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Plants for a wet, sunny spot

Q: I have an area in my front yard about 3 x 3 feet that is underneath a rain gutter and gets about seven hours of sun a day. What shrubs or perennials thrive under these wet, sunny conditions?

Kimberly Davis, New Mariat, MD

A: Henry Mityga, a lecturer for the horticulture department at the University of Maryland, replies: You are located in USDA Hardiness Zone 6 (–10°F), so many shrubs and perennials will readily adapt to your site. A few of my favorite shrubby choices are ‘Brilliantissima’ chokeberry ­(Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brillian­tissima’), summer-sweet (Clethra alnifolia), Tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Argenteo-marginata’ or ‘Elegantissima’), compact ink­berry (Ilex glabra ‘Com­pacta’), and ‘Winter Red’ winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’). Each of these shrubs easily grows to around 4 or 5 feet in height and spread. If they get too large, they may be severely pruned to regenerate new, compact growth.

Some perennials include false spirea (Astilbe X arendsii), snakeroot (Cimicifuga racemosa), Japanese iris (Iris ensata), cardinal flower ­(Lobelia cardinalis), and gooseneck loosestrife ­(Lysimachia clethroides).

From Fine Gardening 51, pp. 18