This article appears in the September 2015 issue of Phoenix Home & Garden. It features our home garden. The copyright access to the photos expired, so I’ve added a gallery of similar images at the end. Hope you enjoy the tour.
Late last November I planted two Artichoke plants in a sunny spot in one of my new flower beds. I wanted something to grow fast and add some variety of color and shape to my view. They grew beautifully! By March their silvery-green leaves spiked up vigorously at both ends of the bed providing a framework for the smaller plants between them. The end of each symmetrical leaf was punctuated with a fine thistle tip.
A single row of sunflowers is a delight in my garden! As the flowers fade and seeds form a flock of yellow canaries and some peach faced loved birds descended on the tasty seed heads. I heard them chatter, I heard their songs. They were everywhere in the garden.
When the garden was finished in early December we sat down for a minute to enjoy it. We had a party on New Year’s Eve Afternoon and shared our happiness with many friends. Then we waited for things to grow. The weather was mild, wonderful and perfect for growing.
Outside my kitchen window, a little hummingbird sits in the shade — the perch, a plant stake, the view, a nearby hummingbird feeder. I like to imagine this little bird could be the one I rescued some time ago. Pure fantasy I know, but there is a sense of kinship with these tiny creatures.
“The ongoing relationship of a human being with a certain plot of ground is at its heart a romance, for to garden honestly is to fall in love, in love with the rhythms and miracles of nature, in love with life itself.” Scott Ogden, The Moonlit Garden
September to December
If you ever indulge yourself in the Home and Garden TV fantasy experience of an entire remodel in less than an hour you realize, in more rational moments, life isn’t like that. Living through a major garden redesign is one of those events that remind you what reality really looks and feels like.
Rich works with metal, wood, tile and glass. He likes to figure things out, he measures so carefully, to the 64th of an inch. Here he is in mid project of some of the work he has done for the garden.
If you are going to spend a summer in the mountains what sweeter place could there be than “Happy Jack?” Once again my peppermint twist geraniums summered here escaping the killing heat of their winter home. So this week we drove up north to collect them in our new improved “geranium transporter” or Honda Ridgeline pick up w/ a topper shell so they can ride protected back to the valley. It holds nearly 25 pots of flowers with out bending or breaking of stems! Ever so much better than our previous truck!
I resolve to dig the holes before I go to the nursery.
I resolve to not purchase a plant that doesn’t have a chance of survival in this climate.
I resolve to keep the plant labels that come with the plant. (and in my spare time learn the Latin names)