French Drains and Other Joys

Saturday, May 27, 2006





Here are some more pictures showing the angle of the slope into the ditch.






David has raised the question of clearance with regard to the slope of the dirt from the house down to the drain, and also the clearance against the house wall.
I took these pictures Saturday to show the work so far. You can see the amount of clearance. I believe there is enough, based on what David has stated as criterion.
If you look at the earlier pictures, you can see the kind of angle leading down to the ditch itself. We purposely used boards to show it.

Friday, May 26, 2006






Here are some pictures from Friday around noon. You can see the black cloth extended across the entire width of the gravel area, over the coarse gravel. This is to keep the pea gravel from filtering down in amid the coarser rock and to give a little more firmness to the area.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006






Luis and Company and the Rectification of the French Drains

I woke up this morning to the crunching of many feet on the pea gravel outside my window. My NPR-drenched mind was more ready to wrap itself around a story about Russian millionaires than to grapple with the week-early arrival of Luis, the landscaper, and his Latino team of workers.
This is the picture looking across the patio this afternoon, when they'd been at work from 7:30 on.

Primo arrived at 9:00, and went out to meet the crew. Later, at 11:00, when I was leaving for my music theory class, we talked for a few minutes. He was quite excited. "These guys are from my country," he said. He meant his region of Mexico, near Guadalajara. "The leader, his father is a good friend of my father. Down there..." he gestures southward "...I teach his older brothers in my class. Not him, he's the baby. My kids, they all know each other." He was beaming, looking quite proud. "These are good workers!" he assured me. You may remember that he did not speak nearly so highly of the painters. I could see what he meant. This crew hardly stopped. I finally got them to stop for lemonade around 4:00, but they went on working until 6:00. Of course, it is nice weather today, so they wanted to take advantage of it, I'm sure.
Luis pointed out to me that the ditch was not well covered by the cloth the Stowe people put down. You can see from these pictures.





They have created a nice drop from the house down to the ditch, and David has given the go-ahead to fill up the depression with coarse drain gravel, and to top it with pavers. I'm including pictures of the pavers, and some scenes of the yard.
There are also a couple of views of the easement, which these guys have completely smoothed out and leveled in one day, with nothing but picks and shovels. They are amazing.

By the way, if any of you look at this, please let me know how these pictures look. I'm trying out a Nikkon camera, not too different from my old one. It is supposed to have a better lense. How do the pictures look? They are optimized for web, and sized at 4.5x6".

I'll keep you posted.