Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Three Bags Full

Yet again it was another dry April. Each year seems to start wth a very dry spring. All the newly emerging plants and all my recent transplants needed water and only a quarter inch here and there fell in April, if you don't count the four inch snowfall that opened the month.

May started with three quarters of an inch of rain yesterday, and it's raining today, so that helps. No hummingbirds yet. The feeder's been up for a month (changed every week).

All winter I had a task on my list that said "expand dry creekbed". The entire creekbed is far too narrow and lined with small rocks rather than boulders, but it is what I built, on my own, from potato sized rocks dug from every planting hole that my shovel touched. Because I built it, and because I know every rock in it, it pleases me.

The creekbed starts at a sharp vee point where grass and garden meet

But there are problems -- the pitch is erratic, for example, and undulates up and down rather than descending from left to right, under the bridge and downward. Water doesn't actually flow down this course as much as it pools in sections that are a little lower than others.

And it ends oddly, just stopping in the grass at the bottom.

It starts too narrow, with only a few inches of rock at the vee where the grass and garden meet. So this week I fulfilled my mission to "widen" the thing, and dug out a little swale to the left where the creekbed starts. It amounted to two Trugs full of dirt that I took out, which is not much at all. I added pea stone to the area I dug out.

A little wider at the top, with white pea gravel added

It looked very white in the picture because the pea gravel I bought was coated in powdery dust. The rain washed that off and it looks darker, more natural now.

It took three bags full of pea stones, and I strewed some slightly larger rounded pond rocks over that to make this happen. It's hardly any material at all, but schlepping heavy bags of stones from Lowe's was a bit of a job, and paying money to buy rocks is always an odd concept.

There's a curve at the top now, not so narrow

Now the skinny creekbed is slightly wider at the start. It's still not a smooth descent. Water still won't flow down it, with the rises and dips that persist. But visually I like the minimal increase at the top curve.

I thought this would be so hard to do -- it stayed on my list of tasks for a long while. But it was easy, and hardly any effort at all. I only had to dig out two Trugs of dirt and add three bags full of gravel.


  1. I really love what you did here!! Looks like a little slice of paradise :)

    1. Thanks, Optimist! It really is my little half acre paradise.