HP 6.10: Ponds in the Garden as Special Garden Rooms

Ponds in the garden were easily made in the initial earthworks for the house when the site was excavated in 1981 (34 years ago from 2015).  Our land is is on a sandstone base four metres down below the soil surface. We have on our land about a metre  of black sandy topsoil which becomes a heavy clay layer which then goes down to the sandstone base. With heavy rain,  the  water sinks down to the heavy  clay layer and sits on top  of the clay. It is like a vast underground dam and with slight southern slope  of the land, this underground water slowly drains down the slope over several months. Three months later, this water  is readily available at the surface  if you dig a hole.  Woe to you if you went down in a vehicle. The soil would turn to instant bog and you would need to be towed out by another vehicle on a firm surface (that is why we had many horizontal logs and branches laid down in our extensive driveway coming down to our house).

When the heavy  clay layer  is broken into, this underground water trickles out and down to fill any depression in the  clay base below. It then becomes free water with an extensive surface. By excavating shallow ponds in the clay (some up to 0.75 metres deep), I have created four ponds that drain this water  away from the house. One pond is a deep one outside the glass wall of our bedroom. It drains in different southern  direction away from the house. See the three photos below.  This pond had been planted several  years ago with waterlilies  which  have large plate-like floating green leaves and  produce blue flowers. These  flowers eventually produce  seed which sinks down to rest on the sandy base of the pond. The pond may dry  up to bare  sand and  leaf mulch that  year as the underground water ceases and the  ponds  slowly evaporate over  six months.

In the  next year, the  heavy rain will repeat the process and the ponds  will  fill again. The waterlily  seed resting on the sandy base of  the pond, quickly produces new waterlilies  with their  floating green leaves and blue flowers. Occasionally, wild black ducks come to paddle in this  pond and provide a sense of movement in the serene landscape.

The two large ponds on the north side of the house, drain into each other and then into another lower level around the back  of  the Dipping Pool and  eventually down the hill to open land.  With the new bore which was only drilled in September last year,  we have abundant water for  our garden in dry times and water to keep the ponds full. It is wonderful in having the contrast of the still  reflective water surface and the ever changing three dimensional nature of the garden and surrounding bush.

Harriet and I so identify with what the  Psalmist David says: Psalm 19: 1- 4 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made. One day tells a story to the next. One night shares knowledge with the next without talking, without words, without their voices being heard. Yet, their sound has gone out into the entire world, their message to the ends of the earth.

Looking down on Master bedroom

…  Looking down on the Master bedroom area of the garden with its pond  …..


….  The  pond with a water lily  and blue flower ….

1. Pond At Master Bedroom


…  Pond 1 on the northside of the house drains into Pond 2 as shown below.

 Pond 2 then drains into another lower level around the back of the Dipping Pool and  eventually down the hill to open land …..


Pond 2: As of 10.10.15, this pond has been excavated to eventually form a billabong with a natural log on the other side. Brown creek sand was  spread over the bottom up to 100 mm thick. This covered any exposed clay. This was then filled it with bore water over a night and day. It was to  be used as natural dipping pool in the hot Australian summer period (it really doesn’t have the depth for a  swimming pool).  Summer begins in December till February.  Any excess water flows over the  top to descend into another lower level around the back of the Dipping Pool and  eventually down the hill to open land into the paddock below. The Dipping Pool is what we created at a later date so we could easily immerse under deeper water to our necks. 


003Pond 2: was filled with bore water which was very clean. This eventually formed a billabong with a natural log on the other side.  However, we then had four major thunderstorms in four  consecutive days in mid November  of 2015. We had a small excavator coming out to do some work in a weeks time which had booked a month before. With all  the

rain, the grading on the driveway was not quite right. This meant that the  dipping pool received four doses of muddy runoff off the driveway. Since then we have diverted all runoff to the other side of the driveway. The billabong was flushed out with bore water which will make it clean again.





…. Newly Built Garden Pond September 2015 …


See the next post on our house and garden: Post 11: Animals and Birds on our Land


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