Friday, April 20, 2012

My Yard is Full of Memories

Before I begin, I just want to rant a tad - JUST WHAT I NEED - A CHANGE OF EVERYTHING IN BLOGGER.  Why can't anybody just leave well enough alone.   I just got hit with Timeline on Facebook, which I have been dreading.  And no, I still don't like it.  Oh, well - nothing ever stays the same.

Which, of course, includes things in nature.  But I have to say - my yard is my refuge (except when the kid next door decides to wash all the cars in his family with his music on full blast).  July 1, it will be 34 years that we have lived in this house.  I have posted about the yard off and on over the years, showing the beginnings and the changes.  

This particular trip down memory lane began when we discovered that the lilac bush in the far back corner of the yard had finally bloomed - about 10 years after we transplanted it there.  It came from Minnesota as a little stick, brought by my brother from my Grandma Swanson's yard, before she went to a smaller house, then the nursing home, then to heaven.  The property sat there unchanged for many years after it was no longer hers, so we grandkids went exploring there at different times.  We used to play in the ditch where there was a profusion of these lilacs. 

This is my little tiny grandma that I have posted about a few times before.  She was my wonderful farming, cooking, baking, strawberry and cucumber picking grandma (as opposed to my other wonderful grandma who had a job, bowled, and brought pop and goodies home from the bakery).  

 This was taken at the nursing time the last time I saw her, when she was seeing her first great granddaughter for the first and last time - Kristen at about 18 months.  

 One year when Dwight's folks went back to visit family in Wisconsin, they brought us back two gifts from the woods behind his grandma's house.  This blue spruce was about 2 feet tall - and now it is at least 20.  


 This maple tree was a tiny sapling when we transplanted it from Wisconsin.  The next spring, when things came back to life, lo and behold there was a beautiful variety of wild flowers growing around the tree.  Turns out that these woodsy flowers had traveled to Colorado in the ball of dirt around the tree's roots.  What a nice surprise - especially the raspberry bushes that we moved to a good spot, and have enjoyed every summer since.

 Then there's the spot where our sweet little dachshund, Fritzie, lies in rest after entertaining and loving us unconditionally for 14 years.  He died on Valentine's Day, the day after Kevin's 19th birthday, in his own little bed in the basement.  We couldn't stand to send him anywhere, so we probably broke the law (don't tell anybody!)  The marker is still there, 16 years later, in what used to be the garden.  


Right outside the garden area is an apple tree, at least 12 feet tall.  It brings back another lovely memory.  It was during the time when we saw our step grandson, Anthony, a lot.  He asked me one day where apples came from.  I showed him the seeds in the apple he was eating and told him that's how they started.  He asked if we could plant a seed, so we planted two - in the flower bed right off the patio.  I never dreamed (and Kristen says she can't believe it because she was always planting seeds that never came up) that it would sprout so quickly.  By the end of that summer, Dwight transplanted the larger one out to the back part of the yard.  Anthony asked me at that time when it would have apples.  I told him probably about the time he went to college - he's 14 now, so that might be about right.

The first spring in our house, when we were putting in our yard, Dwight was working horrific hours - he was in accounting and it was year end crunch time.  So I would go pick up the bushes a few at a time and plant them each day.  We had this nice bare root tree that hadn't been planted yet when the rains began.  Dwight had dug the six foot diameter, six foot deep hole and told me I must put it in the next day or it was going to die and we'd waste a lot of precious money.  That night - yep it rained, and filled the hole like a swimming pool.  We had also just fertilized the day before with the natural good stuff, and the whole yard was very soft and gooshy - and now was very soft and gooshy mud.  I got up very early that morning, donned Dwight's fishing waders, and headed into the mess.  I was scooping the water out with a bucket, getting my legs twisted up like a pretzel.  It's a wonder I didn't fall in.  Finally, I got the water to stay out long enough to be able to place the tree into the hole and scoop the mud back in to hold it in place.  Needless to say, of all the trees and bushes I planted or helped plant, this one holds a special place in my heart.  It is huge.  And of course it looks much lovelier when it is in full leaf.

We have always wanted a variety of irises, and last year we were privileged to see the fruits of the planting the previous fall, from rhizomes given to us by our champion iris-growing friend, who knows each of her flowers by name.  We're excited to see how they do this year when the time comes.

The daffodils and tulips are coming in profusion now, as well as windflowers and tiny little forget-me-nots.  But this is the first flower I took a picture of this spring - such an interesting, different tulip.  I love them all, and am sad when they are gone.

Have a blessed week-end!


Linda said...

I think it is wonderful that you've been in your home for such a long time and that your yard is filled with the things that hold such precious memories. I feel as though I'm starting from scratch here (because I am!), but I'm looking forward to planting some memories too.

Anonymous said...

I had such a fun time reading about your yard tonight. We moved into our house a couple of years ago & I just came in from working in my yard. I bought a lilac bush today and look forward to planting it tomorrow morning (but hopefully not in the rain).

Brenda said...

What a beautiful yard, Dawn! It's probably fun to look out your window and have instant memories.
I love Blue Spruces.

Linds said...

I can't believe the size of all your trees - or the size of your yard either, come to think about it. English gardens are so very small. Well, most of them are! Like mine. Lovely memories, and lovely flowers too, Dawn. One thing we have done in recent years is buy roses to mark events or special days. It started when Dad was admitted into respite care and then we were told 4 days later that he would not be able to come home with us again. So, it was his birthday and we bought a rose, and so it started. When he died, and when Geoff died, we bought more beautiful roses, and friends brought us more. And now there are 26 in my little back garden and they are beautiful when they all bloom.

Maine Mom said...

I was not happy late last night either when I went to update my blog and everything was different!

I love hearing the stories behind your trees and flowers. That is awesome that an apple tree grew from Anthony's apple seeds! What a great reminder you have of him. :-) Maybe one of these days a tree will grow from a seed that my kids plant.


Oh my goodness...the 'farmer's daughter' in me just LOVES this post Dawn. Such beauty! The flowers, the reminiscing of your loved ones...and all your accomplishments. Wonderful.

Oh and as for the neighbor playing music full blast while washing the cars....what I dislike is the people who drive up and down a street [either neighborhood or the thoroughfares/freeways with their RAP music on full blast and even the blacktop and cars surrounding them are vibrating!! And you can't say anything to them these days to shut 'em up 'cause they'll knife you or something. Okay, now I'm done. LOL I'll shut up.

Loved your sweet post of memories today. Well done. Makes me ponder and wish family could exist forever.

Ginger said...

Oh how I wished I loved yard stuff. I hate it! My parents were huge on planting and caring for many varieties of plants up until they moved last year to the independent living facility. I love seeing all the splendor, just no desire to care for it myself.

Oh, and as for the facebook timeline, I hated it too at first. I must admit to liking it now. I find I don't miss nearly as many updates and such because of the timeline. You are right, we all dislike change.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

What wonderful memories.

grammy said...

Great tour of your back yard...and the history of it all (o:
What blogger changes???
I don't know what facebook time line is either...
I am so clueless (o:

Helen c said...

Gardens bring back so many memories. Although I do not have cuttings from my mother's garden I have planted the same things that she planted.

nannykim said...

Wow even your yard has a lot of stories, lol! Amazing all of the things that have grown so well. I guess when I look back at my yard at the cottage it has lots of stories too. One of my favorite ones is of an oak that grew up from an acorn a squirrel had buried. It grew quite quickly and my youngest son and I realized it was leaning. We went out and pulled it so it was straight and tied it to a tall metal stake. Well--it worked and it grew straight and tall. Out of all the trees we planted that one has grown the tallest and the fastest even though it started as a seed!

Tiffany Bleger said...

Oh what a wonderful post! I pray I am able to share memories like these with my family someday. A yard full of memories - beautiful.

nancygrayce said...

I love all the memories that yards bring! Love, love, love the different tulips! I'm not good with Flowers!

Sharon Lynne said...

What lovely memories! The benefits of living somewhere for a long time.

Those tulips are beautiful. God was very creative on those!

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