In progress indicator

Boggy back garden!

In progress indicator
Full size image

Question from stella maddalena


House rules are loading...

In progress indicator

We are processing your monitoring request...

In progress indicator

In progress indicator

Comment on a listing

Comment on a listing

Comment on a listing

Cancel and close this form

My back garden is by woodland. Leaves and algae from the tree combined with boggy, wet conditions and soil make the garden unmanageable. Each year I redo the lawn to no avail, starting from seed and trying to cope with all the leaves that fall. Do you have any suggestions of what I can do with this small backgarden ie is it worth returfing using turf rather than seed, and do you have any ideas about plants? Each Spring, for the last four years, I have to start all over again, PLEASE HELP! The garden always feels damp and quite dark and the soil is poor quality only like plants like aucubas, choisya ternatas, but no matter how dry it gets the grass is always left wet and boggy. Thank you.

  • Views: 2261
  • Replies: 6
  • Posted: Thu. 15th April 2010 19:16

No quick fixes!

Reply from Matt Nichol

Hi Stella

There is no simple answer to this. Faced with dealing with this for a client I would need to explore many aspects of the relationship between the garden; client, building, surroundings, long term aspirations for the space, immediate needs and practical requirements for the garden.

You are clearly fighting the prevailing conditions which is not helping your enjoyment of the space. Lawn is not the answer from what you have written, so why do you feel you need a lawn? If it is not too large a garden, would paving areas and planting make the space easier to maintain and more interesting to look at? Who wants wet feet all the time!

Matt Nichol MSGD

  • Posted: Thu. 15th April 2010 19:30

boggy garden

Reply from melissa johnson

hia,i had a boggy garden in my old house so i planted plants that were real hard....pampas grass small conifers rose bushes...i found these could cope,plants that i planted that were specificly for boggs died in the summer as the ground then would be like a brick cause of the amount of clay in my soil.hope iv helped.mel.

  • Posted: Tue. 20th April 2010 10:15

Go with the flow

Reply from Janine Pattison MSGD

This is a dificult one! You can either try and improve the conditions by spending a lot of money and installing some land drains to try to dry out the land. Or you could create raised beds to improve drainage. Or much the better solution, work with a conditions you have and abandon the lawn and plant up the whole garden with plants that will relish those conditions. If you then laid a thick layer of shredded bark over the whole area you would smother weeds and all of the drop from the trees could just be left to rot down. This is how woodland gardens work and they are some of the most beautiful around.
Plants like erythroniums, trilliums, epimediums, ferns, hostas would love the conditions.

Hope that helps.

Janine Pattison MSGD

  • Posted: Thu. 15th April 2010 19:37

Boggy conditions

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Stella,
I certainly agree with abandoning lawn in such conditions, particularly if the patch is quite small. The labour involved is not worth it in my opinion. I would be inclined to look for plants that suit the conditions you have. One way to do that easily if to do a search on this site. Go under the tab 'Plants' and choose the option 'Select'. Under the section 'Use' choose 'Bog garden' - you'll get 149 results. Or, you do an advanced search. Start under the 'Plants' tab again, and choose 'Select' as before. This time, however, click on 'advanced select' and you can further refine your search. Use 'Bog garden' as the use and then do a few searches with different soil moisture selections, particularly 'Moisture retentive' and 'Boggy damp conditions'. You can even further refine your search to look for just shrubs or just perennials, for example. Lots of good plants to choose from!
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Fri. 16th April 2010 17:53

Boggy back garden!

Reply from stella maddalena

A huge thank you to all for your help and fab advice.

Kind Regards


  • Posted: Fri. 23rd April 2010 07:23


Reply from Stuart Marler

I would look at the soil condition and seek to improve it with drainage and lots of compost. Then if the area is shady, I would sow seed that is a special mix for the area/shade tolerant, type of soil etc.

Try www.bartholomews.co.uk for special seed mixtures.

Otherwise come back and advise more on the amount of shade, drainage issues, soil type.

Good luck.


  • Posted: Wed. 21st April 2010 18:10