This August we will have been in this house 2 years. The time has flown by. One thing we are discovering is the rhythm of this property. This neighborhood is fabulously multi-dimensional. There are hills, and valleys, and flat, and rollercoaster topographical aspects.
Our particular lot is on a really nice slope. Nothing I dislike more than a flat postage stamp of a green yard with nothing of interest. We do have some nearly flat spaces, but we have lots of variety and dimension to our topography.
One of the things we’ve noticed is the amount of rainwater runoff there is. We have way more land than footprint of impermeable surface.
The previous owners buried all the extensions for the downspouts so that they empty to the driveway. After observing the natural flow of the slope when it rains we have identified several areas where the water also flows directly to the driveway. We need to change this.
I have been researching, and got Tom on board with Berm and Swale. I am using several online resources, but this one provides me with the following explanations:
What’s a Swale?
Swales are simply shallow, low depressions in the ground designed to encourage the accumulation of rain during storms and hold it for a few hours or days to let it infiltrate into the soil. Swales ideally are tree-lined and store water for the immediate landscape as well as help cleanse the water as it percolates down.
What’s a Berm?
Berms are raised beds that can be used to direct water to swales. They are the equivalent of the slope in road used to push water off the middle of the road toward the curbs.
For our front yard we are installing a Berm, there is a natural swale already in place.
The downspouts will be uprooted and redirected to the yard, and we will install at least one rain barrel in the front.
I have tried to encourage Tom to seek assistance, because First: he shouldn’t be doing all this hard work himself, and Second, he needs help doing all this hard work.. Will/Does he listen to me, NO!
So in the front yard we have created a Berm of landscape brick, they are backed by a layer of weed fabric. The area will be planted and the rainwater from the front yard will move down the slope and rather than directly in to the swale it will be held by the dirt, landscape stones, fabric, and plantings. It will hold water for use by the plants, and diminish the immediate runoff.
The backyard will be a much bigger project, and I am sort of insisting on a Consultation with a landscape/irrigation person to advise on the placement. This will have to be a separate post. There are 3 distinct runoff trails.