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The Bog Garden

If you have a perpetually damp place in your yard that you've always considered a problem area, don't despair. Whether it's an area that doesn't drain well, floods periodically, or borders a pond or stream. Let that unique situation become an intriguing, one-of-a-kind garden spot (as well as a wonderful habitat for wildlife) by selecting plants that thrive in moist places. This plan will work best in a partly shaded area (at the edge of a woods, for example) but will also be fine in a sunnier place as long as the soil never dries out. Choose a site that remains moist but not soggy or flooded for extended periods. Before planting your new garden, decide where you should place a footpath of substantial flat stones that will facilitate gardening chores and leisurely strolls. Several of the varieties indicated here – the Lysimachia, Monarda, and Tradescantia in particular – will multiply rapidly and may need some reining in after a few seasons. In addition to the perennials and ornamental grasses indicated in the plan, add a variety of ferns and hostas to your damp garden. Plant in groups of three except where indicated.
A Aruncus dioicus
Clump-forming plant with tall blooms and magical white plumes. A fine choice for a wildwood garden. Height 4-6' Durable to -40° F
J Ligularia 'Dark Beauty'
12" deep green, kidney shaped leaves with purple undersides complement the nodding clusters of bright yellow, daisy-like flowers. Height 36-48" Durable to -30° F
B Astilbe 'Bridal Veil'
Dense, nearly fern-like foliage and showy, graceful white flower plumes provide beauty to the shade garden. Height 18" Durable to -30° F
K Ligularia przewalskii
Tiny yellow daisy-like flowers are borne in spikes on tall sturdy purple stems with deeply lobed, palmate, dark green leaves. Height 5-6' Durable to -20° F
C Astilbe taquetii
A tall, later-blooming astilbe which extends the display season into the fall with rosy flower plumes. Height 36-48" Durable to -30° F
L Lysimachia clethroides
Slender spikes are crooked when in bud, but become erect when tiny, white, star-shaped flowers come into full bloom. Foliage turns tannish-orange in the fall. Height 36" Durable to -40° F
D Bergenia 'Red Bloom'
Presents lovely red bells in clusters during early spring, nodding just above the glossy paddle-shaped leaves. Height 15-18" Durable to -40° F
M Monarda'Marshall's Delight'
Especially upright in habit with dark green foliage that contrasts beautifully with its rich pink, shaggy flowers. Height 36-48" Durable to -30° F
E Chelone obliqua
Has a splendidly showy display of hooded flowers in loose clusters, held stiffly upright for late summer viewing. Height 36" Durable to -30° F
N Phalaris 'Feesey's Form'
An exceptional ornamental grass with variegated leaf blades of green and white flushed with pink. Ribbon Grasses are rampant and spread quickly. Height 6-10" Durable to -30° F
F Deschampsia 'Bronze Veil'
Clumping grasses with handsome golden brown flowers in a profusion of drooping panicles. Height 36" Durable to -30° F
O Tradescantia andersoniana
Long-blooming, purple-blue flowers rise from dense clumps of grass-like, deep green foliage. Height 18" Durable to -40° F
G Deschampsia 'Tautrager'
Clumping grasses with slivery-green flowers which turn to a soft wheat color in a profusion of drooping panicles. Height 24-36" Durable to -30° F
P Trollius 'Gold Queen'
Rich yellow buttercup-like blossoms are carried singly on long, erect stems over lush clumps of deep green foliage. Height 48" Durable to -40° F
H Galium odoratum
This self-sowing, quickly spreading groundcover with lush, woodsy beauty has handsome, glossy foliage and delicate white flowers. Height 7-10" Durable to -30° F
Q Viola labradorica
Small tufts display cheerful purple flowers along with bronzed-purple heartshaped leaves. Height 4" Durable to -40° F
I Iris 'New Hybrids'
Elegant flowers, carried on strong hollow stems above arching upright clumps of rich green, slender leaves. Height 36" Durable to -40° F


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