Fruits of Our Labor    

plumsIt’s Saturday. My motivation is entirely directed toward the garden and getting ready to make plum jelly before the birds get to the fruit. Our plum tree usually produces abundantly around about Fourth of July. The plums are two weeks late this year, and a speck later than that close to the mountain. I spotted an incredibly productive specimen high up in the foothills. Our apricots have come and gone, but not so in the village where the Camino Alto is awash in squished apricots. There is a  yard there that is shaded by a trellis carrying effulgent trumpet vine, huge Russian olive trees, a giant sycamore and abundantly productive apricot trees fed by the acequia running by the property. What a divine spot in which to spend a hot New Mexico day. I noticed fat, fuzzy peaches ripening in at a house with a south-facing courtyard. It is well-designed for New Mexico summers, as it is L shaped — one wing blocking the western wind and heat from the portal and patio.

Now it’s Sunday. trumpet vineThe jelly was made by midnight. I am in the environment of my
dreams. I’m hosting an open house which fortuitously allows me to sit at a desk looking through a huge window into the most deliciously lush courtyard imaginable. The Texas sage is blooming, and although I certainly couldn’t swear to it, I think I just saw a calliope hummingbird, among others, staring at me between sips. There is a desert willow, a nectarine, some dark green mugo pines, marigolds, yarrow, lavender and pentagon. Trumpet vine drapes the wall, a backdrop to Russian sage, coreopsis and various blooming ground covers. Pots of bougainvillea, periwinkle and various other colorful annuals brighten the portal. I wish I had seen the wisteria when it was in bloom. The portal is wide enough for dining and comfortable outdoor furniture. It’s private and tranquil, full of birds and a bubbling fountain or two. I’m in heaven. I usually don’t like standing around at open houses very much, but this one is the exception. Moreover I’ve had lots of visitors, a delightful surprise. There is yet another courtyard and that one is open with fireplace, bancos and a dramatic view of the mesas. Of course, the inside of the house is also just wonderful with fabulous views into the courtyard. But best of all, their bathroom makes me realize that there may be no greater pleasure than being able to watch the birds from your bathtub.

Lucy Noyes is co-founder of La Puerta Real Estate outside Albuquerque, New Mexico and has a million stories in her head, just waiting to get out.

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