Peaty Soil - Help!

Sorry for cross-posting, but I'm desperate.
We have just bought a new property in Northern Ireland and the garde is causing us nightmares. The soil is very peaty and is black i colour. It also retains a lot of water, but has a tendancy to crus over in hotter weather.
At the moment the garden is a blank canvas as we have no idea what t do with it. We would like to plant a lawn and have some colour in th garden. Can anyone offer any advise on how to work with the garden an maybe any recommendations for lawn and plant types.
I can email pictures of the garden and soil to anyone who may b interested in helping.
Thanks in advance
-- michelestokes
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michelestokes wrote:

Look for local garden clubs. Talk to some nurseries and landscapers for ideas. I'm not sure, but I believe peat is very acidic so you will want to add lime. And make sure you get real lime, not powdered limestone (ground up clam shells).
I'm sure you have a standard problem and there must be a standard solution.
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No, he needs to adjust to local conditions and grow plants that love wet acid peaty soil and thrive there, such as azaleas, rhododendron, gunnera. There are many fabulous gardens in Ireland Your other advice is good. Plus, he should get visiting local gardens which are open to the public, (with a notebook) and go to the local library to check out the gardening books.
Janet. (West Scotland).
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What Janet said. :o)
--
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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Sorry, should have added, I was under the impression that peaty soil
have very few nutrients and can remain waterlogged during critica sowing times - is this correct or am I moaning about something shouldn't be? I'm new to gardening and am just going off what I'v read.
We can't even walk on the soil without risking losing a boot. And pool of stagnant water that won't drain away can get pretty smelly!
The only thing that is growing in the surrounding fields is heather, s I guess we should take a cue from nature. Still want a lawn though, ca anyone suggest the best way to add drainage to the soil
-- michelestokes
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Sounds like you bought the proverbial swamp 8-)
Is your property higher, lower or the same height as surrounding land?
Unless it is higher, you are well and truly screwed.
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Leon Trollski Wrote:

Oh, now you have me realy worried. It's more or less the same height maybe a foot higher at most
-- michelestokes
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wrote in

Sounds like you are surrounded then by peat bog, more or less?
Enjoy the birds.
Seriously, there are things you can do.
Dig a hole and observe how fast it fills up with water. Do this at several spots. Does it fill up quickly?
Are there neighbors? What have they done? Research. Speak to local officials for suggestions.
Does the bog dry up in summer?
If your property is *slightly* higher, you could sink weeping tile a foot down or so, to drain away your soil. If this works on an experimental basis, you can proceed to add sand and gravel to your topsoil, to lighten and further improve drainage, and add more weeping tile.
In any case, you have a very large task ahead of you. Please indulge my curiosity: didn't you examine the property before buying?!?
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Leon Trollski wrote:

In some parts of the country it is illegal to drain a wetland.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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