The pond as it appeared a few weeks ago, when the irises bloomed.

How my garden grows

I’m slowly but surely turning my backyard into the sort of enchanted garden I’ve always wanted. I’m still several hundred pounds of Sackrete, ten lawn gnomes and a couple more growing seasons away, but it’s really taking shape this summer.

A few photos:

Here is the view from the little bench next to the pond. You can see the spots where my Darwin approach is taking off and making magic.
Here is the view from the little bench next to the pond. I love my mermaid.

From the bench by the pond, you can kind of see what I’m trying to do. The raised beds behind the little black fence are full of compost and have vegetables coming up in them. So far, I’m delighted with them, as they’re super easy to weed, and most of the plants are thriving. I’m still figuring out the ideal spots for various species based on light conditions back there. In the foreground is the pond, barely visible behind the perennials I’ve planted around and in it, and at left is the Darwin Garden, so named because it’s an exercise in survival of the fittest: I’ve planted it entirely with perennials and vigorous self-seeding annuals and let them live or die as they will. It’s thriving, as I expected it to, and I intend to expand it into the rest of the yard as time goes by.

Now for a few details:

I cleaned the pond filter today. I still can't believe my $12 homemade filter is working as well as it is.
I cleaned the pond filter today. I still can’t believe that $12 homemade filter is working as well as it is.
Tomatoes and cucumbers. The tomatoes are Tigerellas -- a tasty, wonderfully reliable variety in this area.
Tomatoes and cucumbers. The tomatoes are Tigerellas — a tasty, wonderfully reliable variety in this area.
Darwin Garden residents: last year's chives came back; this year's cilantro and marjoram are doing nicely, and the collards are coming up around the strawberries. Arugula is reseeding itself just outside the frame.
Darwin Garden residents: last year’s chives came back; this year’s cilantro, marjoram and parsley are doing nicely, and the collards are coming up around the strawberries. Arugula is reseeding itself in the upper left.
Trail of Tears beans coming up along the vegetable garden fence.
Trail of Tears beans coming up along the vegetable garden fence. The ground is covered with commercial-grade mulch cloth and a thick layer of leaf mold, so weeds are minimal and easily pulled. In the background, a lawn gnome cosplays the Tenth Doctor between the beehives.
I love my chooks. That pail in the corner is actually the best-designed water dispenser I've ever used.
Buff Orpington hens. That pail in the corner is actually the best-designed water dispenser I’ve ever used.
The water irises I planted in the pond last spring started blooming in May. I am madly in love with them.
The water irises bloomed in May. I am madly in love with them. Dig that mint that decided to be an aquatic plant.

I have a lawn gnome I bought last spring that I’m going to paint this week to look like the Ninth Doctor. I’m hoping to make a pilgrimage to East Alton in a few weeks to score some more gnomes. Eventually, I want gnomes cosplaying each of the Doctor’s regenerations, sprinkled randomly around the yard.

Yay for finally going gray like I mean to accomplish something!
Hooray for gray!

While I was taking pictures, I accidentally set the phone to selfie mode, so I took this totally egocentric photo of my new haircut, which I got last week. I don’t like it, but I never like my hair short. I do like having it healthy, and I’m really going to like it when all this salt and pepper is down to my shoulders and looking all Judy-Collins-circa-1993.

Hope your weekend was productive and pleasant.

 

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