Stormwater runoff was slowly pushing this property into the Long Island Sound. The lawn that grew up to the edge of the bluff did little to slow the erosion. The soil was compacted both by the stormwater runoff, and by our habit of constant mowing. Little was being absorbed when it rained.
The stormwater runoff was intercepted by a series of rills that act as speed bump to slow and absorb it. To protect our native plantings and to buttress the soil. we reinforced the upland portion of the yard along the face of the bluff with many deer resistant plants. We also added a number of sapling trees—oaks, beeches, and red maples— which we protected with deer fencing.
The night after install, a torrential rainstorm struck, but the design held: Not a single planted plug was displaced and the mulch stayed right where it was spread. Over time, these plantings will only get better at mitigating stormwater runoff as the root systems of the native plants establish and flourish.
Spadefoot works with Nature to cure Nature. Native plants tend to have very deep roots. Long Island has loose sandy soil generally. It is also nutrient poor. The water table is often quite high too, which is important when we have our droughts here.
These plantings, as with our native plantings generally, have held up not just in flood, but also in drought. By capturing the water via bioswales and the plants themselves, we build a biome that can support our natives.