Lizards have become comfortable with our home. Out front, there are a lot of geckos. They recently had babies in our garage. Kim always thought that they were good luck. We had quite a few at our old house. They especially liked the front porch, near the light. When we moved, Kim actually wanted to try to catch a couple to bring with us! She was delighted when she saw her first one on our front porch a couple of years after we moved in.
Out back, there are a variety of lizards. Tonio is crazy good at catching them. He may be part lizard, loving them as much as his Mama. He works his way toward them, blending in, and deftly shoots a hand out to make the catch! Lightning quick. The 'lizard whisperer'.
Once Tonio catches a lizard, he studies it, gives it a proper name and releases it back in to the 'wild' of our garden...Kim's garden...
This was her sanctuary. Where she loved to be to start her day. I still am not a morning person, but I've adapted the best I can, getting the kids up at the last possible moment, whipping them up breakfast and flying out the door, late. As usual. But Kim liked to get up about a half hour before anyone else and spend her time, with her chai tea, watching the dogs play, watching the hummingbird zip and soar to her flowers, seeing the butterflies dance...and in the winter, the cardinals would come. I find solace there in the night...the solar lights bring just enough glow and the shining stars and moon above do the rest to make it a magical place.
When I water in the mornings, I hear her before I see her. I shrill chirp, of sorts. A hummingbird! Kim loved to watch them dart and dive, hovering effortlessly above a flower while they took in its nectar. The greens and reds on these delicate birds are beautiful.
The east side of her garden...Autumn's little donkey in the lower, left corner. The sun, on the back wall, I bought her at the street fair one year. The olive provides some great shade for the Hearts & Flowers, trailing over the wall.
We got the sunflower down in Tubac at Kim's favorite shop, The Country Shop. This has kind of become Autumn's section of the garden. In the big blue pot, is a gardenia that she chose at Civano Nursery. She takes care of making sure it has enough water and trims it. It's over a year old now and blooms often. Aut inherited a bit of Kim's green thumb! The donkey is Autumn's. A colorful, Talavera print, she bought it in tribute to her Mama - a huge donkey fan. She asked me many times "if we could save up, to buy a ranch, and get a donkey". The little pot on the wall ledge has an aqua colored ceramic owl in it. All Aut.
The hummingbirds love the two plants in the big blue pots. I watch and wait for the when I'm out, thinking it's Kimmy saying hello. The Mary statue came from the same shop where we got the St. Francis statue in Kim's nitcho.
Trying to keep a lot of permanent, year round color in Kim's garden. She would tell me she was running to Civano, or Lowe's to 'get some more color for the back yard'. The sunflower is from the same shop as Mary and St. Francis. The little set of lizards, chasing each other in the upper right corner, Kim had put on our wall. And the bird feeder, on a Shepperd's hook, to attract more birds for her to watch during her peaceful mornings...
The bench was Andrea's idea - we painted it bright colors and she suggested putting pots on top. We bought the pots from Craigslist - the bambini, along with Lexy and Breanna, made the trip to mid-town to pick these up. The kids chose plants at Civano together.
Jesus, in the shadows of a Mexican sunflower plant. The blooms are incredible. And a sunflower bird house on the far wall.
Bella loves her yard.
Bella will chase lizards with the same intensity as Tonio...but, lacking the stealth, and thumbs, with which to catch a lizard. Kim always had loved lizards...she had a Mountain Horned lizard (Iggy) and a Dwarf Tagu (Monty), that was vicious, as pets over the years.
The bambini love the garden. They really work hard, keeping it looking as pretty as possible - helping in everyway. It's nice spending time with them there...talking about our favorite memories or wondering out loud how Mama would like their choice of plants and flowers.
Along the way, I've taught them how to dig the right sized hole and how to make sure their plant had a drip irrigation line to it (not to mention, being careful not to pierce the irrigation with their shovel when digging a hole, something I've done many times. Although, they sure get a kick out of the geyser that erupts from a nicked pipe!). And, with care, I've shown them how their Mama would rotate the plant, making sure it's best side was facing the way she wanted it - "Hmmmm" she say "Which side has the best eyes?".
They especially love trips to Lowe's or Civano to choose new plants and flowers - thinking through what color the flowers will be, how big the plant will grow. Some days, the yard needs just a little trimming here and there, others, we spend several hours. The time really zooms by in Kim's garden. We all find peace there.
And she shaped our yard into a haven for lizards, butterflies, hummingbirds, and cardinals. Tonio was helping me weed, trim and add 'some color' on Sunday, when we heard the loud chirp of a cardinal. Tonio froze, looked at me and pointed above his head "DAD! A mama cardinal!" he whispered. "It's Mama saying hello!"...