Thursday, March 15, 2007

The force of function behind design

With the wonderful break in the weather the past couple of days, I was finally able to work on drainage problem that we had on the southwest corner of our house. One of the previous owners had run the drain spout to run parallel to the house. At least they pointed it towards the back of the house, which is down the hill. Unfortunately, as the water gushed out of the spout, it was washing all of the dirt away from the garage foundation. Inside the garage, you could see the foundation washing away (another repair to be made in the near future).

When we first looked at this place, this is what this end looked like. Completely overgrown, weeds growing taller than the masses of day lilies and garden phlox which were running rampant.

Before we actually moved in, the owners (an investment firm, they didn't actually live here) were kind enough to clear the flower bed out and make it presentable.

There was no path from the front yard to the back, so one of my first projects was to gather bricks from the property (one of the previous owners, possibly the same bonehead to point the drain spout towards the foundation, used part of the property for a dumping grounds for his building removal business) and put in this path. I really liked the path and was pleased with the results. Unfortunately, it was not until later in the year when we realized the drainage issue. For a temporary fix, I replaced the bottom portion of the spout with one that faced away from the house, which caused the water to drain into the driveway and into the flower bed. My husband wanted to just run a tile away from the house, but my imagination was running wild. I knew that I had the materials to run the water through the flower bed and make it a feature, I just needed to plan it all out in my head.
This is the result.

I really, really love this design. A mixture of brick and rocks and stones. I used a swimming pool liner given to me last year to line the ditch. I removed 5 wheel barrels of dirt to create this. I still have to finish the end, where it actually drains into the lawn and redo the plants. This bed sun almost all day long, so I am planning on various grasses, sedums, hens & chicks, creeping thyme, candy lilies and I would really like to get an Agave. I still need to remove the overgrown garden phlox and remove the yellow day lilies, but that is for another day. I also want to add a lot more rocks. I really love rocks. Before I address the plants though, the hardscape is not yet complete. I have a couple of wooden trellises being stored in the barn that I am going to be putting in here also. They will separate the driveway from the flower bed, to be installed on both sides of the path. This will also give me a couple places to plant some more clematis, will create a wind break, a bit of privacy from the road, and maybe complete the design idea in my head.


OldRoses said...

This is wonderful! How clever of you to think of it and then actually be able to do it.

Angie said...

Thank you oldroses! I had a wonderful time creating it and it works really well. I think I even impresses my 12 and 13 year old boys!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

How fun to put a rill through the middle of the path! Does it work functionally as well, or haven't you had a good rain to test it out yet?

Petunia's Gardener said...

Great job! You should be very proud. We once took a whole load of bricks from someone we found parked along the road with "free bricks" We used them for paths in our garden. I can see you'll be looking forward to the next rain and running out there to see it in action. We'll want a picture too you know!

Apple said...

This turned out beautifully!

Angie said...

Blackswamp_Girl-Yes, it is a lot of fun and it works very well. We had lots of rain the day after completing it.

Petunia's Gardener-Thank you, I am very proud of it. I did not take pictures during the rain, but I will be sure to do so next time!

Apple-Thank you for your comment!

Alberta ('Berta) said...

Angie, I have a similar problem and will be suing your great idea. Thanks so much for posting this great solution!