British Columbia: flowers good for very soggy soil?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by jeffhan, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. jeffhan

    jeffhan New Member

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    hi i am new here. really like this forum:) and like to get your options on this:

    My backyard got lots of water penetrated from a creek closeby. So half of the yard is like a swamp. Just wondering what kind of plants(preferably flowers) can survive in this kind of condition?

    i planted 50 daffodils bulbs last fall and only 21 bulbs survived :(
    Now thinking about Siberian Iris...
     
  2. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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  3. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    They list Phyllostachys as one of their "top 6 plants for wet soils", when in fact most Phyllostachys (with a couple of exceptions) detest wet conditions and will quickly rot. Can't speak to the suitability of the rest on the list, but this alone is cause for skepticism.
     
  4. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    I would not share your skepticism. The Royal Horticultural Society is one of the most reliable websites in things horticultural. Unfortunately, mistakes can always happen. I don't see any problems with other plants they recommend. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=303#section-3
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    They like damp or moist but won't take wet. When you see a Phyllostachys on a seepage or next to a stream it never grows into the part where water is visible - these can actually be undercut and toppled by moving water, something I have seen in action myself.

    What may establish and persist on the site asked about here depends on details of the soil and exposure that have not been described. As specific conditions, including just how much water is present are likely to vary from one part of the site to the next what plants may succeed will also vary.

    One term that it may be useful to search is "bog gardening". "Plants for wet soil" may also bring up something you can use.

    Regarding the general reliability of RHS publications I have encountered mistakes many times, when an information source is gardening oriented (rather than botanical or otherwise "seriously" scientific) a looseness seems to be usual that presumably wouldn't fly within the arena of "hard" science. But it is never the case anyway that it is wise to embrace a particular information source as infallible, a last word that eliminates the need to ever look further.
     
  6. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    A plant that appears as a line item on a large list could be a mistake/oversight: the same plant highlighted as a "top pick", selected from many as being especially suited for conditions to which it is entirely unsuited is simply propagating wrong information. And though cross-referencing is always a good idea with gardening information (as Ron notes), I'm suggesting it becomes imperative when a relatively refined list of "top" recommendations contains at least one glaring error. There is a persistent folk-myth out there that bamboo loves boggy, wet conditions, but I'd expect the RHS to know better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  7. jeffhan

    jeffhan New Member

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    thanks for all the advice above. My garden doesn't have visible water on the ground surface. But when you step on the soil or just dig a little the water shows up.

    So i guess it's close to "bog"
     
  8. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Since I don't know much about Phyllostachys from my own personal experience I decided to do a little (lack of time!) research on the Net, to see I was too quick to take your side re. the Bamboo.
    There are varieties equipped by Mother Nature with air canals inside their rhizomes and roots that are especially useful for living in wet soils. Phyllostachys nidularia, P. heteroclada (Water Bamboo) and P. atrovaginata belong to this group.
    Others, like Phyllostachys aurea may persist on a variety of soils http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/phyaur/all.html

    All this has not much to do with the jeffhan's question though, since he/she asks mostly about flowers. Also, it looks that the soil he/she has is not that badly saturated, otherwise not just 29, but all of his/her Daffodil bulbs would not survive the winter.
     
  9. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Three species from a genus of fifty or so (and growing both nidularia and heteroclada being aware that they are relatively rare and difficult to source) is hardly sufficient to recommend `Phyllostachys` in general for said conditions. What you`ve discovered reinforces the point: almost all Phyllostachys are entirely unsuited to wet soils.

    P. aurea won't grow in wet soils. The link provided merely lists a variety of other soil types, and (unless I've missed it) makes no mention of wet sites.

    But, as you mention, we digress....
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  10. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    you might check into dicentra Formosa our native bleeding heart. When I was a kid they grew in a swamp next to a creek that did sort of dry out part of the year. Be careful tho it will take over! barb
     
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    dare I suggest - gooseneck loosestrife? Lysimachia clethroides (the white flower) ----- do NOT plant the purple one that grows commonly (invasively) along slow-moving river --- -like the Channel in Penticton.

    please - experts on this board - correct me immediately - however, I had a white one in my shaded, damp garden at the coast - and it was fine. I know another garden in the South Granville area of Vancouver and it was fine there too.

    does this one grow in coastal bc?
    http://www.greengatefarms.com/plantname/Lythrum-virgatum-Mordens-Gleam

    i'd take a walk along a side road and see what's growing - usually salmon berries, alder, skunk cabbage, various reeds, swamp grass, floating aquatics, etc. Is there a way that you can make a small pond for drainage - and capitalize on this opportunity from a garden design point of view?
     
  12. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  13. Tony Puddicombe

    Tony Puddicombe Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    swamp lantern or also called skunk cabbage grows very well in bogs
     
  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    yes - skunk cabbage is very pretty bright yellow for spring - it's blooming in the forest trails around Vancouver BC now - i have never seen it for sale at a professional nursery tho. And it can adapt for summer.

    TONY - KWANTLEN - is it a tuber or a bulb or .... what is it technically speaking?
     

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