One of the less glamorous, yet essential, elements of a garden installation is drainage. A landscape must be graded in order to direct water away from a residence or else a drainage system must be installed to redirect the water.

There is an often-used acronym in landscaping: WWW – water will win. Left to it’s own devices, the accumulation of water can cause damage in a number of ways. The collection of water under a house can cause dry rot, and can result in mold and the infestation of insects and rodents. Excess water around plant material can cause root rot and instant plant death. Water in continuous contact with wood, such as siding, fences, and decks, will cause dry rot. Puddles on concrete steps and patios will lead to mold and discoloration, and undermine grout in flagstone, brick and tile applications. Slippery surfaces are a safety hazard.

Details Landscape Art, one of Sonoma County’s premier landscape contractors, is diligent about ensuring that the grading of its hardscape surfaces and of the garden itself directs and diverts water properly. Techniques we use are as follows:

  1. Surface drainage. Simply grading the property away from the home or building and toward the street or available storm drains is the most basic and least expensive method.
  2. Solid drains carry water from one place to another, and are useful to connect gutters and downspouts, and also catch basins, directing water to a desired destination using solid drainpipe.
  3. French drains. When 1.and 2. Above are insufficient, we may dig a trench 12” deep and 12” wide, sloping this trench in the desired direction at a rate of 1” per 8 feet. A thin layer of crushed drain rock at the bottom of the trench keeps the perforated drainpipe a little off the ground. This drainpipe is wrapped in a filter fabric to keep dirt out of the pipe. Then the trench is filled with crushed drain rock. This French drain collects water along its entire length and carries it to its destination.