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Which plants love bathing in the rain? Here's 5 of the best

What to do when it rains

It’s obvious what garden-lovers should be doing when there is precipitation cascading from above. Plan for plants that like the conditions! This is the UK, after all, and one thing is certain – even in areas that are considered to be ‘deserts’ (Dungeness), there is generally quite a bit of rain and there are wet, boggy areas that need a special type of planting.

Bog planting plants love water Use plants that are appropriate for the conditions. There are many that love damp places! Right Plant, Right Place

So if the rain is falling while you are reading this, get busy planning for the wettest areas in your garden. It turns a ‘raining’ day into a ‘gaining’ day.

Let’s look at plants that LOVE the good ol’ British weather.  They’re the ones that metaphorically rub their foliage with glee when the skies are grey. There are very few plants that will be happy if their roots are drowning - they all need air – but free-draining damp soil is luscious for lots of lovely plants.

Blueberries grow well in damp but well drained conditions Blueberries crop well in the UK and love rain!

In the productive garden, take Blueberries, for example. There are several different varieties of this ‘superfood’ which is packed with vitamins. Vaccinium, as they are known, have shallow roots and they love moisture-retaining soil. BUT they don’t like to sit in water. So plant them in areas that have plenty of water yet drains well. You will reap the rewards of your damp patches.

 

Cornus Flaviramea and Midwinter Fire Doesn't this Cornus Flaviramea and Cornus Midwinter Fire make your heart sing, even on a dull day?
Cornus florida Rubra This beautiful Cornus florida 'Rubra' is grown as a specimen shrub and it displays deep pink bracts in spring.

Cornus are hugely successful in wet places. Dogwood is a shrub which is often grown for its winter stem colour and early spring pruning can result in magnificent vertical stems in orange, red, yellow and bright green. Plant them in clumps with contrasting colours adjacent and you will create a show like no other. Some Cornus, including ‘Rubra’ and ‘White Fountain’ are grown for their wonderful flower bracts which are white, pink or red in spring. These shrubs are maintained as such and they make wonderful specimen plants.

Astilbe is a brilliant perennial for damp places. Not only this, but it likes the shade too. It rewards its growers with wonderful plumes of fluffy flowers in mid to late summer and it looks beautiful when used on the woodland edge (provided not too dry). Then there are shrubs such as Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’ which has lime-green foliage which lightens up dark corners like a splash of sunshine.  And a huge array of Hydrangeas that love shady places where the soil is moist.

Physocarpus is a garden shrub that likes damp soil Physocarpus 'Dart's Gold' gives a splash of sunny foliage in dark, damp places
Hydrangea maculatus Pia Hydrangea 'Pia' is a compact shrub that enjoys damp soil
Hydrangea Libelle is a garden shrub that likes moist soil Hydrangea 'Libelle' has those classic lacecap flowers in delicate shades of blue/pink and white florets

 

Plant your spring-flowering bulbs now!

What else can you do when rain threatens and skies are grey? Choose your spring flowering bulbs! This is the perfect time to buy – the season is just beginning and bulbs are at their best. Plant any time from September onwards and plan your flowering heaven!

spring flowering bulbs planted in containers Plan your spring display now - you can have tremendous fun with flowers!

What can you plant right now? There are lots of crocus bulbs in many different colours – the flowers look wonderful naturalised under trees. Iris are beautiful and some early varieties appear as early as January. ‘Blue Note’ is lovely, also ‘Harmony’, so plan your bulbs to appear in succession to take you from January right through to the summer and beyond. Then there are muscari; cyclamen; Erythronium (dog’s tooth violet); camassia and of course tulips too.

Bulbs in spring time in the garden Spring flowering bulbs - plant now for some sunny surprises in spring!

Early bulbs are a poignant reminder that actually the dormant season is very short. Particularly in the south east of the UK where temperatures are generally mild throughout the winter. If you spend September and October planting bulbs close to your house you will be able to enjoy flowers practically the whole year through. Complement your bulbs with flowering trees, shrubs and perennials and your garden will shine at all times of the year.

cherry trees blossom Ornamental cherry trees - they give great structure and their spring blossom is amazing. Plant now so they can establish before winter.
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