I'm forging ahead with ideas from Gaia's Garden.
Today, I dug a tiny swale in the place I plan to put in a small pond in the near future. I wasn't ready to do the pond, but I needed a place to put my carnivorous plants, So a nice little swale to catch-basin water from a downspout next to the patio -- turned out to be solid clay subsoil -- filled it with peat moss (sorry opabina, but I already had a bale of it in the shed) and some sand. We just had a steady day-long rain so water started seeping into it right away. Sank pots of pitcher plants and Venus fly traps. Left to do some shopping, came back to the little spot now named "The Bog Swale" (sounds grand, doesn't it?) completely filled with water. Topped it off with more sand and peat. Aww, the li'l tykes look happy already.
The plan is to dig another, slightly larger swale in the 2nd Future Pond area, which will catch the spill over from The Bog Swale and will then direct it to my Shady Garden. Hm Hm
I also plan to dig a swale in front of the Blueberry Patch. I originally envisioned a little rocky dry stream that will rush the downspout water to the blueberries, which will be surrounded by a moat. But my idea now is to dig and level the ground at subsoil level in front of the blueberries where a garden bench sits on a little mound (DUH! ), line the swale with pea gravel then top it with some slate stepping stones I have lying around for a nice little bench patio.
Let me know if you spot any flaws in these plans.