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Friday, August 29, 2008

For Gayla-some more pictures of the garden.

Julia's Mesquite tree, story of it below.
My fountain, it used to be in the back yard, but fell over and broke, I had to use cement repair to mold the wings together again, I went to the Mexican Pottery Store where i had bought it and asked if I could get the paint used for it, he called Mexico and the gentleman who made the fountains agreed to bring me some. I repainted it and begged my family to bring it to the front yard, it took a year, it weighs hundreds of pounds and took 3 men to carry it usually, but my son Eric muscled it in the front for me, it is made of cement and re-bar.

My river rock walkway, well, I decided I wanted to lay this as a path through my yard. My youngest son Brian and his friends walked through the yard and there was dead grass all the way to the front door. Now my friend Robin and her husband were building their dream home and the fill dirt was full of large rocks, I love rock gardens, and I asked if I could take some, they said of course. I filled up the back of my old Caravan with rocks, so much so that the front end elevated and made it hard to steer, I had to drive very slowly to get home. I unloaded the rocks and thought about the garden I would make and then I thought, what about that walkway? Ah, and idea was born.

I laid out the hundreds of rocks and knew immediately that I would need more. They were building a recreation center down the road by the Community College campus. I had seen huge piles of rocks there (I admit I had rocks on the brain during that time, and looked for them everywhere, I even picked them up along the highways throughout AZ, on the way to our family reunion, to visit grandma, etc) I walked through the construction site and asked for the foreman, I got chided for being there without a hard hat, but I quickly asked about the rocks and boulders piled everywhere, he said if I got a truck, I could take them all. My oldest son Fred called his best friend and together we filled the bed of his small truck 2 times. I thought; surely this will be enough stone for my walkway. Well, no, because many of the rocks were actually small boulders, and they ended up lining the walkway instead. We took the minivan back to the pile of stone three or four more times, still not enough stone...so we finally made 5 or 6 trips to the creek bed and harvested stone from there, smooth and wonderful river rock which was the best for the walkway.
I thought for certain that after I gathered all the stone that I could do the path in a weekend or two, however 6 weeks, 33 bags of mortar, 33 bags of sand, tons of rocks and 99 feet later... I laid that pathway stone by stone. My husband, God bless him, is not a person who loves this kind of work, so he was the cement mixer, he handed me the bigger rocks, he massaged my sore muscles! I worked on the walkway before I taught my 2 fitness classes in the morning and after I was done in the afternoon. The last five feet were done by the light of my minivans headlights, I just wanted the small project to be over with, my back hurt, my hands were a mess, and I was exhausted.

Our Chilean Mesquite, now purists will yell at me for having this Mesquite and not an Arizona Mesquite, I never knew I had to be politically correct in my trees too. I received this tree at my 15 year old daughter Julia's baby shower. I had told my friends that the idea of planting a tree to celebrate her birth would be very special. She was my first daughter. So in 1992, this tree was planted here. It was 4 feet high, only a twig really.

I walked outside everyday to give it water; you have to water newly planted trees a lot in Tucson because we get so little rain. When Julia was 4 weeks old and I walked out to water the tree and it was gone. Ripped out of the ground. Being a symbolic tree to me, I was convinced in my postpartum confusion that this meant my daughter would be taken away form me, oh no, the tears were flowing as I went door to door asking neighbors if they saw anyone take it.

Three days later the man across the street brought a very dead looking tree to me and said he found it in the corner of his back yard. I bought some B-6 and poured it over the roots, and I replanted it. The leaves fell off, but it still had supple branches, so I refused to give up on it, my husband kept telling me it was dead, I had HOPE and FAITH it was not. In the spring it got new leaves and it began to grow quickly. Now, 15 years later that tree is growing into the street, I have to trim the branches so the UPS truck and school buses do not hit them.

My beloved fountain, it took a beating when we had an unexpected snow, it was running and the water froze in it and cracked it. I have the cement repair kit to fix it, but I just never got around to it. We bought it almost 10 years ago, I really love the sound of the water trickling, I miss it. It is the second time it has suffered an accident.

Oh yes, we really need to repaint our house, we needed to in 2006 when we said yes to adoption, painting costs money, that money went into Kara's adoption fund....I love my wind chimes.
No grass, no way, it costs $150 a month to grow grass, we were saving to adopt, grass or bringing Amanda home? Amanda wins!

OK, I admit it, my yard is overgrown and no longer looks this pretty, goodness I need help in my yard, I miss the pretty flowers. This was planted along the brand new walkway, you can see the large rocks I used to make the rock garden. Admittedly, I do not have the abounding energy I had then. When I had Meghan and caring for her took me away from the yard and then 2 1/2 years after she was born I got breast cancer. The chemotherapy seemed to sap my energy, my old life, from me, and though I have recovered much of my vim and vigor, I have never been the same. Cancer survivors call it "The new normal" My yard has never been the same either. My neighbor said he could tell something was wrong with me because my yard became overgrown and sad looking, I would wonder how he missed me walking around bald? LOL


GoldenAngelsWorks said...

What a beautiful yard and great stories on how it got that way.

mine looks so pittiful.

carol said...

I love the rock walk it is so nice. I also think the yard looks lovely. What a story about Julias tree.
carol n

Shea said...

Your garden is lovely! I am so jealous!

WheresMyAngels said...


That walk way is so cool and Yikes, no way would I be able to put that much work into it!! lol

Lovely, thanks for the tour!

Randy and Sheila said...

I will send you pictures of my gardern - before it gets covered in snow and ice. We are a lot alike - I scavenged for my path and I did the work on my path, too. And then I can show you the painting that needs to be done, the weeding and the repairs that are half finished.

Then I can show you (as you can show me) my beautiful daughters that a blooming brighter than anything I have ever planted.

Don't let it get you down!

Christine said...

Nice pics. Are you already starting the adoption process again? :)

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once