Archive for the ‘Alexia’ Category

Echinacea ‘Ruby Star’ Aglow in Yesterday’s Heat and Humidity!


Gangway Drainage Solution….. Refining the Grading & Getting Ready to Lay Some Gravel and Drainpipe


Peter Hoy is working on the fine grading and the team is checking the depth of our trench. We are creating a green infrastructure drainage solution to trapped water in a gangway. By directing the water to a trench that ends in a dry well in the front yard, the water will no longer be trapped between the houses, causing the house foundations to be unnecessarily moist. This project is a collaboration between Let’s Go Chicago and Semiramis Studio. You may recall the Studio installed several raingardens last fall in associaton with The Center for New Technology. Let’s Go Chicago collaborated on a few of those projects, as well.

An Escape for Stormwater Trapped in a Gangway… in progress


Side Yard Transformation……. with reclaimed and remnant pavers, complete with drainage solution

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The undisturbed subgrade pitches sharply away from the house, encouraging the water to go away from the house, and into the french drain channel.  The pea gravel base drains freely and quickly, and also provides a lot of storage area for water interstitially. Pea gravel joints were used in the irregular flagstone area, and for the base material, and around the perforated pipes. Pea gravel at a depth of 6″ nearly eliminates weed growth, and does not subside in rain.  Dual 3 inch diameter perforated plastic pipe was used.  Since we needed only 50 ft of run and had just enough fall, we doubled it up in the french drain, maximizing the storage capacity, and minimizing cost.  Sand jointing was used for the regular bluestone paver area, and the joints were kept to around 3/8″-1/4″ when possible.


Time to go put in another one!




Red Raspberry season is here! Raspberries are nearly zero maintenance and pest-free. The fruit is rarely stolen by birds, squirrels, or other urban critters. I recommend planting yourself a patch. Confining them between a sidewalk and a garage or other barriers keeps them from spreading too much. Delicious!

Rain Garden – plants in!

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The Rain Garden was installed last fall, and topped with pine fines mulch for the winter.  This spring, we refined the grading and removed most of the mulch for use in other areas.

The soil at this site is extremely sandy, so standing water will be rare.  We installed native sedges in the lowest areas of the swale, and they should hold the sandy soil quite well.

Over the next few months, as the plants establish, we’ll introduce the downspout water.

Triton College! Rain Garden! Semiramis Studio’s design is going in today!


More info to follow as progress continues!


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