A waterlogged garden is a nightmare, but with smart landscaping, you may prevent floods – or at least shorten its duration.
Landscapers should be aware what the weather can do to a garden. They should also know how certain landscaping techniques can prevent flooding and with waterlogged garden solutions it can be prevented.
Of course, no amount of preparation or infrastructure can prevent rain. However, landscaping CAN ensure that your landscape is adequately prepared to withstand high rainfall. I adopt a two-pronged approach to this.
To begin, ensure that as many surfaces as possible are absorbent. Second, make sure the garden architecture allows excess water to drain as easily as possible. I’m talking about balancing the levels and putting in a solid drainage system. These are all things that you may not notice once a garden has been landscaped…but you will notice when they aren’t.
Landscaping features such as this gravel border around a patio all aid in the free flow of excess water away from a garden. They also look good!
Flood Friendly Surfaces are key to prevent waterlogged lawns
It is important to note at this point that no matter how well you design and build your garden to prevent floods, if the ground around you is saturated and the drainage systems are overwhelmed, you may discover that your garden is wetter than you’d want. So, if the water has nowhere to go, you’ll be stuck waiting for it to recede. However, capturing part of that rain and slowly releasing it onto your garden will lessen the chance of floods.
Green roofing is one method for accomplishing this.
Have you ever considered how much rainfall flows off your garden shed, log store, bin store, summerhouse, and so on? I’m willing to bet that even if you have water butts ready to catch it, a significant amount will still escape into the drainage system.
Roofing Made from Plants
A green roof, or a blue-green roof system, will significantly minimise rainfall runoff.
Surfaces that are permeable
For some time now, it has been a condition of planning that front gardens that are used for parking have a water permeable surface. But why should we stop there? If you know your garden is prone to flooding, consider installing absorbent surfaces in both the front and rear gardens.
The obvious choice is natural grass, but what about gravel?
Perhaps you could build patios and walks with the same permeable base layers as your driveway? Don’t forget that your beds and borders are excellent at absorbing water. As a result, the more planting areas you create, the better.
Have you heard of a rain garden?
They’re becoming more popular in commercial developments, but there’s no reason why they can’t be used in private gardens as well. In a word, hard surface drainage is channelled to a specially created sump that is attractively planted with species that don’t mind if the soil becoming flooded from time to time.
General drainage in the Garden
Landscaping entails more than just placing slabs. A smart landscaper would plan gardens that move surplus water to a location where it will not be a problem. Paths and patios will be laid with a little incline so that water runs off them.
However, we must use caution in directing that water. Even if your garden naturally slopes towards your house, a skilled landscaper will adjust the slope of your patio and position the levels so that rain is channelled away from your structure.
The water is then sent through drain channels to a soakaway, pond, or designated ditch.
Gravel borders around the edge of a patio will also aid with water management and is one of the popular waterlogged garden solutions.
Retaining walls are another consideration.
If your garden is terraced, every retaining wall must be designed to allow excess water to drain. If you don’t, you’ll wind up with a lot of weight pressing against the wall, which could eventually lead to collapse. A drainage system with aggregates, permeable membranes, and drainage pipes leading to weep holes will be installed behind each retaining wall. If you are constructing your own retaining wall, please consult a structural engineer beforehand. In the long run, it will save you a lot of heartache.
Constructing a retaining wall
To maintain stability, retaining walls are meticulously constructed with discrete drainage methods.
Talk to a landscaper who understand the importance of drainage.
There are those who call themselves landscapers, and then there are those who actually are. When looking for someone to help with landscaping to minimise floods, make sure you contact professional landscapers like ourselves who truly understand drainage.
We cover Solihull and Warwickshire so if you located in this area please contact us for help and advice.