What to buy?

Here are my finds from the last garden festival!

Heres my big light at the end of this cold and wintry tunnel.  Just in time for spring, The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville will be holding their annual garden festival March 20th and 21st.  There will be lots of vendors, selling crafts, food, and anything garden related, but the highlight for me is the huge selection of hard-to-find plants such as bromeliads, succulents and gingers.  Every time I go to a huge plant sale like this, I always end up buying nothing but bromeliads, but this year I'm going to take a more practical approach and look for specific areas of my garden.  Will you guys help me think of some plants to look for?

I'm looking for plants that can handle the swampy conditions of the backyard, such as gingers, alocasias and so forth.  What I need most of all is a great low growing plant that handles periodic flooding. Liriope Spicata is working out well so far, but I'd like to find something more interesting.  Any ideas?  I also want to replace my african iris plants, which tolerate the flooding okay, but seem to dwindle in the shade.  Maybe  papyrus?

Heres a photo of the site.

In the rainy season we get water all the way up to the island bed, and the grass looks awful there for most of the year.  If we didn't have a dog I would just let moss grow, but Panda kicks it up before it has a chance to establish.  I have agapanthus in a raised bed to the left and behind the elephant ears, but it has to be in the raised bed because the floods have killed the others.  To the right is the african iris, which I'm looking to replace.  Any ideas?  Thank you all for your help thus far!


  1. I have just this same situation in my own backyard. I can't tell you how many plants I have drowned in this area. What I CAN tell you is what has worked. Cyperus Papyrus and Cyperus Involucratus are tall grasses which have done well both when there is standing water and when the area is dry like it is now. the Involucratus fared better through the cold weather. I had two clumps of the Paypyrus but only one has new growth showing now. The Involucratus burned a bit on the tops of the fronds but has kept pushing out new growth to where it is still very much a presence in my freeze-ravaged garden. A shorter grass that I love is Juncus Effusus 'sprialis'. It never skipped a beat all winter. The edge of this area gets some sun and cannas have done well there, but they go dormant in cold weather just like the gingers and alocasias. Please post about what you plant in this area.

  2. Hopefully we will be emerging soon from our continual flooding. I have found the beehive gingers to be the most amazing plants - they grow tall and graceful, and the flowers stay throughout the season - simply getting bigger and better! The variegated costus is also always in flower and the variegated leaves would add interest amongst the green. They certainly dont mind wet feet! I think you already have a tree fern, but that does well and looks lovely with impatients crawling around its feet. Have lots of fun in Gainesville!

  3. Hmmm...I could tell you a million things NOT to plant. Much harder to find ideas of the other. I have a couple of wet-though-well-drained areas, where I grow curcumas, cannas, ti plants, stromanthe, and impatiens. Sorry I don't have any more creative ideas. I do have an areca palm, a couple different strelitzias, and a clerodendron in wet areas, but those are all super cold-tender.

  4. I have 3 plants that do well in standing water...flag, Louisiana and Brazilian iris. All 3 withstood the cold weather. The flowers on the flag are yellow or blue...Brazilian is blue...Louisiana comes in lots of different colors. The banana trees with red leaves would be stunning.

  5. Hi, Just drop by to see your lovely garden.
    I could suggest some plants that love wet feet.
    Plants like dumbcane species - there are many varigated types which you can indulge with.
    And they do well in both hot & wet conditions.

    You can also try bullrush or bamboo's they will also do well in this condition.


Please feel free to share your questions, ideas and suggestions!