The Guild Report:  
The Foundation of your Landscape  
November, 2012 
In This Issue
Point of View
Foundation of your Landscape
LEED Revitalizes Neighborhoods

French Drain

Point of View  
With Employee Owner
 Shawna Jones  


"My job is in the Accounts Payable/Receivable and I really enjoy the team I work with.  We all have fun and get our work done, too.  One of the highlights of my day is our morning stretch every day - at 9am."
 Shawna started at GGI July, 2012.  She shares a large office with two other people.  The three of them decided to re-arrange the office so it would be a more open environment, more conducive to working as a team.  The result has been a great improvement.  The office seems so much more spacious and they feel it is enabled them to be more effective in their work. 

  Revitalized Neighborhood East in San Diego 

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An October blog by San Francisco Chronicle outdoor writer Tom Stienstra reported that computer models have made projections for our Northern California weather this winter.  


Of course you never know for sure, but they are forecasting a wet winter with above average snow fall for Lake Tahoe, the High Sierras and Rocky Mountains. 

Stienstra goes on to say that some Tahoe tour operators believe we are in a weak-to-moderate El Niņo system this year.  Also mentioned - many analysts are forecasting something called the "swing effect."  Essentially, this means that the severe hot weather this past summer is a harbinger of a similarly severe winter.  

Sounds like wet and cold to me - and again - we shall see.  But you may want to make sure your drainage system is up to the task.  See below.   


All the best,
Suzanne Harris

The Foundation of your Landscape



If, since our recent heavy rains you have noticed areas of your garden or landscape where water is pooling, you could have a drainage problem.  Now is the best time of year to evaluate whether or not you have any water that is not draining.


Drainage is the basis of a good landscape. Without proper drainage your home or building's foundation could be at risk.     


Standing water will kill your plants and is one of the causes of soil compaction in turf areas.  Even worse, the water will attract mosquitoes and other unwanted insects.  Even raised planters need drainage systems so that excess moisture does not saturate plant roots.


There are a variety of drainage systems designed to remove unwanted water from an area whether it is a residential or commercial site.   


Downspout Landscape Drainage

Designed to carry roof water away from landscaped gardens and turf areas. 

It consists of a PVC pipe being attached to your roofing drainage and being positioned so that it will not lead or carry water into any part of your landscaped area.  It does not completely remove water from your property but will assist in moving excessive water to where it is needed. 


Catch Basins  

Can be placed under downspouts when it is undesirable or not possible to tie into the gutter. 
They tie into a PVC main drain line instead and carry water out through the landscape drainage system.
Usually they are a plastic or concrete box that uses a plastic or metal drain grate cover to filter out leaves and other waste debris.   


Channel Drains     

Long, narrow strip drains which are used between main structures and paving or at the edge of a patio or deck.


French Drain  

It is a small ditch that is filled with undersized rocks or gravel  designed to remove water from saturated soil.  


Deck Drains     

Installed in patios, decks and walkways so that water is either sloped toward them  or into landscaped beds.  They have special drain covers, usually decorative, made of metal or stone.    


About Grading  

Grading on your property is also essential.

A couple of notes about grading:  make sure that the ground slopes away from your home and that your neighbor's property is not situated so that water flows into yours.  Call Gardeners' Guild if you have a question about or need help with grading.   



I happened on  a blog posted by Kaid Benfield, Director of Sustainable Communities, Washington DC, on LEED for Neighborhood Development or LEED-ND. 

This arm of LEED is a system of recognizing green neighborhoods.  They have been gradually directing more resources toward the improvement of older and more distressed communities.  An example is a Syracuse, NY art district which developed a plan for updating an older neighborhood and earned a gold-level certification under LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development). In Massachusetts, a partnership of people from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are collaborating to evaluate and improve an inner city neighborhood in the Boston area.

LEED-ND standards are smart growth locations, walkable neighborhoods and green environmental management systems.

For more information see the Citizens Guide to LEED-ND