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Re: shade/bog gardening


Wow, Marge! That is an incredible amount of info...gonna print it off
and study it carefully. You are the second person to mention dry wells
and I guess I must have misunderstood Kitty...it sounds like it is
actually filled to the top and grated over so small children/animals
wouldn't be a real problem?? Guess I will look into this more...thanks
and my apologies to Kitty!



Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

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

 --- On Fri 04/23, Marge Talt < mtalt@hort.net > wrote:
From: Marge Talt [mailto: mtalt@hort.net]
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 16:34:49 -0400
Subject: Re: [CHAT] shade/bog  gardening

Well, Melody, if lilacs are growing in this area, it means
it<br>actually has decent drainage as they are not plants that
will<br>tolerate wet feet for very long.<br><br>It appears that the
major problem is that the water is going on down<br>to his neighbor's
yard...<br><br>My experience with water in really heavy downpours is
that once it<br>fills up an area, it will overflow that area and
continue on down<br>hill. This is what happens to my 'bog' garden -
really a damp garden<br>- that is built over the 6" PVC flexible pipe
that picks up water<br>from several downspouts. Once enough water has
fallen to fill all<br>available air space in the garden, water collects
on the surface of<br>the garden - basically in the lower spots there -
and then, when that<br>fills up past the lowest point of the edge, it
drains out and flows<br>down the path around the garden and on down my
hill to a drainage<br>swale that eventually ends up in a creek about 100
feet on down hill.<br><br>So, while creating an artificial 'bog' at the
end of a drain pipe is<br>perfectly possible and in normal rains will
absorb most all of the<br>water without overspill AND will keep the soil
in that garden damp<br>all year around, it will NOT handle all the water
from a really heavy<br>and/or sustained downpour. This means that water
under those circs<br>will still travel into the neighbor's
garden.<br><br>If a section of the neighbor's garden floods during heavy
rains, that<br>means to me that the grades in that garden are not
allowing water to<br>drain away easily - there has to be some depression
there that holds<br>water until it reaches the top before it can drain
out and finds a<br>way further downhill. Unless the drainage in the
neighbor's garden<br>is corrected, this will always happen in a gully
washer, particularly<br>if your friend is collecting water from his
property in one spot<br>adjoining a lower grade at the neighbor's
property...water always<br>goes downhill and will find the easiest way
to do this.<br><br>Your friend can bui

ld a dry well to collect water from his<br>downspouts. This may be more
effective in preventing flooding of his<br>neighbor's yard but, again,
in a major, sustained heavy rain, it, too<br>might overflow.<br><br>The
difference is that a drywell is filled with stones to aid in
the<br>water draining out where a bog garden is lined in plastic to keep
it<br>in:-)<br><br>If you decide to build a bog garden, you do not need
a block wall;<br>just dig a depression about 15" deep and line it with
plastic. Mine<br>took 2 sheets; I just overlapped the joint. Water will
find its way<br>out at the joint, but that's OK, enough is kept in to
keep the soil<br>moist and you do want some drainage so it doesn't get
stagnant. You<br>then need something to conceal the plastic at the edge;
I used logs<br>as I had a major quantity of them, but rocks or flagstone
would do<br>the trick. If you use plain old PVC plastic sheet (6 mil at
least)<br>you have to make sure it is not exposed to sunlight as it
degrades<br>quickly; breaks up in little bits. If it's totally covered
in soil<br>it will last a long time.<br><br>The only harm building a bog
would do the lilacs would be damage to<br>their roots when digging the
hole.<br><br>Depending on the amount of light / sun reaching the
location, there<br>are hundreds of plants that love continually moist to
wet<br>soil....candelabra primroses, carex, astilbes, rushes, Japanese
iris,<br>Siberian iris, Chelone, Veratrum, Lobelia are a few in my
'damp'<br>garden.<br><br>As much as I love my damp garden and wish it
were larger, it is not<br>exactly a low maintenance item, so if your
friend is trying to move<br>that garden into low maintenance, seems to
me he should concentrate<br>on the dry well and stopping as much
flooding of his neighbor's<br>garden as possible and not in creating a
new type of garden to<br>maintain...<br><br>If his roof drain is running
across the garden, maybe it passes a<br>spot where not much is growing
and a dry well could be dug without a<br>lot of problems - or this co

ul
d happen fairly close to the house; far<br>enough away so water doesn't
go toward the foundation, tho' - then<br>the pipe would terminate at
that point instead of where it now does. <br>This also means that any
overflow would be absorbed more by his<br>property before it hit his
neighbor's property.<br><br>Hard to tell what size dry well would be
needed without seeing the<br>situation, but I'd imagine it would need to
be at least 3' in<br>diameter and about that deep to contain a lot of
water. This would<br>be filled with stones of varying size from gravel
to larger and the<br>pipe terminated there. The top needs some kind of
silt cloth to stop<br>it silting up fast and that could be topped with
smaller gravel and<br>planted or a grate put on it; depends on what and
where, etc. I also<br>used perforated drain pipe so that some of the
water would leak out<br>on the way down hill - just waters more land
while containing the<br>major flow. <br><br>When you concentrate water
flow, you always get a larger amount at<br>the spill end than if it
simply travels over land naturally.<br><br>Being on the side of a hill,
drainage and where water goes and what<br>it does while it's doing that
are a continual education and challenge<br>for me. Last year, with the
really heavy rains we had, rain came<br>down our drive so fast that it
dug a trench about a foot deep in the<br>driveway gravel (3/4" bluestone
that's been compacted there 14 years)<br>and pushed the gravel it dug
out down into a border from which I have<br>still to excavate all of it.
And this despite the fact that I'd<br>already dug a foot deep trench
along the edge of the drive to direct<br>the flow during heavy rain; the
water ignored that one and made<br>another to suit itself! My trench
works fine during normal rains. <br>It took half of my pea gravel walk -
down to and including the stone<br>dust under it and some of the larger
rocks I'd put under that! - down<br>the hill...gotta solve that little
problem one of these days; gettin'<br>tired of hauling

that stuff back up hill.<br><br>You really need to simply observe what
water is doing during heavy<br>downpours a while to figure out what you
need to do to divert it or<br>otherwise mitigate the force.
<br><br>Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland<br>mtalt@hort.net<br>Editor:
Gardening in
Shade<br>-----------------------------------------------<br>Current
Article: Battling
Bambi<br>http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/shade_gardening<br>------------------------------------------------<br>Complete
Index of Articles by Category and
Date<br>http://mtalt.hort.net/article-index.html<br>------------------------------------------------<br>All
Suite101.com garden topics :<br>

    http://www.suite101.com/topics.cfm/635<br><br>----------<br>>

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

in
er a) be enough to contain the<br>water so<br>> it doesn't flood the
neighbors and b) be damaging to the lilacs in<br>any<br>> way? Also,
what would one put in a boggy area like
that?<br><br>---------------------------------------------------------------------<br>Support
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