What do you think of the concept of a dry creek bed?

denninmi(8a)July 6, 2012

This is something I've always wanted to do. I have a slightly sloped area about 20 feet or so away from my larger pond that I think would be a nice place for such a feature.

If I did it, I wonder if it would be better to actually install with a liner and pump so that water could actually run through at times? Or just have the look without being functional?

Any opinions on these? Nice landscape addition or not?

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Well, my opinion is mixed. I am not personally a huge fan of dry stream beds, but they do have their place. I have made several of them and I have been pleased with the results. Using stone from the site if possible helps it look more natural. I have done a couple in an existing drainage area, as the first one pictured below. This area was a muddy mess, so the not quite dry stream bed is a tremendous improvement. The second photo below is a truly dry stream bed. I am trying to find a wider angle photo.

I don't know if you have priced the equipment for a waterfall, but it does add up especially if you are talking about 20 feet in length. That would be beautiful though. I am currently working on a waterfall project, in the planning stages, but I can't wait to get building!

Heres a couple (sorry about the size of the photos and the difference in scale of them I don't know how to ameliorate that on garden web and to make it more difficult the first is looking down the stream and the second is looking up a different dry stream)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Love 'em drtygrl, especially that first one with the flatter rocks :D

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:33PM
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I like #1 very much. Please don't be offended if I say I'm not such a big fan of #2. The reason being I think that a collection of small, round rocks aggregated doesn't look natural, it looks like, well, someone gathered small, round rocks and put them together. For some reason, the flat stone, accented with smaller amounts of rounded rocks and pebbles just looks more like something that would actually be found in nature.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:46PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Out here in the west there was a trend of installing dry stream beds about 16-17 years ago.
Many were so ugly and terribly installed that I think people finally got turned off to them.
Now there is a resurgence due to new landscape ordinances that require a homeowner to keep as much rain water on their own property rather than discharging it into the storm drains.

A lot of the newer dry steam beds are much more natural and organic looking and beautifully integrated into the landscape, I think in part because of the horrid examples of the past.

I think that you can 'get the look' and have it also be functional as a vehicle to re-charge your aquifer.

The installation of a liner, piping, filters and pump is going to be a fairly large undertaking ( $ ) and I wonder if having a dry stream bed might be a better fit than an operational stream bed ?

Drtygrl - The flat stone river bed in the first photo is beautifully rendered.
I appreciate the moss covered large side wall stones and how they naturally move the undulating fall line of the stream.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:41PM
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We added a dry stream bed that runs all the way across our backyard last fall and I love it. It runs along our swale line, and when it rains it actually fills up at one end (one of our buried downspouts drains into it), creating a "pool" that my kids love to play in.

We paid a landscaping company to install it, but I was able to hand select each of the large boulders we placed along it (had to go to 4 different stone yards to find them all but it was worth it) and my husband and I were both there to direct their placement. Two of the boulders are "bridges" across the stream bed which the kids also love to play on. The smaller stones which make up the bulk of the stream bed are river cobble, with larger ones along the edges and smaller pebbles running through the middle. I've only started landscaping around it, but it's already one of my favorite features in our yard.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:27AM
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Photo #2 needs a larger variety of rock sizes. Real stream beds have a base of pebbles and fist-size rocks with the larger rocks scattered among them. often making small dams.



    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I made a dry creek bed in my back yard and it really helped with drainage during a storm. The grass is starting to grow now! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Dry creek bed in back yard for beauty and drainage

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 12:56AM
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If done correctly with various size stone, they're beautiful. I don't see them as any sort of trend, but if a property is heavily landscaped with tress and other plants, versus bare, it does seem to be more justifiable, and realistic. ;o)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Homeowners often get rid of such puddling by building dry creek beds. Besides the practical aspect of improving landscape drainage, dry creek beds can also be attractive. In fact, some folks with absolutely no landscape drainage problems build dry creek beds just because they like the look of them

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:23PM
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