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RE: Berms< garden projects and planting

Thanks for the suggestions Marge- one note- I am in Northern California, but
still much applies.  I don't think I have the patience to do the plants that
require rainwater ( and since it does rain here for 6-8 months at a time not
very practical), but the ones that like wet feed and dryer crown might be
perfect, since I've already made a bit of an elevated mound in an effort to
have the few things I have planted not completely drown.  I did recently
plant 2 yellow calla lilies there as part of my experiment to see if they
will stick around all year rather than go dormant because they dry out too
much.  My astilbe also likes damp, but it would singe in this spot- western
exposure.  The candelaba primroses intruigue me, not familiar with them.

Well, while I ponder that area, I did get the rest of tomatos and pepper
plant put out last night.  Also, planted melon and cucumber seeds.  Next
weekend i hope to get some corn planted.  I ripped out most of the remaining
snap pea plants- a few days up to 80 and more direct sun has done them in.
Oh well, they were good all winter.  The spinach and cilantro aren't looking
to happy either with this warmer weather.  I still need to get another
climbing rose- looking for a yellow one, preferably old garden rose or other
antique variety.  Have a nice sunny spot where it can grow up my lattice
fence in mind.  One rose I got last year at the Davis Arboretum sale is
already a pain in the neck- it's an Abraham Darby.  It had white flies
earlier in spring and now has rust.  great- we'll see how long I tolerate
that level of fussiness.

Anyway- time for bed-
night all.

Sac, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of Marge Talt
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 11:30 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Berms

Well, personally, I envy anyone who has a naturally wet spot.  I have
to build them at considerable time and hard labor.  There are so many
plants who like it damp to wet.  Donna has a great list.  I wish you
could see the difference my "damp garden" makes to one of my
Carex...the one in that garden is now a yard around; the others in
the regular garden beds are maybe a foot around.

Climate is going to dictate some of the plants you can grow, but
don't forget the marvelous aroids...who just might be hardy in S.
CA...some of the Alocasias and Colocasias ought to be and some of
them grow very nicely in standing water - don't require it, but do
require constant moisture - these are the huge elephant ears; many of
whom are variegated or have dark, almost black foliage.  There are
others, as well who aren't huge plants.

But, if you want some instant impact, an elephant ear is hard to
beat.  Have pix of several in my article about them:


I have found a source for Alocasia macrorrhiza 'Variegata' and
Xanthosoma mafaffa aurea 'Lime Zinger' and am about to send in an
order....gotta have 'em!

Many Canna grow in standing water, too.  And, if it gets cool or
nearly freezing, the candelabra primroses might do - they want
continually damp soil.  Astilbes thrive in my damp garden where they
gasp and suffer in the rest of the garden.  One really marvelous
(quite a huge plant, really) Euphorbia takes wet feet - the common
name is swamp spurge - Euphorbia palustris...really shrub like when
full grown, but dies down in winter.

If the spot is in sun, consider making a peat bog for carnivorous
plants.  Sarracenia are magnificent things - the pitchers are lovely
and the flowers are incredible...and the colors the pitchers come in
are WOW.  When I was in NC last summer, visited the NC Botanical
Garden who have a paved area of raised peat bogs for
Sars....incredible!  One of these days I have got to scan the slides
I took there to share.  This type of bog consists of peat and sand,
period...needs to be watered with rain water, which I collect in
summer, as they can't take the chemicals in city water.

S. CA is naturally desert, so you'd probably have to do some hunting
to find out what grows in any naturally boggy spots where you are
that is indigenous to CA.  There are probably hundreds of plants from
around the world who would grow for you in spot that was constantly

If you do go the damp garden route, keep in mind that some moisture
lovers want moisture at their roots, but want their crowns in soil
that drains...this can easily be accomplished by making a mound to
plant into.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Wild, Wonderful Aroids Part 4 - Arisaema
Complete Index of Articles by Category and Date
All Suite101.com garden topics :

> From: Donna  <justme@prairieinet.net>
> If not that wet, but have no idea if these grow in California:(
> Sweet Flag,
> Aslepias incarnate,
> Aster novae-angliae
> Calla palustris
> Blue joint grass
> Carex- many of them...
> Iris
> Juncus a few of them
> Leersia orzoides
> Liatris spicata
> Lobelia's
> Osmunda  many of them
> Peltandra virginica
> Saururus cernuus
> Scirpus  many of them
> Sparganiun eurycarpum
> Verbena hastate
> Wild senna
> Spotted joe-pye weed
> Halberd leaved rose mallow
> Monkey plant
> Obedient plant..watch this one tho...
> Prairie cord grass
> Marsh blazing star
> Golden Alexander
> Creeping jenny/moneywort
> Spiderwort
> Chameleon plant
> Turtlehead
> Queen of the prairie
> White snakeroot
> Sneezeweed

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