Intelligent Drainage & Rainfall Celebration
At Native Edge, we thrive on designing landscapes that not only enhance the beauty of a property but also address practical challenges. Southwest Swale Way was a project that focused on intelligent drainage solutions while celebrating the natural element of rainfall, and enhancing the client's desired southwestern style. Join us as we delve into the details of this remarkable project and discover how we transformed a problematic swale into a stunning landscape feature.
Phase 1: Enhancing Functionality & Aesthetics
In the first phase, we adjusted the irrigation system, began laying the dry creek beds, and installed the sawn limestone slabs, crushed limestone rock mulch, and limestone boulders that were excavated from the site to create a patio space off the back steps and enhance the appearance of the septic field. Native grasses and tradescantia pallida are beautifully incorporated into this space.
Phase 2: Celebrating Rainfall & Creating Visual Delight
Building upon the success of Phase 1, the second phase of the project focused on enhancing the aesthetics of the landscape while emphasizing the celebration of rainfall.
The home's front high voltage utility area has been replanted with native plants that will grow to conceal the utilities while still allowing for accessibility.
The existing overwhelmed downspouts were replaced with rain chains, which not only effectively managed the water flow but also added a touch of rustic elegance that matched the home's style. To work in tandem with the rain chains, limestone slabs were installed beneath them to act as splash pads. The limestone slab beautifully matches and enhances the existing architecture of the home, as well as the materials used throughout the landscaping.
The splash pads are designed to help guide the runoff to a catch basin beneath the gravel to two 12” box drains that pipe into the drain system behind the retaining wall. The installation of mixed limestone block retaining walls with brick caps seamlessly integrated with the architectural elements of the property and employed leftover building materials from the home.
We added a poured-in-place concrete path from the entry walk extending from the sawn limestone pavers to the utilities at the side of the house to tie into the existing driveway, adding visual interest but also practicality.
The existing excavated limestone boulders were strategically repositioned throughout the landscape to not only serve as functional components but also as visually striking features to the modified design of the dry creek pathways and planted areas.
The swales were further enhanced with a mix of washed river gravel and Brazos River gravel, creating a natural stream-like appearance while maintaining proper water movement. These pathways meander throughout the yard and lead down to the wildflower prairie at the very back of the property.
The beautiful clusters of oaks in the back were viewed as an opportunity to create native planting areas and give ease to mowing, maintenance, and irrigation, while also making these stunning trees a focal point in the design. These areas were mulched with dark Whittlesey mulch to provide visual contrast and tie in to the other landscaped accent beds around the property.
To extend the enjoyment of the yards into the evening, we installed landscape lighting with ten unique fixtures. This included front yard foundation well lights and backyard downlights, known as “moonlighting” that beautifully and naturally illuminates the landscape features, creating a captivating ambiance that imitates the moon.
The Southwest Swale Way project exemplifies Native Edge's expertise in addressing drainage challenges while creating visually stunning landscapes. By intelligently managing water flow, incorporating rain chains, and designing functional swales, we successfully transformed a problematic area into an aesthetically pleasing feature. The use of natural materials, such as limestone boulders and diverse top dresses, added texture and visual interest.
Contact us at Native Edge to explore how we can transform your outdoor space into a sustainable oasis that celebrates both functionality and natural elements.