There is a veritable orchard in the back yard here. Orange, lime, mandarin and lemon trees so close to each other you can touch two at the same time. The scent of the limes is strongest. They smell like lemonade and key lime pie or cheesecake, with only a touch of your imagination added.
There is a wildflower border, too!
Around the edges of the orchard itself are the wildflowers that create a colorful border, almost up to knee high. These are wildflowers that were planted this last season from the regional wildflower seed mixes we discovered could be planted with a package specially designed for our area. The combination of the fruit trees and wildflowers makes for a peaceful oasis of tranquility, where we can escape from the bustle of the city.
This evening we sat under an umbrella as we ate one of our favorite evening meals in our refuge, surrounded by wildflowers and the scent of citrus. Kaffir – lime salmon is a healthy way to use the lime leaves in the yard while delighting the palate. Sitting and eating and chatting as we relax was really the whole idea behind the plan when we designed and planted this yard.
The Great Bounty
The wildflowers are ever changing, blowing in the slightest breeze and showing off their assorted and just slightly disorganized colors. The abundant growth, maybe even a bit overgrown, gives an impression of great bounty that brings joy to those of us who have ever felt a lack in our lives. This yard is the safe and quiet place where we can relax and enjoy each others company. Purpose built. It keeps the world at bay. At least for a time.
There are some recently discovered edible flowers in the yard as well. Of course, I did a bunch of research and even had a friend come over who knew about these things before I even considered eating any! Adding some dandelion greens to a salad seemed like a radical move, but they taste pretty good. It makes me feel good to consider them food instead of weeds, too. Hard to decide to leave them in the lawn though. Eating them just seems to work out better than getting rid of them any other way.
Different Gardens and Lawns in Our Community
Deciding how to plant our garden and landscape the yard took some initial planning, and some work at the beginning. The maintenance is much easier as time goes on. We wanted to have a place where we could grow some of our own food, create beauty (especially with wildflowers), and escape from the bustle of our every day lives in the city.
Our neighbors have different yards. Some have big, flat almost nothing but grass lawns that go on forever and are great for playing sports and entertaining their big families. Some have fancy terraced gardens with roses and azalea bushes that are incredibly beautiful. There is even one neighbor who has taken every square inch of their property and made a vegetable garden. They grow some spectacular tomatoes and peppers!
Even with properties that are very similar, each neighbor has decided differently about how to plan their yards and landscaped their lawns. I am glad to have the freedom to create my oasis while trading a few limes for tomatoes from my neighbor. Salsa, anyone?