How to Make a Dry Creek Bed for Downspout Drainage

The other day I just happened to have some extra stone that I had bought a few weeks ago on a large palette with some miscellaneous landscaping supplies. I thought that a dry creek bed might look better than the cheap looking plastic tube that was attached to the end of the downspout so I started putting one together using those stones. It took about 4 partially filled bags of stone and a little landscape fabric to complete. It’s a simple enough project to complete in 30 to 40 minutes.

First I cut landscape fabric to fit the area. Landscape fabric is good for this use since it is porous and will prevent weeds from underneath. It won’t stop weeds that blow in so future weedings will be necessary. I made a triangular shape for the part closest to the house then overlapped other pieces of fabric toward the outside border. I kept the fabric narrow to simulate a small stream bed. I held the fabric down with larger stones temporarily then spread the stone starting with the largest stones first and the smallest ones last. Then I spread the mulch back up to the edge of the stones.

There it is, a new dry creek bed near the Japanese maple and the corner shade garden!

There’s one example of water wise gardening, take a look at my rain garden posts or head over to Gardening Gone Wild to see some more!

13 Replies to “How to Make a Dry Creek Bed for Downspout Drainage”

  1. Hi Dave~~ Anything (garden wise) which employs the creative use of rock is, in my mind sheer brilliance. I love rocks and how their hard surface juxtaposes superbly with the organic-ness of foliage and flower. Nicely done creek bed.

    The Maple leaf is a very tasteful ornamentation. I like.

  2. It looks great. Can’t wait to see that arbor and I am thinking it is close by.

  3. OFB thanks!


    Thanks I really like adding those hardscape elements to the garden.


    The post on BHG just came online! Go check out the project!

  4. That’s much better than the black pipe. We are putting a rain garden in our back yard where the black pipe from the front gutters ends. It buried most of the way, but we want to do something about where it starts (ugly!) I don’t know if rock will work, but we might look into it. If nothing else, we can plant some hostas and only have to see it in the winter.

  5. I’m at work reading this and thinking that ‘Hey, I can do that in MY yard!’


  6. This looks similar to a condition I have in my yard. A patch near my house doesn’t drain well and ends up leaking into my basement. Does this do a good job of getting the water away from the foundation?


  7. You are one productive gardener Dave with the arbor project and now this great dry creek bed. That’s a clever way to use the runoff from your downspout. 🙂

  8. Excellent job Dave and a great idea! gail

  9. This is terrific, Dave. Thanks for taking the time to share your idea for this month’s GGW Design Workshop!

  10. What a great idea! Now if I only had a pallet of extra stone hanging around.

  11. Hi,

    We have just added your latest post “Making a Dry Creek Bed for Downspout Drainage – The Home Garden: Gardening in the Home Landscape” to our Directory of Foreclosure . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory and get a huge base of visitors to your website.

    Warm Regards Team

  12. […] Seal were added from a plant swap. This year I’ve added a few things to the area like the dry creek bed I put together to guide rainwater away from the house. Just to the right of the dry creek bed is a […]

Comments are closed.