Grow Green

"To plant a garden,
          Is to believe in tomorrow."
- Audrey Hepburn

Our backyard consisted of nothing but signature Sonoran desert dirt; dry, hard as cement, and reflecting the sun like a mirror.  It really wasn't much, but it didn't bother us before.  Not until we had a boy and realized he was going to need somewhere to have outdoor adventures at home.  {Not that rolling in dirt isn't every little boy's idea of a perfect afternoon.}

Maybe because it was such a small little square of space, no renters before us bothered to do anything with the yard.  I mean, if you put a swing set back there you'd hit a wall swinging back and then smash into another wall with your face.  Not exactly huge.

But I don't think you need a lot of space to do something fun/beautiful/practical.  We've got big plans.

Step one in this masterful plan was to lay some pavers.  Cover up some of that fantastic dirt.  There were several random mornings when I'd wake up with Camden, Roy would already be outside leveling every inch of the ground, working up a sweat.  He worked hard, and had some good help from Dad.  It turned out awesome-I can already see Camden riding his trike around in little circles, or drawing with sidewalk chalk.  Perfect.

Step two was to build me some planters.  The guys accomplished this in only one day!

They also busted out this bench, positioned in the shade of our neighbor's orange tree for part of the day.  Love it.

Step three was on me.  Garden time!

Who says nothing can grow in the desert?  Firstly, we planted a grapefruit tree in the hopes that it will provide both shade and delicious citrus-y breakfasts.  In the planters we have yellow squash, honey do melon, green bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, cucumber, and a bunch of different kinds of tomatoes.  The only thing that never made an appearance was my zucchini.  I was totally rooting for that little mound {I love zucchini} but the seeds stayed buried and nothing came up.  Boo.  Next time I'll have to try singing or reading to it.  That stuff works, right?  I've never been a gardener, so I'm expecting plenty of trial and error.

Here was something unexpected: my squash plants have beautiful yellow flowers!

My baby tomatoes chillin in the shade!

My baby human watching me garden!

Something about gardening is therapeutic and refreshing for both Camden and I.  He is all wonderment and awe, even at the tiniest leaf, and I love watching that in his eyes.  But I can't get too lost in those baby blues, or he'll snatch a leaf and stick it in his mouth.  And me, I just love having living, green things growing around me.  I'm planning on planting flowers along with the sage in the planter under the bench, and I think I'll get a hummingbird feeder.  Dude, get me a wind chime and a yoga mat, I could totally zen out back there!  

Now step four... well, we haven't gotten that far in our master planning.  Roy and I can't agree upon what to do with the other half of our little dirt patch.  Roy says grass.  I say it's easier to grow a giant beanstalk than keep grass alive around here.  But I haven't thought of another idea yet, other than the typical crushed granite.  Maybe stick a sandbox in the middle of it, although I don't think Camden will be ready for a sandbox for quite a while....

Any suggestions out there?  Anybody?

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