Latest posts by amazing

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Small garden drainage 9.7mx9m

Posted: 29/02/2016 at 18:55

Hi James,

Just a couple of things to think about. Firstly soakaways on a clay soil very rarely work. The water will take a long time to disperse through the clay that surrounds it and secondly you need to think about where the water will disperse to. It usually heads to the lowest point which may be your neighbours garden depending on your topology and geology. What type of soakaway is your builder suggesting? Is it a rainwater harvesting crate based system or more likely a ton of gravel in a membrane? If it is the gravel option it will eventually clog up so you will need access to it. Putting it under your turf may not be the best option. Is he also installing leaky pipe to collect water from the rest of the garden? Has he calculated the size of soakaway that you need?  It will have to cope with the water that garden usually soaks up PLUS the run off from the patio. An arbitrary ton of gravel is not the way forward. I would image the 5m regs would apply to your case. Take a look at this great website for advice.-

Do you know why you are waterlogged? Is the soil compacted? We corrected the drainage issue on a clay paddock by breaking up the compaction which effectively moved the water further underground. It has been 5 years and it has not waterlogged since. Remember your turf will be laid on 75mm of compacted MOT so the water will be below this level. I suggest that you get in a proper drainage company involved before the turf goes down. The 'We can through in a soakaway' is usually the refuge of the 'We haven't got a clue'.

Secondly, I am not surprised that you have found soft clay under the patio area. Builders and developers prefer to bury rubble instead of doing their job and getting rid of it. I have never lifted an area that has rubble beneath and found it to be dry. There is always a lot of water. You need to remove the rubble ad dig down until it is solid. Backfill in layers of 75mm of Type 1 MOT and compact it until you get back to the level you need. If you backfill in one go it will settle over time and your patio will move. Remember your patio needs to be 150mm below the DPC.


Hope this helps.

Plant suggestions please

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 09:52

Hi,How about Acontium and Actaea  towards the middle and back of the bed to contrast with the euonymous fortunei, Alstroemeria 'Apollo' to tie into the variegation on the euonymous fortunei. Crocosmia George Davison to add leaf contrast and stunning yellow flowers to tie into the yellow on the Apollo. Asters towards the front to give colour and contrast in flower shape and Autumn interest. Astrantia maxima towards the front to tie into the colours of the Bergenia and and Geranium Sambor for ground cover at the front or <span dir="auto">Alchemilla mollis to ground the design.

struggling laburnum

Posted: 29/04/2012 at 11:46

Without seeing the tree it is hard to tell wether it is viable or not. I think the weather is affecting not just trees but a lot of plants this year.  I have a client that planted a beautiful Robinia a couple of years ago and although it had a great year last year, it is not looking too good this year. Give it until the end of May to see if it improves. However,  I echo marshmello's comments that if it is in any way dangerous it needs to be addressed immediately.

Ideas for a 2 Meter Wide Planter Box

Posted: 29/04/2012 at 11:35

Hi does the planter face north south east or west and is sheltered or exposed? This will affect which plants will thrive and give you curb appeal.

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