The Q&A Archives: Too much water in the backyard

Question: My backyard has lots of water and lots of shade, how can I provide it with foliage and bushes to soak some of that water. We plan on taking out 2 trees to let more sunlight in the backyard, however, there's poor drainage. money is tight so in 2010 we will put it in French drain in the backyard. thanks so much, Dori

Answer: You are heading in the right direction with your planned curtain drain. Until that time you can plant some soggy soil tolerant plants. You may need to experiment a bit to find which perennials do the best for you, before going whole hog and making extensive plantings of any one thing. However some which tolerate fairly damp situations would include Japanese Iris, Yellow Flag Iris, Hibiscus moscheutos (rose mallow), Joe Pye Weed, lobelia, monarda, lady's mantle and some of the ornamental grasses. Occasionally you will also find that Black-Eyed Susan, Siberian Iris, daylilies (hemerocallis), astilbe, forget-me-nots and assorted hosta will also thrive in a damp spot. Good luck with your plantings!

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