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.
Browse our pick of 10 plants for a boggy spot, below.
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 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.
Bright-yellow iris flowers
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.
A swathe of white calla lillies
Frothy, pink-white flowers and fabulous, huge, horse chestnut-like leaves, make Rodgersia pinnata a must-have in sites with poor drainage.
Pale-pink flowers and bold leaves of Rodgersia pinnata
A tough perennial with upright stems and long-lasting flowers. Plant purple loosestrife if you’re looking to attract birds and bees to the garden.
Purple loosestrife flowers
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.
Magenta astilbe plumes
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.
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.
Golden stems of willow ‘Britzensis’
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.
Miniature bulrush-type flowers of small reed mace
White flowers of meadowsweet
More bog plants to grow