Plantaholica Incurablis

This morning my nephew, who spends some summer days here with us, came running in the door only to gather us all out front to see a broad-tailed hummingbird.  It was stunning to watch her (I know this because of my brother in-law, Seth a.k.a “Birdie” is an incredible ornithologist with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) dance among the golden rod and lucifer’s tongue. She stayed a few minutes as we stood in awe.

A hummingbird’s playground… not fast enough to get her in the photo.

 I thought of my friend Laurel and her girls and sent love to all who miss them terribly. Then took a moment of gratitude to be surrounded by a gang of sleepy-eyed boys who are worn out from non-stop summer play. Seth passed me an unexpected treat….. a yummy Chai he picked up on his way over. We talked about all of the transplanting and splitting we both need to do in our gardens next month. And, how some  plants were getting too much shade, the daisies were taking over, etc… and I found myself thinking of where to put in new beds and get rid of more grass and glad to have someone to talk to who gets excited about moving plants.

The daisies have taken over the roses.

This time of year means maintenance. It’s too hot and dry to plant in our high plains desert. So I happily weed bind-weed, grass and thistle from my gardens. Last week, when I drove up into the mountains to pick up the boys from camp, the thistle were in full bloom. They were gorgeous… since they weren’t in my yard. I stopped and soaked up their stunning color. Grateful for a quiet moment and pause in my excitement of seeing the boys again and hearing about their week.

Thistles, Red Feather, CO

Chris has built two beautiful vegetable gardens giving us the space to grow some of our own food. Last year he designed and lovingly built one in the front yard, where we get the most sun. I love it. It is deer and rabbit proof, has its own sprinkler system and we have managed to pack a lot into the space. The boys love to go pick raspberries and cherry tomatoes and sit right there and enjoy them. We still have a lot to learn…I can’t grow cilantro or dill and it is better to let the 5 year old plant potatoes instead of carrots!  This year he built another garden on the hill of our backyard next to the house. I can hardly wait to eat the sweet corn straight from our yard.

Our front garden… potatoes, rhubarb, raspberries, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers,
kale, arugula, spinach, carrots.. lots!, beets, radishes, and herbs
Side garden…. corn, squash, zucchini, greens, sunflowers, radishes,
watermelon..maybe, pumpkins, beans, strawberries and basil
As those sleepy boys nap this afternoon, I have just picked a huge bucket of weeds. It is nice to reflect on how we are slowly but surely taking our little bit of land and making it our own. Adding color, food, shade and special places to be outside. Hopefully, we are teaching to boys to care for it with respect. That even if it isn’t a lot, it is precious. So much can be done in little spaces with lots of love. The time I spend gardening is quiet, centering and rewarding. I am so fortunate to have the bit of earth in which to grow… and I am not just talking about the plants.

Alex’s Zinnias
You can never have too much lavender.
Sweet Woodruff from my mother’s garden in VA


My favorite spot in the yard, Ry’s Peace Pond (more on that later)

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