Advice on dealing with wet area of yard
I am in southwest ohio and am trying to garden in a subdevelopment. My challenge is that we have have clay soil and my yard was graded to allow for water drainage with the neighboring yards. When it rains--as it has the past 2 days, the area (about 3 feet wide and across the entire length of my rear yard) becomes like a little stream--water mainly sits there (doesnt flow). Given that its clay, the water will sit there for days afterward, there are places where the ground is not flat so I get little pools of water that linger a bit longer, and given that we have an irrigation system, the ground never completely dries out--it's always "squishy" in this area.
I have tried planting 2 willow trees (one on each end of the yard) and while they are thriving, the water still accumulates. I've also tried bringing in top soil to help level the area out and judging by the water that is laying out there today, it didnt help. We cannot enjoy walking around the yard as 2/3 of the plantings are on the other side of this wet area.
I have pictures if anyone is interested; however, I would greatly appreciate ideas on helping to improve this part of the yard. To date I have not planted anything directly in this wet area but I'm wondering if more willows, river birch, etc, would help to manage this issue. We did install a stone bed over one area (so we could walk around the rear part of the yard and enoy the garden) but that has begun to sink into the mud...