So I have sinus infection and extra time to write about the drainage and landscaping at a convent in Arequipa. The convent was for nuns from wealthy families and they enjoyed large individual rooms within a larger complex that has not only great landscaping, but also a very advanced and ´progressive´ drainage system.
The courtyards have fruit trees such as fig, citrus, avocado, and what appears to be plum, in addition to rubber trees and decoratives like trailing lantana, honeysuckle, nasturtium, geranium, cedar, Norfolk island pine (?) and others.
The convent is made of Sillar, a pyroclastic rock from the adjacent volcano (El Misty). Sillar is a light stone that is porous and easy to shape, similar to pumis, but stronger and a little heavier. They even made elevated basins of sillar stone, in which the water percolates through and drips into a basin below, providing a type of water purification system.
The easily shaped stone is used to create a complex system of drainage channels that are covered by large flagstones in areas of high foot traffic and within the buildings, but surface in the court yards to feed into flow through planters. The water drains into the planters and water nasturtiums, geraniums, fruit and rubber trees.
They even have outflows for when the planters become over-saturated or overflow. This drainage system also includes a trough with various basins along it´s slope. You can divert the water by blocking the canal below the overflow for your basin, in order to fill the basin to do laundry. The series of basins could then be used to soap and then rinse the laundry in a serious of basins.
The wealthy nuns had individuals quarters, each with it´s own cloister, and an open air kitchen with plants in the middle. The plants ranged from figs, to cedars, and (sorry Celia) one even appeared to have a variety of scotch broom in it.