|A big pool of water has collected at the lowest point of the path|
(see centre left of the picture)
|Several hours later, and the paths are still soggy!|
Urgent action was needed! There are lots of ways to deal with poor drainage on a sloping site, including gravel-filled french drains sunk below ground, and rain gardens. After a rapid search of the internet, we decided the best option for us would be a dry creek bed leading to a sump drain. The creek bed would channel water off the paths and down to the lowest point of the garden, where it would sink into the sump drain and gradually disperse into the soil.
We didn't take as many 'action shots' as we should have, as we were racing to beat the next downpour. But basically, the job involved clearing away soil to a depth of about 20cm from the 'creek bed' and mounding it up on either side of the cleared area. We kept the slope of the bed the same as the garden, while making sure that the level was lower than the paths that we needed to drain. We added one small flat stretch where the water can pool and feed rushes.
Once we'd dug the bed, we lined it with landscape fabric to keep the soil in place, and distributed river pebbles liberally over the surface, smaller ones in the middle and larger along the edges. A few sandstone rocks completed the picture. The whole thing only took us about two hours.
|The lower portion of the creek bed. You can see the landscape|
fabric peeping out in the bottom right hand corner of the shot.
|Dry creek bed completed, with the first plantings of rushes|
in place on the lower stretch