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I have just moved house and now live parallel with a small river/stream.
Due to this I find that the garden is very wet, water logged. We currently have a small 3.5 foot tall fence but I would like something a little higher.
Rather than putting a fence up I thought I would kill 2 birds with 1 stone and plant a screen to also try and suck some moisture out of the garden.
At the closest point, the border is only about 3.5 meters from the house, so I am looking for a good screening plant/tree/shrub that I can plant close to the house and that likes water (boggy soil).
I have been told willow but dont know if this is going to cause root problems, any other suggestions or reassurances on willow would be most welcome.
I wouldn't go for willow, there'd always be a potential root problem and you'd have a contant cutting back job to keep in within bounds. It's very quick growing. There are small ones but they wouldn't do the job. I'd go for coloured stemmed dogwoods. (Cornus) You could get some of the variegated ones to liven it up in summer. Don't forget that no sucking up of water occurs in winter.
Your best bet is to get some drainage in first. Beware of willow, it grows very strongly and fast, and you may come to regret it.
You say you have just moved in; is the stream likely to flood your garden if it rises?
There are a lot of fancy dogwoods that I'd love to have but need acid soil, we're very alkaline. Cornus alba is quite happy with that and the reds and oranges shine out in winter.
Amelanchier, silver birch and mountain ash are small trees that like damp soil. You may find that it won't be quite so wet in a year that it doesn't rain as much as this year. Leycesteria, Sambucus, Viburnum Opulus and Kerria Japonica are shrubs that like damp soils. Aruncus, Hostas, Lythrum, Rodgersia and Astilbes are perennials that like wet soils. What about bamboo? - but make sure it's not an invasive one.