Drainage Problem

Asked February 6, 2019, 2:20 PM EST

We have moved into a house in Ocean Pines, MD. We do not have bulkhead but our lot goes to the corner of a canal. The back yard has very low spots where the water from the roofs of two adjacent houses ends up. I can add fill dirt but the problem seems to be finding a way to move the water out. I would like to plant a garden of shrubs and perennials but don't think many can take that much water. I have attached pictures and would appreciate if you could advise me where I can get expert help in landscaping this property. I can send more pictures if those submitted are not sufficient. Thank you.

Worcester County Maryland

1 Response

This is the ideal location for a rain garden. There are many plants that love this environment--some stunning natives in particular, such as button bush and clethra. (They are also butterfly magnets!)
Here is our webpage which includes rain gardens: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/stormwater-water-rain-gardens
Don't get bogged down (no pun intended!) with details. Just plant what likes "wet feet." Native plants are best.

For plant choices, look at the online publication, "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed." Color photos and easy chart of growing requirements. In the back are lists. 'Plants for Freshwater Wetlands and Other Wet Sites' is the one you'll find helpful.

Maryland had highly abnormal amounts of rain this past year (more than Seattle!) , so if you don't usually have this problem, you may not have it continuously in the future. However, it is predicted that we can expect a lot of wet years ahead because of climate change, so a rain garden is a smart way to handle this. As long as it does not hold water all summer (mosquitoes) then this is a great spot, actually. Keep in mind that when you plant shrubs--and also perennial flowers--their roots will be pulling in the water and drying up the low area, too.