Tuesday, June 16, 2015

{Back Yard} Dry Creek Bed

Good Morning, friends! After the crazy amount of rain we've had in Missouri lately, this project will be well loved. Actually, it's not even done and I love it already. 

During the creation of this area, Doug and I were planning the container locations and realized that the gutter would create a great little dry creek bed aka gutter run off aka rain garden. I like the name rain garden so it may stick. For now, it's just what you see here - dirt, mud, mulch, and rocks. Oh so many rocks.

But lets get to the pictures. Here it is before I did anything. I didn't spread the mulch out everywhere knowing that I would be back at it for this project. The handful of mulch between the fish and the square container was just poorly placed mulch that I got too lazy to deal with at the time. This is also after super heavy rains over the past few days and the gutter definitely showed us where to dig the dry creek. 

Here you can see more of the actual path that the gutter run off created. Due to the slop of the ground (the nature of our backyard and then enforced by us as we worked on it), it already drained away from the house. This is definitely key here! 

The green plastic was leftover from a previous homeowner. We still run into those problems even after 8 years of living here. That's how unloved this back yard area really was. Not anymore! 

So bright and early this morning (after dropping the kids off at daycare anyway), I started digging. It was definitely muddy and easy to create a little stream. Like I said, we had help from all of the rain. If I could send some of this rain west, I would. I know California needs it. 

The black liner is from my dad. He picked it up so it wasn't just thrown away from his old job. It's been hanging out at his place (along with LOTS of extra… so much so that I may find another spot for it…) and worked perfect for this project. While out at my parents' over the weekend, we cut some up for this project. I then took the whole sheet and cut it in half to make it more manageable. I then continued to cut around the containers and to tweak it here and there. No pictures of that process due to it just being a here and there type thing. 

I then grabbed a bunch of the smaller, thinner creek rocks we picked out of my parents' creek weeks ago. Some of the heavier rocks help hold down the liner and hold back the mulch. The thinner, smaller rocks are great for lining the creek and to hide the black liner. 

Due to the slop, I thought it would be fun to overlap some of the rocks to create a waterfall type area. I also put this one on top to cover the rest so that water, when it rains, will go under it. I hope to take some photos of this actually happen at some point. 

Now you can see it coming together more. It's still not done, but definitely pretty close! 

 At the top of the creek, to help hide the downspout, I used this crazy piece of driftwood I've had for years. I'm not sure if we picked this up at my parents' farm or on vacation somewhere. I used to pick up cool pieces for my large fish tank that I've since sold. This one never saw the inside of a tank though and always was in the garden. I moved it from Lily's Garden where it wasn't really a feature and placed it around the rocks and gutter. It fit perfectly! 


I'm not done but you can see the progress. I want to wait until it rains some more to actually mess with the placement of everything I've already done. I have more creek gravel to place in, plus more creek rocks to use to hide the edge of the black liner. 

What do you think? Would you ever make a gutter run off aka dry creek bed aka rain garden? 

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