Who'll Stop the Rain? 20 Great Plants for Soggy Soil

Many of you are asking: "Will the rain ever stop?" So I consulted Jim Cantore, Gonzo Hurricane Chaser and Prophet of Doom for the Weather Channel. The answer is, "No. It's going to rain every day until the last vestige of Earth disappears under the water on December 21, 2012. Get your end-of-days plan ready."

The scene above was the Grump's croquet court just two weeks ago. Oh, how I loved quaffing sherry while hobnobbing among the wickets with my high and mighty society friends who wouldn't be seen with the likes of you! But now it's just another malarial swamp choked by weeds and patrolled by water moccasins. And I was on the verge of beating the tar out of Prince Charles and Warren Buffett!

Now a lot of people will undoubtedly be depressed to learn that it's going to rain every single day for the rest of their lives. But I say it all depends on how you look at it. Is the glass half-full or is it filled to overflowing? If it's the latter, put on a happy face and fill your world with wonderful water-loving plants to brighten your day for the remaining three or so years we all have left. Here are some trees, shrubs, flowers, and bulbs you should plant right now between bolts of lightning.

The Grump's Favorite Trees for Wet Soil

1. Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) *

2. Sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana)

3. Red or swamp maple (Acer rubrum)

4. Water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) *

5. Sycamore (Plantanus occidentalis)

* Tolerates submerged roots

Fave Shrubs for Wet Soil

Virginia sweetspire -- spring bloom

1. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidetalis) *

2. Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

3. Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)

4. Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

5. Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) *

* Tolerates submerged roots

Beauteous Boggy Bloomers

Cardinal flower -- hummingbird favorite

1. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) *

2. Crinum lily (Crinum sp).

3. Ginger lily (Hedychium sp.)

4. Ironweed (Vernonia sp).

5. Japanese primrose (Primula japonica)

6. Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium pupureum)

7. Pitcher plant (Sarracenia sp,)

8. Canna (Canna sp.) *

9. Texas star (Hibiscus coccineus) *

10. Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus) *

* Will tolerate submerged roots

Water Hyacinth Warning!!

Once you know the whole world is going to drown, invasive plants don't seem that big a deal. Nonetheless, I am honor bound by my sacred oath sworn before the Order of the Pink Flamingo to warn you about those pretty lilac-colored flowers floating on the water in the shot of my former pleasure garden. They are water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes), one of the worst water-loving plants you can inflict on nature. They're OK in an aquarium or birdbath, but releasing them into the wild where they're cold-hardy (Zone 7 and below) is like setting loose Charlie Sheen in the showgirls' dressing room. Things get out of control. Water hyacinths multiply incredibly fast and eventually cover large bodies of water. The sweep of them above probably started from a single plant some jerk threw out about 15 minutes ago.

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