I'd been putting it off, hoping that I'd get away with just incorporating organic matter and some coarse sand to the soil, but there was nothing else for it, drains had to be installed.
I'm running a couple of drains across the lawn and then two more which will loop around the back (under where the paths will be), the idea being that they will hopefully direct water away from the borders.
It looks to be partly clay with a proportion of loam, so in some places it's not quite as bad as I'd thought, but then there are other sections that are much heavier and quite anaerobic.
Along the rear right hand side seems to be the worst, with a very high water table, as evidenced below:
The bark path has been dug out, a perforated pipe installed and I'm infilling around it with the rubble from that wall/seating area that I recently knocked down.
Speaking of that wall, I'm now down below ground level, attempting to remove as much of the concrete/block work foundations as possible. I tackled it last night but was beaten inside by failing light and a broken sledge hammer, however I will not be defeated.
In other news, the succulents are filling in nicely, with little bare ground now in evidence between them.
As the majority of my succulent plantings are temporary summer residents in the garden I pack them in cheek by jowl, however if it was a permanent planting each would need to be given MUCH more space to allow for real growth.
I love the opportunity to use contrasting colours that comes from playing with succulents.
Fleshy and turgid purple flushed Aeonium simsii x 'Zwartkop, against spikey and muscular Agave 'Blue Flame'.
and then there's the softly fuzzy grey of Ballota, juxtaposed against the rubberised leaves of the Aeoniums.
Taking many of the less hardy plants indoors for the winter means that each year, come late spring/early summer I then get to try something new when replanting again allowing me to play with the contrasts of texture, colour and form.