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It has been 17 months since I dug my first shovel full of road base in this once sterile backyard of mine.  The first thing to go in the ground was my mint collection that I have gathered from the hollers in Tennessee to the canyons of northern Arizona and babied over the past 20 years, and then my Iris from the Arizona Strip homestead where my Great Great Grandmother first planted them.  Now those will be the first things to be put back into pots.  Yes, it is true, I am moving.  Again.  It pains me to say I must dig up my beautiful, thriving garden and return my mini oasis to the condition in which it was found: dead.   

I was poo pooed more than once, in casual conversations with near strangers, on my gardening strategies.  I was assured, by well meaning shoppers with carts laden with pepper and tomato plants, that only raised beds would thrive in Phoenix and then they would grace me with a sad 'you poor delusional soul' smile and wish me well.  My garden does thrive and in more ways than one.  It has brought teeny wildlife to my life and birds galore.  It has made my table a bounty of real food.  But the greatest joy is simply its presence;  knowing God gave me the beauty of life in my backyard.  It helps my spirit thrive.

Soon I will begin the process of the last harvest.  I have iris and mint to share.

I am not sure what lays beneath the multitude of sweet potato vines that have taken over my yard but I will let you know when I dig it all up next week.

The once silly dwarf okra has grown into a beautiful patch giving me enough to bread and freeze for the winter.

There are more than a dozen watermelons on the vines!  We have been picking one or two a week for about two months.  

The lemon cukes finally took a hold, along with the cantaloupe, and have been feeding us well.

I don't know which I enjoy watering most, the basil and chives or the mint.  The aroma is breathtaking! (Mr. Orange the Cat just came in smelling ever so much like basil!)

The peppers are STILL growing and hanging with the best crop of the year.

The asparagus loves their bed... I am hopeful they will enjoy a big pot as well.

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Comment by Leanne on October 10, 2014 at 7:12pm

I have so enjoyed your blog, I hope your travels take you somewhere where your family treasures can thrive. You really put things into perspective for me with your post about falling in love with your garden, and using a camping table draped with a sheet to provide needed shade for your plants.  Putting pride on the back burner to give the plants what they need...I needed to hear that.  Best to you and your irises and mint.

Comment by Powell Gammill on October 10, 2014 at 7:47am

Great story!  Changing of the season.  And continuing family history via vegetation.

Comment by bryanwhitebeyondthekitchengarden on October 10, 2014 at 5:53am
Very nice summary ... Good luck in your newest travels.

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