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Landscape Design That Resists Drought and Flooding

Landscape design
Protect your garden by planning for droughts and floods.

Droughts, floods, and other disasters: how does your garden grow during these hard times? If your garden isn’t resilient to the changes that every season brings, you may find that you suffer from soil erosion, damage to your garden beds during floods, and a dry garden during times of drought. Through sensible landscape design techniques, you can make gardening easy rather than fighting against the water in your garden.

Move Water In the Garden

Your garden landscape is like the traffic director for your garden. When the water starts to come down, where does it go? It goes wherever it can, unless you set up a system designed to move water where you want or need it in your garden. Moving water in the garden also allows you to control the direction of water during the dry times of the year. What are some of the ways that you can control the water in your garden? 

  • Grade the surfaces around your home so that water runs away from the home.
  • Instead of installing more concrete in your garden when you build pathways or patios, add gravel or permeable materials instead. A concrete slab can redirect the water traffic in your garden into an area that does not work for your home or garden.
  • Build a berm: according to Popular Mechanics, a berm is “a small hill covered with grass or other plants that will divert runoff around what you want to protect.” 
  • Move the water into a dry well or a rain garden. A dry well is a hole that’s usually dry, but when the rain comes, you can send the water into it. A rain garden is a garden that serves a similar purpose, capturing water and using it to water plants.
  • Use ditches to move water around the garden. You could use a French drain, a trench that often has a pipe at the bottom. You can also use a basic swale, a ditch on contour that works to slow down and store water.
Landscape design
Healthy soil stores water in the garden.

Store Water in the Garden

One of the best ways to store water in your garden is by building up your garden soil. Healthy soil contains air pockets, and when it’s wet outside, these spaces fill up with water. Your garden soil can turn into a giant sponge that contains a large amount of water, making it harder for your garden to erode and flood when it’s rainy, and nourishing your garden plants when it’s dry. According to The Guardian, “adding organic matter to the soil improves its structure, which helps it to retain moisture.” Add compost to your soil, place mulch on top of the ground, and you’re helping your garden store water.

Swales and rain gardens are also ways to store water in the garden. They slow down the water and direct it to new locations, but as the water slows, some of it sinks into the soil, increasing your garden water reservoir.

You can also store water by adding a rain barrel or a series of rain barrels near your home. If you need to water the garden, you can take water from this system rather than relying on local water supplies.

Your Home and Garden Should Work Together 

If you’re having trouble with too much water in your garden, remember that your home and garden should work together. What is the source of the water problem in your garden? If it’s a clogged gutter, schedule regular gutter cleaning or keep your gutters running clean and clear with a gutter cover. If it’s a drainage pipe that leads to the wrong part of your garden, plan to create a different drainage solution or reorient the pipe in your garden. Your home structures should work with your garden to make it simple to manage water in your landscape.

At Harry Helmet, we’re here to help you maintain your home and create a home and garden landscape that’s full of ease and enjoyment, not work. Connect with us and see how you can easily manage water around your home by adding a gutter cover or a new seamless gutter system. Schedule a free estimate today.

Written by Del Thebaud

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