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Garden Photo of the Day

Loving the Swamp

Turning swampy conditions into an asset

Dora Smith shared these photos of her eastern North Carolina garden. She writes:

I feel very lucky to have several different planting environments in my yard, specifically my swamp. Over the years, I have cleared out and planted plants that are suitable for those specific areas. Most of the plantings have to take place in the winter when I don’t have to worry so much about snakes and gators. I’ve also added sculptures and ornaments to give the garden more definition.

Swampy, wet conditions may seem difficult, but many beautiful plants love growing in wetlands. It is possible to alter your garden conditions by adding drainage, but often the best and easiest approach is to simply lean into the natural attributes of your garden and choose plants that will thrive there without fuss.

Many irises, including Japanese (Iris ensata, Zone 5 – 9) and Louisiana irises (Louisiana hybrid group, Zone 5 – 9) love wet soil and grow their tallest with constantly wet feet. Though most irises bloom most abundantly when grown in full sun, many will adapt to partial shade, as they have here.

Dramatic sculptures serve as focal points for the garden at all times of the year. And, unlike plants, they are picky about the amount of drainage in the soil!

A Japanese-style gate welcomes you into the garden.

Who could resist strolling down this lush green path to enjoy the plantings and sculptures along the way and see what is hidden around the next curve?

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  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/11/2018

    Somehow I missed this post. Wow! Love that moss path. Actually I love it all!

  2. NCYarden 05/11/2018

    Not sure how this one slipped by, but glad I'm here now. Greeting fellow NC gardener - where in NC are yo?. Interesting setting in which to garden - never a lack of moisture I assume - haha. You've created quite the scenery. The Japanese maples are wonderful. Love the paths - totally mossome!

  3. cheryl_c 05/11/2018

    Didn't receive this post yesterday, but am glad I found it today! Beautiful Japanese gate, and I love your oriental accents throughout. Would bet some pitcher plants might enjoy your space - what zone are you? It is chiggers that keep me out of some of my gardens in the heat of summer - they are just now starting up. But snakes the size you have would be a bit more intimidating to me! Garden bravely!

  4. BTucker9675 05/11/2018

    What a wonderful place! Your lovely irises remind me of the ones we planted in/by the shallow pond and stream in our Franklin Lakes back garden. After a couple of years, they were so dense and tall that my husband called that area Jurassic Park because it looked so primordial!

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