When French drains are installed it’s primarily for the purpose of diverting unwanted water to another area. But why not make it multi-purpose? Let’s examine some ideas how you can incorporate your French drains into the landscape and get extra mileage out of the installation.
French Drains + A Walkway—
Take advantage and make a multi-purpose french drain by turning it into a walkway too.
After the gravel is filled to the top of the drain, flagstone could be inset (providing enough permeable surface is exposed) for walking. Make the gravel area wider to accommodate the walkway or patio area.
Dry River Stone Bed
Often times french drains are dug through the open spaces in the yard. Why not make it a decorative part of the landscape instead of just utilitarian purpose? Once the gravel is filled in, use decorative river slicks and rock to create a dry river stone bed and install planting on the edges to mimic a natural waterway.
+ Rain Garden—
French drains can be diverted towards a rain garden. The water has the capacity to percolate through a series of soil and layers of gravel beneath the garden plantings. This will reduce stormwater discharge and filter runoff. Plus it is aesthetically attractive and gives a wildlife habitat.
+ Garden Edge—
A French drain can be incorporated as the extender to your garden beds around your foundation. At the point where the garden soil and mulch ends, the French drain begins and follows the garden bed around the perimeter to exit the water at a discharge point. This will create an edge around your garden beds and doubles as a drainage solution.
If you are considering a French drain as a drainage solution, we highly recommend adding a drain guard at the point of discharge. Drain guards will keep rodents and debris from accumulating in your drainage system and continue the flow of water without obstructions. If you need a French drain installed, call your local landscaper for a consultation.