Plants that love wet feet.

Its been far too long since I've read/posted here. A sudden and drastic change in career has kept me away from my computer. <sigh>
On to my question...
I've purchased a bit of property that I'm looking to build a new home on in a few years. It's fairly heavy clay and quite wet in the spring and autumn. I'm looking for plants that both tolerate wet feet and will also absorb a fair amount of water. I'm in zone 5 - Niagara.
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On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 18:12:06 -0500, "Piscanthropus Profundus"

Iris pseuroacorus.
Try posting in rec.ponds and web search for bog plants. and aquatic gardening.
--
Charles

Does not play well with others.
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Piscanthropus Profundus wrote:

Well you have several years to amend the soil and improve the drainage.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
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Travis Wrote:

With no disrespect to the other posters, what I see being suggested ar some invasive plants that many would consider weeds. I would rathe know what you want to accomplish with the suggested plant material. D you want plants that will thrive under the current growing condition until you build and then remove them, do you want plants that wil enrich the soil until you build or do you just want a list for plantin after you build?
I think it's important to address the wet conditions, especially if yo are going to build. Take a look at this site for some helpful info o drainage. http://tinyurl.com/6gyux
If you want to cover the soil with plants that can be turned or mowe for organic matter to improve the soil, consider planting natives. They will be less trouble for you now and later when you might want t change things. The best way to improve the soil would be to ad organic matter. You don't say how large the property is, but covering of leaves, shredded newspaper, lawn clippings, etc would b helpful.
I suppose more information would be helpful. If you just want a lis of plants for your garden after you build, that would be easy to do. We would need the sun conditions as well.
New
-- Newt
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Weeds & invasive weeds would be two different topics. Native plants include many that are "weeds." The ease with which housing developers eradicate all native plants to replace with the same-old half-dozen garden shrubs presupposes that ALL native plants are just weeds.
While I don't necessarily second simy1's idea that a weed patch would be best, I don't think it's an awful idea, & I can certainly see making it work. At SinLur Stoneworks Garden I'm removing an extensive area of salal which chokes out everything else (though pretty stuff & kept in some areas), while being careful not to disrupt the other native shrubs in this previously ungardened area, which is dominated by huckleberries & coastal rhododendrons. I'm adding to the area exclusively stuff that can be found wild on Puget Sound &/or the Olympic Penninsula, no cultivars, no plants from other parts of the world in this particular garden.
The line dividing wildflower & weed scarsely exists. Most would agree the trilliums & western corydalis are wildflowers, not weeds; there'd be divided opinions about the rapidly-spreading western bleedingheart being a weed or not. Western burdock most would dismiss as a weed, but to me it is a beautiful native plant; it does not spread rampantly even here in its native range. It is rarely gardened because of the idea that it is "a weed" (or because there ARE invasive burdocks & our restrained native gets blamed for an invasive species behavior). I was very pleased to see a display garden at Clearcreek Nursery that uses the western burdock very artfully, but it's hardly ever done.
-paghat the ratgirl


--
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I'm looking to improve about 2 acres at the moment - all of it in full sun.
I'd like some plants that will thrive in the current, unimproved, conditions - including shrubs and trees. A windbreak is a must. And I'd like to cover the area where the house and septic beds will be located with something that can be tilled under - that layer of topsoil will be scraped away before construction and then replaced once everything is in place.
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Piscanthropus Profundus wrote:

Piscanthropus Profundus dude: You snipped what ever I said but left my name.
--

Travis in Shoreline Washington

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D00D - I replied to Newt, not you. Any snippage was done beforehand.
This is the second message you've replied to and had nothing to say. Is this a trend?
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Travis Wrote:

Hi Simy1, Please forgive all these quotes. I'm not a usenet user, but pos directly to this site as a gardening forum and still haven't mastere the art of 'snipping' for quotes. I'm not even sure who I'm addressin this to as there are so many names here. I think I mistakenly posted m last post to Travis and it should have been to Simy1. Please forgive m mistake. I've tried to leave all the conversations here for clarity.
To review (so I know that I have this right), you want to build on a 2 acre site in a few years that has poor drainage and stays wet in spring and autumn and is in full sun. You would like to enrich the soil where the house and septic system will be so you can strip off the enriched topsoil and use elsewhere on the property. You live in Washington state in USDA zone 8b. A note here is that at one point you said you live in zone 5, but that is a sunset zone for warm temps and most folks will think it's a USDA zone for cold temps, which is what is commonly used. So if you post your zone, unless you live where it gets real hot in the summer, such as the southern states, it's best to post your zone as 8b for plant recommendations.
Here are my recommendations with the info I have. If you are going to strip off plant material so you can plant for enriching the soil, I would suggest that you address the drainage problems now if possible, especially since the land will need to be graded when building starts. That way you should be able to leave some of the property untouched while building is going on and there will be less bare land during and after construction. Mother nature doesn't like blank spaces and will fill it up with what is available that will grow. If you already have 'good' plant material in place once the house is built, then you will be able to take a more leisurly approach to landscaping with less headaches and disruption to the land later on.
There have been many suggestions for plant material. The best way I know of to improve the tilth and add organics to the land is to plant green manures. Here are some sites about how to do that, what to use and the biology of soil that you should find most helpful.
http://tinyurl.com/69rfy http://www.soilfoodweb.com / http://www.attra.org/soils.html http://www.tagari.com/PermInst/FAQs.htm
Green manures - for the first one read especially from 'Green Manures' on:
http://tinyurl.com/4w24g http://tinyurl.com/62ho9 http://tinyurl.com/62enx
Invasives info: http://www.invasivespecies.gov / http://tinyurl.com/568qw
Trees for Washington: http://tinyurl.com/6vkjy
Something you might want to consider is to find out just which plants you already have on the site that have adapted to the wet conditions and either save, propagate or move them during construction. A place to start with could be your local native plant society. You might be able to get someone to come and id them and even rescue those that you don't want as there are conservation committees.. Their website also has links for landscaping, ecosystems, etc.
http://www.wnps.org /
Look here for local programs that might be helpful and native plant lists..
http://tinyurl.com/3os4z
Here are some other links you should find helpful. They are forums at Garden Web where you can do some reading and even post.. If you post on more then one forum, be sure and change the title of your post or their computer will think you are spamming and block you. Lots of helpful folks.
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/bog / http://tinyurl.com/4lyxj http://tinyurl.com/6dcpl http://tinyurl.com/46ej2 http://tinyurl.com/5vqb4
Their main page: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums /
Your local extension service is also a good place to get information. http://ext.wsu.edu /
Hope this is helpful, Newt
--
Newt


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On 2/1/05 6:12 PM, in article 21ULd.2528$ snipped-for-privacy@read2.cgocable.net,
wrote:

How about Clethera? Nice shrubby plant, great scent in bloom and has some fall color.
Cheryl
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Piscanthropus Profundus wrote:

drastic
on in

autumn.
absorb a

I would consider intentionally planting taprooted weeds for a few years. And I mean in great quantity (it may take a bit of seed collecting, but all of them are very prolific), ten per square foot or so. Mow them once a year in the fall to prevent woody growth. Each taproot will become a drainage channel once the plant dies, and for a mature plant the root will go down four to six feet. At the same time the organic content of the soil is improved to great depth.
Dock, burdock, chicory and dandelion are the best. Only dock really prefers wet soil but, being weeds, they are very adaptable. Other taprooted plants become too woody to revert easily to a lawn. Incidentally, I have done it and it works. Right now you can find burdock burrs in weedlots, dock seeds (available in july) disappear fast because they are a major winter staple for a variety of critters. Chicory seeds become available around august. If the neighbors complain you will be limited to chicory and dandelion,which are less conspicuously weeds, and which is what I used.
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Well, Duh, people, you keep overlooking the Japanese Iris! Just about perfect for boggy areas. Look it up: Iris ensata.
Hemmaholic
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Gunnera.
But I forget what zone these plants were wanted for - it might be too tender for the colder ones.
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Bill Spohn wrote:

Pretty much zones 7 to 10.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8b
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Try Tamarack (Larix laricina), black spruce (picea mariana) and google willows (Salix sp.). For a ground cover, use wild mint(Mentha arvensis) or fireweek (Epilobium angustifolium). Tuck in a few pitcher plants (Saracena purpurea) to control mosquitoes.
Here's a site that might offer more ideas: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/sites/wh/grosmorn.html
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I'd also recommend googling this new trend of "Rain Gardens"
John in Houston, with PLENTY of rain...

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Wow! That was lovely, thanks for the tip. :)

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Pen Wrote:

Tex John, Glad you found that helpful. :-) I previously posted links for site on drainage, so if you need them again, just let me know.
New
-- Newt
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