landscaping on french drain

MarcusSAugust 25, 2011

Just put a french drain right thru where landscaping should be. Had to do it.

I'm not too overly-concerned about asthetics, its the back of the house, its a fenced in back yard, and it was the shaded north and north/east side anyways.

Nevertheless, I need to put something over the gravel channel, or the wife will kill me.

- I was thinking about just going with landscaping rock (river rock, is it called) but that sounds expensive and sorta 80s.

- A friend suggested that after putting fill and top soil over the gravel channel (there'd be about 3 inches of soil coverage) to plant mondo grass.

I'd love to hear other ideas? I'm in the Atlanta area.

Here is a link that might be useful: drain

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

MarcusS, I tried to make your tinyurls into links (via a Firefox add-on), but both tinyurls and the "drain" link in your post give me a picasaweb notice "Sorry, that page was not found."

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:46AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Still doesn't work. Maybe your page requires a sign-in?

And while I'm at it, I'm hoping your photos will include whole-yard perspective, not just close-up?


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:03PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

If picasa offers different choices for links (as Photobucket does), what we need is the html code.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:55PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I don't need to see your photos to be able to reply. Mondo grass is a great choice for a planting solution in limited planting depth of three inches of soil. Just make sure that you have the gravel within the french drain adequately protected from soil infiltration into the trench, and be cognizant that such a limited planting depth will probably benefit from/if not require, supplemental irrigation to keep it alive and thriving if regular rainfall is insufficient to get it established and thriving. The fact that it has water retentive fleshy roots that form interconnected networks that will eventually bridge the width of limited soil depth makes it an excellent choice, especially in a more shaded situation.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Marcus, I'm having trouble too with posting photos - Flickr ate mine somehow. This picture is the only one I can access currently. You have to look behind the young hedging.

Anyway, I have two french drains on my property. The one in the front is has 1" gravel to just below the surrounding ground level. It is then topped with a kind of tumbled flat rock, blue-green in colour and roughly sandwich sized. It looks pretty cool actually, rather Asian influenced. I think if you had the inclination and patience, you could expand that idea creatively.

The other in my back garden is covered with grass, pretty much the same as bahia suggests. When it reaches the perennial beds, it continues between the plantings. You can't tell it's there except the foliage is rather more lush from the extra water.

The neighbours behind me simply elected to leave the drain covered only by gravel. It doesn't look 80's to me - just utilitarian...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:36PM
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good ideas all around. Very frustrating with the pictures. Let me try one more time. I'm usually pretty tech-savvy, but usually get to upload photos on my posts. This "link only" stuff is new to me.

so, I'm now pasting in exactly what copies over from the HTML. It looks really long, but I'm going with it. french drain

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:06PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

It looks like there was no use of filter fabric to wrap the crushed drain rock and keep it free of soil fines clogging it over time. Or hopefully you did properly wrap the trench with filter fabric, and we're just seeing a topdressing of gravel over the fabric.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Grass may be a challenge there if it's north facing and under the eaves. What about adding some soil (I am assuming that the weeping tile is sleeved, right?) over the channel and then topping it off with sedum or bergenias? Perennial, evergreen, low maintenance and attractive.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:58PM
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Bahia, that's top dressing to hold it down. I wrapped it like a burrito, and then even put a top sheet down over the "burrito" and covered it with a layer of gravel. I do have top soil now to bring it up to level. Adrienne, there is really no eave, as its a colonial style home (unfortunately).

Bergenias look interesting.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 8:40AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Good to hear that it was properly made... The Bergenia will also work well, as would almost any lower growing evergreen perennial for shade, such as Liriope spp's, Ophiopogon spp's mixed in with spring flowering small bulbs such_ as Ipheion uniflorum, the Bergenia, Trachelospermum asiaticum, etc., or even Vinca minor.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:24PM
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