The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dreaming of a Water Garden


I found this article on how to create a self-sustaining garden pond online earlier this week. It's a pretty interesting article if you're into water gardens and self-sufficent ecological systems.

We have a natural depression near the Devil Queen's front walk. When we get heavy rains, water tend to pool up there, so, instead of fighting nature, we're thinking about adding a goldfish pond with water lilies. If we can build one without all of the filters, pumps, et cetera, we can do it on a very small budget. The biggest cost will be the water proof liner which I estimate will cost around $50 for the small size pond we're considering. Then there are the gold fish, snails, plants and pea gravel (approximately $30).

If you actual bought a filter/pump system, it would cost over $100 by itself. Then you have to bother with supplying the pond with electricity and all that jazz. Thanks, but no thanks.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

That will be neat... my in-laws have a fabulous pond in their backyard... OK, it IS their backyard. It has a waterfall in it, so it's one of the expensive kind... they really like it as a hobby, though. They have 4 HUGE Koi that have been growing for the last 10 years from the tiny ones you can buy at the fish store. Oh, and a BUNCH of goldfish.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Green Fairy said...

My uncle has one with a waterfall, too; I finally got the price out of him--$10,000! It sure is pretty, though.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

We wanted one with a waterfall, but we're trying to decrease our power usage, and those pumps use a lot of power. So we're scaling back, once solar panels are cheaper, maybe we'll have a solar pump.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous davidLBC said...

As the article mentions, the trick is not to use Koi fish. My pond has 10 large Koi (over 18 inches) and it is a battle to them from uprooting and eating the lillies. They would destroy the other plants necessary for a self-sustaining pond, unless the pond was huge. But that's not the point - the fish are what's beautiful to me. I disagree that circulation systems damage beneficial organisms. My pond's biofilter relies on these to break down the fish waste, not chemicals.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

No filtration is tough. Take a look at the filters Fluval makes for aquariums. I have a pair of stock tanks, (100 and 160 gallons) and I run a Fluval (http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/214780/product.web?gdftrk=xh23lc0p/7HDy~g3JgKLc~oUXWwGpOLCMIgasQoiNiuZI0ToIo9LRwErpZLrp4MNdZzyQuxSp94LmZsjNXbg96CLYJlLFUBVuO2LLk0VegHsAGWP6VCsBlAhEEmJaQXoGIHLrRPC7nma/BFJnMWjVg__) in each of them. When the water starts getting green (about once a month) it's time for me to degunk the filters. Without the filters, it would always be green water.

I keep a few fantail goldfish in mine. In your climate, you can get 'Rosie minnows' - also known as mosquito fish and/or 'feeders' at your local big box PetPlace... as long as your water doesn't freeze, they will overwinter in the pond.

If your pond has a chance of overflowing into a natural waterway, check to see if the minnows are considered invasive before you stock them.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Jordana said...

That's a great idea for a low spot where water pools. Of course, the two low spots where water pools in our yard are both in the driveway. At least it's a gravel driveway, so the water has a place to go, but a pond would be prettier than lake driveway that we sport after every hard rain.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love water gardens and want one myself, but just fyi as someone with a young child...ponds stocked with fish and which may also draw frogs often then draw snakes. In your area this could include friendly nonpoisonous snakes but might include water moccasins (I'm not exactly sure for your area and elevation). You might call your local DNR office and ask--there may be very little chance for your yard (low local abundance, distance from nearest water where they are known to have an established population). On the other hand, they might be around in the area. I am not a fan of making kids scared of snakes, but they are more aggressive than most venomous snakes, and I'd certainly make sure everyone in your family knows how to recognize them if there's a chance they'd show up.

8:16 AM  
Blogger John said...

Everyone, thank you for all the comments, tips, and feedback.

I'm interested in gold fish and the mosquito eaters (rosie minnows for our pond). The small size and temperture prohibit koi, which is too bad. No $10,000 waterfalls for us, $80 a week for gas is hard enough to manage.

David and Jenn, I'll definately take the biofilters based on your comments. Thanks.

The snake issue has been talked over. We haven't seen any cotton mouths, copperheads, or rattle snakes at the Devil Queen since we moved in a couple years ago. They are all native to the area (my mother-in-law has a few copperheads come through every year), so we watch for them. My wife grew up in the country and taught me how to identify them. Gideon doesn't like snakes and his grandma has been teaching to stay away from them.

If they do become a problem, we can always fill the pond in again. Thanks for the advice.

10:18 AM  

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