Careful observers may have noticed a big black blob in the background of images of the water garden. Above, you can see it behind the bench, echoing the beaver lodge in the background. (I take no credit for any intentionality in the echo. The beavers came after the pile.)
The pile is what came out of the ground when I built the water garden. I hesitated digging the garden for a long time because I didn’t know what to do with what I excavated. What little topsoil I have floats on top of sticky gray clay subsoil, better suited for making pots than growing plants.
But I decided to proceed with the water garden project when I saw these images somewhere. (Apologies that I don’t know who to credit. They came from two different sites and ended up in a folder I keep of design ideas and I lost the links to the websites.)
The pictures are from a garden somewhere in the British Isles. (If anyone can point me to the garden or additional images, I’d appreciate it.) It looks like the base is mostly moss with perhaps daylilies for the hair?
With mine — which I’ve dubbed ‘Mudman’ — I plan to make concrete or hypertufa nose, eyes and ears, and grow ornamental grasses in a ‘Mohawk’ hairdo over the center of the scalp.
Meantime, I’ve wrapped the bottom in leftover scraps of pond liner, and last summer I got a good deal from my friend Marguerite at MotherPlants on some seconds of green roof plants. From the looks of it, the creeping sedum is going to form the foundation of the planting, seeing how the plugs I put in have thrived so far. Some of the others are hanging in, and I’ll be looking for others that might provide contrasting colors. Any suggestions?