Design with rain in mind

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Design with rain in mind

We’re having a party today—-pan-Asian theme—-so of course it’s going to rain. The last two big summer parties we’ve had brought torrential all-day downpours, with fabulous weather the next day!

But there is one thing that no longer troubles us about rain. Our basement stays dry these days, ever since we did some major landscaping that took account of our land’s history. We’re on a hill, a gentle slope from the top corner behind the barn down to the corner, and water used to flood across the lawn. Then we discovered, both from talking to an old resident and looking at maps, that there was once a stream. Like many developed areas, streams have been moved underground (London has underground rivers flowing into the Thames), but their sources, springs and rainfall both, continue to spill water in the old channels.

With the help of a landscaper who specializes in native plants and stone, we recreated the stream, a grassy channel edged with boulders and planted with water-loving plants like yellow flags (irises) and ferns. We also planted shrubs on the higher ground. The result is both beautiful and practical. Instead of worrying about flooding, we’re thrilled to see water in the streambed.

But I’m still hoping the sun will come out today!

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