Help with Rain Garden

svtterminator(5 Chicago)July 8, 2014

I'm attempting to make best use of my sump pump / rain gutter water. I have 2 dappled willow shrubs that seem to be doing fine. I had a dappled willow tree which died possibly due to standing water. I planted it on a mound but it was too late. I purchased a french pink pussy willow to take the place of the tree(yet to be planted).

From the pictures you can see where the water is discharged on the ground(not sure what the spout is called).

My dilemna is how do i get the water to drain down the slope to behind the fence where the sewer is. Now that I stripped the area of grass I see some areas of the ground are higher than the other which are pocketing water.

Any suggestions? I plan on filling the muddy areas with river rock. I'm not sure if you can see the black strips in the corner. I plan on lining the edges with those to help to channel the water in this path.

Last question will the shrubs be ok planted in a mound with river rock on it's edges?

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svtterminator(5 Chicago)

Another picture

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 1:24AM
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Here, salix nigra grows around and sometimes in ponds, so many salix may thrive in these conditions.
I can't state anything with any assurance, but I applaud you on thinking out of the box.

You could also consider other boggy plants if you so wished, like carnivorous pitcher plants, sundews, amsonia illustris (grows in middle of shallow rivers here), justicia americana (ditto), buttonbush as a small sample.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

interesting concept ...

is it legal to discharge your sump output into the sewer ????

it isnt in my neck of the woods .... but then we might have sumps doing different things ...

the sewer owner might be concerned about soil you might wash in there.. compared to the rain water you claim ....

what will be the plan in winter??? in your z5 ... i dont know it the plants can handle being frozen into a block of ice for a few months ... unless you are in non ground freeze z5 ..

are you discharging the water to run onto someone elses property ... or is that field for common usage???

i wonder if you might not get more guidance in pond forum ... or a bog forum.. though i dont know if there is one ... but as i ponder it.. that is basically what you are creating.. a bog ...

i think you are kinda state of the art here... i suspect you arent going to find a lot of peeps with 'direct' knowledge ... unless there is a bog forum.. lol .... [and that said.. i expect someone.. within the hour to have chime in and say they did it.. lol ]

i will enjoy watching the process .... GOOD LUCK


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:29AM
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svtterminator(5 Chicago)

Thanks dbarron! I'll look into other boggy plants as well. I really hope the dappled willow shrubs survive! I really liked the dappled willow tree too bad it didn't make it.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:59AM
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svtterminator(5 Chicago)

Thanks Ken. The sewer is actually on my property I just put the fence inside of the sewer area because of issues of digging around the sewer for the fence post. I'm not sure if it's legal to connect the sump pump line directly to the sewer line.

I'm the Chicagoland area so it will definitely freeze.

I live on the bottom of a hill in my subdivision so my sump pump is constantly working hard. I can't wait for the day till it stops working but that will be a different story for my basement. Thankfully I have 2 sump pumps.

I came up with the idea of utilizing all of this water rather than just dumping it into the sewer line directly as I thought it would be cool to have boggy plants that I would never need to water. They would just thrive on their own.

I may be way over my head here because I'm unsure what will happen to the willow's in the winter. I will fill the area with rocks which should help with the freezing. I'll mulch the plants in the fall.

I think they should be ok when the go dormant in the winter?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:23AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

You could just dig a ditch and put a pipe in from the sump pump outlet to the fence. Maybe what you are calling the sewer is a storm drain opening.
If the water you are pumping is clean, why not make a pond out of it on the way to the fence?
Putting rocks in a muddy, shallow ditch is a waste of time. I also can't see what they have to do with helping anything. Explain. So are the rubber strips, other than a lawn edging. The willows are going to grow roots and dam your stream. They belong somewhere further from the water. The sod you dug up should have been killed first.
Company.....gotta go.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:47AM
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svtterminator(5 Chicago)

Thanks Mike for your candor. Your right it's a storm drain opening. I was told by the nursery the dappled willow shrub would be fine in this scenario. The plan was to out river rocks in place of the sod to stop further grass growth in those areas. I'm also looking into adding native plants that can thrive in standing water

Never thought of making a pond. I just took what I thought would be simple and where I wouldn't have to hire anyone.

The lawn edging was to help guide the water down the path but I didn't think of the willow roots at all. That's a good point.

Just want plants/shrubs that can thrive here without me having to manually water them.

Sorry for my delayed response I'm noticing I'm not getting an email notification when responses are coming through.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 3:28PM
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svtterminator(5 Chicago)

Quick photo...rain is complete and so far works great channeling water perfectly to the drain.

2 Dappled Willow shrubs
2 Queen Victoria
1 French pink pussy willow

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 6:49PM
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