Walkway side of house

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by jan2941, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. jan2941

    jan2941 New Member

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    Ontario Canada
    I'm new to this forum and have already read a few threads regarding drainage pathways at the side of a house. My situation is that the neighbour has already done his side and laid 6x6 posts along his property and filled the whole walkway with riverstone. Consequently, when my eavestrough drains into that area, it stops right at the side of his 6x6 posts that run the complete length of the walkway.

    My side of this narrow path is sloped into the center and I need to put something down where there is currently grass to make the walkway level and also let the water drain so that it's not always so muddy. The area of grass right next to the house has died and I was thinking of making a garden that would run in between the window wells (Karl Forester Grasses?) as it's very dry and shady there.

    My idea is to lay down pea stone and then 2x1 stepping stones but after reading some threads here, it sounds like the stone idea is probably not realistic and that perhaps I should have a sand base? or perhaps big O (drainage pipe) under some gravel? Also, not sure what to use to hold back the soil on the raised edge nearest the house where the garden would be. I don't really want to invest in 6x6 posts like the neighbour, plus it takes up a lot of room as the entire area for the walkway is only 3 feet (from the edge of the window well to the posts) I would like this as simple as possible. Any suggestions?

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  2. Andrew Matheson

    Andrew Matheson Member

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    Vancouver, BC
    Hi there,

    I would like to paraphrase what I think you're asking for to make sure I understand. Current issues with your area:
    - Gets muddy because the water has nowhere to go.
    -Not level, would like a walkway.
    -Would like to grow plants along the foundation of your house.

    A french drain would probably be the simplest option, where you trench the length of the area and fill the trench with clear crush, which will drain readily. You can walk on it, though it may not be comfortable in bare feet. Also- always consider where you are directing your water with any type of draining system. Where is the water going to go? The hope with the french drain is it all percolates into the surrounding soil over time. However, in large rain events, the drain will fill to capacity and runoff is inevitable.

    In terms of along the side of the house, I would imagine between two buildings is much too shady for a plant like Karl Foerster. Perhaps certain species of ferns may do better?

    Let me know if this is helpful. Feel free to ask more questions.
  3. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Hello Jan2941 and welcome to these forums. It seems to me the simplest thing for you to tidy up the side of your house is to do what your neighbour has done. Since he has already invested in the 6 x 6-inch posts, all you need to do is fill in the space between your house and the posts with similar riverstone or gravel or sand and stepping stones as you choose. I cannot advise on how to handle potential drainage problems first.

    With such a narrow space, I would not advise planting anything unless in containers. Hostas spring to mind but there are so many other possiblilities. Whatever you might plant, you have to make sure there is still enough space for people to walk by.

    My personal opinion: Even though land is at a premium on the Lower Mainland and property values, astronomic (pre-COVID, anyway), allowing houses to be built with only 6 feet between is extremely short-sighted and disappointing. Why not just build townhouses and amalgamate whatever garden space is left over for the enjoyment of all.
    Last edited: May 6, 2020

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