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Bog garden plants can add colour to a soggy area, even if you don't have a pond ...
Bog plants can be planted in wet, waterlogged, damp and soggy areas, bringing interest and colour to parts of your garden, where less damp tolerant plants can't be grown.
The flowering season is quite short, but a mix of early and late flowering bog plants will take the season through from May till September and the range of foliage, shapes and colours and sizes, growing from just a few inches tall to over 6ft, more than make up for the short season.
Favourite bog garden plants.
One of my favourite moisture loving plants are Hostas, they come in an wide range of colours, from blue through emerald green to yellow. Try to include some with variegated leaves.
Hostas grow to between 18 inches and 3 feet tall with flowering spikes of bell-shaped blooms in July and August. Slugs and snails love them though, which could be a problem in a wet garden.
Irises are another of my favourites in my bog garden, I have the native Yellow Flag planted beside my wildlife pond, but some of the cultivated versions such as the striking white and gold flowered orchroleuca can add colour to a grey damp area, another irises I like is Purple Glory.
Lobelias with their showy flowering heads are popular too, because these tall plants with their typically pink or red flowers stand will stand out even in a busy planting plan.
'Queen Victoria' is one of the largest hosta varieties, with tall upright beetroot coloured foliage and bright red flowers. Most Lobelia, are not very hardy and depending where you live, may need protecting from frosts .
And a few more plants that will grow in boggy land,
Primula Candelabra Hybrids - stems with several whorls of flowers in many different colours from mid May into July. Astilbe chinensis var. taquetii grows about 3½" high, with fluffy rich pink erect plumes of flowers in July & August. Iris sibirica are popular irises for wet areas, available in a wide variety of colours with intricately marked flowers growing around 3-4ft High. Ligularia dentata a large perennial with golden orange daisies in mid to late summer. Persicaria bistorta is a easy plant for any soggy spot, produces several stiff spikes of clear pink flowers for most of the summer.
More unusal plants for a bog garden
I try to stick to traditional bog plants but if you want to try something different in your bog garden planting plan and have a lot of space, try these, Ostrich Feather Fern (Matteuccia), Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera) and Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum)
The Ostrich-Feather Fern looks very delicate and adds a tropical look to the bog garden, with its tall feathery fronds growing up to 3ft, with a spread of less than half that, making for a very upright plant.
The Giant rhubarb plant, is one of those 'once seen, never forgotten' plants, with its massive, rhubarb-like leaves stretching out 5ft and growing up to 8ft. This bog plant needs a lot of space, so it's definitely not one for a small bog garden.
Smaller varieties include:
G. scabra which grows to a height of around 6ft (1.8m) . G. magellanica grows to about 2 inch tall Gunnera, Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum) is worth considering Its less fussy about its growing environment, tolerating shade and slightly drier conditions.
Other plants worth considering for the bog garden include:
'Candelabra primulas', especially Primula pulverulenta.
Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), for ground-cover.
Dotted Loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata) an upright plant with star-shaped flowers.
Polygonum (Knotweed), especially the non-invasive P. milletii.
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) a wildflower, now with cultivated varieties.
Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), another native British species.
Before purchasing and planting bog plants read this page on my site bog garden