The Epic Story of How Rain Ruins Lives (or at least ruins weekend fun)

A few months ago, it rained.  And then it stopped raining. 

Several days after it had stopped raining, Matt and I noticed that there was still standing water in our backyard.  It just wasn't going away.  We live at the bottom of a hill in our neighborhood, and there is a stormwater drain in between our property and our next door neighbors.  Basically, all of the water runs through our backyard before it gets to the drain.

Except that it wasn't getting to the drain, and it was not soaking into the ground. 

We came up with a plan to dig a drain across the backyard so that the water would have somewhere to go, and we wouldn't get giant puddles in our backyard for a week after a heavy rain. 

Our plan was to dig across the backyard, and around the giant trees, without having to cut all of the roots, and then filling the ditch with rocks and covering it with new topsoil.  Because of the roots, we were unable to use a pipe that you would typically use in a french drain, so instead we wrapped the rocks with garden fabric to keep the dirt from getting everywhere. 

We originally thought we would be able to get this finished in a weekend (when will I ever learn that house projects always take 3x longer than anticipated?).  It ended up taking about 3 weeks.

Here are some progress shots:

The yard pre-ditch.

French Drain Burrito!

We put up a fence to keep the dogs out since we're trying to grow grass.

Also, we discovered that Kiwi LOVES to dig.  We already knew that she was a digger (we never caught her in the act, but there was evidence in our yard).  She would absolutely freak out and start digging wherever we were.  She was actually really helpful!

Jules, on the other hand, does not care for digging.  She just wandered around the yard and looked pretty while we worked.

So that is the story of the drain.  We currently have that part of the yard blocked off from the dogs so the grass can grow without them running all over it.  When that grass grows we will block off another portion of the yard and grow grass there, and hopefully we'll eventually have a full, lush lawn!

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