Who knows what life will bring? Little did I know that I would someday live near where my family had vacationed in Yosemite every year during my childhood. When the opportunity came to move from Southern California where we had raised our children, we jumped,..and the natural beauty we loved while camping in the forest captivated us, and sustained us, through the building and garden restoration process.
Seems I’ve always taken time to garden, when I was a young married, when I had three small children, with a photography career and groups of scouts running in and out. I don’t know how a garden appeared around me, it just did. I remember my mother telling me the names of plants when I was a child, and her raised eyebrows when I planted a six pack of Marguerites in my small apartment garden space. She knew, as I had not, what they would do.
I don’t remember when I didn’t have a Sunset magazine on my table. Its focus is garden, food, home design and travel. How would they have known all my interests? I surely wouldn’t give up my copy of the Sunset Garden book. I would never replace it, for I’ve written notes in it about nearly every plant I have planted or wanted. If this book ever showed up on Alibris or on eBay, it would have to be labeled ‘written in all over the place’ My ultimate reference book.
There have always been loads of plants in my gardens. This is not to say that I’ve ever had enough money to spend on my, ah, hobby, for I’ve not. My imaginary order forms for garden catalogs always totaled big bucks, and somehow I knew my order would fit into a shoebox. No, I’ve been on a shoestring when it comes to gardening, acquiring plants from friends and by propagating. I love volunteers! And as for hardscape, I’ve been known to barter for jobs too big for me in the garden, trading photography services for concrete patios and pergolas at our former home.
Scavenging can be so satisfying! One time, here, a tree trimmer truck came by at exactly the right moment and I was able to wangle an entire load of mulch to be deposited at the top of our street. I, and my Tractor Man spent the rest of the day bringing it down with the tractor and our old truck and I delighted in directing where each load would go. I’m afraid I got a bad case of poison oak from that lot.
Now, I enjoy my natural garden where the seasons are a bit more pronounced and watch the weather from a seat by the window. The hummingbirds arrive at their feeders soon after I get up, and, after coffee, I putter around with gloves and clippers with no aim in mind. Some days, it’s a bit of clipping and sometimes, I dive into a huge project, like carving out steps going down a slope. If I don’t plan on it, …doesn’t seem like such a big project.
Some plans have to be made as in the case of the patios we had built. Those were factored into the cost of the house, though, and continue to please me with their freeform shape and easy care surface of stamped concrete. My husband, the Mountain Man has helped so much with the use of his tractor, bringing up top soil from the edge of the forest or sand from the place where the water comes down.
If you want to learn along with me, check back once in a while. I’d like to hear your comments.