"I'm not really a career person.I'm a gardener,basically.".....George Harrison

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Want Ad:

Since Saturday afternoon,we have received this much rain….


Wanted: Opinions from all gardeners.

The Problem #1:low areas in a landscape,created by the roots of huge,magnificent,old-growth Florida Oaks.These areas are in almost total shade most of the day.The oaks must stay.

A partial solution: After all the rains of this past weekend,we dug this out.


With a gentle slope down to the water’s edge.More tree roots still need to be removed.Plantings were removed and relocated to higher areas.

According to YardBoy (I was at work),during the downpours,today,it worked quite well.Now,the plan is to cover the dirt with weed block,fill in with pea gravel,and line the pseudo-pathway with larger rocks.Thoughts?Are we headed in the right direction?

The Problem #2:Slopes in the yard,created by the roots of the oaks.

IMG_0315 The left and right arrows point to low areas(that are under water whenever it rains);

the middle arrow points to the new carved out pathway.

We’re thinking we probably need to get a couple of yards of topsoil in,and fill these areas in.The higher areas are tree roots.As we are on a lake,the water table goes up and down depending on the rainfall,etc.Right now,it’s quite “soggy”,as the lake level is up high.

We are aware we created part of the “problem” when the pool was put in,and the first GreatWall was put in.Yards of good soil were brought in,which created a favorable environment for the oaks.Thus,the roots…..A conundrum,to be sure……

We were all for the rain garden idea,but after research,we realized the areas are in shade 90% of the day,even during the summer.Rain gardens need more sun than that.The other problem is we want to leave a grassy area for the grand kiddoes to play in.We don’t have much grass,but the gardens are for the kiddoes,too.We think they’ll enjoy the new rocky area down to the water.Running and hiding out in a garden are part of kids enjoying gardens,too.

So,fellow garden bloggers,tie on your thinking caps,and give us your best shot……

All ideas welcomed with open arms……


Meems said...

Hi Chris,
This rain has been great... nice and steady and we know the sun will be out soon enough to dry us out quickly.

It's kind of hard to get the full picture from a post but from what I can tell I think the rock pathway might reduce your low-lying area problem. The water would seep down into the earth through the rocks which would help with erosion of the ground there.

It will be interesting to see what other opinions/ideas you get.

Susan said...

Hi Chris...It looks like you've got a little too much of a good thing going on. My husband is an expert in re-routing water. Let's see he's put in French drains, and God knows we've got miles of PVC underground. Needless to say, he obsesses over it! Maybe one of these ideas can help you. Good luck!

NanaK said...

Oh dear, flooded areas can be a real problem. I just planted gingers and rushes and cannas in mine. I don't really have anywhere to re-route the water except to my neighbor's yard. Your drain idea sounds like a good one and may do a lot to take the water away from your grassy area. I've never used weed block, but are you sure that will drain well? Let us know what you do and how it works.

Brando said...

Hi, Chris! Ok, this is what I've been told about the drainage problem. Ha, I now want to smack myself when I recall that as you were asking Meems about drainage I commented that there was no need to worry about drainage as it didn't rain as much as it should. No wonder you looked at me like "what?!" My yard has an area that has had a foot of water in it since Sunday. So far, my rain gauge has totaled 13" of rain since Sunday morning. Enough already!

Ok, drainage. You've got the right idea, and I'm no expert, but I was told that you put the larger rocks on the bottom, and the smaller ones on the top. Google French Drains. That's really what this is, and yes, I'm contemplating how big to build one for my "pond".

But the rain has been nice..

Brando said...

Oh, one last thing, for you and NanaK--I have weed block down on the walkway that I've yet to finish...and with 13" of rain, it's still firm footing under it, so it doesn't hold water. (thank goodness)

Gayle said...

I am of the "build it up" variety, but I also own my own dumptruck. I guess I am fortunate and dry. Your rain fall is our's in most years! I'd check into Susan's underground pvc pipes and flood the neighbor. (Just 'cause I'm not so neighborly...I have two acres and my neighbor is too close!) Good luck. Someday you need to take the full photo...you know from across the yard. All the photos are close up and it is hard to "get the bigger picture".

Ami said...

Chris: As you know, I recently made the path way, with weedblock and pea size gravels. Still need to put the bigger rock and stepstones on. So far it seems working. I also heard about french draining system, but for me it is too much work. With raised bed, and raised level path, the water should be able to flow to the lower point.


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