Monday, October 3, 2011

Gardens I have Known: A New Beginning

Gardens are great at many things, not the least of which is tethering us to the larger cycles of nature.  Most of civilization's advancements revolve around protecting us from those cycles.  Roofs, walls, furnaces, air conditioners, global agriculture and shipping all shield us and make us ignorant of the seasons, the closed loops of growth, death, and rebirth that surround us.  A garden, on the other hand, involves us in those cycles, allowing us to observe and celebrate their intricacies.

Today I want to introduce you to an exciting new cycle in my life. My wife and I have just brought our first house.  With it comes a yard which doesn't look like much now but offers a lifetime of gardening to me.  Finally I can set to work building those cycles up around me.  I can care for the soil and know that I will be around to reap the benefits.  More, I can plant and know that I will be around to harvest!

The front yard is pretty generic for our area.  It reflects this houses history as a rental property with low maintenance but bland landscaping.  It's covered in red rock with one fruitless pear rising out of the very centre.  ion the photo you can see that we are battling a host of weeds that spring up between the rocks as well as the muddy dirt where I've replaced the house's water line.  I'm not exactly sure what I want it to look like but I have some ideas.  I would like to plant it with water-wise but useful plants.  Pinyon Pine and prickeless Prickly Pear are at the top of my list.  I know I want to leave it open enough that it will feel inviting to our neighbours when my wife and I sit on the porch in the evening.

In the backyard I have let my imagination run wild.  Now it is empty but for weeds but in my mind it is overflowing with life.  I would love to have a small patch of grass for the kids I hope to have, edged with dwarf fruit trees and day lilys.  Where  there is now a concrete slab, the foundation of an old shed, I would like to erect a chicken coop.  By the edge of the covered patio I would love to build an horno.  And, of course, I envision many garden beds.

I hope you will join me, reading along as I construct a new garden around my home, a garden as unique as I am and as long living as I wish it to be!