Imagine having your own botanical garden, featuring a large Koi fishpond with water sculptures, surrounded by a multitude of tropical plants. Add to that a lush green lawn with banana trees for shade and a bamboo lounge at the back. Sounds too good to be true? Well, that’s exactly what the kids at little Hearts have been busy building for the last three months. Like all our projects, the thing that makes the botanical garden so interesting is that the kids designed everything themselves.
Koi Fish Pond, Bamboo Water Fountain and Water Wheel
The moment you set foot on the first heart-shaped stepping-stone you enter a new world, a mini tropical paradise. Every feature of the garden is well placed, giving you something interesting to look at, encouraging you to explore.
The pond is about eight metres long and a metre deep. Stepping-stones, designed by our kids, take you along the path crossing the middle of the pond. Each one is painted with colourful pictures while plants and sculptures decorate the entire area. At one end, a bamboo water fountain splashes away. The sculpture, designed by Sarem, Michael and Dalin, is made from a large piece of bamboo cut into different lengths, connected by pipes. Water flows through each section as it re-enters the pond.
The large water wheel is the centrepiece of the garden. Pond water is pumped to the top of the wheel and then flows down filling bamboo water cups. The water gently turns the wheel and the waterfall effect oxygenates the pond. The stream-like sound of flowing water and leisurely spin of this tropical sculpture is very soothing, as it glistens in the sun.
Plants Trees and Fruit
The children love the botanical aspect of the project. Building on their previous experience, they’ve added a range of plants including elephant ears, coconut palm trees, mango trees, lychees, avocados, passion fruit vines, and more. The rich bounty of fruit trees is a tropical bonanza destined to supply the orphanage with an abundance of fruit for many years to come.
Bamboo Rest Area and Boat
At the furthest end of the garden, the kids have built a bamboo retreat, complete with a roof made of dried bamboo leaves for shade. Underneath is a smooth floor equipped with a wicker sofa, cushions and a few chairs.
The shack is a place to go when the children need a change of scene. At break times, you’ll find a lot of the younger kids playing under the shade of the sloping roof. It’s a perfect getaway from the classroom and for all their hard work, a well-deserved one too.
The garden extends for another few meters on each side. At both ends, a large boat cut in two stands at 90 degrees. Each boat half is painted one black the other deep-sea blue. They both have a mid-section designed bench, and the kids have already started using them as fun places to read.
A Future Full of Fish
The project is a work in progress and almost complete. The kids are really looking forward to the day when fish are added to the pond, but for now, tadpoles have already made it their home. There’s no doubt that more wildlife and birds will discover this mini oasis soon.