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Flood-proof Flora

Due to the recent and unexpected flooding that has swept across much of Northern England, many would-be horticulturalists have suffered the huge and unwelcome destruction of many of their less established plants. In preparation for future deluges we’ve compiled a list of plants that not only tolerate wet conditions, but thrive in them.

image of Amelanchier lamarckii ‘Ballerina’

Amelanchier lamarckii ‘Ballerina’

This deciduous tree will produce ovate foliage that will go through a transition from bronze in springtime to green to orange and then red as the seasons progress. The spring months will also yield white flowers, to be followed by shiny black autumn fruits.

image of Paulownia tormentosa

Paulownia tormentosa

The ‘Foxglove Tree’ is a large, rounded tree with bold, heart-shaped foliage and striking purple flowers which are formed before the leaves emerge, which themselves will appear in varying shades of green throughout the year.

image of Taxodium distichum

Taxodium distichum

The ‘Swamp Cypress’ is a tall species of conical tree with red-brown bark and feathery green foliage that will fade to yellow-brown in the autumn. It will also produce tan-coloured fruits in the autumn.

image of Cornus alba ‘Ivory Halo’

Cornus alba ‘Ivory Halo’

The ‘Ivory Halo’ is a compact, deciduous shrub with variegated foliage, whose colouring will encompass both dark green, mid-green and rims of pale ivory, hence its name. It will also bear yellow or white flowers in the springtime.

image of Salix purpurea

Salix purpurea

The ‘Purple Willow’ is a large shrub with a creeping growth pattern. Its name is derived from the grey-blue and lilac foliage it produces, as well as the bright purple stems that support it. It will produce silver flowers in the springtime preceded by a throng of tiny catkins.

image of Viburnum opulus ‘Park Harvest’

Viburnum opulus ‘Park Harvest’

This shrub is a large and bushy, deciduous cultivar which will produce red, fading to yellow foliage from spring to autumn, at which time it also produce matching red fruits. Spring time will also see the bloom of white flowers at the stems tips.

image of Astilbe ‘Beauty of Ernst’

Astilbe ‘Beauty of Ernst’

It’s not hard to find the inspiration behind this plants moniker, producing delicate sprigs of pale lilac on bright green, toothed leaves and minute stems. It is dainty and durable, and excellent for filling small spaces with colour.

image of Iris ensata ‘Japanese Water Iris’

Iris ensata ‘Japanese Water Iris’

This Iris is an erect perennial that will produce triple-petal, bright purple flowers and grassy foliage. However, although beautiful, do bear in mind that this plant is highly toxic and may not be suitable for a family garden.

image of Zantedeschia ‘Schwarzwalder’

Zantedeschia ‘Schwarzwalder’

These are a particularly dramatic species of Lily, sporting large trumpet-shaped blooms in a pearlescent shade of red, purple and black and these are off set by broad, green leaves. It will also produce orange fruits in autumn.

There you have it, a nicely varied list of flood-proof plants that can not only endure a deluge, but welcome it – just make sure you keep those soils moist until the flood does come!

By Josh Ellison

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