Cairns Water Garden

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The owners of this Cairns garden, Steven and Lyn Ford, wanted to let more light into the front of the house, so they removed the carport and replaced it with a moat. The moat fills the front yard of their half hectare (1.2 acre) block. Steven’s work as a building consultant meant he had a thorough knowledge of the extensive plumbing and drainage needed to create a water garden of this size. Bruce Jackman from Advanced Landscapes helped the Fords make their dream a reality.

How it was done

After the initial excavation work, Steven built two bridges over the proposed moat.
Special liners coated with fibrecrete were used to prevent puncture holes as huge rocks were lowered into the water garden.

The rocks were also used to line two dry creek beds. One of the creek beds is designed to receive overflow from the pond when it rains.

With the pond and creek beds in place, Bruce suggested that they add a waterfall.

Water quality is maintained by a concrete filter tank disguised as an earth mound, surrounded by pine logs and plants. A trawler net with a colony of bacteria cleans the water as it flows through.

Plants in the garden include tree ferns, lipstick palms, cycads, staghorn ferns and bird’s nest ferns, as well as water plants salvaged from an old pond.

The pond is filled with native fish including Sooty Grunter and Barramundi, which come up to the bridge to be hand fed by the kids.

Today, the man-made river is a thriving ecosystem with yabbies, dragonflies, fish, beetles and water skippers keeping everything in perfect balance.

Contact information

Lyn and Steven Ford
North Queensland Building Consultants
Mobile: 0408 773 931
Email: [email protected]

Bruce Jackman’s Advanced Landscapes
Landscape Contractors & Designers
11 Grimshaw Stret
Cairns 4870
Phone: (07) 4041 4321