Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Debbie, Debbie Quite Contrary How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ever since I was a little girl my mom filled me with garden fantasy. She would say, "Girls, someday we're going to have a garden..." My mom raised my older sister and me on her own as a single parent. We grew up in a condo with a tiny patio and never had a garden. Honestly, I didn't know if my mom even knew how to garden. I do know she had to have yearned for it her whole life because she talked about it for years. 

In my sophomore year of high school my mom married Jack and together they bought a house with a yard and my mom began to garden. She gardened like a woman who waited her whole life to do it. She planted flowers, trees, bushes and learned how to do it all from books and asking the professionals. She drank in the info like she was on some sort of deadline. Several years later She and Jack moved to Northern California and lived on a five acre parcel they named Goose Hill Farm.

My mom grew over 200 rose bushes, fruit trees, berries, grapes, and vegetables. Over the years I've seen her grow from this fast paced business woman to a gal that can club a gopher to death with a shovel. She can plant a garden in a weekend and dead head 1,000 roses in a day (probably). She gets excited about dirt with chicken poop and worm casings in it and is in love with mushroom mulch. She is a gardener.

Last week I drove over 1,030 miles to visit my sister in Vancouver, Washington. On my way there I stopped at Goose Hill Farm to visit my Mom. It seems almost like a ritual when we go there to walk the property line. In doing this I get to see what's new since I was there last. I get to hear the stories of when each tree was planted, who planted it and how much it's grown. I hear about the weather, how it's effecting each flower, vegetable, or berry. I love this place and all the memories it holds for me. Too many to talk about for this post. 

So during our latest walk about I brought my camera with me. It was in the early evening and the sun was sliding off the earth very slowly and gracing us with a warm delicate light that was loving on everything in the yard. My mom made me laugh as I was shooting because she said things like "I'm so glad I have a daughter who is a photographer so she can come take pictures of my rusty fence!" At one point she yelled to Jack that I was taking pictures of the weeds! "Oh Honey, don't take a picture of my weeds." I know she was thrilled when I started shooting the dead roses that needed to be deadheaded. I just laughed and kept shooting. I love light and beauty and the fact that something is dead or referred to as a weed, or old or broken just makes it that much more interesting to me. Join me for a walk around Goose Hill Farm.

 If you already know me you know I tend to shoot tight. So here are my widest views of the place. I can't help myself I'm a detail girl. 

Can't tell you how many times
I've walked through this breeze way.
Love the inviting light...

At one point Jack asked me if I liked the junipers that line their property at the main road and I told him I couldn't help think of giant cobwebs when I see junipers. They gross me out, then he said, "Oh, like this?"

Yes Jack, exactly like that. PS check this one out 
close up.

Some of the lovely roses my mom has raised.
 Thank you for visiting mister wasp

 Lacy sweetness 

 I love these burned out roses, the remind me 
of a victorian wedding dress.

The old and the new

I have a love and fascination for these mimosa trees that fill the front yard 

Standing with my mom among the 

Hooks, wires and rusty nails, my favorites!

and the hose...

Out and around the garden:

 This is a must see enlarged...
 First time bloomer

 The windmill...

 The big fat tomato wormmmmm
 This was right before his test flight into the 
out lands of Goose Hill...

 I guess I could have taken pictures of the tomatoes 
but how could I pass up this bar code on the 
tomato stake?


My mom and Jack are in the huge process of redoing the entire white fencing that surrounds their garden and much of the property surrounding their house. I was glad to have been there before they trashed the old fences. They've enjoyed such days of summer and winter and they are lovely.

Lastly, here are a few odds and ends:
 Here is Jack hiding behind the "branch"

We had a lot of fun shooting this branch, Jack was 
my assistant holding it for me so I could get
some pictures of it, it's fabulous!

 Crazy, right?

 I love and fear this statue all at the same time


 This "wisher" was the size of a baseball
No shoot is complete without
a bit of flare.

 Here is a piece of the moon
and the end of our walk about 
around Goose Hill Farm, lovely place of
light, hope, and tiny treasures.


  1. Kelley,
    As ever you make me think and then think some more! What a fantastic story with brilliant photos. This is exactly what it feels like for me when I drive home to Ireland; I take 100's of photos to remind me when I am not there!
    You should put these into a book for your Mom, she would love it!
    Take care,

  2. What a fantastic idea, Noel! I'm glad you visited with me here!! Thank you for your always kind words.
    All the best! Kel

  3. Kel,

    I so enjoyed my walk through Goose Hill Farm with you! Your images are so Beautiful.....they convey such inner peace. Thank You so much for sharing your beauty and your craft.

    p.s. Love your flare shot!

  4. Look, Kimmie, you and I both know I don't like talking about my flare!
    LOL JK. I love you girl, thanks for stopping by can't wait to see you soon!!! You're a peach!
    oxoxox, Kel

  5. Thank you, Kelley Bell, for this trip through the old homestead! Your story is a perfect example of the loving and ethereal little girl I've always known! Your sensitive talent just brings to life the most obscure, or so I had hoped of those rusty fixtures. Seriously, you are marvelous beyond measure. You have certainly found the treasures of God and man and all the secret little places that were just waiting to be discovered!

    I love you, my rainbow-filled girl,


  6. Thanks Mommie! You're my best cheerleader!! I loved spending time with you and chatting about life over chips, salsa, and margaritas! I love you!