Image: Too much clay!

The Drainage Problem
The site is a sunken garden on solid clay, which is inundated with runoff from the surro1unding gardens. A previous owner had laid foundations for a workshop which he hadsubsequently failed to build, and in doing so had blocked some of the drainage holesat the bottom of a flower bed above the garden. As a result of this, water collected in pools at the base of the wall and regularly flooded the garden, not helped by a spectacularly poor piece of plumbing on an adjacent shed. One particularly nasty rainy day we had to stop work because the slippery clay was so treacherous underfoot we could no longer walk, let alone push a wheelbarrow! We addressed this problem by opening the blocked drainage holes and digging a French drain along the base of the wall, culminating in a hole filled with rubble and large drainage stones. A quick tweak to the plumbing of the offending shed and the excess water was sent harmlessly off into a soakaway.