Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mom and Dad's Yard

 “You can have as much earth as you want,” he said. “You remind me of some one else who loved the earth and things that grow. When you see a bit of earth you want," with something like a smile, “take it, child, and make it come alive.” - Frances Hodgsen Burnett,  The Secret Garden

When Mom and Dad "retired", sold the house in VA, and wanted to move back to Utah, they envisioned a home that both they and their children and grandchildren could enjoy as they aged!

The home they found was well-built, and the yard had several wonderful, mature trees, but Dad had a vision for the backyard of a haven fruits and vegetables, where family could spill out of the house and gather in various areas of the yard. 

I've always wanted to make a blog post of a "tour" of their yard for you all to see, and I finally brought out the camera one evening while we were visiting and got some pictures.  I only hope I get the names and details right from my memory, since I'm no master gardener!

Here is the back of the house.  There is a deck out the upstairs with a patio table that we often eat on when we're visiting.  Well, we mostly send the kids out there to eat so the adults can visit inside!  That tree has grown a LOT since they moved in nine years ago and now offers the house some great shade from the western-setting sun.

The staircase goes down to the lower-patio that has lots of patio chairs and benches and ledges to sit upon.  The entire yard has a walking path that goes all around the yard.  In the winter, Dad shovels it off and uses it for some exercise.  The kids use it to ride their bikes around.

There is a big kidney-shaped sandpile that supplies hours of fun for the kids, and there is plenty of room for all the grandkids!  The barn "shed" is where every tool and gardening need is stored.  When in doubt, I just put it in the shed.  :)

Past the shed is the strawberry patch.
 Following that is a series of raised beds with a work table that Dad had made, so he could easily tend to them, whether his back was hurting or if he was wheel-chair-bound.  I believe they contained cucumbers, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes and bush beans are back in there somewhere.

At this point the path turns at the "lower 40" and we have Dad's famous rows of corn.  His corn is sugar-sweet, and it is so delicious!  They freeze what they don't eat and enjoy a wonderful corn chowder all winter long.  It's so, so good!  After that, a trellis of grapvines are growing, which make the most delicious grape juice!  I had some last Spring, and it was like a glass of summer!  The flowering grapes smelled so pretty. It's such a subtle, sweet fragrance.  I wish I could bottle it up and wear it!

Mom also has several pretty bushes and flowers growing, including these lovely irises!

At the curve in the path, there is a peach tree, which we thinned last time we were there, and some elderberry bushes, which Mom and I cut down and bundled last spring.

Then we come to a nice trellis and a bench swing with a fire pit!  There is a water feature or "river" as the kids call it.  Here we have hot dog and marshmallow roasts and sit and listen to the stream gurgle over the rocks. 

The cherry tree had just been "netted" to keep the birds from eating all of the fruit.  Oh, how I wish those cherries were ready when we were there!  Dad's got a couple of cherry trees and down that path on either side are Bear Lake Raspberry and blackberry canes. 

All down the middle of the yard are 6-8 apple trees:  Jonathans, red and golden delicious, I think.  What we don't eat, Mom and Dad or give away or have pressed into cider to freeze and enjoy later.  I love all of the produce, but the apples have to be my absolute favorite!

 So, that brings us to the end of the tour!  I added a couple pictures of some flowers that mom has around the house.  Wouldn't you love to visit?  I know I do. 

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”  - Frances Hodgsen Burnett, The Secret Garden.


Sarah said...

Beautiful. Makes me want to meet you up North next time you are ever this way. A LOT of work...but a wonderful retreat!

Marie' said...

What a beautiful place. The fruit trees and the immaculate garden, pretty walk way... I love it all.

Kirsten said...

Amy, thank you so much for sharing your parents' backyard on your blog. It's a beautiful little getaway. Emily and Marie have always described it to me, but I've never actually seen a picture of it. Would love to visit their house someday!