We've only lived on our yard amidst the prairie hills for about 4 years now, and with all the millions of things that need to be done the yard itself hasn't been attended to as much as we would have liked. However, it's come a LONG way from what it used to be. Even just last summer, there were areas that you sort of had to blur your eyes in order to make the whole thing look good. This summer I don't have to do nearly as much eye-blurring to like what I see. The worked dirt is full of weeds right now, but soon we'll turn it all up again, giving the new trees we've planted a chance to soak in the moisture. There were parts of our yard that used to be huge eyesores: the fallen-over barn from the homestead that used to be here, the cement foundation from the house, full of wood and metal junk, the front yard that used to be pure dirt and would get so muddy in the rain that we would sometimes get stuck trying to drive out of our yard, the spinning wheels flinging chunks of mud onto the kitchen windows. Slowly but surely, we took apart the decrepit barn and house, and reshaped the dirt to head off the spring water from the hills. And this year we have grass! Still a bit sparse in places -but it's coming along.
So with all the yard-related things that I have to do, and all the things I want to do someday, I am SO grateful for all the beautiful things that are already here. Our house sits in the side of a hill, bordering natural prairie pasture, so the flowers and the sage tend to run into the lawn, making it a beautiful mosaic of green tones dotted with tiny white and purple flowers, yellow sweet-peas gone wild, and my favourite prairie flower, Prairie Smoke (also known as three-flowered avens).
And then there are the beauties that aren't native to this place, but still came up without my help, just the same. Thanks to the family that lived here 50 years ago I get purple irises every year, lilac bushes that keep popping up in the middle of the lawn, more every year, ancient-looking caragana bushes (my favourite being the tall one, the bottom branches rubbed bare by years of cows rubbing against it), and probably the most wonderful plant on our yard -rows of giant poplars along the driveway.
Days like this when the world is pulsing with green and full of unexpected summery beauty, I wonder how on earth we survive in this place that has nearly 8 months of winter...
Maria & Cecelia
Two women who love Saskatchewan and are making lifestyle changes towards sustainability.
Follow and/or join our taste tests of local food! Click the Eating Wild category below for blog posts. See our menu here.