Bog Gardening for Those Wet Spots
“When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud, too.”
– Denzel Washington, The Equalizer
In a boggy, wet spot, you’re stuck with soil that never dries and seems to drown or rot everything you plant there. With attempt after attempt foiled, you may have even given up hope on ever gardening there at all. Well, have I got news for you! Turns out, there are plenty of bog-friendly plants that don’t mind soaking their feet, giving you a lush, beautiful, and full garden no matter where you’re planting.
Bog Plants for Sunny Spots:
If your wet spot sees plenty of sun all day, these plants will take to it straight away:
Many of us have fond memories of a deliciously sweet and tart rhubarb crisp on a warm, summer day. This is not that rhubarb. Ornamental Rhubarbs live up to the name and give a beautiful, ornamental show best enjoyed with the eyes, rather than the mouth. You’ll love the giant, deep purple, variegated leaves that transition to green throughout the summer and the showy white flower spikes. Keep it looking sharp with an annual fall pruning.
For effortless ground-cover and brightness, the magnificent Marsh Marigold has got you covered. This stunning plant stands just over a foot tall and offers brilliantly bright buttercup blooms that perfectly compliment any garden. It’s a North American native that requires very little to grow. An occasional trim will keep it looking its best, but that’s about it! It has been known for its toxicity, though, so be cautious around curious kids and pets.
For a truly unique addition to make your garden pop, Globeflowers are simply amazing. As the name implies, these beautiful blooms are made up of overlapping petals that curl together to create a round, globe-like appearance. They’re large in size and impossible to miss with bold colours like yellow and orange (although, the Orange Princess Globeflower prefers a shadier spot). To keep these flowers looking their best, give them a small trim in fall and enjoy!
If there is one thing that Milkweed is known for, it’s its power at pulling in pollinators. In particular, monarchs just can’t get enough of this fragrant flower. And the best part? It is naturally found in bogs, so you can be sure this little lovely will thrive! This low-maintenance beauty comes in many amazing colours, but my favourites are the pink and white Cinderella and the simple, white Ice Ballet. Both look amazing in the yard and as a cut flower for double-duty beauty.
Bog Plants for Shade:
If your wet spot sees little to no sun at all, here are some plants that love just that:
Astilbes are amazing bog plants for their showy flower spikes. These plumes of soft colour can come in various shades, all the way from white to crimson and every pink in between. They are low-maintenance, deer resistant, and a favourite of butterflies. All they need to succeed is acidic soil to start and an annual pruning in early spring.
Also known as Plantain Lilies, Hostas have been a number one choice of gardeners everywhere for years. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and give an amazing show of big and bold leaves that can’t be missed. They’ll also sport spikes of little bellflowers in the summer, giving them an extra layer of texture to love. Try my favourites: August Moon, Big Daddy, and Blue Ivory for incredible variety.
Cardinal Flowers are amazing bog plants that skirt the line where shade is concerned. They do like a little morning sun, but can’t stand the harsh afternoon rays, so they’re best planted in that transitional spot. They sport gorgeous plumes of blue, tubular flower that hummingbirds and butterflies adore. While they can be low-maintenance in the right conditions, this flower is really only hardy to Zone 4a, so they’ll take a lot of tenderizing to make it in the winter. Also known for being toxic, take care around kids and pets.
You’ve heard the basic plant needs reiterated over and over again: “well-draining soil, weekly watering, doesn’t like wet feet”. With this in mind, planting in a boggy spot seemed impossible. No longer! These effortlessly awesome bog plants make filling your garden easy once more.