We’ve been busy. When we purchased this property in March, we were under several feet of snow, but we could see beneath the drifts that our foundation shrubs were old and overgrown. As soon as we could, we removed old junipers, a huge burning bush, transplanted dozens of hostas to the back yard, divided an overgrown hydrangea into 4 shrubs and spaced them in the border. Soil in the new and enlarged border was amended, the new shrubs were selected, some already planted and others were standing in pots ready to be planted.
The big snows had melted and soon some mighty big spring rain storms passed through New Hampshire. It took us a while to realize we had a major problem with standing water against the foundation just behind our new garden. Two days after a rain we still needed galoshes if we wanted to trudge along the foundation wall. Not good… especially because we have a basement.
The new garden was put on hold while we came up with a viable solution for to rid ourselves of this mini-lake. Several weeks later and the problem is a distant memory. The solution consisted of gravel, perforated PCP piping, filter fabric, and a grate: a French Drain. Luckily, we live on a yard with a gradient so channeling water flow downhill was not a problem. We had a downpour yesterday and the foundation is dry as a bone! Our new plants are in the ground and all we need now is mulch.
The most interesting thing about a French Drain is the origin of the design. It was not invented in France as I thought but was popularized by Henry Flagg French, an agriculturist, an inventor, a lawyer, a judge, Postmaster, assistant district attorney and Assistant US Treasury Secretary. Whew! His design used sections of roofing tile with a gap between the sections.
And, the most amazing thing…. he was born in this county and lived for some time in our town of Exeter and is buried here. And another amazing fact… his son, Daniel Chester French, born right here in Exeter, was the famed sculptor best known for the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial… a landmark that I plan to visit on an upcoming DC trip. Now, if I can link Abe to Kevin Bacon, I will win the game of Six Degrees.