Heavy clay soil waterlogged garden

Hi, I've just bought a house which when there is moderate to heavy rain the garden gets waterlogged and standing water appears at the lowest point which stays for days. I don't even think it seaps through the ground and just evaporates instead. The lawn gently slopes down and sideways and the lower side and bottom of the lawn is full of moss and always soggy whilst the top and higher side is decent grass.

I've dug a hole 6ft down and it's still clay, although it's dryer and more sandy. I dug a few trenches into this hole and the water just stays there.

The way I see it I have 2 options, to dig French drains and pipe them to a sump, them pump this up the garden to the drains, or raise the lawn and install a porous layer underneath and a retaining wall. Do I have any other options, if not what do you think is the cheaper option?

The lawn is around 5 meters wide and 8 meters long and slopes across and down to where the bucket and spade are:

s9.postimg.org/7keq16pkv/1472372020126903862993.jpg
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Replies

  • I had similar problem on part of my garden and basically went the "raise lawn and install porous layer" bit. It cost £ - as I removed a significant layer of soil (aka clay), put down porous layer and put in new topsoil.

    One thing to be aware of is that if topsoil comes from same area - it will also be clay-based and therefore you might want to buy in any from another area (eg where that isnt the case).
  • mr_megsmr_megs Forumite
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    Sorry I can't post links. Just add .jpg at the end of the above link.
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Sounds as though it would be perfect for a bog garden. Good for encouraging wildlife, as well as pretty.
  • mr_megsmr_megs Forumite
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    Thanks for the reply. I really want a usable space for the kids to play in as we've just moved from a terraced with no garden and were looking forward to a nice lawn so I don't really want to do the bog garden.

    moneyistooshorttomention, how much did u pay if u don't mind me asking.
  • edited 28 August 2016 at 8:46AM
    TheGardenerTheGardener Forumite
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    edited 28 August 2016 at 8:46AM
    I had an almost identical problem and chose to plant a small grafted willow tree (so it wont ever get much more than 2 meters high) - it slurped up the water within 6 months of being planted.I also used a range of pond margin plants in that area and the Astilbes seem to love it most but astrantia and iris also seem to do well there.
    The Eden Project in Cornwall (being at the bottom of a porcelain clay pit) uses a lot of willow 'fedges' and living willow wigwams (kids love them) to manage the rain water and it works well.
    I think the more engineered idea of sumps and pumps would be a last resort and obviously not money saving.
  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
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    What have your neighbours done to their gardens.They must have the same soil.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • photomephotome Forumite
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    I have the same problem although looking at your pics there doesnt appear to be very much clay.

    I dug a 6 ft hole which was back breaking (20 years ago) and needed a pick axe as my "soil" is white as yours actually looks like soil.


    I also put in a drain down the lowest side of my garden.

    at one stage I had a 20 meter long 3ft deep trench with a 6 ft deep hole at the end of it full of water for months

    I put in a drain at the top of the trench just below the surface after filling trench with rubble etc

    I lost wooden fence posts within a year as they just sat in water

    20 years on I have no grass, only moss ,and I have given up

    I cant see any point me doing anything else as there is just so much compacted clay as my back garden was used for storing the heavy equipment when the estate was being built. ( mine was last house built)

    hope you have better luck than me
  • Oh no photome that's not good. There's always a way though.

    Out of 3 neighbours, one has flagged completely, one has raised it and the other has gravelled it and put a pond at lowest point.
  • photomephotome Forumite
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    mr_megs wrote: »
    Oh no photome that's not good. There's always a way though.

    Out of 3 neighbours, one has flagged completely, one has raised it and the other has gravelled it and put a pond at lowest point.

    I have thought of flagging it completely but I worry where all the water will go then

    have never thought of raising it...sounds expensive.

    to be honest I have never asked for any suggestions, your post has got me rethinking it

    I guess a lot has always been down to cost, and the cheapest option has been to do nothing for years
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