Aesthetic solution to garden floodsFebruary 9 2016
Visit our Landscape Supplies team for pebbles and rocks of various sizes to create a dry creek bed, the perfect solution for areas of your garden that are subject to flooding.
The recent torrential rain around Geelong may have brought to light some areas of your garden that are badly effected by flooding where puddles and sogginess mount up. This tends to happen with slopping gardens, not uncommon in coastal and rural properties along the Bellarine. You may find that heavy rains have created an eroded ditch that is both ugly and potentially dangerous.
The idea behind a dry creek is that while it’s dry when there’s no rain, when there’s any substantial downpour the excess water is provided with a path that directs the water where you want it.
You can chose to end your creek at a wet or dry pond. If you choose to go for a wet pond, you’ll need to set this up with a pump and irrigation for dryer times.
When deciding where to start your creek bed, you need to consider the natural lay of your garden. If flooding is caused by an open storm or downpipe, then begin your start your creek here. Or follow your eroded ditch back to where is appears to begin or if erosion is occurring all over a slop, start at the highest practical point.
Aesthetically, it’s nice to have your creek bed appear from behind some feature so as to disguise its origin. This feature could be a planting (tree or bush), a large garden pot or an oversized rock. This gives your design a bit more romance.
If the rains have created a ditch, then use this as a guide for designing the path of your creek. Otherwise create a “natural” flowing path with gentle curves that heads downward.
Dig out a concave shape for your creek with a bowl shape at the end. Start by lining the creek with weed mat. For a dry pond, dig a hole an extra half a foot deeper and line with sand, this will aid in draining off any flood water. For a wet pond, you can either line with waterproof plastic sheeting or choose a ready moulded polypropylene pond.
Once the weed matting is laid, position several larger feature rocks along the creek. Next lay an aggregate such as a crushed rock or scoria. Then build up with pebbles of various sizes. It’s a good idea to position larger pebbles, such as Bright 70mm or Tuscan 80mm along the edges of your creek.
You can choose to use all smooth pebbles, all rough or a combination. Mix and match colours and hues, from the unusual purple tint of Salt Creek 20mm or natural sunset shades available in a range of different river pebbles. The aesthetics are really up to you.
Consider planting tufty grasses along your creek bed; like Spear Grass or Kangaroo Paw, even Common Wheat Grass.
Don’t worry about daily maintenance of your dry creek, any plant or organic debris that accumulates in it will only add to the natural aesthetic.
A small foot bridge can add a cute and practical feature to your creek. Either construct one yourself from reclaimed wood – repurpose an old garden bench – or seek out something readymade.