Yes, it’s about Landscape Design . . . but . . .

posted, 12/01/06
Spaz in the wheelbarrow
We have a low spot in a bed where the water will lay for; up to, 24 hours. The soil is clay, and it’s a nasty area. I was able to do some mounding in the middle and back part of the bed to raise those areas, however we know beds have to slope down to their edge. What to do, what to do . . .

Well the entire area is low, water collects, I am not going to raise the entire area because a stone walkway is going through next year, and it needs to be at that height to set up a series of steps out of the low lying area. So it’s going to stay low.

This means I have to look for plants that will endure this type of culture/micro-climate. I am one of those who would rather find a plant that lives in a certain type of micro-climate than change the area entirely.

What I have learned over my many years is one change leads to another, to another, to another usually affecting another part of the garden in a very negative way. Specifically moving water, drain water, run-off, etc. Water is at the top of the list.

I have also learned there are plants to adapt to almost every climatic, cultural situation. You just have to learn what works where . . .. a good reason to hire the Professional Designer (shameless plug).

But I digress, the plant in the wheelbarrow, along with Spaz, is Acorus gramineus commonly called sweet flag. Acorus is a short grass and does very well in standing water, temporary flooding, and straight clay soils. I have used Acorus in these conditions from zone 4 down to zone 9 with good results.

Spaz had decided to help us out when he jumped in the wheelbarrow and decided to nap instead-typical cat. Anyone on this cold blustery day I thought I would share this photo and talk about plants and drainage.

Sort of kill two birds with one stone. Uh; maybe that’s a bad analogy when cats are involved in the story.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

1 comment

  1. 2 comments:

    The County Clerk said…

    Nice… I’m with you: FIND THE RIGHT PLANT!

    I’m not much of a cat guy, but that one seems pretty good.

    9:43 PM
    Rick Anderson said…

    I am of the school of thought that says try and adapt to site, find plants that exist to the micro-climate, and only change what absolutely needs to be changed.

    Unless you are going after a very specific design theme.

    As for Spaz, he;s a good cat. Great hunter, a gardeners best friend.

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