I have a spot along the sidewalk that runs the width of the back of the house where I"d like to create a small bed. This spot is very moist in winter because of the water that runs off my deck when it rains heavily. So, I need plants that can handle a good deal of moisture in the soil, even though I will try to raise the bed a bit. I want a grouping that includes shrubs, and possibly a small ornamental tree. I hope to have something there that will get a good 5-6' of height, for interest. The area gets early morning sun, then shade, then some late afternoon sun.
So far I know that willows do well with 'wet feet' in winter. Any other small ornamental or specimen tree that would? Other ideas I have are astilbe, hosta, and maybe some japanese iris. The red-twigged dogwood bushes sound like a good choice, but I'd have to be sure I wouldn't end up with one that grows too large.