Need suggestions for finishing drain

modern_miss(10A (15 Sunset) SF Bay Area CA)March 1, 2013

We had a drainage system engineered for our property. It's been installed for about a year. Our landscaping contractor threw some mulch around these drains (they're about one foot square) but they look ugly. The drains are both below grade (the one in the photo is actually higher than the second one). They came in handy in December during a massive rain storm. If we hadn't clean the leaves off the drain we would have had flooding. But that kind of storm happens once every 5 years.
My questions are:
1) I'd like to plant around them but I feel like i need to retain the dirt retaining wall? what material should i use?
2) Can I / should I place a few large river rock on top?
3) what's the most simple/elegant /natural way to make this look finished or better yet - make these disappear? thanks!

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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

This is a common problem that we remedy by placing stonework around the collar of the drain inlet.
You can get as fancy or rustic with the stone work as long as it allows water to still filter in and debris from clogging the inlet.
The stones are set in a dry lay pattern - no mortar and usually never a footing.

We've even intergrated these into a dry river pattern of stone work with large boulders meandering the outer edges and smaller rock in the dry creek. .

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Do you intend to plant groundcover in the mulched area? Such plants would hide the drain completely and help stabilize the ground surrounding the drains and act as a filter so that soil and bits of flotsam were not washed into the inlets. You'd need to periodically trim it back so that it didn't actually cover the drains.

Do not set rocks on top of the grate.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 5:43PM
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modern_miss(10A (15 Sunset) SF Bay Area CA)

Thank you for your comments! Deviant-deziner, if you have a photo (or a link to one) of what your talking about that would be a huge help. Yardvaark - i that's a great idea too. I could plant a ground cover...
I hugely appreciate this!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:26AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Most all of the photos that I have of the drain is obscured by the rock placement.

Here is a quick sketch of a simplied rock placement.
As long as the rock has enough space between them to allow for the sheet flow of water you'll be find.
This is actually a duplicate rough detail from a soils engineers office.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:48PM
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