How to landscape and create a path and garden that can cut down on mud and soak up excess water to prevent flooding in your yard.
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We have a path going out to our backyard and the area, previously grass, was worn down from wear and tear over time. This is made worse by our neighbor’s pipes that are supposed to transport sump pump water to the drains on the street; this continues to break and drain into our yard. The grass in that zone is very green, but it’s soggy and the path gets muddy. It’s been over two years that it’s been an issue, and so far nobody has fixed it so I decided to just landscape the area in our favor. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?
This is the “before” picture of the space… it makes me chuckle to see the path of green.
Here’s a photo of the garden path when I originally began it… you can see the wear and tear near the gate entrance.
Now I started this post back in 2015 when I put in this garden. It’s taken me two years to finally finish the post and get some good photos. I would get it mostly done… then get distracted with something else… or the weeds would grow in… and then I wouldn’t get it all mulched and weeded the same week to take photos. GAH! I was hoping to get our other garden finished too so I could take a picture of the whole front of our house, but alas… I ran out of mulch doing just this garden (for my future reference, I need 14 bags of mulch for just the side garden). But I am patting myself on the back because I finished it up at 23 weeks pregnant, and originally laid the rock (2 years ago) with two little boys “helping.”
- To see how I created the garden beds, I used the tiller we purchased and that I wrote about in the post Easy Garden Bed Creation
- The wheelbarrow project can be found in my Wheelbarrow Planter post
- We ordered too much stone when we calculated the amount for the path so I wrote a post about what we did with the rest of the rock. This post is about adding a stone barrier around our foundation. It was supposed to help keep water away from the foundation of the house and hopefully prevent ants. Not sure if it’s worked, but it hasn’t hurt.
Otherwise the garden has been great and substantially helped reduce the amount of muck and mud in our yard. We still get a lot of drainage issues along the back of the property, but I think the garden and landscaping above help prevent more from draining towards that area.
Supplies Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.
- Some type of rock to lay down and bricks for the border
- Landscaping fabric
- Plants: Preferably ones that come back each year. You want a mix of high and low plants throughout, and all plants should be happy with wet soil. Ideally you want native plants to your area as well.
Once we added that, we added our plants. I recommend trying to get a good mix of plants that come back yearly and that range from tall (along the fence) to low. I seem to have gotten a lot of lower plants and I added a few thing year that should grow taller and add more interest in height. The side of my house is pretty boring.
When planting the plants, I cut an “X” in the landscape fabric, planting each flower in its own spot, then covering with mulch. The whole area was eventually mulched. I used natural rocks and wood that I found while tilling to help add interest in the garden. I love how this old log looks (below) and it’s a convenient crutch for these flowers which were falling over.
I like to grow lettuce in this. If it gets too sunny in that area, I can relocate the wheelbarrow (it sort of moves) to a shadier spot so the lettuce won’t bolt.
I need to eventually add some more decorative flowers to the other side of the garden… it seems like I put all my pretties on one side. The left side is looking a bit boring. I’d love to add some more colors to it. Of course, it may be more colorful later on in the season. The lamb’s ears (if I’m getting the name right) do have a pretty purple bloom. My friend Nena gave those to me as her garden was overgrown with them and I love them.