I love my garden. It is my happy place, my personal patch of paradise. Pictured above is what my garden looks like now, but that’s not how my garden started. No, my garden started off looking like this:
It started off as a patch of weedy grass, random concrete slabs, river rocks, and a rusty shed. It looked like absolute crap, but I LOVED it. What I saw was POTENTIAL. I wanted to be an urban farmer, and this was the way I was going to achieve it.
My husband and I bought our house in Feb 2010, right at the tail end of the housing crisis. At that time, people couldn’t give houses away. This house was listed as a foreclosure. I have A LOT to say about this topic and will save it for a dedicated post. Right now, I just want to focus on the garden.
But first, my humble beginnings started at my condo:
This was where my love for gardening began. It was also where I developed a love/hate relationship with the sun. Unfortunately, this condo faced due west. In Phoenix. Where it gets 120F. Pictured was the rare moment when everything was alive for a brief moment before everything burned to a crisp.
When we went house hunting, we wanted a property facing north/south and offered enough space for me to unleash my inner farmer. Lots of good deals abounded at the time, and we settled on the one with the worst interior design:
Bright red and blue walls, sponged orange paint, linoleum tile, brown carpet, 80s chandelier, granny curtains – yup, this house was destined to be ours!
But first, we had to get rid of the weeds. The way to do that in Phoenix was to “cook” it under a sheet of plastic and let it bake in the sun:
It got the job done before tearing into shreds by the end of monsoon season.
Next project was to lay out the flagstone path and dig holes for bushes and trees:
I got all the flagstone tiles from Craigslist. Some rich guy was redoing his yard and decided these were in the way. I got 50 tiles for $40. I’m fairly convinced that kind of deal would never happen today. I had so many tiles left over that I paved the side and front of the house with them, and I still have some left over!
Then, the baby plants went in. Nothing we bought ever exceeded 5-gallon sizes. Also, we put up a pathetic excuse for a gazebo that lasted all one of rainstorm.
Fast forward a few years, and the garden started to look like this:
None of the citrus trees we planted lasted more than one year, except for the lemon tree (not pictured). We grew two palo verde trees from seeds, and one got so monstrously big that we had to pay someone $200 to chop it down and dig out its roots. We since learned not to plant trees so close to the house. (Although not until I had to dig out a fig tree for the same reason.)
Our yard is constantly changing, and it’s a joy to watch it grow! Stay tuned for continuous updates!
2 thoughts on “Garden History”
Love it . (i tried taking some panning shots of my garden to show you, it does not really look any more than a green leafy mess , there is not much structure !)
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