Thursday, July 9, 2020

The summer backporch

A few Saturdays ago while on a nice morning stroll through our neighborhood, we meet some very nice people on the other side of the neighborhood, and after commenting how I always have to stop by whenever I pass by their home to just admire her front gardens, we were invited in... and what a lovely backyard and gardens they had back there... 

I was so inspired, that after coming back home I felt like reworking my space and making some changes to my own little sanctuary… 

My sole intention was to only rearrange the chairs in the porch and make them into an “L”, to give the space a more aesthetic and cozier look. For some odd reasons, I placed all the sits in a straight long line against the entire wall, and they had stayed like that since the day the furniture arrived, last summer.

What I wasn’t expecting, thought, was to find the amount of dead leaves and gross stuff left behind by birds and winter winds behind those chairs. Which means, I was ‘forced’ to work. And thus, the deep cleaning began. The moving of furniture and things, the sweeping and the washing and hosing of things, and this and that…

After I finished cleaning and rearranging things there, everything looked so cute that I had to… I definitely had to, bring all my plants outside for the summer…

Which meant, more moving to do and more surprises to find, now inside the house… for oh, my friends, plants can accumulate a whole lot of dirt and creepy things in a house, if you let them be for a long while…

I even had to cleaned windows and window sills, not to mentions curtains and floors and furniture where all those plants had been. Yuck! It was like a little jungle in the making inside the house, including some its disgusting little creatures that’s what it was!  Then... 

... back to this
Immediately, everything opened up and the space looked so clean
and sunshine streamed in, in such beautiful, magical way...

On this small table, now only a bouquet or two from the garden...

I only wish I could leave all my plants outside the entire year. They look so pretty outside and they make the porch look and feel so cozy and jungley, and watering them is so much easier too!

I love love how cozy and comfortable our little porch looks now!

Warm days cozy evenings

I am liking this open-clean space so much now! Light is streaming through so nicely now, I don’t think I’d want to bring all those plants in ever again.

Unfortunately, this is not an option around here. And every plant here would have to be hauled back inside just in a few more months. Warmer days are so short here.  For now, I'll enjoy every moment here and just be happy!

Thursday, July 2, 2020


I have continued pruning things down in the garden… and as it is, this had been already my third hard pruning for what it goes of the year. 

Things are growing so fast around here this year, that I barely find time to keep this garden somewhat tamed.  If I leave thing be, it’d be a jungle for sure. 

What I want is for those four young trees growing along the back fence to speed up already and cover that two-story house across from ours. I know this is a lot of ‘nature’ to have in such a small backyard, and I have already filled this space to the top, so to have added those extra trees was kind of the wrong thing to do… people say it's going to cost me; for nobody would want to buy our house later... but, it is what it is, and I am still alive and living here.  So those ‘future’ buyers, and owners of this house and garden would have to deal with it if they want it.  That’s it.

I'm spending my free days collecting roses
and making bouquets

The momma mourning dove that was living in the grapevines under our back porch has finally abandoned her nest.  I still have to check whether she might had taken her precious eggs with her or if, perhaps she may had abandoned her brood as well. 

Robins are making of the garden a huge nest... they’re everywhere making their tiny homes, and flying low and fast from one end to the other in such hurry that one has to wonder what they are up to.

It is a busy place these days; the garden is.  Things are growing like mad, and birds believe this is their home and have taken over, flying low and fast throughout the garden.  A couple of them--tiny ones with a dark chest have moved in too, and they love to drink from one of the fountains in particular.  I love seeing them here.  They remind me of little jewels.

I have lost every photograph I had on file of this year, 2020.  Everything from January down to June.  Files cannot be recovered, and it is as if all these past months had never existed or were lost in the same unfathomable abyss, where things and people had been lost forever; without the possibility of being rescued.  It was meant to be.  Thinking that way releases some of the anxiety losing all those files had provoked. —it’s part of the scheme of this year’s unfeasible times.  So, I’m done with that.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Of rain, flowers and neighbors

Rain rain… I’ve never seen so much rain in the 30+ years we’d lived here. We’re high desert people, and around here, rain usually comes only in the form of snow during our long cold winters, and the tin-tin-tin light showers of early spring…. Then, it is only in the form of the sprinkler systems we see water.

Not this year thought—the year of changes, and strange happenings. 

In Nature, things are following the same pattern, I’m afraid.  Spring came super early this year.  And it came with some drastic fluctuations and uncommonly seen patterns—mildew infestations, leaf-feeding insects and weeds of all kinds. It was the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine kind of a thing.

The worse thus far it had to be having to prune so early in the year. By the end of May the garden had already grown so much, that it was starting to look like a lost garden of sorts…

Usually, that's the time when things are barely starting to blossom… this year, however, it was such lushness as I’d never seen around here.

...roses everywhere
I won't complain!


Beyond the garden, on the other side of the fence, things are not as pretty, though... you can always see our neighbor's monster of a motorhome park there, like an eyesore behind the roses...


One must concentrate on the pretty... 
one must bring her soul onto the lovely side of the fence
and she have to train her heart to dwell only on the good 
and the ephemeral and the everyday eternal...


 and I do...
I have enough with my pretty side of the garden
the lovely sounds of birds
and pastel colors of roses...
The neighbors?
What is there to do?
Keep filling the garden with more prettiness;
keep trying to cover unpretty things up this side out
then, dwell on possibilities...

It was almost painful having to prune all the beautiful flowering trees and native bloomers such as the Columbine and garden Phlox the other day… but it was a job it had to be done.

For years and years, I had Mexican Evening Primrose growing at the feet of some of my favorite roses, but this year they were finally pulled out, and I am so glad I did what I did, for “where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” (The Secret Garden)… 

Evening Primrose are such invasive little flowers, they keep moving to places you don’t want to see them grow, they don’t ask for your permission either, and they can get very lanky and unruly past their prime.

My idea was to only keep the snapdragons that are also growing in those beds… they’re so pretty and come in such variety of colors… but I know that the Mexican Evening Primrose is an aggressive grown cover and sometimes can be difficult to eradicate. So they will come back, I’m sure of that.

Peonies are done...
until next year!
Nothing better than them to remind you how ephemeral life is... 

As for man, his days are like grass, 
he blooms like a flower of the field, 
when the wind passes over, it vanishes, 
and its place remembers it no more 
(Psalm 103:15)