On my recent tour of the Permaculture Visions property at Mount Kembla, I saw lots of great ideas for gardening and property design. This post is part of a series to share them.
Today’s ideas are all to do with using water in the garden.
A half wine barrel makes an excellent raised pond for balconies or hard surface areas. In the photo above you can see that rainwater is captured and directed into the barrel. Plants are grown in pots submerged in the barrel and azolla, an aquatic plant, grows on the surface. A couple of goldfish can be released into the water to keep mosquitoes under control.
Dotted around the garden were various small ponds and water features. The ponds provide a source of drinking water for helpful animals like lizards and birds, and a home for frogs and beneficial insects. In return for the pond environment, these animals will provide you with free pest control.
Water in the garden also helps to moderate temperature swings through the day. It can reduce frost in the area around the pond, and also has a cooling effect during very hot weather.
The pond in the photo above is a larger one, made from ferrocement. A downpipe from the house roof delivers water into the pond, and the yard has been designed so that any overflow travels down towards the garden. If the overflow is significant, it will collect in the pit underneath the trampoline (pictured below). From there, it slowly soaks into the surrounding garden beds over the following weeks.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to incorporate water into your garden design. Doing so brings life and beauty into your yard, while also helping to reduce your workload in pest control and garden watering.
How have you used water in your garden?