Return to the Alpines & Rock Gardens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

planting around a french drain

Posted by tialisa z5a IL (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 18, 04 at 14:45


I am putting a patio in an area where my yard slopes slightly *toward* the patio, and one corner of the patio will be in the spot where water tends to collect after a rain.

So, I have researched french drains and it is all laid out and designed. I want to create a nice, slightly curving, rocky area around the patio for a) a nice effect and b) to disguise where the french drain is.

Let's assume that the patio and french drain are designed correctly, because I did review this with an architect friend (who is NOT a gardener).

My question is this - Should I line the trench with landscape fabric (like most plans recommend) or should I just fill the trench with (approx) 12 inches of rock and plant away?

Should I avoid plants with thick, fiberous roots and choose plants with nice deep tap roots? What is best for contributing to fast absorption into the soil?

My other option is to skip direct planting altogether and use potted plants and sculpture for decoration.


(No pictures yet, still in design phase!)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: planting around a french drain

Have been thinking about your inquiry for quite a while. We have done a similar thing (not exactly a french drain) to catch run off from our rain gutter. We cleaned off the area well, laid heavy cardboard, and then covered it with pea gravel. We used a flexible edging to keep the gravel where we wanted it to separate from a grassy area. I put some ensata iris in the run off area and there is mint in there also. The iris have a rather short bloom period but were outstanding and the foliage remains attractive. I have a favorite mint growing there, but it needs periodic trimming and thinning and will put out very long runners if not kept disciplined. Thinking about your inquiry, thick fibrous vs nice deep tap root, I think the nice deep tap root might be the better choice, although I love the fragrance of the mint. EP

RE: planting around a french drain/more

Our drain area is a few feet out from the house between a grassy area along the house and a garden area. We put on a topping of river rock and the ensata iris and mint are at the end where the water collects with other plants in the garden area which includes various perennial and container plants. Your idea sounds attractive. EP

RE: planting around a french drain

Thanks so much - I like the iris idea, and I think their root system would work well in the rock. This would be too close to the lawn for mint, but I already have pots and pots of different varieties on my porch!

- Lisa

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Alpines & Rock Gardens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here