The Story Of A Garden

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I think that most of my readers know that almost exactly two years ago my husband and I moved from the Southwest desert where practically nothing but tumbleweed grows to the lush, green grass of the Southeast.   (You can read about our move here.)   Quite a number of years prior to moving, we purchased our farm and waited with bated breath for the day we would make the move. 

Because we were moving in the Spring, all I could think about was, for the first time in my adult life, being able to have a garden without watering day and night to get a few cucumbers and tomatoes.  So...  I sweetly asked begged, pleaded, bribed my son and son-in-law to please put my garden fence up for me before we moved.  They agreed and when asked where I wanted it I said, "The hilltop, of course.  I want to be able to look at the view and get that great cool hilltop breeze while I'm gardening".  They spent hours putting in the posts, the wire, the gates and a few times they mentioned to me on the phone, "It sure is rocky on the hilltop".   How could it possibly be rocky - the grass on that hill is just about the most lush stuff you've ever seen. 

We moved, we bought a tiller, we started tilling.  And there were rocks EVERYWHERE.  Big rocks, huge rocks, and some tiny rocks that grew overnight into boulders.  We tilled, carried buckets and buckets of rocks to the tractor loader where we filled it up and hauled them off.  Over and over and over.  How could that fertile hilltop soil be so rocky?  Finally Eldon said, "You've just got to plant the garden and hope for the best".  So, I did. 

Every morning, Jillian (my little three year old grand-daughter) and I drove up to the hilltop where we bonded working in the garden. 

And the garden grew and grew.

I had bushels of squash and cucumbers every single day.  Who knew you could get so many vegetables from a garden that didn't even need to be watered?

The end of the season came and Spring rolled around again and the rocks had multiplied times ten.  Eldon said, "We have to move the garden.  There is a perfect spot at the bottom of the hill by the pond."   So we pulled the wire off, dug up fence posts, and started over the next Spring at the bottom of the hill.

I thought the soil was fertile and the garden did great on the hilltop, but the bottom land was like nothing I'd ever experienced before.  I went a little overboard with tomato plants... and they grew and produced like crazy.  My okra plants grew to the size of small trees.  Before I knew it I was almost sick with dread at the massive amounts of produce.  And living in a travel trailer isn't very conducive to canning! 

I took some zinnias and bags of produce to the little cafe down the country road and they happily took them off my hands.  I gave produce to everybody I could think of.  I said the words I never thought I would hear myself say, "I am really sick of this garden."  Well, guess what?
Its spring here in the South and we tilled the garden this weekend and I'm excited to plant again!  I say that I'm not going to plant as much this year, that I'm not going to overdo it again.  But, I know it will happen again and I'm excited!  (I'm even very tentatively holding my breath that by harvest time I'll have a nice, new kitchen to can in!)  My daughter and I bought heirloom seeds and I have darling little tomato plants that seem to be growing nicely in the window of the house.  The owner of the little local cafe has expressed a desire to have me provide her with produce and flowers this year.  What a great reason to plant all those beautiful packets of seeds right? 
I am thankful for Spring, thankful for the desire to dig in the dirt and plant again.  
And now...  meet McKinley - the newest addition to our farm.  Our beautiful new Angus Bull!
I hope you have a wonderful week and that wherever you live Spring has arrived for you too! 


  1. Dori, I love your life. :) I love your stories.

    I hope today is filled with wonderful things.

    Can you believe I got to see Andrea, Justus and the girls at Chick Fil A recently. MADE MY WEEK!!!

  2. I am so green with envy. I want to live where the land is lush and green...

  3. We live where there are rolling hills and green valleys! We recently bought a farm and while we are in our mid 30's hope to build a house there and make our move in the next 5 yrs. Your blog makes me excited to think that we will be on our own farm soon! Love your blog!

  4. Wow your previous gardens are to die for! I too am in Middle TN and with our nutty weather of late I am just now making outside to begin my big vegetable garden like yours but I am excited to start again! Have a great week!

  5. I've not had much luck with vegetables but my herbs do pretty good. I live in a wooded area and bottom line is there isn't enough sun. After years of trying I have finally accepted reality. I will enjoy gardening through you so make sure and post about those veggies and flowers you will grow!

  6. What beautiful gardens! We know all about rocky soil, it's amazing how well things will grow in it. Glad you have a better spot for your garden now. Zinnias are my favorite summer flower and those veggies look scrumptious! I love your blogs; you have so many interesting things to write about. Keep them coming!


  7. Dori what a slice of heaven you have. So lovely. I lost my vegetable garden 2 years ago when we built the addition on the east end of our home. Last year I planted my tomatoes on the deck in planters, but this year I'm going to try and create a spot within my perenial garden. Your land is lovely.

  8. Wow you do have a green thumb! It gives me hope with my Northern Arizona garden for this summer.

  9. Thats a good looking bull, tell Eldon it appears he sure knows how to pick 'em.

  10. Dori - So glad you decided to continue your garden, it looks like a lot of fun. We can't wait to read your updates and hear more about McKinley. Thanks for being a Friend of Pfister!

  11. Hello Dori...
    I'm fairly new to your blog - but enjoying it so much.
    I just nominated you to receive the Liebster Award. I hope you'll accept. Here are 11 questions for you to answer and check back on my blog to see posting details..

    1. Your blog title/name? How did it come about... is there a story?
    2. Books. Who is your favorite author? What is your style?
    3. Speaking of Style. Who/what inspires you in your wardrobe selection?
    4. If you're a mom! - Any advice you could share? If you're not... What do you wish you could share?
    5. In blogging.. Do you share your Faith? Why or Why not?
    6. Collections... What is yours? Baskets? Cookbooks? - How did you get started?
    7. Do you have that one "best friend" - what makes her a great friend? Give me just two-three words.
    8. Pizza or Stromboli? Would that be homemade or "Take Out"?
    9. Camera needed. What would you recommend?
    10. And your favorite flower is...?
    11. Tell me that one idiosyncrasy you LOVE about yourself..

  12. What a beautiful story and a beautiful garden! I wish mine would produce like that.
    Thanks for sharing.