Waterwheel and Stream
A home-made waterwheel used to lift water from the water race to form a small stream, which then wriggled and jiggled its way down the back of the Wattle Woods. I loved the soft, sloshy noises the waterwheel made - and, of course, the running water.
On Goes the Waterwheel
I used easy foliage plantings along the wriggling stream's route. Green Phormiums, Renga Renga, and grasses gave spikes and textures, while Pittosporums and variegated Mallows provided pleasant vertical accents. Doesn't that sound impressive? Hee hee... Sorry that the stream is all but invisible in this photograph, though!
Spot the Stream!
The water in the irrigation race is Waimakariri River water, and gets silty when it's raining in the mountains. I needed the silt to plug up the stream and the small destination pond at the bottom. But not too much, or the garden areas would have been slowly flooded!
Then I leant the hard way that my waterwheel had a mind and a spirit of its own. It got out of balance and refused to turn for some months. Large stones were carried in to channel more water through its paddles, giving watery encouragement.
Update 2012 - Oh Dear
I'm sorry to say that my waterwheel became more and more temperamental. It had no bearings, you see - and when the wheel became stuck the submerged wood would become heavier and more waterlogged. One day it just refused to go. For a couple of years it stayed in the water, an ornamental oddity. In February 2012 we pushed it out of the water race in between a couple of ragged Cortaderias. A pair of river pumps now do the job of lifting water into the stream.