Growing on contour is a micro example of living in balance and synergy with the forces of nature/cosmos. We can use the natural lie of the land to benefit our gardens and homes, using Feng Sui, geomancy, sacred energy devices, crystals, ceremony, and contours or swales among many other things. Basically in this situation we terra form the landscape to capture and store water, the fountain of all that is. If you can drought-proof your property using ponds and swales, you’ve struck gold!
Water is the new Gold ~ Fresh, living, healthy water is rare and very valuable, most people on the planet realise this already, soon EVERYONE will! If you can drought proof your property you are not only helping heal our Mother Earth, but you are setting up your very own Space of Love safe zone. A smaller version of this idea is gardening on contour, growing with the flow.
I’ve made many miniature gardens on contour, basically building miniature swales to capture water so it soaks deep into the Earth and soil. This allow plants to flourish as if in an ideal natural environment where it rains regularly and thoroughly. The video below shows my latest garden on contour in the shade house. For nearly 1 year this space was not used, and even had the horses in there eating all the green manures, compressing the soil and destroying the garden beds and contour flow.
So rather than putting irrigation systems in to prepare for the coming Summer, I decided to use small swales and contours to capture and water the beds and plants. Most cultures on the Earth have used the energy of swales and gardening on contour to grow food with ease and abundance. If we rely on irrigation systems we rely on a system that is expensive economically and environmentally. So it was an obvious choice for me, and another experiment that demands perfecting.
Perfecting the art of contour gardening
I like to learn by experimenting, putting ideas and thoughts into the canvas of Earth to see what manifests. I’ve used contour gardening and swales many times, but I had not fully perfected the method and process. Some key things to think about before you go ahead and just do it like I did..
Use a long spirit level, to gauge the drop as accurately as possible
Don’t make the garden beds too high
Ensure the ends of the rows where the water is captured are higher than the garden beds. Make sure the Earth materials you are using actually stop water flow, ie clay is the best
Mulch lightly over beds and rows to prevent water loss
Monitor and tweak
When I started making the irrigation canals I managed to do the last one in the list above, ‘Monitor and Tweak’, and this resulted in much more extra effort and planning. However I learn’t a number of things in the process and now most of my beds and irrigation canals are flowing with sweet divinity, and so can yours too.
Now it easy street, I’ve noticed when I deep water the retention of water in the beds is much higher than when I used sprinklers or above ground watering. I’m saving water, the plants are much happier than usual and it’s really easy. I simply put the hose on at the top of the garden and let nature do it’s thing. Letting go so the garden can flow is the key! Last night it rained quite hard and it was pure bliss to see all that water being captured, where previously it would run off in all directions with much of it lost to grass and weeds..