May 14, 1954We never planned on giving garden tours when we began upgrading the garden upon my retirement from education. It has been a joy and so rewarding to have time to study and attempt to container garden in the Arizona desert. Now I find myself teaching once again, showing and telling others what has worked in our garden. And even better, meeting more of my neighbors as the color and projects draw them into the garden.
I always remember loving gardens. As you can see, I was hefting a garden hoe at less than 2 years of age. My parents' Idaho garden was huge. It bordered the length of the entire lawn. A hay field lay on the other side of the fence (a snow fence to help control blowing snow.) Every Spring, my father would disc it with his tractor and harrow. We would go to the Sugar City Merc, owned by my great uncle Emery Thomas, to buy the seed in bulk and by the pound. We brought it home in brown paper bags with the seed type printed on the bag. The corn patch of many rows made a great place to play hide and seek as it grew taller than we were. We ate peas by the mouthful right out in the garden. We were also allowed to pull the carrots and radishes at will. We were also expected to weed and hoe and harvest.
It made my heart glad to read of Michelle Obama and her White House garden this week. As I studied their garden layout, I imagined it must be as large as my parents' garden, although I might be remembering it through my little girl eyes. I also liked her comment that the whole family would be expected to do weeding, including Barack.
Laurel in her garden, Bountiful, Utah in 1978
When possible, I always sought to have a garden. I had a small garden in back of the detached garage when we were BYU students living in the basement of a house which bordered the garden of the Hugh B. Nibley family. Their garden was one to match that of my parents. Mine was small enough that I could mentally count each plant as I attempted an out of body experience during my first try at natural childbirth. My garden in Bountiful was fairly large and run across the whole backyard. Glen rented a sod cutter to cut me out a spot where I could plant my heart out. Utah summer gardens seem to grow at will. Gardening in Arizona has proven to be more of a challenge as I had to become seasonally adjusted over the years, planting a winter garden and a spring garden then resting during the hot hot summer. Here are a few shots of what caught my eye this morning.