Wednesday, 21 March 2007
PLANTS FOR WET GARDENS
We thankfully don’t have too much of a problem with flooding around the peninsula but that isn’t to say that our gardens aren’t wet and can have small streams running through them in wet weather. I thought I would concentrate this week on gardens that are prone to waterlogging or even mild flooding as all is not lost with what you can plant.
Choose perennials and bulbs that are quick to form intricate root systems, such as chrysanthemums, violets, daffodils and creeping phlox. Fast rooting ensures the plants are well established before the water levels rise. Trees that tolerate wet with fibrous roots such as willow are also a good idea.
Choose plants native to the area. They have a better chance of surviving. Look at plants such as columbine, foxglove, daisies and some roses.
For better drainage, keep your soil sandy and leave small- and medium-sized stones in place when you dig.
Plant as far in advance as possible. This gives plants plenty of time to establish their root systems. Try to plant and divide everything except spring-blooming bulbs in the spring.
Mulch sparingly early in the season. A thin layer of fallen leaves is all that is needed on the garden during autumn and winter months because they would float away easily. Cut back all herbaceous perennials that aren't short and compact. Tall plants can be pulled up by their stems in a flood.So with some planning, even gardens in areas prone to occasional dousing with floodwater can be sturdy as well as beautiful.