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Don't settle for just the annual garden, plant some trees!
What did we end up with?
You may recall, but probably will not, reading a Hub on seeds from previous years that might and might not be viable still this year. https://hubpages.com/living/Seeds-For-This-Years-Garden I am curious, will you still be gardening now, eight years later?
My wife and I have turned our .25 Acre garden/orchard lot into what some term "The Garden of Eden" and now, years later, what it has to offer, in addition to our seasonal garden, often using those left over seeds from previous years, includes cherries, apricots, strawberries, and rhubarb, peaches, pears, blackberries, Asian pears, apples, plums, and plumcots, too!
We even have manna! Dandelion greens grow profusely in our organic lawn, much of it now covered also with chicory and chives. As soon as spring first arrives, we have those to enjoy for the picking! The greens can be cooked as part of meals, or added to salads.
Some years ago we added goji berries, and the goji leaves are edible too. We have started hedges using goji branches we just cut and stuck in the ground where they rooted and took off.
A little expense provided seedless and regular Concord grapes, and a neighbor provided some champagne grapes, for all the grape juice and jellies that steam up our kitchen in the fall.
When the original birch tree died in the front lawn, we replaced it with a variety of mints, and a Nanking cherry tree.
Around the edges of our adjoining quarter Acre garden lot, we long ago added hardy figs, a transplanted quince tree, English walnuts, and black walnuts, along with red currants, black currants, raspberries, and recently a young pomegranate tree.
As to existing vegetable annuals, add on elephant garlic and Jerusalem artichoke, both of which are expensive in the stores, if you can even find them there.
Landscaping can just be digging some holes and planting.
Eventually the Santa Rosa plum tree became taller than the house!
And there are roses, and roses, and roses glorious.
We love the tea roses.
And all the rest of the roses that bless our lives.
After the daffodils of spring, a first bloomer is the Bridal Wreath
Amidst the beauty, don't forget those fruit trees!
What a couple can envision doing with some land, can be done little by little.
One record of our lives is likely to live on, at least for awhile after we are gone. It is possible that one or more of our children, even grandchildren, will enjoy the fruits of our labors.
While we live on, we will continue to care for our "Garden of Eden" here in this valley in Utah County, Utah. To our east is Mount Timpanogos, our tall portion of the Rocky Mountains. It is snow-covered into the early spring, with remnants of snow sometimes lasting into July, or later. From our large living room window we watch winter come down the mountain in the late fall, and we watch spring and summer go up the mountain.
By mid-May the average daily high temperature reaches the 70's, and folks can be heard to claim that our part of Utah "has two seasons, hot and cold."
For several years we had as many as 250 rabbits whose contributions to our lifestyle were their pelts and meat, while they contributed to the fertility of our soil, causing one man who prepared our garden areas one spring to declare: "This is the best soil I have seen in Utah!"
By the way, rabbit meat has the highest protein and lowest fat of any commercially available meat, when you can find it for sale, or raise your own.
My wife and I held full time positions until we semi-retired. Our three children here in Utah were not devoted gardeners, capped off one year when our daughter Catherine planted her own rows of corn. Not surprisingly, her corn grew well, and one day she announced that, "Tomorrow we can start having our own corn-on-the-cob!"
The next morning was not as happy. During the night raccoons had eaten every ear of her corn right down to the cob. Despite her disappointment, her only comment was, "Oh, how sad." We could have heard the music playing for the thrill of victory and the sadness of defeat.
Raccoons have no natural enemies here, with the possible exception of cougars in this part of Utah, and those here are likely the offspring of a pair of raccoons brought here by a family from Virginia. Their son, one day in a biology class, announced that their family's pair of raccoons had grown too large to care for, and they had released them. Their teacher told his students, and told us later, what the inevitable result would be, and that one family's act was ultimately the source of Catherine's sadness. She still likes to garden, but she no longer grows corn.
© 2020 Demas W Jasper
Demas W Jasper (author) from Today's America and The World Beyond on July 30, 2020:
"by the sweat of our brow" was intended in the last comment I entered. Now we are in yet again another season of toil and harvest. Hours of strong winds as much as 60+ miles per hour has reduced our harvest of some fruits in 2020, but the trees are resilient and fortunately the 2019 harvest provided enough and more we are still enjoying in 2020. With COVID-19 we have especially enjoyed the resources and time spent gardening during our semi-isolation.
Demas W Jasper (author) from Today's America and The World Beyond on June 25, 2020:
Yves, thanks for stopping by again. Scripture says we proceed by the seat of our brow. I tend to agree, and the proof is in the garden.
Yves on May 03, 2020:
Demas....What beautiful pictures! Your garden is astounding! You and your wife are to be commended for all of your hard work and effort. Impressive.
I agree that a government that gives all takes all, which is why I will never vote for a Socialist. I also realize our politics collide.
You're a good, sincere man, Demas. It shows in how well you take care of your property and your family.Thank you for sharing your garden with us. It is truly beautiful.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 26, 2020:
The roses are lovely. I am reminded of my time at the farm when I was growing roses, lilies and a lot of vegetables as well. Nothing like having nature around oneself.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 26, 2020:
You have an amazing garden. All those lovely blooming flowers. The harvest is the best. I miss that from my garden in Riga, Latvia we had four apple trees and one pear tree. We grew tomatoes and cucumbers and sometimes even potatoes. The very best to you and your family.
Demas W Jasper (author) from Today's America and The World Beyond on April 25, 2020:
Audrey, Some friends of ours pick and freeze 100 pounds of blueberries each year on a shared blueberry farm (they have a share). Talk about backbreaking work! The compensation is the blueberry pies, blueberry slump, and blueberry turnovers, when the sore backs are forgotten.
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 25, 2020:
Your garden is amazing! We've been planting vegetables of every kind along with a huge variety of flowers, apple trees, and blueberries. I'm tuckered out from putting in a full day today. I love it!
What gorgeous roses you have. We all need to prepare, right? Who'd have thought we would be living in such challenging times?
Demas W Jasper (author) from Today's America and The World Beyond on April 24, 2020:
To all who take the time to read and comment: May we remind ourselves from time to time, and especially at the times of free elections, that true leaders recognize our challenges and challenge each of us to every needy sacrifice. Those who seek to empower a people, are always to be preferred over those who seek power and glory for themselves and their cronies.
Deb Hirt on April 24, 2020:
You clearly speak the truth. It doesn't take a genius to get on board with that reasoning though. Fortunately, I grew up with it. I just wish I had some land now.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2020:
Great article, with beautiful pictures and words of wisdom.
I agree with you that we should be self reliant, and not dependent on others, especially the government, for everything.
In any crisis time, such as the present one, food shortage becomes a major problem. If each one of us do a little bit, the problem can be reduced to a great extent.
Loved your garden flowers and fruits. They are so many and I can imagine the pleasure of seeing all this, after all the hard work.
Thanks for sharing this with the readers.