BEFORE (February 2002)
My God given space in this world is a half acre on a gently rising slope at the base of the Tucson Mountains that faces downtown Tucson, Arizona. Our home is tucked into a desert neighboorhood that began to take shape some forty years ago. My wife, Chu (Susan), and I raised our two boys, Eric and John, and two yellow labs on this desert hot spot. We didn't yearn for green, however, until about 4 years ago when the sun's brightness and heat finally beat Chu and me into submission.
Truth be told it was Chu that started it. One spring day I watched through our living room window as she marched out into our small yard with pick in hand. Inspired by her industry, I joined her and together we dug our first hole. A very large, deep hole (see above) that we learned later was much deeper than it had to be. We must have dug down three feet through mostly rock and were exhausted. Afterwards we learned that desert plants generally can do fine in a hole that is as deep as its container and two to three times as wide.