instead of just trying to direct the water around I hope to attract lots of frogs and grow some moisture loving plants as well turn a muddy irritating, unhealthy eyesore into an aesthetically pleasing area. I got started yesterday and this is how far I made it. Blackjack, my Lamancha buckling thinks It is a toy just for him. He and my boer buckling have been playing king of the rocks.
I mixed in the rest of my informal compost pile to form the berm. I want it to drain, just drain slowly. so no, I didn't line it with the heavy clay stuff I dug out. I am not sure at this point wether the rocks will be enough to prevent erosion of the high side wall. I suspect I may have to remove them and place some sort of weed barrier or liner just on the steep part to prevent erosion. After this rain fall I will evaluate the erosion factor, make it bigger and deeper and tweak the grade around it to better direct the water into it.
If you're looking for plant ideas, there's an awesome appendix in this book/pdf about raingarden building. It lists plants according to water they can handle and other factors. http://www.pierce.wsu.edu/Water_Quality/LID/Raingarden_handbook.pdf It's not a permaculture look at the plants per se, but we can add our own knowledge about edibles, etc. easily to their list.
Thanks kelda! It is working well. When it rains I no longer see washed out "water tracks" going in front of my shed (that were slowly taking my land with it) and the water from the aerobic system and run the rain runoff takes a direct route to the "pond". The water doesn't turn the whole area into mush anymore. It has a bit of water in it every morning from the aerobic system and I think it is ready to plant with some marsh type vegetation. Your post was perfect timing.
This may be totally unrelated to its construction but there are hundreds of dragonflies zooming around now! Its neat to just sit outside and watch them. Probably coincidence.
I have cattails! hoping to get a small edible stand (if the goats don't think so too!) I have tossed in some hyacinth to try and shade the water quickly. I am looking into arrowhead which is also edible.