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Show #48/2209

Constructing a Dry Creek Bed

Bart realizes that often when installing hardscape on top of a previously grassy area, when removing the plant material it can cause some water management problems. Salli found that to be the case but incorporated some novel solutions. Since they don't have the grass and soil to absorb the sudden torrential rainfalls, they tend to get, they put in a dry creek bed. The dry creek bed has really solved that problem. They don't get the flooding they initially had. And, it is attractive and effective. It started out purely as an aesthetic creek bed but as time went on they realized it was functional as well. Since Cheyenne gets about 12-13 inches of rain a year, and it seems that they get that rainfall in 2 rainstorms, when it rains it can be torrential. Thus they really did need to channel the water away from the house so they wouldn't get water in their basement. Many think a dry creek bed is a very difficult element to construct. But it's not. One need only follow a few basic principles. You don't need to make it deep and you don't need to make it terribly wide. As long as the large stones are towards the front, so that they're slowing the water, then move the water evenly it will work. Here it has those features. The creek bed moves the water under the sidewalk, then around the house and out to the front yard where it intelligently waters the sod, shrubs, all the perennials and hedges. It has worked for 10 years now, keeping water out of the basement.

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By Monrovia Nursery Company
Photographs by Doreen Wynja for Monrovia

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