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Mixed beds

The land that this home sits on is the lowest point in the neighborhood. Many other yards slope down and drain into this area. After a heavy rain, a depression in the yard may hold a foot of water for several days.

Landscape designs had to take this unique situation into account. The wettest area is in the center of this photo.

In order to create this garden, a lot of buckthorn - a weedy ornamental shrub - had to be removed from an area along the back fence. A neat pile of it can be seen in the photo at right.

Elderberry appeared when the area was opened up to sunlight.

Buckthorn pile

Close-up of wet area

The wet area was planted with Cardinal Flower, Blue Flag Iris, Cord Grass, Ohio Goldenrod and Cup-plant.

N. England Aster, Marsh Phlox and Fowl Manna Grass were planted in the depression.

All of these plants enjoy wet soil.

The rest of the yard isn't as wet, so the landscape designs include mixed beds, which take advantage of other habitats.

Here is a bed, shaded by pines, next to the storage shed.

Shade bed

Shade bed

Another shade bed.

This bed is in open shade, with medium moisture. It is planted with Purple Coneflower and Jacob's Ladder.


mixed bed

This bed, not far from the shed, is in full sun

Here is an overview of several beds, separated by paths, after only two months.

Two months later

Two months later

A close-up of Blue Flag Iris, Blue Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, Cord Grass and Sedges.

Back along the fence are Cup-plant, False Aster and New England Aster.

Check out this site next year for an update on what will be a vibrantly colorful bed!

Here's a view of the garden a year later. Notice how the plants have filled in.
update 03

Click here for a view of the garden a year later (2004)

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