Water issues with your landscape? Swales and subdrainage are two way to move water through your landscape.

Swales are shallow, elongated depressions in the land that collect and move water. They can be a natural landscape feature or a human-created one such as this image of an antique granite cobblestone swale design in Europe. The Europeans used natural cobblestone to create the swale, blending artfully with the antique limestone curb and granite cobblestone above.

Swales are visible in the landscape and often highlight the movement of water through their material choices and layout. Swales move water, but they also slow it down and allow it to percolate back into the ground to improve water quality.

Subdrainage consists of underground constructed drainage systems, including drainpipes and drain inlets, that collect and move water. It is a necessary method of “dehydrating” the subgrade and sub-base. Because it is buried in the landscape, subdrainage is often invisible to us. Buried drainage moves water quickly and efficiently across the landscape.

Sub drainage drawing

According to Houzz contributing editor Falon Land Studio, a mixture of the two; swales used in conjunction with sub drainage, is most effective. An example would be when a swale is used to move water from a roof downspout across the landscape to a drain. Visit Houzz.com for more information and give us a call for ways in which you can design with cobblestone for a swale.