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A Low Wet Backyard In LaGrange Park, Illinois

In order to create this garden, a lot of buckthorn - a weedy ornamental shrub - had to be removed from an area along the back fence. A neat pile of it can be seen in the photo at right. Elderberry appeared when the area was opened up to sunlight.

The land that this home sits on is the lowest point in the neighborhood. Many other yards slope down and drain into this area. After a heavy rain, a depression in the yard may hold a foot of water for several days.

Landscape designs had to take this unique situation into account. The wettest area is in the center of this photo.

Here is an overview of several beds, separated by paths, after only two months.

Cardinal Flower in rain garden - low wet spot in the yard (full sun to light shade) attracts and is pollinated by hummingbirds.

Cup Plant and Joe Pye Weed in back groves of wet spot in the yard. Linnzi and Toby are in the foreground. See how tall and impressive these wildflowers are.

Open shade island on higher, dry spot in the yard.

From left:

Front: Orange Coneflower and Bur Sedge

Middle: Blue Lobelia

Back: Sweet Black-eyed Susan, Purple Coneflower

Two months later

A close-up of Blue Flag Iris, Blue Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, Cord Grass and Sedges.

Back along the fence are Cup-plant, False Aster and New England Aster.

Check out this site next year for an update on what will be a vibrantly colorful bed!

Here's a view of the fully natured garden. The plants have all filled in. Notice how the plants have filled in.
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