Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Designs & Downspouts

Here's a brief update of what's been going on this past week at Abundant Design.

I delivered a consultation sketch and the client loved it!  We'll start the wildflower area soon, and the vegetable garden terraces next Spring.  I also did a consultation/estimate for a
friend/scientist/teacher/pastor.  This guy wears a lot of hats and wears them well!

This weekend I also finished up a design for a home in the Easter Lake area.  The design is a typical foundation planting but with fruits and berries incorporated, along with native prairie grass, wildflowers and herbs.

Today some Rudbekia and Shasta Daisy starts were transplanted into bigger containers, and I found a few spots in the yard to add a couple that didn't fit.  The bees and butterflies will appreciate more of these. 
The rain showers were a nice refreshing drink for them as I was finishing up. 

That's where the next part begins...

One thing about our driveway (where I was working) is a little depression that actually goes under the corner of the driveway.  It is an occasional home to wayward toads, and I've typically tossed rocks from the yard here so I don't hit them with the mower.

In this corner of the house is also a downspout, that I've often thought of routing under a path or walkway (someday) and into a rain garden.  This area is often wet and soggy for a while after a rain and if I could get a raised path or divert the water it would be a cleaner trip to the backyard.  Add a rain barrel for good measure and the flowers up front would have nitrogen rich rain water during dry spells.
This Spring I also became concerned about the slope of the ground towards our house and a low rise just outside of the splash block keeping water in.  The hole under the driveway was starting to concern me, too, especially since a house on the next street up has a sunken driveway that is going to need some serious work to repair.
As the rain came pretty hard for a while today, I watched the flow from the spout.  Sure enough, what I was afraid was happening was happening...  
Water flowing back under the splash block into that hole.

Luckily I had a spade just inside the garage door.  I grabbed it and within a minute I had a good trench for the water to run away from the driveway and house foundation.

Now that rain garden may happen sooner than later, maybe even the path.

There are some excellent resources at Rainscaping Iowa, like the Design and Installation Manual,
...but mine may end up more like one of these from Ecologia Design.

The City of Waukee also has a reimbursement program if you qualify.  Check with your local government to see if they also have an incentive program.  If you want help designing or installing a rain garden, contact me and we can get you started!

Until next week, take care!

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