A Beautiful Mess

The rainy season has ended here and we’ve moved into the hot, sticky days of August. I’m getting lots of cukes, tomatoes, and green peppers, along with bowls full of blackberries and blueberries and a smattering of eggplant and okra. Kabocha pumpkins are just about ready, as are red peppers and a second batch of corn.

Non-edible plants are also doing their thing, and several of my guilds are really taking shape. They can look a bit chaotic, but it’s pleasing to think each plant serves a purpose (more than one hopefully). It’s awesome to see things I planted last year start to mature and fill in the bare ground.

Here’s the guild with the acacia tree at the center, which has gotten massive this year. Around the acacia are comfrey, yarrow, cherry, artichoke, raspberry, currant, chamomile, echinacea, mint, Juneberry, asparagus, garlic chives, sage, creeping time, oregano, rosemary, and red valerien (which is actually white). Wow, writing it down makes me realize how much I have jammed into a smallish space, and there’s still some room to spare. All of the non-edible plants, and some of the edible ones, are improving soil, attracting beneficial insects, and deterring problematic insects — at least that’s the theory.


This guild still needs a little work, but it’s coming along. It has a biwa (loquat) at it’s center and a gumi bush for nitrogen fixation. There are also chives, rosemary, turmeric, yarrow, raspberry, currant, comfrey, hairy vetch, sage, hissop, and lemon balm.


In the front of the garden is this guild, which is also nearly full. It has pear and pomegranate trees, a bill berry bush, creeping time, yarrow, and comfrey. I’d like to get a few more species in there next year.


I’m in a lull at the moment with projects, but a few weeks ago I built a fire pit. My tired old drum grill had finally given in to two years of exposure to the elements, and I’d been thinking of a fire pit for a while now.


I collected rocks down at the beach, and one big one from the forest.


So that’s all the garden news. Hope everyone’s enjoying these hot summer days!


3 thoughts on “A Beautiful Mess

  1. Stone garden looks great. Can’t wait to be back in Japan in Dec to start on the garden.
    PS what camera do you use for photos again? They always look so clear and sharp

    1. Thanks! Where will you be in Japan (sorry, can’t recall if you’ve mentioned it before). I use a Nikon D5200 — entry level DSLR. To be honest I don’t like it that much. I had a Canon Kiss-something-or-other that broke after several years, so I decided to try a Nikon. I much prefer the Canon.

      1. My wife is from Tokyo area.

        Ah, I keep trying to find the balance between small and portable and image quality. The new canon G5X and G7Xii look like they will fit the bill.

        Sent from my iPhone

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