Landscaping project solves drainage problem...

We've lived for 10-1/2 years with a terrible drainage problem on our front sidewalk.  When we get a good rain, a lake forms in front of the front door, making it impossible to come into the house without wearing galoshes or looking for a ferry.  (Well, that might be an exaggeration.)  If you look carefully, the edge of the stained concrete porch stops and you can see a tiny sliver of the sidewalk on this side of the puddle before you step up to the porch.

This is only a moderately-sized lake.  When we get gully washers it's much bigger.

I try not to think about the builder and the contractor who thought it was ok to build a sloping sidewalk that comes down the hill, and then goes back up with the next piece of concrete, making a V in which water will always puddle.  They did the same thing in front of our garage doors as well, making a 3-car trench over which we also have to leap when it rains.

But I digress.

So, in addition to addressing our sprinkler/rain drainage and erosion problems in the beds that line the sloping sidewalk, we are fixing the entire sidewalk.

My crew dug the sides of the sidewalk out, separated the two pieces at the angeled joint and placed a BIG 'ol pipe under it.  They then deepened my dry creek trench (the first attempt to fix the problem, but it was inadequate). 

I could not believe how meticulous they were with the cement pieces as I was sure they would crack in the process - the sidewalk is 14 years old after all.  They cut it to fit together so it is perfectly level and far above the trench that will carry away the water.  Before, the two pieces of cement met at an angle roughly down where the pipe has been laid.

It's hard to see, but it's all nice and level now!

And they made great progress today on the Oklahoma flag stone cap for the limestone edging.  In this photo the mortar is still wet and they haven't finished cleaning and brushing the excess off.  But you can see where it's going.

It was cold and windy and damp and they worked really hard today.  And it all looks great.  I'm proud of my crew and their skills, but I really was in awe today.  Craftsmanship.

Oh, and did you see all that beautiful red clay they dug out around the sidewalk in the first pictures?  I'm happy to say that it is officially basura (Spanish for trash) and is going away, to be replaced by 3-way garden soil and covered with fresh native Texas hardwood mulch when the edging is all done.

It should all be finished this week.  I can't wait to see it.  And I really can't wait for the warm sunshine of spring so I can start planting in it.

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