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Landscaping advice for damp corner

Hello I was hoping I could get some advice on a pesky corner of my garden I have been putting off until now.

It is in a corner approximately 4m square between two houses (ours and a neighbours) and as a result gets no direct sunlight at all. Grass finds it hard to grow there and so it is mostly weeds, brambles, crocosmia and moss. The previous +1 owners had built a pond which had already been neglected for sometime when we arrived. The pond takes up about a third of this space. When it rains, the ground is very spongey under foot and our soil is heavy clay.

My plan was to remove the pond and fill the space with a large bed of shade and damp clay soil loving plants like ferns, brunnera and astilbe and evergreen shrubs. (Note: There was nothing living in the pond as it had become completely overrun with iris rhizomes which filled the entire thing. I have just managed to remove these so we are left with the plastic pond shell in the ground. Our garden also needs to be dog and child safe which is the most important thing currently.)

But now I'm wondering if the pond was put there to counteract the dampness in the corner. So my question is which is better to reduce the boggyness of this corner, a plastic shelled pond or lots and lots of plants? 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Bad location for a pond if it gets very little light.  :)
    Better to work with what you have, and plant lots of bog lovers. Loads to choose from, and those will also help soak up excess water. Acteas are another good damp shade plant, and also Camassias, but you'll get plenty of suggestions anyway if you're stuck.  :)

    It's also worth checking the reason for the water retention - ie is there a damaged pip or blocked drain, or run off from buildings, or is it just a high water table etc.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,070
    Bog garden is safer than a pond for small children. With a pond you'd have to fence it off or watch them all the time they're in the garden. In any case a plastic-lined pond won't take up water from the soil around it because it's not permeable.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • so.phieso.phie Posts: 20
    Thank you both, great advice. I will continue with the plants!  :)
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