If our three week period with little rainfall in August could be called a drought, there’s no doubt it has ended. A storm several days ago, and a monster that’s just passed through have dumped a month’s rain. Today, the rain came by the bucket load, probably a few inches in an hour and anything in the garden not rooted in or bolted down was washed down the slope.

Now, there’s plenty of bare soil and piles of leaves, twigs, and bark accumulated against low branches shrubs and perennials. This will not be a big fix, most of the debris can be redistributed quickly, but the new planting area on the slope will require a bit more work.

I often see washouts in gardens with deeply dug bed edges that channel rainwater, and I really thought that drainage would be directed away from this new garden bed. But, that was not considering this much rain, and now the composted bark along the edges has been washed into the lawn. This is also easily fixed, but if this happens with every strong thunderstorm it’s more work than I want to get into.

A smaller area just planted by the greenhouse (above) has a slightly steeper slope, and with runoff from the driveway I covered edges of the planting with gravel, continuing a stone edged planting started a few years ago. Here, there has been no washout since the gravel was laid, and none in today’s extreme rainfall. This is not the look I prefer, but it is the practical solution to the problem, and in another year plants are likely to creep (or leap) over the gravel anyway.

I’m going to use larger stones on this edge. After seeing the washout from this brief monsoon I’ll err on the side of larger stones that won’t be moved. The large leafed ajuga will cover everything by next spring, so I’ll never have to be bothered to fix this washout again.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Have you seen the mudslides of Southern California in the news? Oh my!

    1. Dave says:

      In the east we are fortunate to get regular rainfall so that slopes are covered, most often by deeply rooted plants so this is rarely a problem. We call it a drought when we don’t get significant thrunderstorms over a month. Here, most gardens do not require irrigation.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        We can not landscape an area without irrigation. Irrigation is even necessary to get native plants installed. They only survive without irrigation if they grow into the situation from seed.

      2. Dave says:

        Many people in this area have been trained to irrigate twice a week, forever. I might water the day I plant, but never again. It’s a luxury the west coast can’t afford.

      3. tonytomeo says:

        That is what annoys me about it. I could rant on about it all day. People plant ‘drought tolerant’ plants, and then water them so excessively that they rot. I have not problem with people using water to enjoy their garden, but the waste here is SO ridiculous! It is as if some of us want to flaunt the waste.

  2. Bonnie C. says:

    Dave – where do you get your lovely smooth stones – “river rock”, I think it’s professionally called – & is it very expensive?

    1. Dave says:

      The smooth, river rocks should be available from almost any stone supplier. Some garden centers carry these in bag or by the ton, but I get these from our Landscape center.

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