We were carrying buckets full of dirt all day. Behind the wall of our backyard, a truck with dirt was parked. We had only the weekend to emptied it. We needed a garden, and because there was nobody else to help us, paid or not, my parents had the great idea to think that, them, and their four girls were able to do it.
All the family started early in the morning carrying the buckets, it seemed a never-ending story, but we did it. Actually, Mom and Dad finished, after our complains were reflected in our tired bodies. Little girls can do a lot, but it was beyond our capacities. It was an early night, I remember looking through the dining room window, how my parents kept up till it was done. I had taking a bath, wearing my pj’s, and I was drinking a cup of tea. I was all sore.
After, we went to buy plants, so many to choose from. We went to a vast nursery garden, there were many around town, and this was like an Eden. We chose roses, vines, trees, other colorful flowers to make beautiful arrangements.
Mom loved her garden, she pruned, watered and nurtured it in a very dedicated and happy way, she was in her element. I like to talked to her in the garden, because our conversations were very peaceful and thoughtful.
The garden exists until today; Dad had kept it as beautiful as Mom did, now with a touch of his personality. The garden has several fruit trees, a perimeter full of flowers,
the walls are covered with unyielding green vines, and different fragrances at all time you can scent with pleasure. The magnificent dirt and weather have given over the years all the force of its loftiness.
It seems that I needed to repeat the experience after twenty years, this time my endeavor was just for a huge planter inside my new house and another one at the front of the street. At the end, there were ten tall Italian cypress trees between pindicua bushes making a hedge fence in the outside box, and lots of roses for the inside box adorning the bars of my house at the entrance. I thought my designs were fantastic.
But, we had several problems with the outside box. People and animals started to take overnight cover between my house and the box. Today there are only some of the trees; everything was cleared. The inside box was covered with a thick wall. So, I don’t know if the roses were kept. Time passed since that, like about twenty-three years.
I remember started doing the boxes after buying all the plants in the same nursery and with at least two dozens of earth sacks. Emptied the sacks was a problem, because they were very heavy, so I started to shovel. My four-year old son was with me, and he wanted to help.
I gave him a shovel. After a few hours, to give the finishing touches, I took the hose to water the newly planted roses. My son was behind me all the time, he was very quiet. I was very busy. When I turned out to tell him about the finishing project, he was totally covered in dirt, wet dirt, from head to toe. I don’t even know if he could speak, or see, his eyelids were completely covered, then he beamed a beautiful smile. I was so worried, I left everything, and we went straight to the shower. A gardener finished the project. That was in México City.
After five years, I was in beautiful, sunny California and time to started another garden. I found out that the nurseries near my house had expensive plants that didn’t last a bit. They imported a lot of plants that had nothing to do with the climate inhere. You could be a person with a green thumb, or an incapable gardener. I needed to go to the outskirt of the city to find a good nursery. Plants could be sold with insurance, yes, that costly they are. The pots for the plants are extremely varied in price and quality. You need to be very knowledgeable with fertilizes, or by different types of earth depending of what are you going to plant.
I was astonished, then calmly after spending a fortune, and all the plants dried. I started looking more carefully. I found that sometimes 99 cents stores randomly have tiny plants for sale. I brought the most beautiful bouquets inside the house for many years. My husband took care of the whole entire enterprise of keeping the garden areas. No big-fruit trees because lots of animals take a bite of the fruits and left slimy leftovers around the trees. Ants are part of the cities, houses need to be cleaned for vermin every time you sell a house, or if there are infestations of different bugs. Yeah, I felt, I entered a jungle I didn’t imagine it existed.
The bio-techno-jungle of the city, in the end, made me allergic to some environments. In my travelings, I have discovered that when the plants are native from the land, they can be loved and appreciated without any hypersensitivities. No strong chemicals are needed, to force them to grow.
California has beautiful skies. Beautiful earth when is not a mudflow or on fire. Earth over and around us, lies to be listen carefully, pleading to let be, without imposing crazy stuff, but monitoring its health.
The joyful sing of birds, and bugs are signs of vitality and cycles of life we learned about every hour in every garden. Specially where I live. The huge garden that the state is, can be perceived from space.
I had enjoyed their beautiful cascades, mountains full of red trees, and sequoia; valleys, lakes, rivers, snowy hills, the ocean… Eclipses of Sun and Moon, and starry nights I have witnessed here in awe.
In my garden hummingbirds had nested, raccoons have climbed the trees, possums, ducks, and squirrels have eating and drinking from the garden. It is a different garden, not as gentle as the ones I had before… But, hey, like Dr. Malcolm said in Jurassic Park movie; “ the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.” Yes, the life in my garden is now there, with lots of cacti to follow the footmark of climate change, but also with flowers and trees; for friends on earth, friends above, for gentle thoughts, for perfect gifts of thine. Gardens are for mankind so freely given by Earth to enjoy and preserve.