Friday, April 15, 2011

The Great Wave

"Water, Water Everywhere...."

Although the sump pump system had been installed from the start of the garden project, the first full winter (2009-2010) resulted in little precipitation. As a result, in the spring of 2010 I didn’t need to pump any water out of the basement. The winter of 2010-2011 proved different. We had record amounts of snow fall, and so in the spring the pumps kicked in to full action by March 19. Although I would prefer not to have water, I was interested in seeing how the garden would hold up. After all, the design was intended to accommodate the need for employing the sump pumps. The size of the garden appeared to be accommodating the volume of water being pumped, and the rocks surround the edges holding up well. Of course, as expected, the water is draining back into the ground and water table, only to end up back in the basement sump pump pits.

The Great Wave at Kanagawa

My wave of water is not as impressive as Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave at Kanagawa (shown above - from the 36 Views of Mount Fuji series of wood-block prints). Nevertheless, it has proved to be equally soothing to behold.

The Great Wave at My Zen Garden - Looking East
This view of the garden shows the direction in which the water flows down to the lowest point of elevation on the property. With the ground still somewhat frozen, water is pooling up at the far end.

Unfortunately, we we received so much rain in the spring that the garden could no longer keep up with the flow of water. By Early June I had to divert one of the pumps back out into the wood lot as the primary discharge for sump pump water. One pump remains connected to the garden, but is only being used occasionally or as a back up.

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