When we first moved into our house we dismantled a raised bed that had been built against the east end of the house and funneled rainwater into our garage. We designed the gardens around the house to have a 2 foot clearance so we could paint the house easily. This is clearly visible in this view from about 1998.
Looking back in the opposite direction from the image above you can see how the garden has grown up since then. In the intervening years we've started to have problems with snow melt when the ground is frozen at the end of winter. All the water ends up where it's warm: next to the foundation of the house. When we have the kind of torrential rain storms that seem more common these days, we've been getting water into the basement as well, despite designing a dry stream into this area to channel water away from the house.
A year ago at this time, Mark decided the only solution was to dismantle the stone "painting path" against the back of the house. He needed to remove the large gravel as well as the vertical stone edging.
The next step was to regrade across the back of the house foundation and along the west side to make the land slope more steeply away from the house. The string line indicates the point where no plants could be located. That meant I had to find new homes for a number of perennials.
This included woking around long-standing features located along the foundation like this water/electric ututility box.
Once that was done, Mark put down an impenetrable layer of roofing rubber, cutting it to fit around the window wells.
And he began to add a stone edge. This time, the edging was put down flat as opposed to being buried like the first stone border.
Setting it that way also helped to hold the rubber layer in place.
In addition, he added window wells around the basement windows on the west side that had lacked them.
He worked a little on the slope against the front of the house but the trees, shrubs and overhang keep a fair amount of moisture away from this wall.
Next it was time to put the top layer on . . .
an expanse of large gray gravel to a depth of three inches.
It went across the back of the house from the west end to the deck.
And along the entire west side of the foundation.
Mark also added covers to the window wells on the west side.
Even though our gutters have extensions on them, he added additional lengths of rubber tubing to channel rainwater away from the house even more. We take these extensions off when we have visitors and flip the ends of the metal gutters up.
We had no rain in the basement last fall or this spring when the snow melted. We finally had water come in for the first time this year in recent days when we had four inches of rain in 3 days. Though we still got some water it was much less than we would have had in the past. Sunday night we received an inch of rain in about an hour and nothing came in. It was a lot of work but it's been well worth all Mark's efforts. And he did it all in a way that is an attrative feature that doesn't detract from adjacent garden features.