Wednesday, July 1, 2009

UNpave - it's easy!

With a lot of ideas flying around about how to plant bioswales, cisterns, etc. which work well when integrated into a re plumbing and replanting effort, I thought I'd
post one that's almost too easy. This is a glamorous shot of my rear trash yard. What's going on here is that a few years ago, I repaved the driveway all along the side of the house that leads to this area adjacent to the garage. This driveway receives the water from the roof downspouts, rainwater and some garden irrigation over spray, and the flow line of the site drainage goes to this back area. You can see this from the water drainage to the gravel area that the trash barrels sit on.

When redoing this paving, I held back the paved area about three feet from the back wall, and filled the area with gravel, planted seasonal vines on the wall that don't take a lot of water. The nearby tree also appreciates this contribution to its root structure tremendously. I also don't have to worry about large ponds of water back there in the winter.

Such are the little strategies that move our existing homes to the "green" side! It's not necessary to make huge changes, just some smart ones. This gets our clean water back into the ground instead of down into the storm drain channels, which should really only be "severe overflow" drainage structures.