Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Unique Garden

  As I walk around my brother's property, I am always surprised at the diversity of the plant life that he has been able to grow, and grow very successfully. As I walk the path I remember walking it with another brother of mine, my brother Jim, a very experienced gardener of succulents and cactus. As we walked and talked he would point out plants and tell me a story on how he and my brother Jay had started them or that he had sent those plants to Jay 15 years ago or more and how he was surprised that they were still alive because the plants had not been tough enough for Texas such an experienced succulant gardener as brother Jim to give Jay a two thumbs up is quite an accomplishment. Jim authors a blog  He lives in the Dallas, Texas area where its quite a bit hotter and the heat is more extreme than in Northern Arizona. One of the big surprises to Jim were the variety of plant life that Jay had accumulated it was a wonderful walk and another memorable day spent with my brothers.
  To start this walk of mine I go to the bottom of his property I follow a trail and I walk by a few apple trees then past his vegetable garden, I continue up the path past a cactus and succulent area that is a very rocky area with some old vintage signs lying around, and a skull from a cow laying in the cholla cactus some native pottery scattered about it's truly spectacular site. What a gift he has for laying out such a beautiful yard and such a pleasant walk
  Brother Jay lives not that far away from my own house in a very small community called Shumway, Arizona.  Shumway is 40 miles South of Holbrook about 10 miles north of Showlow Az and is almost a thousand foot higher in elevation than Holbrook at around 5700 ft.

 My big brother Jay has always had a talent for getting things to come together.  He has a talent for growing just about anything, and he has a talent in there placement. A talent I wish I had. The placement of objects whether it be a plant or a placard well, lets just say he has a great eye for what belongs.
 A walk through his yard can be a surprise around almost every corner. There are the native tree's, shrubs and succulents, anything from a cactus from Afghanistan to a California red wood.  A different look each time I pass through the gardens. The different blooms through out the year from the many cactus and succulents to the native flowers and bush's along the walk. It is an incredible journey and one that changes as the seasons do.

 Around his vegetable garden the first thing that strikes me as you know being kind of different is the chicken coop. Over the years he has trained a few apple trees to grow around his chicken coop it looks amazing every year it looks better and better.

 There is a path that leads to a pond as you walk toward the pond a rocky outcrop filled with cactus and succulents and native plants follow you up the path. Very drought tolerant plants are the norm in this area. Oh yeah, there are fish in the pond, bass, catfish, sunfish as well and a dock. lol Good I might need to catch some dinner one day...

  It's a changing garden with variety's of flowers coming to bloom through out the spring, summer and fall. What a great pleasure for me to walk with my big brother Jay and hear him talk, you can hear the love he has for his family as well as the land. He has done such wonderful job on his property it looks nothing like it did when he started.
 A walk around his grounds is a unique experience.  No finer example of native plants from this area, have I seen anywhere.
 And yes my brother does a gorgeous vegetable garden too. You won't believe the size of squash plants he grows. But thats another story. I will be posting from Shumway Az and from my garden in Holbrook Az.
 Later from Dusty Gardens.


  1. Hi Dusty River, that chicken cook is pretty amazing, must have been a fair bit of thought going into it. Thanks very much for having my blog in your blog list - please note that my new active blog (as the other one is no longer updated)is called:
    Happy New Year, Kelli.

  2. Wow, I totally love the apple covered chicken coop, inspred, beautiful and practical, it has quite a French or Italian look about it.

    It must be amazing to have your family as keen on growing things as you are. You clearly have a huge wealth of knowledge between you and I'd love to get you all to join the Folia online Gardening site (it's free). I'm always trying to encourage gardeners, especially Organic ones, to join up.

    It's a great resource for gardeners and has helped me keep on top of my 800+ plantings with photo's, notes, journals, milestones etc. They have an extensive plant wiki and a seed stash section where people can also list seeds for swapping. Here's the link to my Folia page so you can see how it works: