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Too much water in parts of many landscapes is a problem for some home owners. Keep in mind, there is a difference in areas that are slow draining with soil that stays wet for periods of time, and flooded, soggy areas in landscapes. The problem can be one that occurs all year long, seasonal, may be drainage overflow, or flow to a low point in the yard. Whatever the reason, there is a way of turning a moist, slow draining area to your advantage. Some plants and shrubs thrive in wet areas, and with the right ones you can still achieve an interesting and attractive landscape.

Problems vary with damp areas in your landscape. It is often hard to get plants and shrubs to grow in these areas unless the right ones are chosen. Mosquitoes and other annoying insects are encouraged by soggy areas in your landscape so pests can be a problem for your plant. Moist areas can often emit an unpleasant smell, as well as visually make an area look quite ugly. Choosing the right damp soil tolerant plant is a great step in correcting these problems. Its good to note there is a difference in certain damp soil tolerant shrubs doing well in slow draining areas, and these tolerant shrubs not doing well in areas with constant standing water.

There are a number of damp soil tolerant shrubs to choose from – what it boils down to is personal preference. Hydrangeas come in a magnitude of colors and sizes and need more water to remain healthy. A friend of mine planted hydrangeas near their down spout and the plant took off and flourished. Because your front yard is a public space, use hydrangeas to frame and present your home; its entrance and other important features such as windows and porches, all which could be near gutter drains that sometimes overflow. Hydrangeas love moisture, in fact, its name comes from the Latin term hydra, which means water.

Another good choice are azaleas. They can handle moderate moist soil that drains within a couple hours. Azaleas has a shallow root system so regular watering is a necessity so the roots do not get dried out. Moisture evaporates easily in the upper 3 to 4 inches of soil, especially in dry climates. They grow well when given 1 inch of water once a week. Azaleas are a flowering shrub in the genus Rhododendron. Rhododendrons generally have much larger leaves and their flowers are bell shaped and have ten or more stamens, while azalea blooms are typically funnel shaped and have five stamens. Azaleas are more accommodating for landscapes and are more versatile for home owners. Azaleas are a one stop shop when it comes to beauty between the gorgeous, glossy hunter green foliage and the choices among many different colors to fit any setting in landscapes. Plant a low-growing border to soften the appearance of irregular or uneven ground. Areas where slight regular run off occurs in your landscape during showers and creates irregular or uneven ground is a poplar choice for azaleas.

No matter the area in your landscape with excess water in one form or another, it is best to know your yard in terms of why, when, and how much those areas get more water than other parts. Some areas could require a bit of landscape engineering which could be as simple as building up a low point so water does not pool for long periods of time or building up certain areas to direct water flow. No matter the water loving parts of landscapes, there is a moist soil tolerant plant out there for you.


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