Some gardens nestle by streams and ponds or surround pools, and these are referred to as waterside gardens. They often include some of the same plants that are used in rain gardens, which are in spaces where water stands and where we need plants that will suck up the water and survive in constantly boggy conditions.
Removing all of the weeds in soggy areas is the number one task when starting a garden in wet soil. Then, if the area is large, plant groups of plants that enjoy wet feet.
The Bottlebrush shrub Fothergilla major, an early harbinger of spring, is one such plant, and Japanese iris is another reliable spring bloomer, and both of these plants have foliage that stays green all summer as well. The iris has elegant purple spring blooms and spreads quickly as well.
Astilbes and scarlet cardinal flowers are moisture-loving summer bloomers that are followed in bloom by the blue flowering Lobelia siphilitica.
Physostegia, or false dragon head, blooms in late summer and is 2-feet tall, and it spreads well as it loves moisture. It has the added benefit of providing good cut flowers in white and pale lavender.
Then in late summer/fall the pepper bush shrub, Clethra, and black-eyed Susans, helianthus, chokeberry, and sourwood bloom.
Some experimentation is needed, but plants that can tolerate your level of boggy, wet soil can be found.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on wet feet.