First Problem area of new yard

nannerbelle(8A)February 9, 2014

Well I'm already looking for thoughts on the first problem area I found in the new yard. This is a bed beside the garage and driveway. We have already had a good bit of rain here, we are over the average already. This area gets almost zero sun and area is pretty wet now. The plans I have right now is to use some tile pavers around the generator and electric service boxes so there is a good maintenance area for workmen in the future. Then use the area closest to the garage for a planting area. Right now my idea is perhaps a small decorative pond and some bog plants around it. But I'm kinda hesitant to add more water to a wet area. The area is timbered in to hold the gravel for the driveway in place. So I'm looking for ideas from you guys. I've not done much gardening in shade and wet in the past, so this is kinda new territory to me. Link with a couple pics of the area below so you can see what I'm looking at. Ideas my friends??????

Here is a link that might be useful: Bog bed area

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nannerbelle(8A)

One more thing I meant to add, I've got gutters and 4 rain barrels being installed next week to try to keep some of the water confined for plants and away from the house foundation. So I hope this cuts down a little on the water in this area.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 8:00PM
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trianglejohn

I would add some sort of drainage pipe to move water in the soil away from the house. Just those simple perforated plastic drain pipes buried in a trough of gravel or you could make sloping trenches that you fill with coarse gravel. On my gravel driveway I have a low & wet spot as it curves around the backside of the house. I am putting in two regular sized drains and one massive deep - concrete lined drain. Anytime we get a 3 inch rain the entire neighbor drains towards my house, down the driveway, around to the backside of the house and forms a pond which eventually seeps into the basement. Even though it doesn't happen that often, I would rather over build the drainage than deal with the occasional damage.

Small ponds in the shade can be pretty buggy but having a pond as the end point to all the drainage lets you store the water in case we ever go through a severe drought.

Some of the clumping ornamental grasses can handle clay and wet feet and any plant will take water out of the soil. Once you have that area planted you may not have the puddling that you do now. Broader leaved things seem to move more water than tiny leaves or needle leaved plants.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:58PM
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butterfly4u

Nanner,
Great place for your Elephant ears!
Right next to the garage, in the shade, and damp alot!
The Black EE I had last summer, I brought in the house.
It's a good thing I did now, with this horribly cold weather.
Anyway, I would be really tempted to plant them there.
They would look really nice in front of that part of the wall.
The EE that love water.
Oh, your gonna have sooo much fun this year!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:31PM
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nannerbelle(8A)

Butterfly, you pegged one of my favorites for this spot. I'm leaning toward some Black Magics there. As for the ones I have now sleeping in the garage, I don't have any that are real shade lovers. They are all sun lovers, Kona Coffee Cups, Jacks Giants and some others I have no name for. I'm also thinking of throwing in some ferns, and some Hosta. Any recommendations for some color to go with that mix? The bed will be roughly 7 ft wide and about 14ft. long so I have some good room there. The grasses are something I like the idea of as well. I love them but never been super successful with anything other than Fountain grass. I think the plants will solve the water issue, especially if I put a few thirsty ones out there. If I could find a shade loving banana, that would be perfect to go along with this mix. And the drain is always an option, hubby recommended that first, but I want to try to correct with plants first.

This post was edited by nannerbelle on Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 22:51

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:46PM
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trianglejohn

The bananas I've grown didn't like to sit in water. Oh they sure like it to rain everyday but they hate wet feet. If the spot still stays wet you could half sink large containers in the muck and plant bananas in fluffy/fiber-ey mix and let them reach down into the mud through the drain hole in the pot and stay happy that way.

Lemon grass would like it wet. They do best in full sun but I think I've seen them growing in part sun before. The best large ornamental grass for wet solid clay soil is the native Ravena grass but it wants full sun.

Calla lilies (the white ones) like wet soil and will survive shade, they may not bloom as much. Any of the color forms tend to like dryer soil (they're bred from a different species).

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:05PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

How about an espaliered loropetalum. That's a lot of barren
wall space you have there.
Or, you could do a trio of camellias but I think the burgundy leaves of loropetalum would make a nice contrast against the grey siding.
You'd have to shear it annually but it would definitely fit the vertical and horizontal space as well as the shallow depth of the bed.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:16PM
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nannerbelle(8A)

I like that idea with the burgundy leaves. That is a beautiful plant. It would contrast well with some of the green from some EE's or some fern. And you are right, that is a huge piece of real estate for the wall background. I don't think the picture takes in the whole thing. And it does need something badly to break it up.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 1:29PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I didn't mean espaliered but I couldn't remember 'trellised'
at the time.
I have one at my other house and the yard guys shear it after blooming and again in November after its lesser fall
bloom.
It's planted about 18-20" from the foundation in a bed that is not as deep as yours but almost as moist (and supplemented by irrigation head). Only gets AM sun until about noon and blooms like crazy.
If you get one, make sure it is already trained to a wood trellis. The wood will rot eventually but by then, the form will be correct and entirely self supporting.
The landscapers graded the bed so the crown of the plant was safe from being submerged.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:27PM
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