A pond bordered by river rock, perennials, shade-loving ferns, and shrubs replaces a muddy swale.
The room anchors a garden remodel that turned several problem areas into assets. The forest behind the house was once overgrown and impenetrable. Landscape designer Susan Calhoun cleared out the thicket, laid a network of gravel paths, and planted colorful, multitextured woodland plants.
The area also suffered from poor drainage, so Calhoun corralled the water and transformed an existing swale into a peaceful reflecting pond. First she deepened the swale and installed French drains ― trenches filled with coarse gravel or river rock ― to direct excess water to it. Then she added stones, ferns, and water-loving plants to make the pond look as if it had always been there.