Irises Don't Care - Part 1
Golden, Colorado: March 21, 2009

Part of the cleanup project along the patio is to re-work the drainage from the downspout before I plant new perennials in the area. Why? One of these days, we plan to extend the patio I built this spring around the garden... and once I have a happy plant growing I get darn protective of it, so Mike has learned the hard way that these designs need to be put into place before I plant anything. (In fact, the design for the patio has changed because of my giant yarrow plant. That's a story for a different day.)

While in Lowe's looking for the right solution, we came upon a pamphlet for a dry well. After doing a bit of thinking for cheaper and easier alternatives, we decided to go with the well. Basically, there will be a grate underneath the downspout that connects via 4" pipe to the well. The well will be buried in the garden and surrounded with stone, providing a mechanism for getting the water into the ground without creating an erosion problem.

That sounds like a fine plan until one realizes this 49 gallon dry well will require a hole nearly 3 feet in diameter and over 3 feet deep. in our beloved clay soil. in the middle of my garden. After careful consideration, I picked a spot, because, as I told Mike "Irises don't care". This was based on conversations with some friends at work and was confirmed with Mike's mom before I actually started digging up irises.

Last weekend, the irises joined us for lunch, or so Mike thought. I dug them up and placed them in boxes lined with trash bags and a little bit of dirt on the dining room table. Here they are with Chloe posing - until she got tired of posing (I love the expression on her face) - this weekend. As you can see, they have flourished in the dining room.

Here is the pile of dirt from the hole I dug for the well as well as what I removed last year from the patio. This dirt is slated to be fill dirt for a project on the north end of the house - eventually.

You can see the black plastic dry well sitting next to the chiminera:

And here I am with the completed hole.

To be continued...