Friday, March 9, 2012

There Really is a Garden Under There by Brenda Whiteside

My husband retired this year and we moved from Minnesota to Arizona. The main reason for our move was family. I was born and raised in Phoenix, and Frank's family moved there when he was a teenager. All of my family still lives in the Phoenix area. At the time of our move, our son and his lady lived in Flagstaff. Frank and I don't like the heat/desert environment of Phoenix. We chose Paulden - two hour drive from my mom in Sun City.

The Orchard
One of my favorite things to do in Minneapolis was garden. The spring/summer season in the cities was brief but glorious. After coming out of winter, the burst of sunshine and color renewed me. Frank on the other hand has a motto - "I don't play in the dirt." He headed off to the lake every chance he got. So we moved to Paulden, Arizona to farm. How I got him here is still a mystery. I think my son had a lot to do with it. We've bought a rambling house to share with him and his lady, each of us taking a wing. Our plan is to raise our own fruits and vegetables. The people who lived here before us did just that, or at least started it, but family matters took them to Washington. The place set empty for over a year.

The Garden
We have a little work to do!

Luckily, my son has vision. I can tap into that vision - sort of. Frank is clueless and still not sure he'll "play in the dirt." Although I am encouraged. He bought a pair of knee high rubber boots for tromping in the orchard and garden.

The Blackberry Garden
Clearing the land of tumbleweeds is the first order of business. A neighbor told me this has been an epic year for tumbleweeds. Oh goodie. Underneath those tumbleweeds are rows of dirt where the last tenants had veggies. And you can mostly see the rows of blackberries. We have twelve fruit trees, but they sure look sad. Am excited to see those first little nubs appear to indicate the neglect hasn't killed them.

Green is possible!
Meanwhile, in front of the house some green has pushed up through the earth and started to flower. Spring could be around the corner! In spite of 28 degrees and a wailing wind today, I'm anxious to get my fingers in the mud. Once it warms up, we'll see if I can get Frank to come play in the dirt with me.





I had three releases in December from Melange Books. I hope you'll visit my web page to read excerpts and find the buy information.
www.brendawhiteside.com

17 comments:

Laura Breck said...

I'm laughing, Brenda. Your photos are great - looks like you're raising tumbleweeds. Now you just need to find someone who'll buy them! Tourists, maybe? Good luck in your garden. I'm sure it'll be beautiful in no time.

Brenda Whiteside said...

What a great idea, Laura. Maybe we could sell them at a local farmer's market.

Jerri Hines said...

You'll have to let us know how the gardening goes. At least you won't have to battle with the snow! Enjoy your new home!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hopefully I'll have some good "after" pictures to post in another month.

Christine Warner said...

Enjoyed your post! Good luck with the garden :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Christine. Work but fun ahead.

Jody Vitek said...

I am excited for you and to see what the desert produces for you and the family. The mystery plant out front holds my interest right now. I think Frank is slowly breaking down and will revert to childhood days when you played in the mud and loved it. Maybe you should point out the benefit of cleaning up after you're both all muddy and need to 'shower'. ;^)

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Brenda!
Desert gardens are so very different aren't they? I am a frequent traveler to Rancho Mirage, and I have become quite fond of those who stick with the natural flora and fauna of the desert for their yards as opposed to those who insist on having a green lawn and flowers - water sucking in the desert!
Joshua Tree NAtional Park is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy the plants of the desert.

I can only imagine what a shock this is for you after years of a spring garden back east.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm not a big fan of desert gardens. I was raised in Phoenix and got tired of the desert. Where we are is more prairie. Haven't seen any cactus. We actually get a little snow in the winter. I think I have a good mix between the desert and the land of 10,000 lakes.

Jannine Gallant said...

Can't wait to see photos of your garden in a few months. You'll have some great before and after pictures, I'm sure!

Alison H. said...

I'm out in California now looking at the small patches that will be my new gardens and trying to determine the identities of some of the weird things poking out of the ground. Your project is so much more massive! Have fun with it.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Oh Alison - I have the same thing going in the front of the house. Some kind of plants are peeking through and how much fun to figure out what they are.

glenys said...

A hobby farm sounds wonderful - that's our next step although in a very different location to yours! Bet you'll get a real kick out of watching plants come up and identifying them. Enjoyed the fun post & pix!

Brenda Whiteside said...

I love seeing plants come up. Surprise! But also the ones we'll be planting. Feed ourselves.

Margaret Tanner said...

Wow Brenda,
Sounds like you are out in the wilderness. You are so brave showing such pioneer spirit.

Cheers

Margaret

Brenda Whiteside said...

It's pretty rural but not exactly wilderness. Seems that way for a city gal like me some times. Paulden is a part time post office, a gas station and a falling down mini-mart. But 10 miles up the road is Chino Valley and they have a big grocery store and a couple of restaurants.

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks for sharing your "before" pictures. I'll be eager to see the "after."