Monday, January 17, 2011

My Garden Plans for 2011

This one is especially for Fer’s carnival. See mygardeninjapan.
I have great plans / dreams for my garden for 2011. Maybe with a little advice and encouragement from my blogging friends, I will be able to make my dreams a reality.
We get mostly winter rainfall and for the past few years I have been really upset about all the water going down the drain. In summer when it is really dry I keep wishing we had some of that precious water. The first thought was to install rainwater tanks, but they are ugly and expensive as well.
So I came up with the great idea of building a river bed and leading it into a pond. The rainwater can be led from the gutter into the river bed and then into the pond. If the pond gets too full I have planned a bog area. We have a lot of bulbs that grow in temporary winter ponds and then like to be totally dry in the summer.
We plan to do this in our back garden where we already have a small pond that can be incorporated into the design. If this one works out well then I would like to do the same in the front garden – but don’t tell my husband – he is already groaning about the amount of work ahead.

On Sunday we went to the Harold Porter Gardens in Betty’s Bay to get some ideas. The pic below gives an idea of what I trying to create.

This is the area I have to work with.

The area in the shade behind the blue pipe will remain grass. The area in the sun extending towards the pool will become bog and pond. The river will run down on the left and fall into the pool somewhere after the white pole – old wash line post that will finally be removed.

Same thing just from the opposite side. The existing pond is in the back ground. The rainwater pipe will be led along the back wall, which will hopefully be hidden  soon by a few young trees and shrubs that were planted a few month’s ago. 

Hubby contemplating the work ahead.

So quite a big task ahead, all the help, advice and encouragement will be appreciated.


  1. What a practical and yet fun idea! And thanks for visiting my blog... Larry

  2. great idea..can't wait to see it..I have a pond and love it...I have also french drained downspouts to make a kind of rain garden as well as traditional rain gardens to take run and practical as well...

  3. It is a great plan you have.
    I like the idea of making a small pond to keep the water instead of using rain barrels.
    Hope you the best for your project, I am sure it will turn out great

  4. A lot of work ahead of you, but the result sounds very nice.

  5. Thanks for all the "thumbs up". Can't wait to get started.

  6. I hope your husband is looking forward to this project as much as you are!! :)
    It will be good though, and I admire your plans for making best use of the available water.

  7. I love hearing about people finding better ways to irrigate -- good for you! A wonderful garden goal, indeed.

    I wanted to invite you to submit a post for the next issue of How to Find Great Plants. Here's the link:

    If you don't have time to write something new I noticed that you already feature recommended plants in most of your posts. You're welcome to submit one that you've already written (such as the Geranium, Lobostemon, or Orpheum ones).

  8. Will definitely post something soon on appalachianfeet.

    Thanx for some more thumbs up, Mark & Eliza.

  9. Yup the rain barrels are ugly. Big and a green that has no link to anything in nature. But our 2 tanks still have about 500 litres of water. We have had no rain at all in January, and those tanks will keep pots and fussy plants going till autumn and rain. In summer we use all our grey water in the garden.

    We have a pond and swales to absorb winter's floods. But erm that winter rain in the pond is not going last into summer, unless your pond is large, like a farm dam? But the pond will delight you and the wildlife which is just WAITING for the water to arrive!

  10. I agree with Elephant's eye...I think you need a tank as well. Because we have been experiencing a 10 year drought (which has just broken) in Australia, everybody was putting in tanks. As a result of the demand, all different sorts of tanks have been developed. Long, thin, tall ones to fit down the sideway of a house. Different colours. Plastic and corrugated iron. Definitely a tank as well as the wonderful pond and creek bed.

  11. What a great idea.This idea is very wonderful and full of great fun.