The back garden was once what I like to refer to as the ‘Weed Garden’. It was so named because, well, I let the weeds kind of do their thing–as long as they weren’t choking out the actual flowers that I put in, then all was as it should be. The Weed Garden is also a subtle reference to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (my most very favorite book), and subsequently, there are lots of wonderful little Wonderland-y touches back there. However….in recent months, my little garden has fallen into a bit of disrepair. It is suffering from a fluffy infestation of chickens. To be fair, the chickens actually do a fantastic job of taking the weeds out of the Weed Garden. But they also do a pretty decent job of creating vast dirt holes where they can dust-bathe and sun themselves. As charming as they are when they are lolling about in the dirt, these bare patches are not the most aesthetically pleasing.
It is long past time for me to take back my garden. In my experience, so far, the best deterrent against chicken-scratching is a good, sturdy ground-cover of some sort. If they can’t easily scratch it up and fling it aside like a rag doll, then they move on to somewhere else (by the way, I also find that it is good to actually give them a designated dirt pit where they are allowed to wallow). I find, also, that strategically-placed obstacles, such as statues or garden art, thwart the chicken’s efforts. Sometimes these obstacles get moved around a bit (my little ceramic mushrooms get uprooted and tossed about sometimes), but for the most part, I think they do a good job of impeding the destruction….or at least slowing it down.
The first bit of the garden to get a facelift is a little section off to the left as you first enter. This was a notorious dust pit, care of the chickens.
I knew that this would be the perfect spot to display my little Mad Hatter’s tea party; a collection of teacups, saucers, pots, and other little odds and ends, drilled for drainage and planted with succulents. First and foremost, I wanted to put down a good layer of ground cover to anchor the dirt. Blue Moneywort seems to stand up to chicken feet nicely, and it has lovely foliage and the sweetest little violet-like blue flowers in the spring and summer. A couple little curly tufts of blue ornamental kale, and some purple pansies round out the ground plantings (we shall see if these survive chicken-inspection….I have my doubts, but did it anyway).
1/32 of the garden is done! Now on to the rest!
I’m going right now….in just a sec….this is me going out to the garden….lemme just….ooooh! Pinterest!….