Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Central Park

We have a public space in the old part of Albuquerque that is a pretty well kept secret. I can reach it with a twenty minute walk through the neighborhood from my front door, or a five minute drive in my car.

The Open Space is 80 acres of farm land acquired by the city for public use. But it's all within the city limits.

The ditches are hundreds of years old. They are the original irrigation system designed for conveying water from the Rio Grande river which is no longer grand. We call them acequias (ah-say-kee-ahs).

The open space is a pretty humble and unassuming place, but it is a delightful respite at the beginning or the end of day. And for the folks who frequent it, a daily blessing. I always think I'm going to bring a picnic here, but never do.

There is a small flower garden with a single olive tree with a bench beneath it that my grandchildren and I have rather unimaginatively called our secret garden. No one can see you sitting on the bench, and you are enclosed enough to imagine Mr. McGregors Garden, or that you are somewhere in Brambly Hedge.

I noticed this morning that someone has built a new bench/table for the space. Like us, so many people think of this place as their own. 

It's a wonderful place to see birds and wildlife. This morning a resident roadrunner is meandering the garden with us.

You can also rent garden space for a very reasonable price. Young, beautiful, and sophisticated people with expensive cars cultivate here along side old timers with jalopies. Everyone is on the honor system. I don't garden here, but the space still feeds me.

I had to show you these incredible beans. They are a wonderful opportunity for a beanstalk fairytale.

You can get a sense of the intense sunlight by eight o'clock in the morning!

The zinnias are two feet high against this towering spiking plant. 

The secret garden olive tree.

There are miles of roads and paths to walk along the fields.

These fluffly looking plants are russian thistle, otherwise known as tumble weeds. If they are not cut down, they will eventually dry up, detatch from the ground, and tumble the open space with the wind.

They are very prickly!

This is not a watermelon, but a volunteer gourd plant.

This is the bridge I cross on my morning commute.

Our famous Sandia Mountains.

Full circle! Nice to have you along with me. I hope the rest of your weekend is lovely!
Ciao! for now!


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for Pink Saturday
Tuesday Garden Party


Cozy Little House said...

What a truly lovely place to think and meditate. I always learn something insightful when I visit you!

Jo Farmer said...

It is truly beautiful and how lucky you are to enjoy the benefits of this splendid space. A true gift and a blessing for all. Thank you for sharing Jacqueline...

Jo xx

Sizzle and Zoom said...

This is a beautiful post. Beautiful photos, especially of the flowers.

Pamela Gordon said...

How nice to have your own Central Park to enjoy. It looks like a lovely place to walk - nice and quiet. I noticed the yellow tansy flowers. They are blooming here now and I cut a huge bunch to dry for fall. They smell strong but I guess they repel mosquitos. We are having a beautiful summer day here for a change! Sunny and hot. (I'm downstairs cooling off). Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Pamela

Pamela said...

Very beautiful !!! A wonderful place to sooth your soul!

Rebecca said...

What a unique and interesting place. I've enjoyed every "step" of the path with you. I really like the idea of public garden spaces. The cooperation and community it establishes are "good things" (as Martha Stewart might say).

Olive Cooper said...

The flowers and that enormous cabbage cabbage are quite wonderful. The honor system is amazing when it works and I always cheered when it does!

Bella said...

Hi J,
It's all sunshine and smiles at your place today, I enjoyed seeing your neck of the woods and you too:-)
I love community gardens and so nice when people honor the honor system. You'll think it strange but my favorite part... the tumbleweed:-) I grew up on the foothills of the San Gabriel mouintains, and it just wasn't halloween unless the wind blew all those tumbleweeds down through the streets!! Thanks for the memory!!

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

What a beautiful place to spend time!
Love the little benches and the huge variety of flowers and gardens.
So pretty!

Jane said...

Hi Jacqueline
this is what i love about blogging. seeing how people on the other side of the world fill their days. thanks for sharing all those great photos. 80 acres is a huge open space to share. You must have a good local authority to purchase that much land. best wishes, Jane x

the fishermans cottage said...

What an amazing place, love the homemade benches people have made.. so lovely to see a community garden that's so well repected x

Micupoftea~ said...

ahhhhhhhhh, I want to return to Santa Fe and Albuquerque! Was there 11 months ago, but did not see this spot. Thanks for sharing it~ How restorative and relaxing to walk along the acequia. :)

Kay said...

Oooooohhhhhh!!! Jacqueline!!!! You have no idea how this post touched my heart---and made me sooo homesick!!!! (after all these years) In the beginning of the post, I thought the trail reminded me of someplace my brother had taken me once when I visited some years back--and had loved. But as you went on, I realized that this trail was not in the same place. This was even more beautiful and colorful, quite the oasis of the high desert. I know my mom and dad grew beautiful roses and peaches and nectarines there. Imagine that! in the desert! This is just a gorgeous, peaceful, beautiful post. Thank you so very, very much! We never saw even a peep of sun yesterday and have had basically about ten days of "summer". I have lost count of how many trees are already turning red! We have never even hit 90 or even close to it---so I really needed this! Again, thanks! I'll be returning to this time and again.

Anita said...

Oh what a lovely blog you have! I'd love to walk accross that public space, thanks for sharing those pictures!
Warm wishes from Germany

Marlis said...

Truly a lovely space. The photos are really indicative of the area! Russian Thistle.. tumbleweeds.. lol. they do hurt.. Here in texas it's the only thing thriving in this heat. thanks for sharing.. xoxo marlis

My friend Jeanie came by your shop. I don't know if she introduced herself or not.. :(

Beth said...

What a lovely open space - and so many different ways to enjoy it too!

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