By the Way, Hello Again

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Garden Thoughts | 0 comments

By the Way, Hello Again

When your hands need to feel the warm earth and the earth needs your loving touch to bring forth life . . .

As mentioned in my previous article, circumstances led to me and my family scaling down and this meant going without a garden for a while. After sacrifice and focusing on our dream of owning a home, we finally see that dream realized. As of July of this year, my wife and I are officially home owners. The criteria for our new home were an amalgamation of what I wanted and what my wife wanted. Her desire was a big kitchen where she had room to prepare all the delightful dishes she tends to cook. My desire of course was a large enough back ‘yard’ to create a masterpiece of a garden. We looked only two days before we found the house that fit our needs. The space of this house is much more than what we actually require but it was cheaper than homes with half the space and virtually no garden closer to the city. The kitchen was big enough but needed work which could come with time. This was perfect for us and the yard was spectacular and full of potential.

Both the front and back garden areas (I like to refer to my space as a garden as opposed to a yard) are typical in that the ground is covered with sod. This will be the first thing to go in the spring. I have never been one to understand why a person would grow grass. I realize this may raise a few hairs but to me, it is the greatest exercise in futility and waste. The routine is to spend a fortune watering it, feeding it and lacing it with chemicals to ensure nothing else but the  grass will grow and then we cut it only to start the exercise all over again. Because we moved in late summer, I soon learned just how much it hits the pocketbook to water so much grass and this is what prompted me to quickly consider alternatives.

Once the warmer winds of spring blow in to greet us, I will hire a landscape architect to remove all of the front grass and a large portion of the grass in back. I will leave a play area for my son but I am going to turn my gardens into a xeriscaped paradise. To me, it makes the most sense and I can feel good that I am utilizing less natural resources. The front will be a mix of cobblestones and pea gravel and there will be rock islands created to provide a home for low-water plants. These will include juniper shrubs mixed in with some Achillea, Rosa rugosa, Alyssum, Dianthus, etc. My local family owned nursery stocks all these plants and more and it will be a lot of fun picking some beautiful specimens for all to see in the front.

The back garden will be my paradise and my sanctuary. The plan I have formulated in my head is very rough and ever changing. The only constant thus far is the removal of the grass. Beyond that I envision a path meandering around the planted area where there is currently a large aspen leading to perhaps an arbor or something similar placed in the upper left corner. I would love my rose garden to intermingle with the spruce in the upper right hand corner. I am indulging a bit now by having my landscaper come in and create a granite rock bed around the spruce in preparation for what may be but also to get my bulbs in before it is too late. More on that to come in a future article.

Beyond that, my back garden is very much a blank canvas. Every day I jot down different ideas based on what I find inspiring at that moment. It is turning into a treasured wish list and once I can plant anything, my hands will be buried in the beautiful earth once again. I have set up a small plastic covered greenhouse which may allow me to get a bit of a head start – I am thinking a strawberry patch with perhaps a blueberry bush in the back. We will see. I am in no rush and with the passing of each day, week, month and year there will be a new evolutionary step in my little bit of earth. Lately, I have been outside just gazing at what I have been blessed with – a garden to love, tend to and work into a beautiful creation. I can sense the garden staring back at me as if to say, by the way, hello again.

Hello again old friend.

Please click on any of the images below to see the full size version. Thank you.

All photos were taken by the author.

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