Paradise

Hello again.  I know this is a Bible blog and I should try to stay on subject but well… What the hell.  To illustrate the other things that have kept me busy, I decided to offer a photo montage of our garden.  When we bought this house eight years ago we thought we would never have enough room for a real garden.  Oh, my wife has always been into flowers and plants but due to a shortage of backyard space, edible gardening has always been a thing she thought wasn’t in our future.  Then I worked on her.  And worked on her.  And again.  You see I’ve always considered the front yard of most homes a waste.  I’m not sure what it is like in other contries, but in the US an expansive front lawn is simply something to look at, a middle class status symbol ranked by how perfectly uniform it is.  Unbroken by variation it generally sits there unused.  Seldom trod on, rarely played on and virtually never sat on, So much money and effort go into American yards which serve as pristine but useless frames to houses.

I’ve never been a fan.

Now while our backyard is too small for a garden, our front yard had plenty of space that was doing little save for creating a mowing job for Reilly.  He has always resented this too (still does) as we only have a hand-powered reel style push mower.  Can you imagine this? An American kid forced into slave labor without even the support of an internal combustion engine.  Sigh. And we don’t have either cable or broadcast TV… Has there ever been a child so deprived?  Frankly I’m surprised social services hasn’t been called.

Anyway, I digress.  So here is our useless front yard combined with a couple who would love to grow their own food.  All one needs to do is set aside some standard conventions and voila!  Instant garden… well not really instant, quite the contrary actually, but you get the idea.  BTW, click on the pictures to get clearer and slightly larger photos.  Wordpress’s photo compressor has a blurring side effect.

Our front yard garden looking south.

As you can see my very talented wife loves to mix both the astheticly pleasing and practical side by side so we have garlic growing next to Asian Lilies, tomatoes ended by pansies  and the entire garden overlooked by a massive Honeysuckle. Oh, how I love this place.

Here's the middle looking back north.

And south again.

South looking north. Ornamentals at the corner and beans down the east side along with plenty of radish, lettuce and other greens.

Here's the far west looking east.

As you can see from the last two photos, there is a bit of grass left.  Within a couple years this will all be torn up too replaced with some fruit bushes and grapes, perhaps. Maybe just strawberries.   Since I don’t have a tiller and prefer to do everything by shovel and fork, it takes time to get it all done.  I’m looking forward to when the only thing we have to mow is the boulevard.  Secretly, we’re trying to see what the city will allow us to change there too, but they get a little weird about those things.

Peas and cabbage

Our first garden pea... I did have to share it, but it was damned fine anyway. Tomorrow I'll sneak out before Renee gets up.

Which of course, brings me to my favorite plant in the yard, this wonderful Honeysuckle.  Unfortunately, the blooms are mostly gone now but this is an incredible plant, healthy, strong and determined to conquer everything in it’s path.  It’s everything life should be.

The honeysuckle, planted when we moved in and going strong ever since. Awesome.

Backyard with ornamentals and herbs. It's our little shelter.

The reading, writing, eating and relaxing area.

The hammock. Simply the best thing we have ever bought. Ever! I'm not kidding. Laying with a pillow and book in the hammock with a beer to the side... This is what life is all about.

My wife cannot let a corner go without something growing there. Can you believe the color? Isn't evolution wonderful?

Like I said above, every corner. It amazes me what a little junk off the farm and some flowering plants can do.

And to end our little garden tour we’ll give you some rooftop shots.

Our backyard combined with the neighbor's over the fence. She has a great pond with amazingly large fish! Reilly also does the mowing there but she does pay him. Unlike us.

Aerial views of the raised beds. Hands off the peas!

And my son, Reilly. He and I are now convinced that we should build a small deck up here. Great view and we could spy on the neighbors ;). That's our very art deco capital building in the background. P.S. His mother had a bit of a fit learning he had been up there. Um... yeah.

I was going to end there but upon coming into the house I was presented with this incredible relaxing view and simply couldn’t resist.

Cat's have a great ability to make the most uncomfortable positions look like heaven. This is Granite, a master of her trade, doing what she know how to do best.

And there it is.  My wife and I are a study of opposites in this garden.  She loves the plants.  I prefer the soil.  She arranges the flowers.  I arrange the beds themselves.  She nurtures growth.  I dig dirt.  We are opposite but complimentary.  The thing we both share is an absolute fascination with life in all it’s varieties.  We worship life and how can one not?   We can stare at a single flower and wonder at its beauty for many minutes.

And there has never been a better time to stop and smell the roses.  Think about it.  What an age to live in.  We have plants from nearly every spot on the globe at our fingertips.  Species and varieties that people actually died to bring back and labored to cultivate, I can buy at the grocery store for pennies.  Oh what a life!  I live with a woman I’m devoted to and a child whom I adore.  People, this is truly a golden age, and I live in paradise.

Again, I’m not kidding.

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  1. I’m not sure what it is like in other contries, but in the US an expansive front lawn is simply something to look at, a middle class status symbol ranked by how perfectly uniform it is.

    Yep, same here, even down to ‘middle class’.

    Love the farm-junk plant-holders.

    I’m now looking out of my window and feeling very ashamed. My garden’s completely out of view from neighbour’s houses or the street, so I decided to let it go its own way and see if anything interesting happened. Oh, how I dreamed of a little patch of wilderness! What I have is a weed-strewn, grass-entangled mess—and not even interesting or pretty weeds. sigh Time to get the scythe and spade out, methinks.

    P.S. From some angles, your ex-cross looks kinda like the bat-signal.

    P.P.S. You do know Amy’s going to want close-ups, right…

    • Yes– close-ups, please!! I didn’t realize you had two trellises–beautiful! (I liked the cross version, actually–thought it fit the space really well–but I understand why you decided to change it).

      • Needed to compose you one tiny word to be able to give thknas the moment again on the amazing ideas you’ve featured here. This is simply tremendously open-handed of you in giving unhampered just what many of us would’ve sold for an e-book to help with making some money for their own end, particularly now that you might well have tried it if you considered necessary. The thoughts additionally worked like a good way to fully grasp that other people online have a similar desire similar to my personal own to know the truth great deal more related to this issue. I am sure there are lots of more enjoyable moments up front for individuals who check out your website.

  2. “P.S. From some angles, your ex-cross looks kinda like the bat-signal.”

    It’s true, Daz, I really The Batman. I’d love to chat but the Joker’s in the peas again.

    • Dave
    • July 9th, 2011

    Beautiful KK. Not just the garden, the writing too. Too many on the religious side want to paint us as miserable angry people who hate life, when nothing could be further from the truth. There is so much beauty in this universe. Everyone needs to take more time to appreciate it.

    I’ve always been a renter, so gardens are out of the question. When I need to get away and bask in paradise, I take a cruise out toward Banff, and go for a wander in the woods. A long walk in the Rockies is a magnificent way to spend an day.

    • Dave, I couldn’t agree more. A walk in the woods has a soothing effect on me and anywhere in the Rockies is a wonderful way to spend a hour, a day or a week. And the life there… Have you ever just lay on your stomach next to the trail and really looked at the life that is under your feet. Every square foot is positively alive. It’s too cool.

    • A walk through Banff sounds positively *gorgeous*– one of these days, I will get there! *sigh*

      And you’re exactly right– what is this life, if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? (Thanks, Daz:-))

    • Nancy B
    • July 9th, 2011

    I wish I could grow a garden. Plants die around me. I see you still have the trellis used-to-be-a-cross thingy.

    • Yeah Nancy, I’m not very good at the whole plant part either. I dig dirt and love worms. Understanding how plants work… Well, I’m serving an apprenticeship under my wife. She’d the master.

      Now if I could just keep her from hitting me when I step on a flower… :-)

    • john ward
    • July 10th, 2011

    Did you hear about the old fellow who was admiring his front garden when the local vicar came past. “I see” said the priest “that with God’s help you have a beautiful garden”. “Yes” said the old boy. “You should have seen it when God did it by himself!”

    • A good point, wrapped in a laugh. Well done sir.

  3. Awesome garden KK, its amazing what our Creator has made for us to enjoy.

    • Nancy B
    • July 13th, 2011

    @KK – I love worms too. <3

    @ john ward – LOL.

    This reminds me of an old atheist prayer – I can't remember, but it went something like: Dear God, I paid for the seeds, planted them, watered them, sweated my ass off pulling weeds, fertilized the plants, harvested them, cooked the food with wood I chopped myself, served it and washed the dishes, but thank you for this meal, amen.

    • That is *brilliant*, Nancy! Made me laff :-))

      And KK– that is an absolutely beautiful garden and you have every right to be proud of it. More people should do the same– I could not agree more about front “lawns” being a complete waste of space!

      And Reilly on the roof… weeeellll–tell Mom not to worry. I went up on the roof with my dad when he was re-roofing our house when I was about nine, I think. I distinctly remember using that quiet, just-the-two-of-us moment to ask him whether he thought I was old enough to say “hell” yet. He said he thought not quite old enough just yet ;-)

  4. Great garden and post KK. I think your front garden looks much better than lawn would. A nice cottagy look that goes perfectly with your home.
    I only have room for a few tomatoes climbing my front stoop railing. Too much shade otherwise, but good for ornamentals.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. Your wife and I have similar feelings about growing things. Living up in the air as I do, I must make do with my patio.

    It’s wonderful, thanks for the window into your world!

    • Alice. That’s beautiful. No matter where you live a few growing things makes it so much better. Speaking of which, I am currently in Las Vegas at Ceasar’s Palace at the Boilermaker Convention. Sigh. I’d prefer my garden. Oh well.

  6. On the estate where I am there are very few of us who have created a garden instead of the unused lawn at the front of the house. But there are plenty of trees which gives the place a pleasant aspect. The trouble is, however, there are apple trees, cherry trees, quinces – and right now a lot of fruit is getting towards being ready to harvest. But nobody will bother. They will let the fruit fall and rot on the ground. I don’t think anybody realises that the sort of apples that grow on trees can be eaten just like the ones that come from the supermarket.

    • Mary2
    • August 2nd, 2011

    Greetings all,

    I have been longing to write to you but wanted to wait until I had caught up with my bible studies. (I have cheated and skipped ahead). Your blogs and comments are eminently readable; the actual bible? Not so much!

    I have spent the last couple of weeks wading through Genisis and Exodus with KK, Daz and Amy becoming almost like friends (apologies for creepy groupie/stalker like tone of that sentence but I have been catching up on a years worth of posts!) So imagine the irony when I finally give into temptation and skip to the most recent blog, overcoming my terror that it will contain ‘spoilers’ about the book we are reading (can’t wait to see how it ends; does this ‘Yahweh’ character get his just desserts and the Hebrews live happily ever after?) so I can say hello, and the blog is about veggies! Love the blog about manna and immolating quail, by the way, even read that one to my born-again Christian spouse!

    So ‘hello’ – and thank you KK and contributers. As a lifelong atheist who is nonetheless fascinated by religion, I have always wanted to read the bible but could never stay awake past all the begats, and my attempts at reading the book would usually end with me becoming so frustrated at the gaping holes in the plot that I would throw the book across the room (does a lot of damage, the bible, not because of God’s wrath, but the sheer size of the thing!) – although I do agree with those Christians who say that the existance of the bible itself is proof a God exists. Without divine backing, how in hell (pardon the pun) would a novel without a single redeemable leading character find a publisher!

    Anyway, thankyou all for a witty, clever, sane and very engaging look at this book (thus far, I’m only up to the ten commandments [first version] – although I have not as yet found where God tells everyone that these ten are more important than the reams of other rules he spews forth on the following pages – serves me right for jumping ahead!), as well as many book recommendations (my reading list is now neck and neck with the list of Esau’s begattings) and discussions about all sorts of groovy stuff. I hope you folks don’t mind if I join this party a little late – I promise to go back and finish my homework – and will allow me to write in from time to time.

    By the way, I LOVE your garden (cute house too). I am also keen on growing my own food but suffer from four disabilities in this regard a) a tropical climate, b) renting (landlord may not be keen on me digging up the god-awful palm trees everyone here insists on planting [a rant I will save for another time]), c) big and boistrous dogs who even ate my bromiliads (I have since been told that apparently dogs like bromiliads), and d) bone idleness – a distinct drawback when it comes to serious gardening!

      • Mary2
      • August 2nd, 2011

      Just thought I should brag: I do manage to grow heaps of banana palms, several pineapples, and the odd pumpkin (very odd, but that is another story). I also recently found out that you can eat the leaves of the pumpkin vine. They feel very strange when you pick them, furry and prickly, but taste amazing when cooked with peanuts in coconut milk.

    • Thank you Mary. It’s good to have you aboard. I hope you stick around awhile and see it through to the end… At this rate that’d be somewhere in the 22nd century… assuming no major obstacles…
      I hope to hear from you again. The more intelligent conversation we have the better.

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