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Waterlogged area

BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 1,455
Our back garden slopes down towards a shed/patio area and has poor drainage. As a result the lowest part of the lawn often gets saturated and a 'pond' forms during periods of heavy rainfall. The soil is heavy clay but the main problem is the amount of crap that was left not very far below the surface (presumably when the house was built in 1971). The photo shows the problem at its worst.

I'm considering planting along the end of the lawn (from the japonica towards the camera) with something that would soak up some of the moisture and alleviate the situation somewhat (as well as breaking up the look of the garden, generally). I'd be removing the curved cornerstone, digging the strip over as deep as my creaky back allows and adding the necessary to the growing medium. Ideally, I'd like something that would produce edibles. Small fruit trees/bushes? Blueberries (providing I create the correct acidic soil?). It would be about a 2m long stretch so potential for a few different plants and a trellis could be attached to the shed if required. Any thoughts/ideas folks?



  • A red stemmed Cornus would cheer that area up in winter and enjoy the damp conditions, or maybe one of the small decorative willows. Elderberries don't seem to mind wet either, mine self seed along a stream, and you can  choose a pretty one and still use the berries or flowers if you prefer. The blueberry might do better with something else hogging a lot of the water, but they do like sun. Blackcurrants are less picky on that score. Would a fruit tree have enough room to grow in the space you are planning?
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 1,455
    Thanks @Buttercupdays. I don't mind how much of the lawn gets lost to accommodate so all your options are on the possible list  :) 

    The shed wall in the picture is east facing so the area in question gets sun (the closer to the camera you get, the sunnier the spot). I was thinking the blueberry would be better furthest from the deep end  ;) so you've matched my thinking on that  :) 
  • Ferdinand2000Ferdinand2000 Posts: 470
    edited October 2020
    Remember that blueberries prefer to be in pairs. And you get more blueberries. I have never seen a variety where that did not apply.

    If you left a small pond next to a blueberry in a container you would have rainwater to hand to water it with.

    if your bones are creaking could you shell out a few £ to get a labourer in to dig it over .. One morning should have an impact, and perhaps you have other heavy jobs that have been waiting for you.


    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 1,455
    Noted @Ferdinand2000. I like your thinking.

    In terms of hired help, though, my current problem is that the only thing in worse condition than my back, is my bank balance  :( 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,145
    You can't fundamentally change your soil pH @Biglad . If you don't have suitable soil for blueberries, you'll need to keep them contained, and not in contact with the open soil, as the container soil will eventually return to an alkaline pH, if that's what you have. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • SydRoySydRoy Posts: 166
    I know you said edibles but have you ever fancied a pond? You could make it slightly raised with many aquatic plants. Just a thought.
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 1,455
    I have considered it @SydRoy but I don't think it would go down too well with OH and eldest. They aren't big fans of insects or amphibians. We currently have both but at a level that they don't notice too much  ;)

    Attracting more might break the camel's back and lead to demand for an artificial lawn and removal of all flora  :(  

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 25,361
    Make it a bog garden and plant things like filipendula, ligularia, astilbe, smaller salix you can coppice, cornus alba, rodgersia and so on.

    You'd need to dig out the crud and put in plenty of compost cos, while they don't mind moisture they do need good soil for nutrients.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SydRoySydRoy Posts: 166
    Obelixx said:
    Make it a bog garden and plant things like filipendula, ligularia, astilbe, smaller salix you can coppice, cornus alba, rodgersia and so on.

    Great idea.. would never be without a bog garden. Frogs like 'em too tho.. :p
  • I suppose the other thing you could do is put in a soakaway, but you would need to know at least something about water table, drainage routes and the subsoil to be convinced it would work.

    Digging a 1m x 1m x 1m hole and filling it with gravel is a big job if it makes no difference  B) .
    “Rivers know this ... we will get there in the end.”
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