Forum home Problem solving

Watterlogged soil, everything rotting

Anyone got any bright ideas ? I'm constrained by the fact that the garden is not actually my property and putting in proper drainage or any major works would not be possible.

One thing I'm thinking of is to put more stuff in pots rather than the ground, but would like some plants that would be happy in the wet  ground too.



  • Ligularia, Rodgersia and Gunnera come to mind. Bamboo is also very tolerant of damp ground, but not winter drowning, which sounds like what you have.

    Can you put a shallow ditch down the side of the lowest part of the garden? That will drain out the worst water to one spot. Something 30cm wide and 50cm deep will collate the water from the rest of the garden as long as it is lower.

  • imageits difficult because any garden that's had the deluge we have had this year could not with out major drainage cope.Plant pots are fine as long as they have the right mix of soil and grit as they become waterlogged too if they don't have the right drainage.If its not your garden you need to ask the owners how they want their garden to be.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,391

    Astilbes and candelabra primulas are lovely and like wet soil.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,850

    Waterlogged is the picture for this year. Come 2013 it could all change again. A few years ago Mediterranean gardens were all the rage. A couple of years later it became clear that this wasn't the way forward. We need to grow a variety of plants and something will always survive. I expect to lose a few things in a dry summer, watering a garden the size of mine is not an option. Last year I lost borderline hardy plants after prolonged very cold weather. This year I expect several plants will succumb to drowning but a lot will survive. I think this is the nature of gardening. A lot of what we grow didn't evolve in a climate like ours and can't take the extremes that come from time to time.

    Take heart blueberry, next summer will be better (please)

  • My borders are waterlogged as well and I lost several shrubs last year from the same problem. No doubt I'll lose a few things this year. Just when the borders look as if they are drying out along comes another downpour. I agree it's very disheartening to see plants that you've nurtured for years , end up in the compost bin. Especially the ones I'd grown from seeds or cuttings. My topsoil is lovely stuff that I've worked on for 40 years, but deep down is solid clay, so the water sits on top of that. It's difficult to predict what the weather is going to do and plant accordingly, because as nutcutlet says a few years back we had drought and hot sunny spells, so we planted plants to cope. We can't just dig all those out and start again. So it's a lottery. Just keep your fingers crossed we get a mixture of weather and then some of the garden will thrive !

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,493

    I garden on clay as well - couldn't believe it when I dug a hole on a slope to plant a bare root rose and it promptly filled with water!  I planted three bare root David Austin roses about ten days ago and it's rained pretty nonstop ever since (Bath, Somerset). I'm wondering whether to dig them up again and just pot them up until it dries out a bit - they were too expensive to lose! 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,850

    I think you sould rescue them Busylizzie. You'll be sure of their survival that way.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,391

    Busylizzie27 hello, who are you? This could get a bit confusing.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Hi there blueberry yep its all looking pretty soggy out there. I'm not in an owned garden either so have most stuff in pots, some in a shed, some in pair of mini plastic greenhouses and others just brazening it out on the patio, Think pots are good for damage limitation. Lawns are another matter!! Total bog ! Will have to be dealt with in spring when things are eventually drier (I hope!!) Good luck ! image


  • Thanks for the suggestions. It's not a big space and I like to grow mostly veg, herbs, cottage garden flowers. There is a very slight slope so maybe I should just write off the end where it has puddled the worst.

    Would it help if I put a load of straw down to soak up the water at the wettest part - then compost the straw when it starts to rot down ?

Sign In or Register to comment.