At Eden Gardens, we have a lot to be proud of when it comes to water.
In the garden, water from the building’s roof is redirected into the creek where the plants act as filters, absorbing nutrients, till the excess makes its way down to the storage reservoir, where it can be recycled onto the garden. The reservoir itself is a feature, with a stunning spiral of steel creating a visually exciting sink at the bottom of the garden, surrounded by stunning Pyrostegia venusta, or Orange Trumpet Vine. Marvellous Hostas¸ reeds, canna lilies, cunjevois, Elephant’s ears, Iris and the giant leafed Gunnera line the creek, whilst waterlilies and lotus flower in the formal water garden, which runs as a central axis in the garden.
Water Reservoir at Eden Gardens
The reservoir was designed by Jon Shinkfield and the floating work 'You Are Mostly of Water' featured (right) is by Jonathon Bolitho.
A similar system works in the nursery, only the tank is underground and the “creek” is a gabion style lined slot carved into the rear of the nursery, planted with Papyrus and Bulrushes, Cannas and flag lilies.
In many cultures, the water garden is a deeply spiritual place for reflection, cleansing and transformation and many of the plants themselves have meaning, such as the lotus flower, which having risen from the mud and being a flower of exquisite beauty, has a special place in the garden.
The Lily terrace, with its formal rectangular pond, shown below, is a lovely spot to enjoy the water lilies. Or hire and have up to 60 people having canapes and drinks in the garden.
Water gardens can vary in size and purpose. You might just have a water bowl, or you could be creating a billabong or ephemeral creek of river pebbles in your own backyard that runs in storms and helps keep water out of the stormwater. Maybe you want a frog pond, or your own version of Monet’s waterlilies? The common thing that’s needed for success is diversity, creating a rich balance and ecosystem, so if the water is stagnant it needs to be aerated and include fish to eat mosquito larvae.