Water Features Within a Landscape

Water features are assets to have within a landscape.  They serve different purposes that are needed for the plants, insects and wildlife to thrive in and around a space.  Ponds, rain gardens and catchment systems contribute to natural water cycles for the necessary ecosystems and ecology of a landscaped area.  These and other water elements give life and resilience to the species that dwell within them.  Water features prevent or decrease potential property damage, reduce water pollution and create havens for wildlife of all kinds.   Knowledge of plants and wildlife that live best in or near natural bodies of water such as lakes, wetlands and rivers is an asset when designing a landscape. This information can be of assistance to determine which flowers, grasses and or trees are needed in the creation of the area.

Zone 4

Minnesota is a state that focuses on conservation and restoration of wildlife habitats. Planting native vegetation in or around a water element in a space can attract wildlife that relies on specific types of flora.  Planted prairie wildflowers that are native can attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies which need water to continue their full life cycles.  In Minneapolis, it would be wise to pick plants labeled zone 4 to ensure overwinter success.

Types of Water Features

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are aesthetically pleasing features in a landscape design while providing vitality for insects and wildlife.  Plants such as Bee Balm and New England Aster are just a few examples of flowers that can be planted in a rain garden to attract bees to a space.  Butterflies, moths and bees are attracted to rain gardens due to their need for food from the flowers planted in them.  These insects also do their part for Mother Nature by pollinating other plants within the garden.




Ponds are shallow vessels of water that are created within a natural growing space.  They are features in the landscape that are a source of shelter for wildlife. Frogs can be found in ponds to receive shelter while use them as hiding places from predators.  They are also insect control for a landscape space eating insects such as mosquitos and other harmful insects that can damage vegetation.  Dragonflies are insect predators as well in a pond area. They skim and hover over the pond water in search of insects to eat and prey upon.


Catch Basins

Catch basins prevent water damage to a property.  They are placed in a garden or landscaped space to collect stormwater and prevent flooding.  Discharge from catch basins can be strategically released into a landscape to plants that tolerate stormwater.  Planting plants near a basin can attract insects and wildlife that are beneficial to a landscape design space.