5 best plants for wet gardens

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Chris Bonnett is the founder and CEO of Garden Express

After months of high temperatures and little to no rain, it feels like we’ve had nothing but constant downpours over the last couple of weeks. Chris Bonnett discusses steps gardeners can take if their garden is prone to retaining water. According to the Met Office, rainfall was slightly above average during October but has made very little dent in the lack of rain we had over the summer.

They have also revealed that rainfall is well down on where it should be by this point in the year.

Regardless, it doesn’t stop your garden from being overwhelmed by the sudden rain and leaves patches soggy and with sitting water.

It seems ironic that we’re now talking about lots of rain and waterlogged gardens after months of crying out for a downpour!

Most gardens will be loving the extra water, but for others, it’ll leave patches under water, pot saucers overflowing and puddles dotted around all over the place.

If your garden is prone to becoming wet, there are a few steps you can take. Looking at planting tolerant of wet conditions is an obvious one, and of course, there are measures you can take once the rain has fallen.

If it’s patches on your lawn underwater, there’s action you can take now and long term measures you can put in place. It’s also important to try and identify what’s causing the problem.

It’s often down to too much rain and not enough drainage. It could be heavy clay soil or compacted soil.

If your grassed area is surrounded by non-permeable structures like a patio, it could simply be that the rainwater has no where else to go. Look into installing a water butt so any runoff from your shed, garage or your home, collect in that instead.

For immediate action, try spiking your lawn. Put on your wellies, grab a fork and spike the area which is underwater. Do this while there are puddles on the surface and carry on after too.

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Long-term, look at whether you need to install a drainage system and spend some repairing the parts of the lawn damaged by the downpours.

You can also improve planting beds by mixing in plenty of organic material such as well rotted manure and composted bark.

When it comes to planting, there are those that thrive in wet winters and dry summers – ideal for the weather conditions we’ve been experiencing.

If you’re looking for something majestic and structural, consider the Arum Lily. This plant loves water. The beautiful white blooms look very dramatic in the garden or if cut and enjoyed in a vase in your home.

Fragrant Lily of the Valley is a good choice for wet gardens, and will be one of the first plants to bloom after the winter. These thrive in the UK climate.

The show-stopping Bleeding Heart or Dicentra Spectabilis will add colour and elegance to your garden. These hardy plants will look better each year.

Hostas are a great good choice for wet gardens. They’re hardy and low maintenance and provide good ground cover.

Flowering Astilbe will fill your garden with colour. These are easy to grow with their lush foliage and feathery spikes of flowers. They like shady spots, waterside or damp areas of the garden and will tolerate sun too.

The Hydrangea Paniculata is another flower that adds some gorgeous colour into the garden and will blend well with plants you already have.

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