After I installed–or roughed in, rather–the streambed a week or so ago, it rained solidly for a day.
I hadn’t had a chance to get gravel and larger stones fully laid in. So we performed the evaluation without.
It may be difficult to see, but the water runs down the channel, which slopes gradually towards the deepest part of the bed. A few larger rocks upstream in this photo slow the pace of the flow. Then the porous soil at the end of the channel soaks it all up.
The channel looks full, but it wasn’t at capacity.
I rate this a B+ for performance but a C- for aesthetics. I had thought to make the end of the channel fan out, and to plant some water-loving shrubs at the point where the streambed ends, intending that their branches would camouflage the better part of the streambed. (I am not totally sold on the dry streambed as a garden element.) Neither has happened yet. But the streambed needs to be longer, I think, to ensure the water reaches the far edge of the garden and doesn’t overflow in the event of a genuine, hurricane-style downpour. The design at this stage does sufficiently soak the deepest-dug central part of the bed.
After a few days, when the soil had dried out adequately, I brought forth the spade and dug again. One of my son’s friends, over for the afternoon, took an interest in the project, and soon I had two children helping me move rocks.
Much better looking, I think, if a little homogeneous (I need to pick up a bag or two of fine gravel to mix into the lot); it functions very well.
Happy news! My dear Mantis tiller is ready at the shop! And here I was, expecting it to take more than a week since this is the time of year everyone checks their equipment into the shop for tune-ups. I realize now that I was so surprised to learn it was ready, I forgot to ask if it was because I had ruined the motor and was now the owner of an awkwardly-shaped paperweight. Surely they would have mentioned so…
Happy gardening this weekend!
Town Mouse in California has a magnificent dry stream bed. Yours is looking good.
Thank you! I found Town Mouse’s post and am taking notes. Hers looks very good.
Project looks amazing!
maybe you could have the stream empty into a shallow pool lined with gravel but would look good when dry?
A good idea; I may give that a try. I also learned about Town Mouse’s dry streambed project in California; she has wonderful advice on mimicking erosion and deposition patterns. Work in the garden is never finished! 🙂