1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns in the Franchising forum plus sign up to receive a FREE eBook on how to grow your landscape business.

    Dismiss Notice

unsightly drainage

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Brendan Smith, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    ok. i haven't ever done anything like this per say, but i feel confident that i am capable. here's the scenario:
    i have a customer who has a small (18") drainage ditch in her yard. it holds water almost all of the time and is in a really poorly drained area. french drains are out of the question due to conditions. what i want to do is give the ditch a makeover. i'm thinking of hand excavation the run of the ditch down another 12" or so, backfilling the excavation with small pebbles, building up a short wall on either side using riverstone, and laying field stone along the run over the pebbles. my biggest question is what should i do to provide a firm foundation for the river stone? i was thinking of pouring about 4-6" of concrete for the river stone to sit on. i'm very open to any suggestions anyone has, but am not looking to sublet it, as i'm starting to bank winter work and she is agreeable to waiting.
    btw - the run of the ditch is about 25'
  2. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    if this should be in hardscaping, feel free to move it please.
  3. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 310

    Go to Amazon.com and search for Landscaping with Stone.

    I have the 2000 Sunset book edited by Hazel White along with other landscaping books which are helpful on design and plant selection. The Sunset book is extremely helpful here, but one can always use more information on this.

    There is also a BH&G book published in 2004 which is a rip on the style of the Sunset book.

    There is a new Sunset book published in 2006 and edited by Jeanne Huber. This was probably published because of the rising popularity of stonescaping and to one up the BH&G book.

    There is another book by Pat Sagui. I saw a book by Steve Cory that might be helpful as well.

    The books have nice photos to see different examples and styles. They also go into drawings and photos in regards to installation. I would get two different books in case one lacks in an area where you need more information.

    You might consider a french drain in addition to a dry creek bed, which is usually done with river rock and river pebbles, or a hybrid path/dry creek bed which is usually done with pea gravel, pebble, river rock, or egg rock in addition to the stepping stones. Both usually use accents like mountain rock or field stone boulders.

    The french drain helps prevent washing around your path--depending on how you edge it. A pure dry creek bed without edging doesn't need a french drain if properly set. Curves and landscaping beds also help control the run-off.

    Sand is necessary to set and hold the rocks. Sand acts like a mortar but without the cracking. You'll also want to look at the source of drainage. The right plants in enough dirt can suck up a lot of water. Juniper is popular on banks because they suck up the run-off.
  4. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 310

    Also 30-year landscape fabric might be helpful in keeping things in place and preventing red clay or mud in your area from ruining the look of what is built. Use of the fabric to control weeds is a joke. It will grow in the sand.
  5. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    Post some pics of the problem.

  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Agreed Brendan..take some pics for us so we can advise you correctly please.
  7. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    i'll try to get some this weekend when i'm there mowing. thanks all!
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Good... waiting for them.
  9. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    the first one is of the run (about 25') and the second one is of the swampy area it dumps into. my main concern is how deep and wide to make the footing, highest point of the wall will be no more than 3' including excavation. i'm thinking 3-4" concrete footing twice as wide as wall to prevent it from sinking. any advise and/or opinions are more than welcome.

    lawn stuff 005.JPG

    lawn stuff 004.JPG
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Brendan, I don't think you need to do all that I would dig it out a bit so the sides are not so steep, install landscape fabric and put cobbles ( Noiya River rock Lg) along the sides then larger drain rock in the middle. Make it into a natural looking creekbed.
    The rock will push tha water out. Also make sure it is graded to drain where it needs to go.

Share This Page