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What can I grow in a boggy, shady part of the garden?

(30 Posts)
IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 09-Mar-14 18:18:50

I have a Jeckyll and Hyde Garden.
One side is sunny (south facing) and could grow anything-in fact the main task seems to be just trying to prevent it becoming a jungle in the summer.
The other side is basically a bog. Really wet, and shady all the time except in the morning, until around eleven.
I am not a very experienced gardener, so anything I plant needs to be extra hardy!
I would like to cover the fence on the shady side, so climbers would be good, and little boys use it, so any shrubs that like shade, which could grow to become denworthy might be nice.
I am trying some veg on the sunny side, so would also be interested in any veg/fruit that would grow in a bog. Should I start a rice paddy?

Ferguson Tue 11-Mar-14 18:28:59

Best things I know for boggy areas are hosta, and come in all sizes and shades, but slugs and snails love them! Some candelabra primulas like wet areas too.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 11-Mar-14 21:16:07

Depending on how much space you have, you could try Gunnera. Small children love it!

Rhubarbgarden Tue 11-Mar-14 21:16:57

They love it for den potential, that is; it's not for eating despite looking like giant rhubarb!

CuntyBunty Tue 11-Mar-14 21:17:26

I was just going to suggest Gunnera, Rhubarb. It's fab.

figgypuddings Tue 11-Mar-14 21:18:07

Yes! I second giant rhubarb!

CuntyBunty Tue 11-Mar-14 21:28:13

I've just ordered a Gunnera for myself from e-bay, thanks to you, Rhubarb.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 11-Mar-14 21:35:01


I bloody love Gunnera.

Iamrandom Tue 11-Mar-14 21:37:26

Candelabra primulas are beautiful and love bog. These are the Harlow Carr ones.... gorgeous!

CuntyBunty Tue 11-Mar-14 21:37:32

A relative of yours, I do believe. Do you remember me trying to put nice compost on you on a past thread under another NN? I'm not a stalker, honestly. I prefer to think of myself more as a "persistent friend".

Rhubarbgarden Tue 11-Mar-14 21:59:15

I like the idea of a persistent friend! I do remember the compost, yes thank you.

Loving those candelabras, random.

ShimmeringInTheSun Tue 11-Mar-14 22:14:32

How about Ferns? They love the cool shade, and display beautiful unfurling spiraling fronds in the summertime. They're really hardy, need hardly any care, and give good ground cover too.

CuntyBunty Tue 11-Mar-14 22:21:24

WIBU to nick a few ferns from the wild? I need those too now I've seen them, Shimmering. Beautiful photos, BTW.

<sprinkles a bit of compost on Rhubarb for old time's sake>.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 11-Mar-14 22:32:53


ShimmeringInTheSun Tue 11-Mar-14 22:59:59

Well, I got mine from a garden centre where they had quite a good range of various types, Bunty. Once you've established your own, they'll soon begin to spread their selves - just like they do in the wild!

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 12-Mar-14 11:38:39

Ooh! Responses grin
I LOVE that candelabra primula IAmRandon, very pretty.
Gunnera is bonkers Rhubarb! I had to google it, and realised I have seen it in a local botanical gardens. Its definitly fun. I wonder if it is a giant slug magnet, like rhubarb is? (actual rhubard I mean!)

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 12-Mar-14 11:42:12

Any other shrubs that might be good?
Also, any climber suggestions? There is sun in the afternoon at the top of the fence iyswim.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 12-Mar-14 11:45:03

Ah, Ferguson-I missed your post-I do like those Hostas! Getting a little bit exited about the "bad" side of my garden now..

forgetdieting Wed 12-Mar-14 17:48:09

I like the look of Gunnera! In the soggy corner of the back garden, which gets very waterlogged, the previous owner had ST John's Wort. There is also a very happy spotted laurel - about 10ft tall. So i guess these shrubs love it - cold, wet and shady.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 12-Mar-14 18:22:19

Anyone know any vegetables or fruit I might be able to grow? (I would still have the den area, but it's quite a long garden, so room for a few things)


Ferguson Wed 12-Mar-14 19:37:29

Don't know, but would have thought gunnera so tough slugs & snails wouldn't make any impression on it. However, it has LETHAL sharp spikes, so kids 'playing' in it could get scratched to pieces! Amazingly it dies down every year, then all grows back in spring. (We see it at beautiful Dartington Hall Gardens)

(Black & white photo shows spikes!)

Puttheshelvesup Wed 12-Mar-14 19:43:25

Astilbe is very pretty, and some iris love waterlogged soil.

Puttheshelvesup Wed 12-Mar-14 19:48:23

Fruit and veg generally don't do well in waterlogged soil as it is deficient in oxygen. Willow would do really well, it looks like a grassy thicket (which is great for dens) if you plant several whips quite close together, but you would need to keep it well pruned to prevent it from taking over.

coffeegonzo Wed 12-Mar-14 20:23:45

Foxgloves? They're good in shade and are woodland....earlier than others things and last for ages. I really love them

Greenrememberedhills Wed 12-Mar-14 23:11:34

I have an east facing wet area like this. I have Pyracantha Mohave, hydrangea, viburnum- the nice smelling one, actual rhubarb, pulmonaria, snowdrops, primula, fern, some large white daisies- shasta(?), some viola, honeysuckle. All doing fine.

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