Sunday, September 25, 2016

Landscaping or Engineering?

That is the question.  Truthfully, when most of us think of "landscaping", we think aesthetically.  We envision flowers, shrubs, trees, accenting hardscapes.  The reality for us, right now, is that "landscaping" is "engineering".  We have a very important project going on right now, one which will help us better manage the large amounts of rain we can get in our area.  There are previous posts on the blog which will give you  a very good idea of our rain run-off challenges.  You might review those to get a better understanding of the context of this hardscape effort.

Perhaps next spring we can get back to the aesthetics of landscaping...

OK, as part of this project, the landscaping team cleaned and weeded our beds
in the front of the house.  We are grateful, as we had let it slip a little too much.

Extending across the front of the house, we have added a French drain system
which has drain boxes every ten feet (3m) and are connected via  a six-inch
(15cm) pipe.  We will have over twice the volume of the standard four-inch (10cm)
pipe, which we feel is needed since so much water is draining into this area. 
It will also eliminate any standing water which kills grass and spawns mosquitoes.

This pictures shows the "dry creek bed" we are installing to slow the water
which comes off the front of the property.  The dirt in the foreground is being
shaped into a berm to keep the water flow properly directed.  If you look at the
top of the dry creek bed and to its immediate right, you can see evidence of a berm
being constructed to direct water from the culvert away from the dry creek bed
and into the woods.  All water will make it into the drainage we have built at
Note also the native grasses and flora which have appeared with
fresh access to the sun.  The grasses will help slow the rush as water as well. The
berms will be seeded with native grasses for the same reason and their own stability.

The water runs off at a high velocity into this bank, which we have reinforced
with landscaping fabric and bullrock.  We hope to prevent erosion so that the
trees you see near the bullrock will not lose the strength and stability of their
root system and topple across the drive and possibly onto the two-car garage..

All the water from the motor court area drains toward the basketball goal.  As
a result, we were plagued with deep ruts behind the goal, making mowing
very difficult (and eventually threaten the basketball goal itself).  The rock bed behind
the goal will help with water run-off and make the entire side-yard easier to maintain.
Over-seeding with grass will be a priority for the next few years until good density
is obtained -- for the sake of erosion control, primarily, and aesthetics.