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shade/bog gardening

Dear all: I need help for a friend's yard...It is his mother's house
which now that she has retired and moved south, he has
"inherited"...with one giant problem...Mom was a huge gardener and he is
not. So now he is faced with the upkeep of an extensive shade garden
collection that he neither knows nor really cares about, but to keep his
mom happy when she visits every so often, he would like to do something
with it while simplifying the work. She was really into hostas in a big
way and they are everywhere. Also tons and tons of lily of the valley
that are spreading like wildfire, even where he doesn't want them
(Kitty...who knew? Sorry!) So, I've agreed to help him revamp all of
those things, but our biggest problem proves to be one of drainage...he
has an area in his yard to which he runs a drainage pipe for rainwater
from his roof that in heavy rains, runs across his yard and floods his
neighbors yard in the corner where the two meet...It's a heavily shaded
area that contains mostly a beautiful collection of lilac trees, a few
hosta and lily of the valley...would the creation of a boggy area there
with cinder block and plastic liner a) be enough to contain the water so
it doesn't flood the neighbors and b) be damaging to the lilacs in any
way? Also, what would one put in a boggy area like that?

Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."    
--Albert Einstein

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