The Extended Garden Tour

What an honor to have our little 1/5acre of paradise featured on Soule Mama’s Blog this weekend.  I was shocked at how many visitors this little blog of mine got and since a few of you asked to see more, I am so happy to share.  You may have noticed I love taking pictures of my garden just about as much as I love taking pictures of my kids, so I have a lot of images to share.  I put together an extended garden tour from photos I have taken over the past 5 years when I started this blog of mine, so it was also a good reflection for me to see how far we have come in seven years… so with no further ado, Welcome to our humble abode…


My husband is kind of a twisty wood collector, before we got married I think he thought he would retire early and set up a twisty wood furniture company… well, no early retirement for this papa of three, and now our gardens are all hemmed in with twisty wood creations…lucky me! He also built that ladder out of a single black locust log up to a tree nook in the box elder where he wove the branches together so it feels super cozy for the little birds who hang out up there.


When you enter you will inevitably be greeted by a curious small person.  This very small person helped my weave these low garden fences out of willow we gathered together and hauled up the lane from the river.  They keep the babies out of the garden and the constant layers of leaf mulch in. ( mulch is a must in a desert garden)


As you can see, I never remove weeds from the yard, I simply pull and lay them down in place.  In the desert they dry up in a day or two and act as mulch, skips the step of buying mulch. My husband has been working for years, slowly surrounding the growing spaces with bricks he finds on craigslist.  They are great water catchment, thermal mass and of course great for playing with trucks, riding bikes and learning to walk on.


Another masterpiece built brick by brick by my husband. Every nook ans cranny is utilized, horno under the shed roof, cradle on the freezer, etc… we use every inch we can!


Shade is key in the desert, now we have grapes vines that are almost covering it, but those grass mat fencing things work great for shade in the summer.   In the winter we remove them and have a super sunny spot to warm ourselves on cold days.


Our first dinner party in the outdoor kitchen….followed by many many more!!


The boys built our Horno a couple of summers back which we now spark up every May for our annual boy birthday pizza party and every November for the Thanksgiving Turkey.



The garden studio craft shack was actually built for food storage, but I quickly took it over with all my crafting supplies, a girl needs a place to put all her yarn right?!



It was built out of old shipping pallets and mud and straw…there is a whole blog post about the shed here, check it out, it is awesome!


Another genius of my husband!! He said he had that antique O’Keeffe Merritt stove under a tarp for almost ten years before I came along.  Now I got that baby canning and baking all summer long, I barely even turn on the oven inside for months!


Our washing station where of course the water runs right out to the peach tree behind the sink. And yes that is a very large salad spinner that was worth every penny!  I haven’t had a turn yet, the kids always want to do the spinning!!


Step through another twisty garden gate and follow the red brick path….to your right vertical growing on the south side of the greenhouse is usually covered with tomatoes.  To your left is a vegetative hedge of Currants, Nanking Cherries, Wild Plums, Wild Roses,  and Hops all that started as twigs from the national forest service that help buffer between us and our neighbors and feed the wildlife.


The grandma tree beckons you back to discover more around the bend, my husband always says it was this tree that sold him on the house.  When he moved in 15 years ago the lot was completely barren and the house in a state of disarray.


A sharp turn to the north and you will find hundreds of gallons of rainwater being collected for dry days ahead.  And yes that is a Chicago fig gifted to me from my friends mom, but it dies back every year and only produces a few figs, but it’s cool so we keep it around, who knows, maybe someday the climate will change so much it will thrive year round ( the bright side right?)


Peek over the garden gate and the prize vegetable await!


Yep, another twisty wood gate!


And here it is from the other side- twisty wood arches everywhere, I told you!! We decided to fence in the garden last year so that I could let the chickens free in the rest of the yard.  They are too messy to come into my tidy happy place!


My desert maiden Amanda enjoying the Japanese knot weed ‘lawn’ while the kids enjoy her gift, “The Imaginarium“! What a great Aunty!!


Kid, chicken, bunny zone


Someday I would like to see a nice blue grama grass lawn here, someday!


The little garden that could all hemmed in.


Along the north side of the house is the drive way and a 4ft wide strip of dirt that once was the vegetable zone but now home to 20 espalier apple trees.  They act as a living fence and this is the first year they gave fruit and they are pretty as a picture!



The north strip garden is now home to a ton of plants gone wild.. tomatoes parnips, amaranth, arugula zinnias and whatever else has naturalize and perrenialized itself there.


Our hops monster eating the porch


And back to the beginning, the front garden is mostly flowers, herbs and medicinals that are cycling through at different times of the year, mostly a spring garden but it gets lots of action all through the year with the sand box right in it.


AHHH the  Greenhouse in the high season, But I will save that for another day… next time I will invite you inside for tea and a look around!


Five years ago


Us today, my how we have grow!!

Thanks again Soule Mama for encouraging me to share and thanks to all of you who know small is beautiful and there is no place like home!

35 thoughts on “The Extended Garden Tour

  1. What a slice of heaven! So inspiring that you have created this on 1/5th of an acre of dessert. So beautiful. Love the willow fencing, twisty wood and great use of space. Many blessings to you and your precious family!

  2. I was so excited to come across this space through Soule Mama! You’re family’s journey/creation is deeply inspiring. We are in the process of establishing a permaculture homestead in central British Columbia so seeing your progression gives me all sorts of inspired foresight for our little home. Many blessings to you~ I look forward to continuing to visit here!

    • So many thanks! I admit I have gotten pretty impatient over the course of so many projects, but as my husband always says- “life is Process”. I think taking all the before and after pictures really has helped my keep perspective and celebrate how far we have come, so take some pictures now before you work your magic!

  3. What a delight your blog is. And your homestead (and its inhabitants) are adorable. Looking forward to stopping by often.

  4. What a beautiful and inspiring place to live and grow as children and a family! I absolutely love all the twisty wood. Thank you for sharing your way of life, it will be shining light of inspiration to many. xo, Danielle

  5. I saw your amazing home & garden on Soule Mama’s blog and I’m so glad I clicked on the link. I love what you have done with your space. My goodness…its so cool!!! WOW!!

  6. I also discovered you through Soulemama and am frantically looking at your blog posts and going through old posts. I live in New Mexico also (south of Albuquerque) and am new to gardening and but have fallen in love. I’ve already learned a lot from your blog (pull weeds but then use as a mulch? Genius!). I tried to find your contact information so I could send you an email but couldn’t. I’m wondering if you still sell the yearly calendar of when to plant things in our climate? I live in the valley, so might be just a little different, but not much. I would love one if so!! Thank you!!
    P.S. I also have 3 kids (ages 6, 4 and 20 months), so I feel for you that your husband has been away for two weeks!! I hope he’s back now, and hope you get some rest!

    • HI Amber- Nice to meet another New Mexico mama. Too bad you don’t live closer, we could garden together while the kids played! As for the calendars, I don’t have any currently, but I will be selling 2017 this Christmas. I will post about it so since you are now reading Seeds and Stones you will be the first to know! Thanks for your interest and when I get back to teaching maybe you can come up for some classes. Good luck growing in the Meantime and thanks for getting in touch.

    • I am so happy to see more New Mexicans here. I am down south in the tiny village of la Luz. Been following Amanda Soule for maybe 7 years. I forget. LOL. I am a grandma raising 2 grandkids. 7 and 2. Seeing all the amazing things you all get done while raising babies gives me so much joy.

      • Yes, glad to have more New Mexicans in contact here. Don’t be fooled, I actually get a lot less done than I would like now that there are little ones every which way!! But they make it all so fun!

  7. I’ll be eagerly watching for the planting calendar around Christmas :o) And I would absolutely love to come to some of your classes when you start teaching again. Where do you teach?
    I’ll get in touch if ever we come to Santa Fe…. we went a few months ago for Meow Wolf. Have you been? My kids were amazed and still talk about it!! I was glad my husband was there to help though, with the dim lighting in there, keeping track of 3 little ones is kind of intimidating!!
    So glad to have found your blog (and you) :o)

  8. Such a beautiful place to raise a family! In your ample free time (!!), have you ever considered writing a children’s picture book based on your gardens? It’s such a magical place and yet provides so many opportunities to explain bits about growing a garden in such a surprising place.

    • That is actually a great idea! I do want to write a gardening booklet, but a children’s book is brillant… oh if only I had all the time in the world and any clue how to write a book! Have you ever seen Lynne Cherry’s book, HOW GROUNDHOGS GARDEN GREW? It is our very favorite, super informative and frankly hard to beat!

  9. Oh my, I love your garden, yard & house!! Your fences & gates are so creative. Your outdoor kitchen must be a wonderful thing. You have done wonders with your place, & I hope to keep reading your blog. I live in GA & even at 72 yrs. of age, I still love to piddle in a small garden & ragamuffin yard!! Thanks for sharing! Mary Ann

  10. hi i stumbled over frome soulemama and i love to see your garden
    looks like a paradise on earth
    all my best wishes
    i will come back for a visit on your blog ❤
    lg birgit

  11. Hi Seedybeans: (Do you go by another name that I can say hello to instead)?

    Not sure exactly how I wound up here? Was following a blog of a homesteader in Israel. Someone named Miriam posted this page of your blog…..there on her blog, with the comment….”This reminded me of you”. So, curious me; I had to click on it to see it. I’m so glad that I did! We recently purchased about 3 acres of which 2 acres is just flat barren grass and weeds. (Well, not so “flat” as you discover on the riding lawnmower! Riding the mower it reminds you of either riding a bronco or being on a wagon train! LOL

    Anyway, we want to homestead, put in a garden, greenhouse and have some chickens. However, we want to do something with all this just “barren” flat space! Seeing all of those pics you took of what all you and your hubby have done around your place has given us all sorts of ideas! Really appreciate your taking the time to post and explain all the pics! We have absolutely NO “Shade” around our house, all day long, after about 10 a.m.! We did plant a couple of trees, however, we don’t want all those leaves to deal with every Fall.

    Please continue to post about what all you have there that gives so many places of shade and looks so inviting! If you could also give some info on the “HOW” you all made things, that would really be great!

    We live in NC, however we are a retired couple, so we can do some traveling as long as it is during a time that someone can come here to care for the animals. I too was interested in “WHAT” it is that you teach classes about? And “WHEN”? (What Seasons of the year)? We are new at homesteading and would love to be able to come if the timing turns out workable for us!

    Thanks for your blog! I will be adding this one to follow for sure!!!

    • Hi there Tirtzah- Sounds like you have a lot to look forward to!! I actually started out my journey in farming in North Carolina at a farm Near Chapel Hill called Sustenance Farm. It was based on Permaculture Principles which is pretty much the philosophy I still follow. I teach gardening, but you need not come all the way to New Mexico. There are some amazing Permaculture teachers and resources right in your state. It would say taking a PDC- Permaculture Desing Course would really help anyone with a little land on their hands! Happy to help guide and inspire you along the way too!! Happy Tending and thanks for taking care of a piece of earth!

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