Swampy Yard No More!


Poor drainage is a problem that plagues many DC backyards. And nobody likes having to deal with a tiny swamp after every rain storm – not to mention the many mosquitos gleefully breeding every time said tiny swamp makes an appearance. Installing a permeable paving system can be a great way to improve the drainage in your yard while creating a beautiful-yet-functional outdoor space! When it comes to permeable paving systems, you have three options:

Option 1: Install pavers that have drainage holes as part of the design. The most common example of this is latticed pavers, like so:

Lattice Pavers

Option 2: Pick any kind of paver you want, but install them with enough space in between them to allow for drainage. That space can then be filled with drainage-promoting materials like crushed rock or pea gravel. Or, if you’d like a greener look and feel, you can plant grass, groundcover, or encourage moss to grow in between. Et voila:

Spaced Pavers

Option 3: There are pavers built specifically to create permeable systems without having as obvious of a look to them as the lattice type pavers above. Each individual paver has nubs carved into the sides so that when you line them up with their buddies, the nubs automatically form drainage holes. Here’s a great example:

Permeable Interlocking

And just a general note when landscaping your yard: whether it be front or back, you want to make sure the slope of your yard (known as the “grade”) is NOT oriented towards your house. You either want it grading away from house, or on a sideways slant that will direct the water into a permeable area like, for example, a flowerbed. You also want to make sure that it has a steady grade that will direct the water *out* of your yard, rather than encouraging it to pond and cause the aforementioned swampiness.

For more examples of all three types of permeable paving systems, check out my Pinterest board!


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