Where do you find inspiration?

Many of you may know that I started my writing career as the Southern Colorado Literature Examiner for Examiner.com, but what you might not know, is that I was also a content writer for Demand Studios. And I wrote D.I.Y. gardening articles, because I have always been an avid gardener, so it was an area I was knowledgable in. It’s been many years since I wrote gardening articles, but I still enjoy gardening and landscaping. I find it to be relaxing, soothing – a time when I can contemplate in my mind and find inspiration while engaged in the physical labors of hauling, digging, pulling and planting. So, when I get bogged down or stressed out, I go out and work in the garden to mellow out and regain my center.

Looking out over my yard today, I am taken aback with what I have accomplished over the years. For the first years that I had this beautiful mountain property, there wasn’t much except the natural forest, as far as landscaping goes. I started out by creating a quartz rock garden with a few Irises, which I had transplanted from my old home in Canon City and a few old metal wash pans with rocks placed in them for the birds to bathe in. I added to quartz to that garden for many years, but didn’t do much else as the focus was on getting a cabin built.

I still add quartz to that rock garden; it’s an ongoing process. But I have also collected and added rocks to create paths and what has turned out to be a huge landscaping project. You see, gardening doesn’t just provide inspiration in my writing endeavors, it inspires me in the design of my garden.

It began when I buried a cut-off water tank with the idea of creating a water garden. Then, I buried an old bathtub in the gully running down to the ‘water garden’ and bolted a trellis over it. That first year, I planted mixed flower seeds and Morning Glories to grow up the trellis. I began placing flat rocks around the edges of the bathtub to create an area where I could sit and maintainence the flowers planted in the bathtub easily.

Bathtub Garden Bed

While staying in place due to the pandemic, I had a lot of time on my hands, but not a lot of money, so I set about making my yard into a bird sanctuary – a place where all types of birds, especially Hummingbirds, would be attracted. I have always put out feeders and provided birdbaths in the quartz rock garden, and I’ve always had a good amount of avian visitors to my garden, but last summer was absolutely crazy. In addition to the multitude of Rufus and Allen’s Hummingbirds, I counted over thirty different bird breeds visiting, with more than twenty different bird families nesting for extended stays – Robins, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Chick-a-dees, Flickers, Blue Jays, Grosbeaks, to name a few. I went on rock collecting excursions around my property and I began to expand my rock work extensively, and I planted sixty-five Gladiola bulbs and a Butterfly Bush. When the Glads came into bloom, my yard was aburst with color. They were gorgeous. The Hummingbirds thought so, too.

I made a lot of progress last summer and into the fall, and the work continues. It seems to be an ongoing process. I don’t know if it will ever be completely finished, because I seem to always be inspired in new and different ways. This year, the rock work has all come together well, and I added a couple more Butterfly Bushes, Westeria, Daylillies, and a Rose. The quartz rock garden had Iris blooms in both yellow and purple. I planted a wild flower patch near the ‘water garden’ opposite the Pussy Willow, and added a larger trellis and three tier grecian urn planter. I threw some mixed flower seeds and Love Lies Bleeding in with the Glads in the bathtub garden, which has now turned into a small forest in which I can no longer find the Gladiolas. I didn’t know that Love Lies Bleeding could grow so tall and I planted it everywhere, but it certainly makes my yard look spectacular.

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