Many of our homes in the Lowcountry were built on lots that have a drainage trench or ditch. Since we have to have systems in place to help with drainage and flooding, these engineered drainage systems are quite effective. But, they surely do not add any aesthics to your yard. There are some ways to make these ditches less unsightly. Plants! But not just any plants…..many of these areas contain poor soil left over from construction and prone to soil erosion. The soil in these areas is naturally dry due to the water run off into the ditch. Choosing plants with dense root masses slows erosion. Pick plants with different heights and textures to cover the side of the ditch and create a low maintenance border. Ornamental grasses are easy to care for and only need an annual trim. Shrubs are effective in blocking unsightly views. Planting the bushes close to each other creates a hedge that holds the soil in place.Boxwoods are a perfect choice. Ground covers also prevents moisture loss from evaporation. Some good choices are Silver Cloak Ferns, Rosemary, Creeping Juniper and Angelina Stonecrop. If you are more of a flower lover then the Ice Plant, California Poppy and clover all help to hold the soil in place.
However you choose to make your drainage trench more attractive, a good rule of thumb is to stick with native plants and shrubs that will thrive the best!