A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Sometimes, a simple week away from the everyday life can have profound effects on one’s peace of mind.

When we chose our camping destination in Colorado, it was important to us to be in an area that was free of as many artificial distractions as possible.  We didn’t want electricity.  We didn’t want running water.  We didn’t want cell phone reception, Wi-Fi, internet, television, cable, radio …

It was nice getting back to the basics, to “chop wood, carry water”.   We had to haul our water in a water bag some fifty yards to our site, where we filtered it for drinking or for use in cooking, showering, cleaning, etc.  We relied on good old fashioned solar energy to heat our shower water.  While we had a propane stove for ease in cooking, we also cooked over a fire, started from flint and steel and whatever dry tinder and firewood we could collect.   At night, we didn’t have a television to sit in front of, or separate rooms to disappear into.  There was the warmth of the fire, and us, huddled around it, talking, laughing, and letting our minds entirely unplug.

I slept well despite being inside of a tent at 10,000 feet in the wilderness at 45 degrees!  Perhaps it’s because that was the first time in years my body/brain had rested without the constant bombardment of cell phone and wi-fi radiation, electromagnetic energy from the electrical currents we wire our houses with, and the unending stimulus of media at my fingertips!

There are truly important things in life, and then there are unimportant things.   Sitting on the mountain, that distinction became quite clear in a number of areas in my life.  We waste so much time and energy building lives full of man-made things, while we are largely cut off and clearly do not value as much as we should the natural world that has been the cradle of humanity since our days began on this planet.  The grandeur of the mountains has stood for all to see for millions of years, and I’m happy that man – with all of his selfishness, materialism, and overconsumption – had the sense to reserve parts of America as wilderness areas, to be untouched for future generations.

I don’t know where the path leads that our global consciousness has set out upon.  I don’t know why many people have to go through the darkness to understand and appreciate the light.  On our present course, we’re flirting with disaster, destroying our planet with the toxic run-off of our industrialized world.   It saddens me that so much of our society is completely severed from the natural world – their home!   How lost we all must feel at times, as we attempt to conform our lives to an artificial design.

Sitting in traffic for two hours everyday it is quickly apparent how many people look completely unhappy and zombified by their jobs and too many stimuli …

I’m ranting here, sorry.  Isn’t it funny how, after you’ve been gone from home awhile, your house looks different?  Something about the lighting, the colors seem strange … We all noticed it when we returned home.  Surely nothing in the house has changed.  Was it just us that changed?

Colorado definitely left its mark on us again, but we aren’t the only ones who have changed.  We returned to a jungle in the backyard.  Ok, not quite, but MY how everything grew while we were away!  The Austin area must have received a lot of rainfall.  The verbena had all but grown together, choking out the milkweed.  The lantana grew by leaps and bounds and is intertwined with the fennel that has exploded in yellow flower umbrels.  The creeping lantana is spilling out across the gravel walkway and engulfed more milkweed planted nearby.  And the beans are putting on now, and the tomatoes that were void of fruit before we left now have about 15 tomatoes.  The peppers are just chock-full-o peppers, too.

It seems I do better when I’m not trying to garden.  🙂

Texas Lantana in the foreground (I trimmed it back some) and fennel in the back

Butterfly garden bed after trimming. I didn't know verbena spread so quickly. It's branches propagate readily by rooting where they hit the ground.

Butterfly garden bed after trimming the lantana, indigo spires and butterfly weed.

Our pepper bed: cayenne, orange bell pepper and anaheim


And more maters! Thought I'd have to wait until fall!

Ring-o-Fire cayenne. Yes, they ARE extremely hot!

Cal Wonder Orange Bell Peppers (green until mature)


Baby beanlings

Every leaf I turn over reveals more beans ... (Tendergreen and Bush Lake)

Anaheim peppers - marked as jalapenos when I purchased them!

the black-eyed susans are really looking great

the spearmint bed is flowering now

spearmint flower


double knockout roses

Common milkweed is now flowering (grown from cuttings)

common milkweed flowers

Lady Bug oh Lady Bug, do you want a feast?


Comments on: "Coming home, it’s not only me who has grown" (2)

  1. What a great time to be in Colorado! We used to live in Highlands Ranch which is close to Denver. We went camping a few times up in the mountains where it was nice and cooler!
    Also, your garden looks wonderful and has filled in a lot! Did you have trouble with leaf footed bugs on your tomatoes and if you did how did you deal with them? I am thinking about starting over with the tomatoes for fall and this time, I will plant them with enough space in between. I had tons of the leaf footed bugs….yuck. It just turned into one big mess. Thanks, Amy

  2. roundrockgarden said:

    I love Colorado! Why did you move here!?! 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your experience with the bugs. I did notice quite a few leaf-footed bugs this year, but not specifically on my tomatoes and they seem to be doing just fine, without any pest damage at all … I have three plants that are now putting on for harvest in late August/early September, but I have another four plants that should be ready by the end of September. I have yet to get one tomato harvested, but the first three have about fifteen to twenty forming!

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