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Soggy bottom on a sloping garden.

(10 Posts)
Fluffycloudland77 Sun 19-Mar-17 18:06:52

Our gardens about 2ft lower at the bottom of the garden and the lawn is going mossy. It's a bit soggy.

But, the gardens south facing and that area gets sun for most of the day it's just that it doesn't get to the ground in the one corner.

So, do I need to look for plants who like bog conditions or plants that like sun?.

I'm hoping that if we put plenty of grit and fertiliser down we could have a border planted.

shovetheholly Sun 19-Mar-17 18:43:59

When you say that the sun doesn't get to the ground, do you mean that it reaches that corner but higher up (and if so how high?)? And how soggy is soggy?

(There will be an answer whatever the conditions! But woodland edge is a bit different from deep shade).

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 19-Mar-17 19:26:23

Soggy as bit squelchy in winter but damp in summer. The fence is in the way of the sun so about the first foot gets reduced light.

It's not boggy, just the one corner has moss.

Pollyanna9 Sun 19-Mar-17 19:30:31

I guess unless you want to create a 'bog' type planting scenario you have to address the lack of light and dampness issues you have in that area.

From what I've done with lawns in the past you need a rake and regular raking to get the moss out. Then sprinkle sand/compost (combo??) and sew grass seed to overcome the moss. But because of the conditions you'd constantly have to be vigilant to remove moss regularly with raking so it didn't take hold, going forward.

Other posters, tell me if this is wrong advice but I'm sure it's right!!

traviata Sun 19-Mar-17 20:04:25

It doesn't sound like a bog. Bog plants need to have their roots in wet wet ground all year round, and are happy in a puddle.

It sounds as though the sun for part of the day is not going to be the most important feature of that spot. The trick is to find plants that will not rot in squelchy ground over the winter, and your plan to dig in grit sounds good.

I suggest you look for plants that like moist soil - you can search that phrase.

Some examples; most of these are described as suitable for shade, but they would be fine with sun for part of the day;
iris sibirica;
shuttlecock fern
tellima grandiflora
cornus canadensis
some ferns
some geraniums

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 19-Mar-17 20:23:12

Right, that's the quandary. It's always sunny there but damp.

The lawns coming out down there anyway.

shovetheholly Mon 20-Mar-17 07:20:59

I am a great believer in the creative power of laziness grin - in using the conditions you have, to their fullest, without constantly battling to turn them into something different. There are a load of plants that like the kind of conditions you have - astilbes, schizostylis, primulas (not the awful bedding ones - look for beesiana, bulleyesiana, japonica etc), damp-loving hardy geraniums all spring to mind. Beth Chatto's book 'The Damp Garden' is an an amazing source of inspiration, with a range of both sun and shade-loving plants.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 20-Mar-17 09:18:59

Well that's what I'm thinking. The slope ends on a brick wall, then next doors garden has drainage pipes coming out of the bricks but gravity alone will encourage the water to drain away.

Part of me wonders if it's the lack of plants causing the dampness. I was thinking of copying this.

shovetheholly Mon 20-Mar-17 10:04:48

Putting some plants in will certainly help! If it's really soggy, it's well worth putting in a bit of grit and a LOT of organic matter. The main danger with very soggy sites is lack of oxygen in the soil, which can wreak havoc with any plant that isn't very specifically adapted for it.

One of the difficult things about heavy, damp clay is determining what it's like in midsummer - is it still damp and claggy, or does it become hard and dry? I'd say that looks like a good plant list for soggy but not boggy conditions - my one slight reservation would be that hosta leaves can go a bit crispy in very warm, direct sun. Stuff like Ligularia is very thirsty indeed, and a great choice for your site. I'm on heavy clay in a north-facing garden in the north and sometimes mine still wilts and requires a bit of perking up with rainwater in midsummer. 'The rocket' is a cracker - it really is like a slow-mo firework in summer.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 20-Mar-17 10:25:04

It's still damp, it's gets dry on top in really hot weather but no hardness.

I picked that garden because I though the plants would be ok in the soil so it's nice to know I'm not a mile out. The hosta can go in the shady corner.

I've got an acer I want to squeeze in somewhere.

Thank you everyone, I'll take the plant list up to the local trade nursery and ask for a quote on small plants, with loads of sun & lovely moist soil I'm hoping everything will grow well. They'll have organic matter.

Might even go mad & put some Spring flowering bulbs in shock

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