April 22, 2021

Soggy ground caused by clay soil presents a unique challenge for homeowners. In an area like Ann Arbor, Michigan, landscape design contractors have had to come up with creative solutions. How do you provide adequate drainage to deal with the excess water in a way that improves the aesthetics of your yard?

If your outdoor spaces resemble a swamp every time it rains, it will obviously impact your enjoyment of these living spaces. The solution is to create drainage that removes the excess water, keeping the soil dry.

The challenge is to take care of the necessary drainage by working with nature. Landscape designers who have a lot of experience dealing with clay soil know how to accomplish this in a manner that improves the beauty and natural splendor of your outdoor environment.

A dry creek bed, designed by a landscaper who knows what they are doing, is a great solution.

Landscape bed of garden with wave ornamental growth cypress bushes gravel mulch by color rock way on a sunny day.

What is a Dry Creek Bed?

You may have heard of a dry stream bed. Well, a dry creek bed is another name for the same thing. Essentially, it’s a trench (or gully) that is lined with stones. It improves drainage and reduces erosion. The bed is dry when there is no rain and will resemble a small creek when the rain falls.

While this may seem like a simple project, there is both a skill and artistic vision involved. Designing and constructing the perfect dry stream bed takes ingenuity and a good deal of creative thinking and experience in grading the bed properly.

Designing the Dry Creek Bed

By combining some basic science with creative flair, an experienced landscape designer will start by laying out an area where they will dig a trench. They will carefully consider where to channel the water and how to achieve this. The trick is to make it functional and elegant.

The trench is then lined with a membrane that prevents it from becoming a mud pit. This promotes efficient drainage and will improve the look of the dry creek bed. The membrane is covered with rocks and pebbles to make the structure permanent with a natural feel.

Choosing the correct plants to adorn the dry creek bed is an art unto itself. The dry creek bed is designed to work with nature and so the surrounding area should also enhance the natural beauty of the drainage solution.

Reclaiming Your Outdoor Living Space

With the drainage taken care of, you can begin to take full advantage of your outdoor areas. Landscaping around the dry creek bed can make space for beautiful gardens and outdoor entertainment areas. You are no longer restricted by a muddy bog that prevents you from enjoying your outdoor living space.

Do You Need Help with Outdoor Drainage?

I know the concept of a dry creek bed seems quite straightforward and anyone can try to do it themselves, though it may not turn out the way you expected it to. Without any experience, people often end up with something that doesn’t look natural, or doesn’t drain properly to solve the water issue.

As professional landscape contractors with experience in clay soil drainage solutions, Twin Oaks Landscape serves the Ann Arbor community and surrounding areas. We have the experience and skills to make light work of projects like this. Contact us today to discuss your drainage concerns and let us help you design your soggy lawn away for good.