Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Washing away

We had a good bit of rain yesterday. My rain gauge stops at 5", and it was overflowing. So you know what this means......washing. So I need ya'lls help! Help me to figure a way to divert this water. Keep in mind this "normally" only happens 2-3 times a year. This is the 2nd time in a week. So lets start with the problem areas. Someone had mentioned some dry creek beds. This bed is in the far right of the yard. It is on the lowest side, so all the water running from the left side runs here. You can see the water line on the fence if you look. This bed is directly behind the house, it is in the middle of the yard...the bed before the previous photos (you following me?). Sand just washes here....there are 3 pavers under all the sand. I think this one will be as easy fix.
This area is on the left side of the yard, which is the high end. This is where the water flows. You can see where it has washed out leaves and sand. If you notice the area upper left hand corner you can see where one problem area washes out through here. This is close up of the area above
Area in the same bed...just a few feet below the other washout area. Notice all of the bricks I have in the rear. I know this is extremely tacky! But I have tried everything...there is brick, stone, cross ties, and none of that helps. I did have a container here, and it would wash over. So I placed the little rack there, to sit a container on in hopes the water would flow under it. Well this is working so far. I moved the container to show you the washout. I can't plant anything in this part of the bed because it is mostly brick under all that pine straw to keep from washing. So I do a lot of containers in this area.
If I turned completely around...this is what it looks like behind can see the water flow.
The 2 areas above are on the other side of this wood fence (shown above). The rose bed is on the opposite of the fence..more in the front yard (really its at the foot of my driveway). You can see the white Berlin wall and my wood fence...this is the problem. The water runs off of the people yards behind me, and down through the Berlin wall. So when it gets to this outlet it is moving very fast. You can see where it washed my rocks out. My thoughts are to come directly off the opening and create a channel (maybe pebbles?) for the water to flow into. Then create an opening at the end for it to flow out into...the down side of this is that it will flow into my driveway....but technically it is doing that anyway! FYI the ugliness of the Berlin wall and my fence will soon be covered by a trellis for the climbing roses to grow on....that is if they don't wash away! The rocks that washed out.
I know how to alteast fix 2 of these problem areas...just not sure about the others. Any thought, ideas, recommendations are greatly appreciated.


Becca's Dirt said...

That's a bad washout. Tomorrow could be another washout. Can you shore up an area for the water to flow using rock and some other materials to divert it where you want it? I don't really know - maybe these other garden bloggers can suggest something.

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Ginger said...

We dug a french drain for a similar problem, and it helped, but didn't totally solve the problem. Long story. I'll be happy to discuss it with you by email if you want -

A dry creek bed (or a few) might work, too. Whatever you do is going to be a lot of work! We live about halfway down a slope and I'm always worried the house is going to slide down the hill during torrential rains!

Marilyn Jones said...

A dry creek bed with rock is my suggestion, also. Add Louisiana iris along the bed. They thrive on the water and have deep growing roots. You could also install a drywell with ceptic lines under the gravel of the rock creek bed.

Gardeness said...

Could you turn the area into a bog garden? Perhaps combined with your creek bed idea? That way you could utilize the water rather than trying to hold it back. I've never done one of these gardens, however, but I've seen them and they always look very cool. They include plants that tend to filter and deal with the water better than others. Here's a couple sites with tips:

Dirt Princess said...

Marilyn - I am way too broke for a drywell with ceptic lines...I am a low budget gardener for the time being ;).

Gardeness - this area is generally dry 355 days a year...just those few that we gets tons of rain...I am looking into the option. I will check out your links. Thanks :)

Maybe I could find some genius engineer to come to my house and figure out a way to catch the runoff water and turn it into a irrigation system for my no cost!!!!!!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Wow you really do get a lot of water. I've never actually put in a dry creek bed, but I bet it would at least help. Are the neighbors willing to do anything since the water comes from their property? Maybe there is a way for them to divert it. I sure hope you can find a solution!

Susie said...

I'm sorry I don't really have any good ideas cause my yard almost looks just like that.

Tootsie said...

give me a few days....I think I have an idea....but you might get dirty.....oh crap you are a gardener...we aren't scared of a little dirt!
My garden had an issue or does the farm my parents have turned into a beautiful park....
how attached to this area to plant in the ground are you? would you settle for .....just email me...that would be loads easier...

Tootsie said...

your last photo shows a drain spout right? What went to the hardware store...picked up some fairly large plumbers pipe or drain spouts...and ran a series of pipes to carry that water away in a controlled manner?
you could build your self a pond type area that is not usually filled with anything but a few garden ornaments or art...and when the floods could fill? I suppose that would be silly as it will come with all the junk in the water....
If you look in my sidebar...there are photos of a cobblestone type pathway....I have more photos if you need a better idea....anyways..that area used to wash away really bad...and the gravel was not staying where I put I bought a mold....and some bags of cement and went to work making a patio of sorts...and on the patio...I had a container garden. When the big water comes now..the stones in the gravel don't go they are stuck in the area because the cobblestones are too close together to allow them to move.....
OR....what about raising that bed way up?
My sister in law had issues with her soil washing away when she would get heavy rain. She went to a toy store...picked up a cheap hard plastic kids swimming pool....dug down two inches...planted her pool....painted it with that krylon spray that sticks to plastic....and drilled some holes in the floor of the pool for drainage. She added a thin layer of gravel to the bottom...and then filled with soil...her garden is fantastic!
I am not sure if any of these ideas are what you were looking for...
I have a few more...if you want them let me know...if I am seriously off base...ignore me for the tired tootsie that I am today!
at any rate...good luck girl.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

We've had the same problem here in NE Georgia--my driveway is practically a river!
I suppose we've been in a drought so long, the rain is welcome, but wish it were more spread out.
As far as advice to help your problem areas. . . perhaps it is caused from run-off from the street. If you feel like fighting city hall, you might ask the local government for assistance with diverting the water via deeper culverts or larger storm drains.

Dirt Princess said...

Catherine - I don't know the neighbor's behind me...but I believe this is where the problem starts since they are on higher ground than me...not by much though.

Susie - Maybe we all can solve my problem and then work on yours ;)

Cathy - I wish the runoff was from the street. I have a huge drain in my front yard that would solve that issue.

Tootsie - GREAT IDEAS!!! Thanks for telling me about them (Susie read what Tootsie has to say). I think I will have to try concrete channels and a raised bed.

I have determined the problem is coming from 3 places. #1 the neighbor's behind me (directly and too the left) are on slightly higher ground than I am. #2 My neighbors to the left have a brick wall around their entire back yard and it runs alond their driveway (this is the Berlin wall I refer too). When we get a lot of rain their yard gets a sponge. The water has no where else to go but to seep under the wall. #3 The water builds up from the 2 above sources and channels down through the brick (Berlin) wall, and my fence. Thus causing the problem. I am going to rememdy this soon. I am going to make a plan this weekend on how to remedy the problem.

Ya'll have been TONS of help and I appreciate everyone's input...thats what blogger friends are for :)

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