dry waterfall project - early stage

madtripper(5/6 Guelph)November 3, 2006

I also have a hill in the back yard. I cut the grass once, and that was it. I decided to turn it into a large hill side garden. I could not really picture it, but I had the excavator in for some other work, so I decided to start some digging. This is a before and after picture. I know the after does not look like much now and needs work. It has been cleaned up since the pic was taken.

After I tell people this is a DRY water fall, they ask "where is the water". Not everybody understands.

Here is the process I used. I killed the grass with Foundup. I only did enough digging to move the soil I needed to move. The dead grass prevented any serious errosion. I placed large rocks on the hill and made paths going up both sides of the dry waterfall and have since added a bridge to cross it. I covered everything with wood mulch to keep weeds from growing and to help with errosion. I then started planting a combination of bulbs, perennials and shrubs.

Since the hill is a bit away from the house, but quite visible from inside, I plan to use large clumps of the same plant so the color effect can be seen from the house.

I decided not to terrace the hill since I think it will show much better from a distance if the slope remains. And it costs a lot less.

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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

It looks like a great start.
I imagine you are going to put plants around the edge and something to control erosion on the inside of the waterfall/dry riverbed?
I see tall native grass and maybe a tree with a seating area under it. Nice place to contemplate life.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 6:48PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

I think your hill has all kinds of potential - much more interesting than a flat area and your dry creekbed will add a nice natural structure to the hill. I like the suggestion of native grasses. Also, trees and bushes will add good structure, especially from a distance.

My original plans were to do a dry creekbed too, but then the more I thought about I decided I liked the idea of hearing the water running and the fun of having a pond to attrack wildlife. I wanted to run the creek all the way up the hill but that idea got nixed after I priced the pump! And the hill where I have mine is much smaller than yours.

I hope you will post more pictures, I love watching a project evolve and I think you've got a great idea going!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:09PM
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Hard to say from a picture but your hill does not look like terracing is required. There are various products like straw blankets, etc. that you can use to keep your seed in place if you decide to go with the native grasses. If you ever need an area into which to drain water, the dry creek can become an occassionally wet creek.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 6:02PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

Here are some pics I took yesterday. Not much color this time of year and the plants are all young - need time to fill out.

I also want real water. There will be a pond at the top of this hill, and a real waterfall in another part of the garden.

The right side of the dry waterfall. The walls were not intended to make the growing areas flat, but they are still too low to provide a pleasing visual effect - ie too small for the size of the hill.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:10PM
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Looks nice.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 8:16AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Looks like you've got a great start - where are you getting your rocks? I am quite envious, bolders are hard to come by here. What is the red grass that is to the left of the waterfall area? Are those paths between the rock walls? It looks like you have mulched the entire hill or is that the dead grass?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 7:31PM
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mary_pnw_7b(Oly WA z7b)

You have done some great work! I would love to see pictures as your project evolves. I have a slope very similar to yours which I really need to tackle soon. Like you, I don't want to do terracing. Not only due to the cost by I think what you have done looks much more natural. I love how you used the rock. Make sure you post some pictures in the spring so we can see it green up. What else are you planning to plant there?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:13PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

The people who built my hone had all of the large rocks dumped behind the hill. I had an excavator bring many of them back up the hill and place them for me.

The paths and beds are all heavily mulched with wood chips. I have too much to do to spend time weeding. Besides it improves the health of the soil.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 4:13PM
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The sky's the limit and you can do whatever you want to do. After pic is FAR more interesting.

Here's part of my backyard with the rock river.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 2:28PM
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