The Q&A Archives: Wet Land Plantings

Question: I have a spring that comes up in the middle of my lawn and runs about 50 feet before it flows down a hill, through the spring house, woods and eventually feeds the pond. I would love to do a planting around the spring source and along both sides (the 50 feet or so)to highlight the spring. Eventually I would like to do a series of pools and perhaps a waterfall in this area to accentuate it. What plants (perennials) would do best in this area?

Answer: That sounds like a lovely setting. You might look to plants that are native to moist areas such as deciduous hollies (Ilex verticillata), the shrub dogwoods, Itea, Summersweet or Clethra, willows and river birch (Betula nigra).

Some perennials that enjoy damp situations would include hardy hibiscus, Japanese iris, Siberian iris, Iris pseudacorus, hosta, Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), astilbe, primula and Lobelia cardinalis, and in a truly wet situation, marsh marigolds. Other perennials to consider might include rudbeckia, daylilies (hemerocallis) and lady's mantle (alchemilla).

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