While boggy soil does discourage the planting of some plants, there are many plants that survive and even thrive in boggy areas. An area is boggy if it spends at least some time out of every year soaked with water or even partially submerged. This high-moisture environment, requires plants that love water if you want a successful bog garden.
Mapleleaf viburnum is a small woodland shrub that is native to the eastern parts of North America. Though it is easily grown in drier soils, it prefers wet, marshy land. It produces small white flowers which bloom in the middle or late spring. After the flowers fall, there are bluish-black fruits left behind that ripe to red later in the summer. The leaves turn reddish-purple or magenta in the fall, giving the marshy area some brightly coloured foliage.
Bog rosemary is a small evergreen shrub that produces small, pink or white bell-shaped flowers. This shrub blooms from May to June and it requires peaty, sandy soil that is constantly moist. While it does well in bogs, it dislikes heat and humidity.
Twig dogwood is a shrub that does its best in rich boggy soils, and it can thrive in full sun or partial shade. It is a good choice if you are planting along streams, as the plant's spreading roots help prevent the erosion of the soil. In the winter, it has red stems that show clearly in the snow. In the late spring, it produces clusters of small white flowers that turn into blue-white berries in the summer. These berries are attractive to birds.
Meadowsweet is an upright shrub that can be 4 feet tall. In the summer, it produces cone-shaped, tiny white flowers. It requires soil that does not dry out and, while meadowsweet prefers full sun, it can tolerate part shade. It does well along streams or ponds as well as boggy areas, and if you want to plant it in a non-boggy area, it needs to be watered regularly. After the flowers are dead, remove them to promote additional blooming.
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