In the garden…cleaning rugs, planting strawberries, bee hives and baby succulents.

“ Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.”

                                         Tori Amos

  One of my cousins emailed me a awhile back wanting to know if we were all okay. She had just watched the news that night and had heard that Arizona was the worse in the world with the virus numbers per capita. She lives all the way over in Oklahoma and she heard this. Well, when I read that I was in shock…

What?… I emailed back. I explained that “No I didn’t know that, that is crazy.” Guess I have been so busy out in the garden, I shut the world down in a way.

I also reminded her that I stopped watching the local news about a year ago. I know what some of you may be thinking, like did I really? Well I really did…really.

Then a friend of ours here in the city emailed me about a mass shooting on Sunday here in Phoenix, twelve people were shot. There were two areas and one she wrote “Was too close to where you live.” and again I was like…”What? I didn’t know that.”  I have been writing that statement a lot this month it seems.

Just sick of it all, the lies, the twisted way 21st century journalists report in our country, the obvious manipulations that promote hate and fear…I just shut it all off. Sometimes I get clips here and there on YouTube. But even when that happens, I question the motives behind what’s being said anytime I fall for their click bait. Everything I watch, everything I see on any screen, anytime someone passes something onto me that they heard…I always question and usually end up not believing anymore. That is sadly what 2020 did to me. Now we are all just trying to heal in this year of 2021 and the only way to do this I have discovered is to turn all those “Getting into our heads” distractions…OFF! Just turn them off. I was never a big fan of the roller coasters anyway. Just like that scene in Parenthood (when they made good movies) and the grandma talks about how some people like the roller coasters of life…well, I don’t.

I want to be like that family that was on some island somewhere before the pandemic happened and when they came into a port after being away for awhile they saw everyone walking around wearing masks wondering “What the heck happened?.”  

Anyway, I been spending most of my time in the dirt, watching and feeding wild birds and creating art outside. Much better then watching the chaos and sadness being reported from the news.

This month I went shopping for some flowers.

 Then came home and started planting them everywhere.

I didn’t get to plant pretty flowers last year because that is when the pandemic first started, but this year I decided no matter what, I was going to plant flowers for 2021.

The dollar store in our area got in some new plants. Herbs and succulents. I bought about $10 worth. At the garden shop these same plants were almost $4 each. I grabbed a bunch since they were only .99 cents.  

Some of the flowers in this shop I did pick up at the garden shop but they were only about $3 a carton.

I planted them in some of my thrift store pots.

I decided to turn my garden tray into an herb garden.

I also spent a lot of time doing some after Christmas cleaning and took rugs out to wash and clean. Lots of detail cleaning and organizing in the month of January.

Planted some strawberries.

Just love the little white and yellow flowers from strawberries.

I believe this is from another type of flower I bought since the leaves on it are not Strawberry leaves.

Everyone in our house loves strawberries. I really hope I get some.

That is what I bought with Christmas money I received this year, flowers and strawberries.

Remember the book shelf I decorated with my bottle top trees for Christmas. For January I decided to do a plant display. It was so empty after removing all the pretty holiday decor. It needed some life.

We put a grow light behind it because it doesn’t get enough light there.

I also had to transplant a lot of plants to larger pots since the roots overtook their old homes.

Finally got around to planting my tiny live Christmas tree too.

Lets see, what else…Oh yeah, my husband got this cool green house for $1 at the Amazon auction. When no one else bids sometimes you can get screaming deals. The auction is set up differently now. Before the virus you had to go inside to pick up orders, sometimes waiting in very long lines. Now it is curb side service only. The green house is on the other side of our yard and it needs a make over. I want to paint the block walls a soft green color, for now they are dark.

My husband and son put together some bee hives so hopefully we will have some bees in a couple months. We are waiting for our shipment.

I bought a bunch of lavender to plant for the bees when we get them and my husband ordered tons of flowers seeds to plant as well.

The chickens are wandering around the garden checking things out. It is such a mess in the garden right now. So much work to do. My husband and son are rebuilding a chicken coop area so everything needs to be moved, and rearranged. Chickens take work and they are messy little creatures too, but we still love their personalities and eggs of course.

Everything here in our desert garden is usually in pots. In drier climates it is better to do pot gardens here and there because of water. Just have to make sure they never get too dry because baked roots will kill the plants. Even though our temps get warm they also can get down to freezing in the winter months. Arizona is a hard state to understand when it comes to gardening. Best to stick with what the locals did many, many , many years ago. Corn, peppers, and edible cacti.

Yellow pepper plant.

I redid my aloe garden area. My son and daughter made this little garden area for me a couple years ago for Mother’s Day.

It needed a make over. I still have some areas to refill but rain came the next day so I took a day off.

The next day there were cool breezes and beautiful clouds out everywhere.

It was such a beautiful day I ended up spending hours outside replanting, trimming trees, and taking apart our bakers rack for my husband and son to repair. No sirens, no fire works, no gun shots, just peace. Phoenix didn’t always used to be this bad. Things started getting bad in the last year. There were always pockets of bad areas here in our city but since everyone started moving here from other places we are becoming more and more like a different state, one I don’t recognize anymore. Also new politicians to go with new people moving in does change things up some. I will keep praying for peace for not only my area but the whole world. This day though, out in my garden, was quiet and peaceful.Almost felt like our old neighborhood I remember when we moved here 20 years ago.

Then there is this. A pot full of broken tiles.

And this old table stand. I have a plan, lets see what I come up with using both these items.

That’s it for this month. Happy gardening everyone.   

Oh, and if my cousin from Oklahoma is reading this I will be writing a hand letter soon. Going old school now. Thanks for thinking of us and stay safe over there…be on the look out for that letter. If things keep going the way they are here in my city, be on the look out for me…might just show up as well one day.

28 Comments Add yours

  1. ourcrossings says:

    Your garden is beautiful oasis brimming with love and creativity. The peace that can be found gardening, sowing seeds and weeding is unmatched to anything else. I can’t wait to use all the pent-up energy I’ve accrued over winter, and clean out my garden beds, repair hardscaping, do a little pruning and moving, and start the growing season off right. Thanks for sharing such wonderful photos and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, there is always something to do out there in the garden. I love being outside more anyway. Can’t wait to head up north when we can but there is a snow storm headed up there so best to stay away from that. I love exploring the creeks and seeing all the little baby fish when Spring comes around. I am looking forward to some outdoor adventures in a couple of months hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Flowers! This is all so beautiful, a feast for the eyes. I am always so anxious to get those pansies and stocks planted in spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Flowers are perfect for putting smiles on everyone’s faces.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ruthsoaper says:

    I have to say I am a bit envious of all the garden activities you are doing right now. It will be several months before we are able to do those things. Everything is just in the planning stages.
    Like you I am seeing little if any news. My husband listens and reads enough to keep me up to date but I agree that it is distractions and they report what they want you to believe.
    I’m glad you enjoyed a peaceful day outdoors. Take care My Friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to see your garden I always look forward to that. I remember the little turtle one year. It is nice spending time outside. Even with a little yard of a garden here in the city, it is so pretty when we build gardens no matter how small. They are the perfect ways to put some cheer in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tanya says:

    Your garden looks beautiful. Flowers and strawberries sound wonderful. I don’t watch the news either and I’ve been working on various things inside until spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet your house inside is it’s own garden. If you are like all us other nature lovers, we fill our homes with plants and pretty decor that have to do with nature like flower prints. So even when it is cold outside, inside our homes it is always Spring. I am starting to think that no one really watches the news that much anymore. Best to go out and talk to our neighbors instead and get little bits of local news that way. Also, better for us to speak to people and connect. The news just seems to have a hidden agenda to keep us all afraid and angry with each other. Once we all start talking to each other we realize how similar we all are and share the same stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. saramincy says:

    I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT agree with you!!!!! I do not watch the news. And when I do get a snippet of it here and there I can’t believe how much is blatantly the opinions of the reporters, which you learn in 6th grade journalism, is wrong. Anyway, there is much peace in working hard where you are. Thank you for the breath of fresh air- love all of your beautiful plants!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you are one of the good ones out there that gets it. Best to live our lives each day with as much happiness as possible and try to spread some of that to others too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Liz says:

    I love what you have been doing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you LIz. Hope you are well and staying happy. It is hard when we have to follow rules and get used to new ways like masks. I know it is especially hard for you not being able to read lips. Hopefully clear masks will be made available more and more. Anyway, any old plant no matter how big or small always brightens up a home when we may be stuck inside more the normal. Stay safe and have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz says:

        Yes, plants certainly cheer up inside space🙂

        Although I have had a hard time not reading lips, if I get inaccessibility, I just continue on walking. (With 2 fingers imagery in my head.) I don’t ever see this changing, because I know it won’t change regarding clear masks at work, as they have said so. But they have highlighted again instead what they should be doing to those that haven’t been helpful to me.

        Not seeing my mum has overtaken and I have joined a couple of groups that are going through either same, or similar thing. So I am joining in with my own words of how damage is being caused by residents not seeing or touching their loved ones, including how mum was on last visit and visit before, because I couldn’t touch.
        Some have not been allowed to see their family since last March at all.
        Even rights stopped at end of life, even though you have rights to be there. Its mental torture for us all and unforgivable.

        My weekend will be with my social bubble today and rest of the weekend just myself.
        I have ideas for what I am doing in my apartment. It will be slow and gentle, while quiet, when not with support bubble.

        Have a lovely weekend. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is so heart breaking to read about. I don’t understand the level of no contact. Here in Arizona we are pretty much open and some people wear masks and some don’t. Our numbers are high, as least being reported high but things are pretty much open for us to do what we want. About 80% wear masks that I have noticed. Strange times. Hopefully things will start to go in a better direction now that they have the shots available…we will see. It is good to connect with others, all humans need that. Also important to just take some time and spend time with ourselves in peaceful moments.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Liz says:

        All I want to do is hold mum’s hand while wearing PPE and sanitising my hands before and after.
        To see her every fortnight. But I did want to see her every week around the time I handed my Court of Protection papers to her, to make sure she was ok and opportunity to ask if she needed, anything about it, as well as check she was talking to a staff member about it. But then, we went in our Tier 4 which meant I couldn’t see her. Then it was December the two visits before lockdown.

        Yes my weekends feel more precious this year and so I am liking my own quiet time. Not just from people physically, but emails that take my time up. So with it quiet from emails especially, yes weekends nice.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I hope this ends soon so we can all get back to some sort of normal and that you get to hold your mom’s hands again.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Liz says:

        Yes, it needs to ens for all, so we can get back to some normality.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. With all this glorious nature, I would just stay there all the time. No worry about the outside world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is more peaceful outside. Today there were doves cooing and children in the distance playing. It was a very nice day outside.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Shelly says:

    I think gardening (AND turning off the news) is the best way to deal with the pandemic! These pictures were so refreshing … we’re not close to garden season where I live in the Pacific Northwest, but it sure is fun to start thinking about Spring. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and you’re very welcome too. So happy you liked the photos. Here in Arizona it is very nice right now but the summers are really hard and the garden takes a beating that’s for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Johanna says:


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your garden is beautiful. What a lovely place to escape to. I agree about shutting off the noise – we can think for ourselves when we don’t listen to the news and it’s a lot more pleasant that way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa. I love it when it is so quiet that you can only hear little birds chirping all around. We have been getting a lot of rain lately, it is a nice change.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love those white and yellow flowers that will soon turn to be the plump and red strawberries. I wish I have a garden like yours. It’s very pleasing to the eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I can’t wait to see red strawberries. I hope that happens. Sometimes here in the Arizona desert with our crazy weather patterns of mostly hot days and very cold nights (sometimes freezing) it is hard for plants to make it, Always have to cover or bring them in, Right now the garden has pockets of clean and pockets of huge messes. We are moving things around and repairing wooden pots, it is a huge mess. My flowers are still alive and that makes me happy. I do not have a green thumb. I am trying, and each year I get better at understanding what it takes to take care of plants.


  12. Ellen Hawley says:

    The plants are gorgeous–a little oasis of peace/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it’s a great place to sit and read a book.

      Liked by 1 person

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