Making A Dry Creek Bed Drainage Canal for Downspouts

What to do with this sedum garden? That's a question we asked ourselves several times. It was at one time a sedum garden but for some reason most of the sedum died over last summer. They may have been too wet, too dry, or both! The gutter from the garage roof gushes out water from at least 50% of the roof - then the summer heat dries out the whole area. It really takes one tough plant to survive those ever changing conditions. So we have to adapt and make the area more hospitable for planting. What did we come up with? A dry creek bed with a canal to channel the water away from the house and the garden.

Here's the basic idea before implementation. A set of plain gray 2"x8"x16" concrete stones form the base layer. The channel is created by retaining wall blocks set as the borders. Inside the channel Rock pebbles will add that decorative touch that disguises the gray blocks.

I started off by laying the foundation or the base layer of gray blocks. It's important to grade it so that water will flow away from the house. All the sedums in this are that were clinging to life were moved to try to save them. Consider them in intensive care - but they should pull through! Also the two large sedums ('Autumn Joy') were flanking the channel area but are now on the same side.

Then I lined up the border retaining wall stones so they overlapped the gray block stone an inch on each side. I leveled each stone as I moved away from the house by shimming it with soil and gravel.

While laying the stone I added a couple terracotta pots into the border. Eventually I can place some plants into them and soften the stone look a little. Then I filled with a nice light brown colored decorative gravel.

Here is the dry creek bed mostly complete.

Please forgive the mess of lumber in the driveway! For a little more accent I put more pots on top of the channel wall.

Here is how it looks from another angle. The two large sedums are 'Autumn Joy'. You can't see them too well but 'Blue Spruce' and 'Dragon's Blood' are mixed in the bed. They are the sedum plants in intensive care I spoke of earlier. Fortunately a little sprig of sedum is all you need to grow a happy and healthy plant - I love plant propagation! Have I said that before?

And once again here is the project from the driveway angle. All total the project cost less that $100 and on;y took 45-60 minutes to install. I need to make a few adjustments to seal up a little gap between a couple stones on the right. It also needs a back-flow preventer stone under the gutter. We don't want any water heading toward the house if there is too much water for the system to handle!

I've always liked dry creek beds since they look really neat and serve a very functional purpose. Here's another dry creek bed I made a while back. And another one!

Have you ever tried installing a dry creek bed of some kind?

Here are some tips on designing a raised bed vegetable garden.

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