In 1974 I bought my home, a condemned building with a yard full of volunteer horse chestnuts, maples, and weeds. They were all healthy so I knew the ground was fertile. I had the trees cut, brought in a truck with a winch to pull out roots of huge trees, cut weeds to the ground and had the soil tilled with a deep tiller. Then sifted the soil to remove weed roots. Next truck loads of barnyard manure and sand (my soil is 100% swamp). Doing all this raised my 50' x 50' garden level up above the spring water table.
My three children were ten years old (an adopted son (we brought him home when he was five days old) and twins born 5 months and 13 days later).
We put in a huge vegetable garden surrounded by fruit trees. When they grew up and left to make their own homes I converted the eating garden into a place of meditations. I had the trees cut, planted different ones, put in a dining circles surrounded by raised-bed boxes for herbs and lots of roses and perennials. I created paths wandering in and out of the flower beds. This is what I have now.
As plants and trees die out I replace them with edible plants, blueberries, strawberries, garlic, onions, perennial herbs to name just a few. I sit in my sanctuary for long stretches just enjoying colors, forms, structures, changing seasons and the abundant wild life that make their homes on my place.
I planted bulbs in beds by color, east=yellow, south=red, west=blue, north=white. Strange thing, all, and I mean ALL the tulips are now red, except for a few yellow. How did that happen? Was it the bees, pollinating all bulbs and red genes predominated? Whatever happened was an evolution. Change over time. Almost all my garlic tastes similar. All varieties of chives now have purple blossoms. Nature has her way and I am the fortunate observer watching seasons come and go, plants change from one taste or color to another, and I participate by watching, tasting, and feeling profoundly happy.