Drainage Designs – Flowing Pebbles


After completion of a new concrete walkway, our rain chain (#3124 Copper Bells) was a few feet away from the drainage opening (blue arrows below). The white tube is an outlet for a water pump, another eyesore I'd been meaning to do something about. We thought a faux creek bed in river pebbles might look good.


  • Step 1: Moved around the dirt to make it slope a little from the walkway towards the drain (this is maybe a 2" drop over 3 feet). We packed it down by walking around on it.


  • Step 2: Outlined the area with stones. We mixed flatter stones with round ones for a more random effect; we didn't want it to look like a walkway. We had these around, but you can get river stones almost anywhere.


  • Step 3: Filled the area with pebbles. I bought two 40 lb. bags of these at OSH. Note how the drain and the white pipe are hidden with one layer of pebbles, which won't adversely affect drainage.


Hey, that looks pretty good! Now I scrounged around and found three pieces of waste glass (from a glassblowing place), and planted a little Alyssum and Lobelia around the edge. I sprayed it down to clean off the dirt and it looks really nice when wet.

Total time on this project: about 4 hours.