View Full Version : need suggestions bog or rain garden?

01-21-2009, 08:28 PM
wow it has been a long time since i have posted a question but i know i could rely on my buddies in the pond design forum. I am stumped. we take care of an HOA and we have found the peoples back yards are not draining after a rain or the sprinklers go off. there is a lot of standing water and i was wondering if i could use this to my advantage in building a rain or bog garden for these poeple. i could make some good money and solve a problem too. BUT i need to know which would work best.. Rain or bog. Help me pond guys

the bug

01-22-2009, 01:11 PM
There may not be a simple answer to your question.

Is the drainage problem only on certain properties or is it prevalent with all members of the HOA? If it is wide-spread, it appears that the original developer decided to construct directly on top of a marsh without engineering for proper drainage.

Is the problem mainly with the water not draining off of the properties or is it a problem with a high water table or is it a combination of both?

A Rain Garden (small detention pond) requires permeable soil for the water to soak in ,albeit slowly, and dry out. A Bog (small detention Pond) is constantly wet and never dries out. By the way, a "true Bog" usually has a pH of 3 to 4 and is completely composed of decaying organics. What is called a "Bog" by many in this industry is truly a marsh or constructed wetlands.

Getting back to your original question, you need to determine soil type and permeability, property grades, and size of area to be drained.

This will tell you the best approach to start, and I emphasize start, resolving this problem.

01-22-2009, 05:40 PM
I know that the field that all these houses are built on used to be an old horse pasture and it had a lot of small creeks that ran threw it. We had some trees die because the dround because of the high water table. I dont know if it is a problem for all but i know that the houses that are lower then the other houses have issues. In colorado we have a ton of clay in our soil and bentanite as well. clay has a low ph level to start with. I would agree that it is more of a marsh then a bog. the home owners that live higher then the lower ones flood the peoples back yard when they water their grass so there is an eben flow type flooding that goes on. it just happens so much that the ground doesnt have a chance to soak it all in before the next watering. SO... i want to use this "PROBLEM" to my advantage. Capture the flood waters and turn it into a garden. so i guess now my question is what type of plants are good for this? what type of catagory of plants do i start to look at? Thank you for your help and i hope you can help me out some more!!!

the bug

01-22-2009, 05:58 PM
sorry i stand corrected. we are high on the Alkline side not low. my bad

01-22-2009, 06:23 PM
Do you have any pictures? How many homes are in this development? How large an area are we talking about as far as total drainage...what size is the watershed?
Lots of plant choices available if you are not too alkaline. Need to know if soil ever dries out and how long does it take?
Like I said: no simple answer but a lot of questions.

01-22-2009, 06:31 PM
i do not have any pictures. this is a 300+ home HOA. i really dont know the water table. I dont know how fast the soil dries out cuz everytime i see it, it is sopping wet. we are not too alkine but more then normal there is just a lot of standing water and i want to use this you know.

01-22-2009, 08:39 PM
What USDA Zone are you in: 3,4 or 5?

Most aquatic emergents or marginal plants will thrive if the pH is not over 7.5 and they are hardy enough for your USDA Zone. Keep in mind that all aquatic plants spread at a greater rate than the usual garden variety terrestrial plants, some are quite rampant in their growth habit to the point of, at times, becoming invasive. I would recommend starting off with native species and varieties as these are already adapted to the climate and soil.

01-22-2009, 10:51 PM
thank you tadpole for all your help i really will look into it. i wll post some before and after pics if i land any jobs

White Gardens
02-05-2009, 03:15 AM
If it's an HOA, then can you approach them about putting in drainage system instead of the water garden.

I just see a potential for a large up-sell, and you can help cure the water problems that some of the units are having.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
02-05-2009, 05:44 PM
Also check into rain harvest systems that can help keep the water contained. My next area to market after more investigating will be rain harvesting systems either through permeable paving retention systems and what ADI has come up with on a different aspect. Check out ADI's website to give you some different ideas rainxchange.com