A couple of years ago our home association began to experience problems with water drainage in our allotment.  Homes that never had water or damp issues began to experience water in basements, buckling of basement walls, dampness, and mold problems.  I had some minor dampness problems but also had some soil erosion issues and buckling of the front garden retaining wall.

It seemed that the original builder had not put in a proper drainage system and used cheap pipes which broke or collapsed.  It took two years for the association to repair the problem but we are now on the road to recovery.

I bought a dehumidifier but don’t seem to need it now.  Extra large roof gutters and replacement of new drainage pipes seems to have completely resolved my issues, but the repair work really messed up my gardens.

The front and side gardens were destroyed as the retaining wall on the front part had to be replaced.  I will show that in a future post.  First I tell you what we did in the side garden



The arborite were already there, and we were able to save most of them. I planted variegated grasses leading up to the wall where the old pines had been placed. The grasses are much less stressful on the stability of the stone block wall.

The entire side of the house is on a downward slope.  We were loosing soil on the side of the house. And the bareness of the hill with just a line of evergreens down the side was uninteresting.

New soil was added, and the landscape company placed three tiers of treated lumber to try to retain the soil on the slope.  I put three hydrangeas on the side: one on each slope plain.  There is a step with a handrail on the top of the slope.

We then transplanted elephant ear hostas on the slope and placed pavement stones left over from the back patio to make a walkway.  Now there is a clear path from the front to the backyard.

I placed three hydrangeas against the wall.  Two Limelights and one Pinky Winkie.  These are panicle hydrangea meaning they have a cone shape blossom head.  There are other types, mopehead, lacecap, and oakleaf, to name a few.



Pinkie Winkie

Hopefully, between the hydrangeas which will form a type of hedge and the low hostas, together with the arborite, there will now be sufficient plantings and root systems to keep the newly added soil in place.

You can see the arborite and the hosta alone the stone path. If you look at the top, there are the grasses, and you can just see the stone retaining wall.  We got extra stone pavers to make a single wall along the outer edge of the side garden.


At the end of the side yard, there is a summer magnolia.  This beauty is one of my most favorite landscape trees.  While the purple blossom magnolia we all know blooms in the spring.  This little girl blossoms in  June and presents with the most beautiful and dainty creamy white flower that has the sweetest LEMON LIKE gorgeous scent.  I can smell in on the other side of the house when the wind blows right. Ours is a dwarf variety called LITTLE GEM


LITTLE GEM- A dwarf Southern Magnolia.  The flowers eventually turn into a deep red seed pod that the birds and squirrels love in the fall.

The side garden holds the stairs that take you to the top level of the house.  It is a shade garden in this area and I have hostas, ferns,  forget -me -nots, and bleeding hearts here, Forrest type shade flowers.  As the area graduates towards the sun, I have my herbs,  a couple of newly planted peonies and astilbe.


My little mother earth statue- horse hair sculpture from Native-American Artists sits under my tree.


Hope you enjoyed the tour.  I am pleased with the results and happy to see the completion.  Feel free to ask questions, comment or share your garden pics and ideas below.


Talk soon


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