Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Where is your water coming from and where is it going? by Jana Powell

Here is an example of how slopes are stabilized in nature.

This was my first lesson, as a new intern landscape designer in Evergreen, CO. This simple observation can mean the difference between a healthy and stable slope, or a mudslide. 

The heavy rains this past month have proven to be quite a challenge for mountain landscapes and gardeners. I have a friend that posted a video on Facebook of her 1/8 acre rock garden in Evergreen, that quickly became a running water feature and small creek, within minutes. 

Even very steep hillsides can be productive. Utilize boulders and rocks to make swales and dams. Create trenches where water can move productively, through the landscape. Concrete blocks with holes, and permeable pavers, allow water to percolate into the soil, while providing walking, standing or sitting areas. 

Plants and trees also slow water runoff. They help stabilize slopes and prevent erosion control. 

Mulches such as small bark, grass clippings, straw, and gravel are all good choices for erosion control. Mulch is a great choice for areas with less than 33 percent slope. Vegetation works well on areas with up to a 50 percent slope.

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