Types Of Landscaping Drainage Systems


The drainage system is one of the most important parts of any landscaping project, or indeed any yard at all. Without proper drainage, rainfall and water buildup can cause erosion, kill plants, and generally destroy any landscaping work that has actually been done. There are several different types of drainage solutions available for most landscaping projects, each of which seeks to provide the same solution in a different manner. As such, each variant of drain comes with a different set of characteristics: understanding the differences between the available types of drainage solutions and what they are best suited for can help you make an informed decision about your own landscape design.


Swales refer to a slight grading that is put into place in the lawn itself, most of the time so slight that it is barely noticeable when looking or walking on the lawn. This comes with the upside of not being noticeable, allowing you to focus on the aesthetic appeal of your landscaping project instead of being distracted by downspouts and other drainage solutions.

However, swales require a large amount of area to be effective, as they can only move a small amount of water at a time. This makes them the less than ideal solution for areas that receive heavy amounts of rainfall, as swales can quickly be turned into swamps.


Having a bog or swamp area, however, actually installed in a landscaping project is a great way to naturally deal with heavy rainfall conditions. Having a shallower area with aquatic or semi-aquatic plants, like willows, planted in them can allow you to take advantage of water collecting in your yard for a short period of time.

However, keep in mind that having a bog installed in a yard can be counter to the design of the rest of the landscape, which means that bogs are not always a welcome addition. In addition, they can be a safety hazard for pets and small children.

French Drains

French drains consist of a single pipe that has many small holes in it, which is then buried in a gravel trench and wrapped in a thin filter. The gravel and filter will prevent the drain from becoming clogged with dirt and mud, but will allow for water to flow through. The pipe is then connected to a sewer system or a similar drain to keep water away from your yard and landscape.

The major downside associated with French drains is that they require a great deal of labor to install, and require extensive digging, which can disrupt and extend the landscaping project that they are a part of.


2 August 2017

Understanding Landscaping Planning

About a year ago, I realized that part of the reason the plants in my yard kept dying was the fact that they were planted in the wrong places. I didn't pay much attention to which plants needed certain amounts of light, and it was costing them their lives. Several of the plants were really struggling to live, and it was really hard to see. I realized that if I ever wanted to make things right, I would need to create a landscaping plan that would work well for the natural landscape of my yard. This blog is all about understanding landscaping.