Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dull as ditchwater

Used to be, excess water from our neighbor's fishpond would drain into our fish ponds. On any normal day this is not a problem since the water flows like a small stream... until a heavy downpour comes. As water rushes through, the strong current erodes the banks of the fishponds causing significant damages.

To solve this perennial problem, they dug a ditch to permanently divert this flowing water away from the fishponds. This ditch traverses the entire width of the farm in almost a straight line, safely directing the water into another neighbor's pond. But due to the sloping terrain, some portions would drop at a steep angle a foot or more high, causing water to cascade down like little waterfalls. The unintended but delightful result is this soothing and calming sound of water falling and running, which is impossible not to hear when you're strolling nearby.

The ditch, which runs almost forever, however is somewhat of an eyesore. We could bury it like an underground drainage, but then we'd lose the view and sound of running water. There is no danger to health anyway since technically it's clean, coming from a pond full of fishes.

While walking alongside this long and narrow excavation, an idea dawned on me. What if (in the future), we widen the ditch, make it deeper and let the water accumulate to a certain depth. Then throw in plenty of aquatic plants and landscape the surrounding areas with bog plants, other water-loving plants, ferns, moss, pebbles, rocks, etc. Voila! We have a water garden!

Just thinking about the potential of this plain ditch makes me salivate like a child gazing at all the sweet treats in a candy store.