Step 1: About the Aztec Water Garden
In reality, it is a garden that is supported by pylons. This is a drawing I made of an Aztec water garden. It is actually called a Chinampas.
The benefits of growing a Chinampas garden are: they provide shelter for the pond fish against predators, and vegetables grow healthier, and the vegetables yield 7 times more crops.
The next picture is a modern day Chinampas.
Step 2: What You'll Need
2 Cinder Blocks
Soil and Compost
A fish pond
Plants or Seeds
Step 3: Step 1 - Vines and Saplings
Fasten the cross pieces of the frame with twine twine (I used zip ties).
Layout rows of saplings vertically and tie down.
Weave the vines horizontally across.
Tuck in extra pieces of vine and wrap vines around the edges of the frame.
The picture might appear to look like a tangled mess, but it actually looks much better in person. All this is is a simple crisscross pattern - horizontal / vertical pattern - over under. I used the left over short pieces to fill in a few holes.
Step 4: Step 2 - Palm Fronds
Step 5: Step 3 - Cinder Blocks
Step 6: Step 4 - Adding Compost and Plants
This garden is 3 foot square. I want to make an Aztec garden with straw instead of palm fronds. If I built another garden, I would make an edge around the sides to keep the soil boxed in. The traditional Aztec garden, however, is flat and much larger than this one. Instead of using the hemp twine, I would use a hemp net that I saw in the garden center.
See the plastic and PVC pipe in the picture? This is the cold frame that I made to keep the pond safe from frost... which is another one of my instructables.
Please see more of my how-to's and videos at www.pondplantgirl.com/howto.htm