My gravel pile (formerly my dry creekbed)

After a week in which we received somewhere around 6" (15cm) or more of rain here in St. Louis, I now have a gravel pile in my garden.

Of course I did not plan on having this feature, nor do I really want it. It is what has become of a good portion of my new dry creek bed.


Here are a few views of the damage caused by fast-flowing water:

I could have repaired this a few days ago, moving the gravel back to where it belongs, but I chose instead to leave it, observe it, ruminate.

At least half of the gravel was deposited at the bottom of the path. I'm actually surprised how much stayed in place.

It was clear to me what the solution was:

I needed more rocks that couldn't move to help anchor the gravel. Something to slow down the flow, and to break up the longer straight runs.

So I laid out all 420 lbs (190 kg) of stone -- which is not really that much, as each one of these was easily liftable -- on the ground nearby and figured out where additional rocks would be the most beneficial. Choosing the right stone for the right spot was not always easy -- one reason that I got more than I thought I needed.

After the rocks were all in place and made solid by digging or wedging with small stones I scooped the gravel from the pile into a bucket and carried it back up to where it belonged.

The end result... hopefully better able to withstand runoff...

...but I suspect that a heavy enough rain will still cause problems.

I have a couple of rocks left that I'll use to tweak the design as needed, or maybe just use them in another part of the garden.

I wonder how many times I'll need to redo this until I get it right?

There will always be gravel down here now, mixed with the soil and "lawn". Maybe I'll just add more and be done with it...


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Mark and Gaz  – (June 24, 2015 at 7:56 AM)  

Oh my, the water current was that strong then. Hopefully those new stones you've added will do the trick to keep them all in place.

Jean Campbell  – (June 24, 2015 at 8:32 AM)  

The best lessons are those learned by trial and error. I think this is why creeks and streams meander.

Alan  – (June 24, 2015 at 2:11 PM)  

Mark/Gaz: Yes indeed. We're about halfway down the hill and the last time they paved our streets they didn't remove the old paving so the curbs are very low, allowing the water to flow here instead.

Jean: So true! I didn't mention that I moved at least 8 buckets of gravel.

Lisa  – (June 24, 2015 at 7:33 PM)  

Oh man. Not a fun garden task at all. Hopefully over time the gravel will get packed down a bit more and have a better chance of hanging on in an onslaught of water!

danger garden  – (June 25, 2015 at 12:16 AM)  

Ugh. Not a fun way to spend your "free" time. You have other, new, projects to tackle!

Alan  – (June 25, 2015 at 7:29 AM)  

Lisa: hopefully, but I doubt it would pack down. We'll see though...

Loree: Tell me about it. Who wants to redo projects that have already been checked off?

Rick –   – (June 26, 2015 at 6:46 AM)  

Hi Alan, sorry to see you doing this over. I was thinking about this and wondering if getting some intermediate size stone would help? 3-6" sized stuff to help hold in the smaller stuff.
I'm in Pacific Northwest and with the rain we get, we must use at least 4" stuff on any kind of grade with smaller gravel mixed otherwise it just washes away.
Enjoying blog as always!

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