Saturday, September 29, 2012

Drainage Solution - a Dry Pond

The back yard of our house presents a drainage issue, as it slopes down toward our house.  We also have a thick vein of clay that surrounds the back corner of the house.  Thus when it rains, we end up with a big swampy bog right next to the corner of our house that refuses to drain for quite some time.


My kids would probably be fine with me keeping the area as a giant muddy play area, but I needed a solution that was a little more ascetically pleasing.  Last spring I mulched the area.  It looked nice, but rainstorms would push piles of mulch around the corner of the house and into my shade garden.

So I tilled/dug/pick-axed it up the best I could:

the BEFORE picture
My solution?  A little dry pond.

the AFTER picture
I dug as deeply as I could in the clay, lined it with landscaping fabric, and filled it in with rock.  Surrounding it I planted plants that can handle moist soil and will (hopefully) be okay with the morning shade/afternoon sun conditions that that corner gets.

dry pond and plants
It should probably be called the dry 'puddle' as it is so small!  The plants should fill in and soften the look of the area before too long.  I used plants from different parts of the yard that needed to be moved, as well as a couple plants I had picked up earlier in the summer:  'Kaleidoscope' Abelia, 'Little Joe' Joe Pye Weed, 'ACE Basin' Seashore Mallow, 'Cinderella' Swamp Milkweed, and Variegated Northern Sea Oats.  I added some annual violas as well to fill up the space.


Last night we had a large rainstorm, and I was delighted to see that the pond actually worked in capturing the water.  In fact it even overflowed just a little bit - I might have to make my pond a little larger so that mulch won't wash into the pond!

With all the rain, the pond overflowed a bit, washing some mulch out from the edges
But it's still prettier than the muddy swamp, as much as my kids liked it.  And all the frogs back there will probably enjoy it too, which should pacify the kids!  (In fact, the frog home building has already started...)

18 comments:

  1. Welcome to India!
    I see that the problem of drainage of the garden is already solved.
    Grasses are beautiful ornament. It takes some time to be grown.
    Have a nice day and solve all the problems of garden.
    Lucia

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  2. Indie, your dry pond in a great project! As any other pond it needs a work and an imagination. I love the round stones, light gray color, good size.

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  3. What a great solution! Hope the frogs like their new home, they are so entertaining :-)

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  4. bravo for the hard work, and no doubt with time you'll get all the reward from this tricky part of your garden !

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  5. I laughed at the first photo! Children do love mud puddles, at least my boys did. I like your solution. It should be lovely once the plants fill in. Have a great week!

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  6. Very creative solution. I'm in Cary and battle similar conditions. My entire back yard was a muddy swamp until I turned it into a muddy garden. Winterberry holly and louisiana iris are my best friends now! It's always interesting hearing how other gardeners in the area deal with the soggy clay that is a part of life down here.

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  7. What a great idea and it looks great...love the plants you added especially that variegated River Oats.

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  8. Water draining toward the house never sounds good. You have come up with a good solution, although I bet it's not near as fun stomping around on those rocks as it was stomping in the mud! ;)

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  9. Wow, great solution! And I like the sound of the plant combinations you used to surround it.

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  10. That was a very good idea! And it looks so nice, too. I like when things are functional and pleasing to the eye at the same time.

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  11. A very handsome solution to your problem. And I do not envy you having to dig any kind of hole in all that clay! Frog serenades sound like a good reward though.

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  12. I am interested in your frog home. I want to see how you construct that, or do the frogs do it? Either way, it will be a fun spot.

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  13. Ah, there's always an answer to our gardening problems, you have come up with the perfect solution and it looks good.

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  14. What an imaginative solution to a very tricky problem. I like the way your drainpipe is heading into the pond too. Brilliant! Here's to the frogs!

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  15. How brilliant is that! It already looks really neat but will look quite different when the plants grow and fill in. Well done!

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  16. I've been enjoying our pond area, and it's been working well with all the rain we've been getting lately! I can't wait to see how it looks with all the plants filled in. The kids are the ones building all sorts of little homes for the frogs - so far they've usually looked like interesting constructions of pinecones and rocks :)

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  17. How splendid is that! It looks truly slick yet will look very changed when the plants develop and fill in. sewer lining

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  18. Pipes then again is a totally extraordinary story. Consider it.!
    www.drainblasters.co.nz

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