So many of us panic when the rains arrive as small puddles form, then larger puddles, and then entire areas of our yard or acreage are overtaken by low-level flooding. But is this always a bad thing?
As the rains came this past week (and yet more today) the approximately 4″ of rain in as many days has allowed me to find out where there are unexpected low areas on my property, allowing me to decide if I need to fill, line with wood chips, or just find an accommodating plant that enjoys and endures a little wet feet every now and then.
Wood chips are needed around the base of the composter. But with a closer look, a puddle behind and to the right on the edge of the woods shows an ideal spot for a Blueberry patch.
Trees that accommodate wet feet are Willows, Red Maples, and some Magnolias and Dogwoods. Willows must be placed carefully because they will seek out any and all water in their range, including any type of underground water or drainage/sewage lines within their reach. Bald Cyprus will handle wet feet but if you are looking for an evergreen these will not do as they are true their name by dropping many of their needles in the late fall. Some shrubs to consider are Blueberries, Witch Hazel, Holly and Anise.
When making your decisions, remember to consider sustainability and hardiness zones. Of those mentioned, Willows are a base for making homemade rooting hormone, Witch Hazel has many medicinal values and of course Blueberries are both healthy and delicious.
This photo shows water settling below the driveway edge and in a lawn area between an Oak tree and the sidewalk to the house. As this is the access area for the backyard, propane, etc., it’s not an ideal place for a planting and needs to be backfilled and reseeded so that the water will drain on the natural slope
So seek out the many additional options for your location. And remember that perennials will not only provide you with benefits year after year, but if suited to your zone, they will not be so needing and craving your attention when gardening chores come due.