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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.
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 old 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.
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 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 Darts 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.
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! Plant your spring-flowering bulbs now! What else can you do when rain threatens and skies are grey? Choose your
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. What can you plant right now? There are lots of
flowering trees, shrubs and perennials and your garden will shine at all times of the year. 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