My name is Lisa Orgler and I love teaching garden design in a fun and simple way. Click here to learn more.

The Wellie Rain Garden

Last week I wrote a post on rain gardens and thought it would be fun to use my theme garden design process to add a little more punch to this type of landscape.  I've been thinking about using Wellington rain boots as a theme for months and this was the perfect opportunity.

I followed my theme garden design process to whip up my Wellie Rain Garden Plan:

1. PICK A THEME. Wellington rain boots!

2. BRAINSTORM. These are the words that pop into my head then when I think about rain boots: colorful, fun patterns, rubber, polka dots, red, yellow, rain coat, puddles, umbrellas, storms, wet, showers, wellies, Britain

3. RESEARCH. To find out a little bit more about Wellie rain boots, I dove into the internet.  This is what I found:

  • The Wellington boot was invented by the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, in the early 1800s in Britain.
  • Wellesley was considered one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time.  He beat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
  • This time period was also the height of the English landscape style.  This style broke away from the formal gardens of the Renaissance into expansive informal landscapes with large lawns and curving paths.

4. TRANSLATE TO PHYSICAL FORM. After looking at my brainstorming and research lists my plan evolved this way:

  • Colors: bright, mostly warm colors that make me think of fun rain boots.  I threw a little bit of purple/blue in there to signify rain, but focused more on the reds, oranges and yellows.
  • Shapes: The circles are inspired by umbrellas and polka dots, plus the rectangle and rows of plants symbolize the Duke of Wellington's marching army. Though these are both strong, geometric shapes they are placed informally like the English landscape style (yes, I know I'm stretching it here on the English landscape style, but decided to just focus on the informal/asymmetrical aspect of it).
  • Furniture: Of course, I included a bright colored umbrella. Wouldn't it be nice to sit under the umbrella during a spring shower and watch the rain garden do it's magic?
  • Plants: All of my plants are recommended for rain gardens in US zone 5.  When designing your own rain garden, just Google rain garden plants for zone # and a myriad of sources will pop up for you. Think about height, textures and colors.  I kept mine to 3' or less.

5. CREATE THE PLAN.  See above.

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A Rain Garden