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Ten Things of Thankful: May Flowers Edition

A blue and white columbine blossoms in a bark-covered bed.
Although apparently April was the driest on record here (or at least in Salt Lake City), the lack of showers didn't stop the May flowers. I love walking around my yard and seeing what has bloomed.

The beautiful pink bleeding heart reemerged this spring.
I'm thankful (1) not only for what is already blooming, but (2) for those plants that will bloom in the future. I had to pick up a prescription at Costco the other day, and when I walked into the store, there were some peonies for sale. I've seen peonies growing in my neighborhood, so I impulsively added one to my cart. I'm thankful (3) for John, who dug a hole and planted the peony for me. It's so nice to see something growing on the hillside. 

A newly-planted peony sits in the lower left-hand corner of the photo.
John has been doing so much work in the yard lately. In addition to planting the peony, he dug holes for four lilacs that I planted sometime in April. (Anyone else having trouble keeping track of time?) One of the lilacs is in the photo above, near the rock, but as it is just a skinny twig of a thing right now, it's barely visible. I'm thankful (4) for the hope that the lilacs will grow into big, bushy, beautiful, fragrant shrubs. 

That hope extends generally to the backyard. When we moved in to this house, we had a blank slate of wilderness. While we loved the view of the mountains, we also wanted to tame the yard a bit by planting a garden, trees, shrubs, and flowers, and by making areas where we could sit and enjoy the evenings. The photos below were taken in 2017 and 2018.

The wildness of the mountains comes right down to our backyard.
The view from the swing at the top of our yard, looking west across the valley, shows the uneven land and wild vegetation.
We have done a lot of work since then. We had the ground smoothed out a bit, and a dry creek bed put in. The fence went up, and sprinklers were installed. A shed was built. John designed and built a patio for a fire pit. He dug holes for soon-to-arrive fruit trees, as well as the holes for the lilacs and peony mentioned earlier. Most recently, he built garden boxes, complete with sprinklers in each box. He hauled countless wheelbarrow loads of garden soil from the spot to the side of the driveway where it was delivered, up the hill to the backyard garden boxes. Today, the view of the backyard is different than two years ago. I'm thankful (5) for progress, and for being able to see plans take shape. 

The same scene as above, but in May 2020. The contour of the land is smoother, and a fence, dry creek bed, and patio area are visible. 
The same scene as the above westward shot shows the dry creek bed, patio area, shed, and garden boxes.
 John has put in so much effort, and I love how it is paying off! It wasn't easy. I'm especially thankful (6) for his ability to problem solve. When he finished installing the sprinklers for the garden boxes and went to test out the various sprinkler lines, we had some strange problems. The first problem was that one of the lines would be on when it was turned off, and vice versa. The second problem was that that same line was always on whenever any other sprinkler line was on. After replacing valves and still having issues, John figured out what had happened. When the fencing guys installed the fence, they accidentally cut a sprinkler line. When they "fixed" the sprinkler line, they accidentally mixed up the main sprinkler intake line with the valve line, and connected them backwards. Once John realized what had happened, he could cut the lines and reconnect them correctly. We still need a solenoid replaced, but the part is on order and John will fix that when it arrives. 

John smiling by the sprinkler lines after fixing the mixed-up lines.
My project for the upcoming week will be planting the garden. I've started some plants indoors, and will direct-seed many more. Some of the berries I have ordered are scheduled to ship out this week. I'm thankful (7) for seeds germinating and growing. I'm also thankful (8) that I was able to order seeds and plants early enough. Apparently I'm not the only one gardening this year. One company even sent out an email saying that their computer server had crashed due to the number of people trying to access their site. I'm fortunate that I was able to order almost everything I hoped to. 

A tray of seedlings sit outside to harden off before planting in the garden.

The garden boxes wait for planting time.
While I'm certainly loving the arrival of spring and all the plant growth, that's not the only thing I am thankful for. I'm also thankful (9) for the quail that frequent our yard, and (10) for time to read. I just finished 1984, which I hadn't read since, well, 1984. It was fascinating to read it again and realize just how much applicable it is today. 

Mr. and Mrs. Quail scurry across the yard. 
What are you thankful for this week? Are you planting a garden this year? 

Thanks for stopping by! I love to read your comments!

Joining the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop this week:
The Prolific Pulse
MessyMimi's Meanderings
A Season and a Time
A Multitude of Musings
the Wakefield Doctrine
Carin's Gratitude

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  1. No planting in our yard, i can't grow stuff to save my skin. What i can do is appreciate other people's beautiful yards, which is what i am doing, including all the pictures of yours!

    1. I'm viewing this year's garden as part one of a long experiment, since it will be the first year growing an edible garden here. Every climate is different, every variety of plant is different, and, to make things interesting, no two years are alike!

  2. The view from your swing at the top of your yard is gorgeous! Love the colors in the sky! What a peaceful place.

  3. The two of you have exerted so much energy and muscle power into doing this beautiful backyard scene! I am glad you are taking photos. (I pulled out some of the old photos of our huge garden days and looked at them recently. I am glad we did those things when we could.)
    You included the picture of the quails just for me. (Right?)
    I miss having the bleeding hearts, but the deer loved them too much.

    1. I must have inherited my love of quails from you. :-)
      I hope the deer don't find my bleeding hearts. A neighbor has a huge bleeding heart, so I assumed they were safe from deer.

  4. I'd like a backyard like that.

    1. It's coming together, slowly but surely.


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