Full Bloom

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Spring is by far my favorite season here in Arizona. The weather is gorgeous and dry, the neighborhood farm animals are having babies, the flowers are in bloom, the hens are laying up a storm, and we spend every waking minute outdoors. I fully realize that this all sounds ridiculously cheese ball but it's true (back me up here fellow desert friends). If you are quietly cursing me now, remember that I will be cursing you in just a couple of months when the crazy desert heat settles in. At least we have the haboobs to look forward to, right?

I don't think I've shared any gardening or chicken pictures in a while so here's the latest and greatest of what we've been doing outside.

We added a second raised bed a couple of months back so we now have room for a small cutting garden. Fresh flowers in the house every day? Yes, please.

(Update: someone asked on Pinterest if the rebar over the bed in these pictures is a sprinkler system. That would rock but it's not. We have a watering system snaking through the actual bed which works very well. The rebar above the garden is to hold the netting in place to keep the birds and chickens out. We also use it to hang our sun shade in the summer and freeze cloth in the winter.)

Even the girls are enjoying the beautiful weather. I think they know that summer is fast approaching so they're taking advantage of this while they can. They are not big fans of the triple digits and really, who can blame them?

Jason and I were looking at the garden this afternoon and he lifted the net for a split second. In the blink of an eye, Francie was up there looking to snag a treat. If you don't watch it with these young pullets, they'll gouge out your eyeball to try and steal your food. They are crazy. We had a picnic under the trees last week and poor Finley lost his quesadilla to Minnie before he knew what hit him.

All of our trees are starting to produce this upcoming season's fruit. The boys are checking out the apple trees (their favorite and mine too) with Old Lady. Her name is Addie but for some reason, Oliver has called her his Old Lady since he started talking. Sadly, we think that Old Lady's days are numbered so we're getting in some good quality time with her.

And kind of related but kind of not...My sister, the AZ Plant Lady, had a film crew over from SheKnows.com today to film several "how to" segments on gardening for their website. She is a gardening genius (especially for the desert) and I know these videos will be incredible. I'll be sure to share when they're available.

Wherever you are, I hope you're outdoors and enjoying spring (at least on this side of the hemisphere).


Shonie said...

That is the greenest desert I have ever seen!! You have grass and trees. Amazing. Our Cali high desert never ever looked that green! It's beautiful!

Grace said...

Shonie, I'm originally from Southern California and never knew that we'd be able to grow so many things out here in the desert. Definitely not what I expected (in a good way). :)

Anonymous said...

I am jealous of your lettuce...it looks divine :)

Grace said...

It's pretty fabulous as far as lettuce goes. We have five varieties growing right now. I can't take credit for any of it - it's all my mom's hard work.

Carmen said...

I'm Carmen and I love your blog, so rich of ideas and ispirations. I've talked about your linen bunnies in my last post.
Wonderful creation!

Melissa Conrey said...

Your garden is gorgeous, and I have to 2nd the awesome lettuce you're growing. You're mom is very talented with her green thumb! And, I can totally see Emma with your doggies hugging them, kissing them and chasing them all over!

Grace said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Carmen!

Melissa, as soon as I saw Emma with that boxer at the park, I knew she'd have to meet my Sodapop. They'll get along famously. ;)

Laura said...

I just adore your backyard--so peaceful, earthy and colorful! These are awesome photographs--can't wait to see the videos your sis did! That is awesome!!

Corinne @ the Salty Shark said...

Ok. So before I ask you for a favor I'm going to shamelessly name drop so that you will have context for my name and not think I'm a complete random stranger... I'm a friend of Sarah Carter from our days in OC and now we live near ASU. I had emailed you last spring/summer re: your africa onesies for our adoption fundraiser. Well, on a different note, we are gearing up for our raised beds (finally) and chickens (yay!) and are incorporating all that goodness into our homeschooling. What are the chances you and your gardening queen sister would do a little yard tour/class for a couple of us homeschooling families who are looking for ways to show our kiddos home-based examples of these two adventures? If you're not interested I will continue drooling over your blog pics. If you are, let me know! xo

Grace said...

Hey Corinne! I'm so glad you popped by! So fun for you guys - you are going to have a blast with the gardens and chickens. It's such a great experience for kids to learn where their food comes from. I don't know if it'd be all that exciting for you guys to come for a class here but I'd be willing to give it a shot in the spring. If you haven't already, you should definitely check out the Valley Permaculture Alliance (http://www.phoenixpermaculture.org/) - they are a great resource and offer some great classes. You also might want to bring your kids to Singh Farms in Scottsdale (a hidden gem that is AMAZING) and Superstition Farm in Mesa.

You can email me anytime (finleyandoliver@gmail.com) if you have chicken questions.

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