A passionate gardener and native plant enthusiast, our client wanted to create a beautiful woodland garden, reduce the amount of impermeable surface in her rear courtyard and provide water sources for birds.
We began in the backyard, working to install a patio of permeable pavers, which are designed to allow water to infiltrate and drain into the soil below. A long swale, filled with river rock and studded with attractive boulders, leads away from the patio down toward the property line. In beds surrounding the patio, we planted an array of native species, giving the courtyard a lush, forested feel.
Once the patio area was complete we moved to the front of the house. Our team expanded and re-dug an existing rain garden, which accepts runoff from four downspouts on the house. We planted the rain garden using transplants.
With such a large total planted area, the client was interested in capturing a high volume of runoff for her watering needs. We installed one 116-gallon Hydra barrel and one high-capacity cistern at downspouts along the courtyard.
Jeff Jaeger with Octopus Organic Gardening, LLC