Rainwater Harvesting 101

I read the following brief article on Rainwater Harvesting on Rob Thibault’s website, TBO’s Green Landscape Systems. I asked if I could repost it here, and so here it is:

Rainwater Harvesting 101



Rainwater is one of the most precious resources in the world. Fortunately here in B.C. we are gifted with an abundance! Unfortunately, the building industry has convinced most home-owners that water is a major threat to their homes and properties, therefore it being important to get rid of it A.S.A.P.! The truth is, if you were to use the correct tools to harness this priceless gift you would be years ahead of the building and development industry! Rainwater Harvesting systems are perfect for indoor use such as flushing toilets and washing clothes, or outdoor use to wash vehicles and pets. Best of all, you can water your lawn and gardens whenever you want in summer months as this no longer controls you by the city watering restrictions! If we install an in-ground drainage system you can additionally reclaim and filter any excess run-off water and use it again!

Excavating--TBO's Green Landscape Systems

Excavating–TBO’s Green Landscape Systems

One of the best ways to use this system is to include a water feature! In doing this, you are able to enjoy and show off the water you are secretly storing underground! If you were to choose to include a pond with fish and plants, this would add even more nutrients to the water for irrigating your landscape! At this stage you would have a mini eco-system on your very own property. A holistic approach based on nature’s intelligent design is always the recommended route, but something as small as a single rain barrel does make a difference in the world.

City storm-water systems have been created to take the water from our roofs and street to direct it into our streams, rivers and oceans carrying harmful chemicals at high velocity. This is extremely damaging to our local eco-systems and is causing greater destruction to plants, fish, and animals than the average person would guess. It’s through small steps like residential rainwater harvesting that will help to heal our local eco-systems and prevent local flooding. We aim to change the world with our clients to create a better world for tomorrow. We hope to partner with you on a rainwater project soon!



The grass on the left side (see picture below) is the RWH finished product!image-1

Written by Rob Thibault


Bee “Arrival Sequence”

“Arrival Sequence” is an expression used by some designers (not me I’m afraid, I’m far to common for that) to refer to the approach to your house–how you get there, what you see as you’re getting there, and what you see and experience once you’re there.

That’s my artsy way of introducing this bee.

This is one giant bee!

Bumble bee.

Bumble bee approaching.



Bumble bee landing.


I love watching all kinds of wildlife in my garden, whether from indoors on cold or miserable days, or outdoors on warm unexpectedly sunny days in February. So when this bee that looked almost the size of a hummingbird flew by, I went outside to follow her (her?).

It doesn’t take much to attract wildlife to your garden, but unless you’re looking for it/them, you’ll miss tons of beauty and enjoyment. So as I mentioned in a previous post, get out that camera or phone, and stand in some likely spot, and just wait. You’ll be rewarded in no time with something like this:

Love that melodious background music!

I’ve been searching google to try to identify what kind of bee this is, unsuccessfully. If any of you can help me out, I’d appreciate it.


5 Things About Water Features

“Delight-full” Water

I listened to an inspiring podcast by water-feature designer Bob Dews in North Carolina. These are the notes I made (with a few editorial comments):


Water addresses all the senses:

Visually stimulating: our eyes catch movement, such as when we see a bird fly by, we turn to look at it. Cascades and waterfalls particularly highlight the beauty of the water itself, rather than the reflection that you get with ponds. Lighting the moving water can give you the same benefits at night.

To appreciate the visual aspects of the water feature, be sure to locate it where it will be frequently seen. Think of your habits regarding your outdoor spaces: if you seldom go out into the garden (for whatever reasons) be sure to situate your feature where it can be seen from indoors. If you like to sit in various areas of your garden, of course you’ll want the water feature to be somewhat central. Maybe you’ll enjoy seeing it from one area, but only hearing it from another…

Acoustics: Water tunes to different pitches, which mean different things to us depending on the circumstances. Tones depend on the surface the water hits. It’s also more “present” than the other senses–we’ll hear the sound of the water when we can’t necessarily see it. Therefore a more important sensation than visual. If the acoustics aren’t right, could be annoying–like traffic. Water trickling down a “water wall” or rain chain will yield a soft gentle sound; water striking a flat surface from height, even little height, will result in a loud gushing sound. Your choice!

This waterfall isn’t fully planted you. Stay “tuned” for updated view. 

I’d find this a little too loud. It’s a very small front yard (which you can’t tell from my inelegant video), and to fully appreciate the waterfall, I’d like to see a patio built near-by. I’d prefer the falls–in fact the whole structure–to be shorter, leading to softer sound.

Touch: interactive; we touch water, water touches us–example, mist or spray rising up to our face. Feeling of water is soothing. When we touch water that is moving, there is more sensation than with still water, and of course, is complimented with visual.

Smell: hopefully not too much. Biological filters should prevent pathological bacteria that result in smelly water.

Taste–not recommended!


Wildlife seeks out water; having water in the garden creates a domino effect of variety. Allow pets to experience the water as well.