If you have a boggy or very wet area in your garden, why not create a bog garden?


Plant towering gunnera for dramatic green architecture, then underplant with purple loosestrife to attract wildlife. For a touch of elegance, complete your border with the snowy-white blooms of zantedeschia, which will keep flowering all summer long.

If your garden conditions aren't completely suited to the growing requirements of a particular bog plant, don't be put off. Wetter areas can be created by digging up damp soil and placing a plastic liner underneath with holes puncturing it, to retain some drainage. If an area is too wet, you could build some simple raised borders with timber or stone within the bog.

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Browse our pick of 10 plants for a boggy spot, below.

Shorter plants like astilbe are great for underplanting around larger plants like gunnera.

Gunnera manicata

The huge, thick architectural leaves make a statement at the back of a boggy site. Fold the dead leaves over the crown in the autumn to protect it.

Huge gunnera leaves in a bog garden
Huge leaves of gunnera


Ligularia have large serrated leaves, with a mahogany underside. The tall yellow flower spikes are perfect for adding drama to a boggy border.

Yellow flower spikes and serrated leaves of ligularia

Iris pseudacorus 'Variegata'

The upright, sword-like leaves of Iris pseudacorus 'Variegata' are marked with creamy-white stripes. Bright yellow flowers appear in May. Though less vigorous than the uncultivated species, be sure to divide it in spring.

Iris pseudacorus 'Variegata'
Bright-yellow iris flowers

Zantedeschia aethiopica

For a more sophisticated boggy border, try Zantedeschia aethiopica. Glossy-green arrow-shaped leaves are set off by stately spathes of white flowers, with prominent yellow spadices. Semi-evergreen, so cut it back in winter if the leaves die.

Zantedeschia aethiopica
A swathe of white calla lillies

Rodgersia pinnata

Frothy, pink-white flowers and fabulous, huge, horse chestnut-like leaves, make Rodgersia pinnata a must-have in sites with poor drainage.

Rodgersia pinnata
Pale-pink flowers and bold leaves of Rodgersia pinnata

Lythrum salicaria

A vigorous, tough perennial with upright stems and long-lasting flowers. Plant purple loosestrife if you're looking to attract birds and bees to the garden.

How to grow purple loosestrife
Purple loosestrife flowers

Astilbe chinensis

Shorter plants like astilbe are great for underplanting around larger plants like gunnera. Their divided leaves and fluffy plumes of purple or pink flowers really add impact to borders.

Astilbe chinensis
Magenta astilbe plumes

Cornus alba

When the lush growth of the warmer months has fallen away, the bright red stems of Cornus alba are a reliable source of winter colour. Cut back old, dull stems in spring to encourage the growth of vibrant new ones.

Colourful red winter stems of Cornus alba
Vivid pink dogwood stems

Salix vitellina 'Britzensis'

For further winter interest, grow Salix vitellina 'Britzensis' for its golden-yellow stems. Like C. alba, cut in back in spring for colourful new growth.

Salix vitellina 'Britzensis' foliage and stems
Golden stems of willow 'Britzensis'

Typha minima

The small reed mace has fine foliage and classic bulrush-type flowers. Unlike its larger relative Typha gracilis, the smaller T. minima won't take over wet borders.

Small reed mace (Typha minima)
Miniature bulrush-type flowers of small reed mace
Filipendula ulmaria
White flowers of meadowsweet

More bog plants to grow