The unwelcome water feature: dealing with garden drainage problems

Thanks largely to television gardening presenter Charlie Dimmock and the rest of the Groundforce team, everyone loves a water feature. The sound of a fountain or waterfall is refreshing on a hot day and no-one can deny the calming effect of watching fish gliding around a pond. Indeed, water features are generally considered to be a good thing, unless they weren’t intended to be there.

Homeowners, particularly in clay soil areas, can find unwelcome water features appearing in their gardens caused by inadequate drainage. Gardens can be ruined by poor drainage, making soil too wet for plants to grow, turning lawns into quagmires and destabilising surface finishes.

Dealing with garden drainage problems

A garden has a drainage problem when heavy or even moderate rain forms puddles that take ages to drain away. While amateur gardeners can attempt DIY drainage solutions, it is best to call in the professionals where the problem is severe, as they will be able to identify and install the more advanced and long-lasting solutions.

An expert landscape gardener called on to tackle a severe drainage problem will also know that installing a purpose-designed geotextile fabric for drainage applications will prevent silt and other material from clogging up the system and keep it working as it should.

A specialist drainage geotextile fabric will have excellent drainage and filtration properties and be suitable for both French Drains and soakaways.

Using a drainage geotextile fabric to improve a drainage system

A French drain, also known as a French ditch, a sub-surface or sub-soil drain, a blind drain, a rubble drain, a rock drain and many other synonyms, is basically a trench filled with gravel (or rock or rubble and the like) and/or a perforated pipe that removes surface water and groundwater from an area and directs it elsewhere.

Installing permeable non-woven geotextile fabric DRAINTEX, from Growtivation’s Product That Works range, will help prevent soil from mixing with the gravel or chosen filling material and promote continued water filtration. This, in turn, keeps these types of drains working better for longer.

Alternative drainage solutions are soakaways, with or without attenuation crates. Quite simply, a soakaway is a hole dug into the ground and filled with rubble or coarse stone, which allows surface water to slowly drain back into the earth close to where it falls.

A soakaway can also be constructed using prefabricated soakaway crates or attenuation cells. As with French drains, wrapping these crates and cells in a specialist drainage geo-membrane provides a means of preventing clay, silt and other sediment from getting into them and reducing their capacity to store the excess water, which is then released slowly into the ground.

DRAINTEX is available in a range of roll and pack sizes, from the Mini Roll at 1m x 10m to the Contractor Roll at 4.5m x 100m.

To ensure you have all the information you need to successfully install this drainage geotextile fabric download the Installation Guide, Tech Data Sheet and Brochure.

To find out more about the other ground control products in the Growtivation Product That Works range download our Landscaping That Works guide.

Or to find out where you can buy Growtivation geotextile fabrics visit our online Where to Buy facility or contact the friendly team at Growtivation for advice on 0800 197 8885 or email