Front yard/drainage question--dry creek/rain garden

SarabethersJanuary 6, 2012

Hi there,

I have a new to me home, and I've been tackling a few front yard landscaping projects. I want to install a dry stream bed instead of a long gross downspout extension like the one present now. My question is, the dry stream bed in theory will come to the end of the front planting bed....this is not natural, of course, (who am I going to fool, anyway??)so my next inclination was to put a rain garden at the end of the stream.

I appreciate any ideas.

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I suggest that you post a picture taken from somewhat closer up that shows the "ugly downspout extension" that you are trying to get rid of... and its surroundings. (To post a photo, copy the html code from the photo-hosting website you use and paste it directly in the message. The photo will appear when you preview the message if you used the right code.)

Also, what does "rain garden" mean to you?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Downspout attached to the porch pillar? Where (what zone are you in) are you and do you get such rains that the area is continually boggy? Can't tell from the photo, but is rain run-off making a swale somewhere in the lawn?

Rain gardens don't suck up standing water; they're planted up with plants that can thrive in wet conditions. If the downspout extension is doing its job and being "ugly" is the major reason for doing anything... seems to me a few select, low growing, relatively easy to maintain shrubs would take care of it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Yeah, my picture is quite poor. I'll have to take a better one. There is not a 'swale' but a spot at the end of the front bed (mud) where the water collects. The downspout comes to the end of the column, and then a long extension goes out 5 or 6 feet towards the yard. At the end of the extension, water pools in my bed and pushes the dirt around. I don't like the extension--it's ugly and sticks out like a sore thumb Water will need to be directed away from the porch foundation. We have clay soil, which I've been amending slowly but surely, and it does stay wet there for quite some time after a rain. It's a west facing house, though, so during the summer it can get quite toasty there.

Rain garden to me means a special garden made up of a range of plants--from water loving to moisture tolerating planted in a swale (usu. on the edge of slope below a downspout or a source of water). The rain garden helps to use the rainwater to keep it from entering storm drains, etc.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 5:15PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Call me lazy, but a few minutes with a can of green or brown paint might solve your problem... if only that extension wasn't white.

That and a little pile of river rock where it discharges.

Not that I wouldn't do the rain garden solution. Just that it isn't the only option.

Karin L

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 8:16PM
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