Patios, Plants and Puddles

Pavestone Patios, Plants & PuddlesPatios, Plants & Puddles

Once the April showers set in, it is important to stop solid surfaces from flooding with surface water or turning into a swamp by using considered garden drainage techniques.


Rainwater will naturally flow into the nearest low-lying level and most often this will be soil borders with the result of turning the garden into a quagmire. Fear not though, let us take a few moments to explore how excess water can be easily redirected or remedied altogether, reducing the risk through the use of clever, eco-friendly tricks, to readdress rainwater run-off saturating the ground.



Getting Gardens Greener

A natural way to help a waterlogged garden is to introduce moisture-loving plants. This vegetation will help to maintain a healthy amount of moisture, soaking up the excess if it should occur.

Why not try creating a bog garden planted with moisture-loving growers like hostas, Astilbes, Iris and Osmunda regalis (royal fern)?



Raised beds and tree planting will help to stabilise the situation long term but you can also avoid damaging affects through the introduction of stepping stones to dodge compaction of wetter soils—which can easily caused by treading on the soil.


Working in new, healthy soil will help to keep moisture levels in check. Improving the structure of soils by adding in compost will help to maintain water reduction throughout the year. This is most important for clay soils, which can hold a lot of water. As this can cause some drainage problems, it’s best to add in organic matter which will break up the solid texture of the earth and promote free draining.


Break Up Large Patios Areas With Planting To Help DrainageSuStainable Drainage systems


As encouraged by the government, professional landscapers and gardeners are beginning to install sustainable drainage systems, known as SuDS, when designing and creating gardens and driveways. These drainage systems aim to reduce the potential impact of ever-increasing solid ground cover (patios & driveways) and the resultant reduction in permeable surfaces able to accommodate rainwater run-off drainage back into the ground water table. This is especially important in urban areas with high densities of hard surfaces such as driveways, which are water tight, but it also should be considered ecologically when designing a new patio.

A simple solution is to build a patio with the surface pitched away from the house to prevent water flowing back into unwanted areas of your garden and have it directed into a purpose-built underground soak away where it can slowly permeate back into the ground water table.


The Importance Of Permeable Paving

Permeable Paving

 Take a moment to consider paving materials. Permeable paving can be made by forming voids in the paving slabs or by polymer jointing sand between the paving slabs, to help rainwater flow through the paved surface preventing the puddle pooling that you can get with solid concrete slabs and traditional sand cement mortar joints.

In commercial or very large paved areas where planting areas are not practicle then permeable paving can be a great benefit when heavy rainfall becomes a burden to the local drainage system.

Pavestone GrassParkAlternativly, the paving could be replaced with large expanses of gravel laid over a semi-permeable weed membrane and for a real 'eco-friendly' solution for grass areas which need hard standing for driving or parking, lay ‘GrassPark’ from Pavestone. This interlocking grid has spaces left for grass to grow through. Over time the ‘paved’ area gives the appearance of a lawn but with the durability to support the weight of your car. 

Considering a sustainable drainage solution is important because, not only is our ground water a vital source of drinking water for millions in the UK, but also caters to the needs of wildlife by feeding into lakes and rivers as well as irrigating the land around us. So it’s essential that the water is kept safe and flowing freely.


Simple Sustainable Drainage SolutionsSIMPLE SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

If it appears that your drainage problems are due to a high-water table, it’s worthwhile having ditches dug in all the low-lying areas of the garden and filling them with gravel, which acts as a filter to help drain water away from the house and vulnerable parts of the garden.

This is known as a French drain and is a good way to direct water away from areas where there is the potential of soil erosion. But, no matter the weather, there’s a drainage solution for you and a paving material to save the day.

Water is the plant’s life blood, so don’t think of it as the enemy. Instead, consider how you can make it work for your particular set up. Sometimes it’s just about striking the balance between free-draining areas and hard standing spaces for practical use.

For times of high rainfall, keep plants happy by giving them some extra attention. Any that have been sitting in water for long periods will start to rot, so watch for any wilting leaves that turn yellow and drop prematurely. And, whilst you get your moisture-levels back on track, reposition or resituating plants temporarily can work wonders.


David Domoney, Pavestone Brand Ambassador offers gardening advice and tips