I moved home. Well not really home, just across the road from home, on the land that belonged to my grandfather. Mother still lives there and my husband and I moved back to be nearer, she’s in her 80’s now and we worried about her. This way we can visit her every day, help her out and be there when she needs us.
Home was a hundred acre farm as I was growing up. It’s been sold off little by little until now only 30 acres remain. Mother has leased the land to a local farmer who cares for it, plants and harvests it. That’s better than weeds. It’s enough for her to just tend her rose garden, and it is beautiful.
The land of my grandfathers’ is down to 5 acres. The house has since been replaced with a more modern home, the corrals and barns are gone as is the old silo. Now it is 2 acres of lawn and 3 acres of weeds. Not so pretty.
So this is the story of my beginning, how I start to bring beauty to the weed ridden land.
There are some gems in the landscape, giant hundred year old cottonwoods, 50 feet high and as big a canopy with 10 foot diameter trunks. There are three of those along with a pair of 75 year old mulberry trees, two thirds as tall and not so wide.
It is autumn now, my favorite season with its golds, reds and oranges. The giants’ leaves turn a brilliant golden yellow that, in the late afternoon, bathes the entire world in its glow. Makes me feel like I’m at the end of the rainbow.
Over the past decades I have traveled across the country, visiting small towns and large cities as I work for corporate America. During that time, on the weekends I wandered through as many public gardens as I could find. I would casually stroll through them, smelling the flowers and the soil, listening to the creeks gurgling and the birds singing. It was my way of calming after a hard week and building up for the next. I would like to bring that feeling to my barren land.
I’ve researched and read many books on gardening, and what I learned is the soil has to be prepared correctly in order for new plants to survive. Since I will be starting with new plants then I will start with addressing the soil. I know this soil is heavy with clay and silt, it sits along the Colorado River. I know it also leaches alkali if not continually amended, this I learned from my farmer father.
It is autumn, it is time to begin.