Saturday, September 19, 2009

A "Fixer-Upper" Garden

What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it.
~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, 1871

A little while ago a reader asked if I’d post some photos of my garden. What a great idea! As it is the beginning of fall here, I thought I may have to dig for some old snaps, that the garden today was mostly too tired looking, but I grabbed the camera anyway and snapped a few. The results are not too bad, there are still several plants blooming, so here they are. Just to give you an idea of what can be done with time, a not-so-cast-iron-back and a passion, I’ll include three photos of the garden way back 23 years ago when the ideas and transformation began.

A badly neglected yard. I can’t call it a garden at this point…it’s all grass and weeds with a few overgrown shrubs. It is spring of 1986.

After some major clean-up, you can see it is a small urban size lot with a house and detached garage.

It is fall of 2009. The neighbors call it an urban oasis.

These last two are of the same location: one current and the other with ‘Miss’ was taken in spring when the wood hyacinths (Hyacinthoides hispanica) are at their peak.
So there is a good portion of my garden, where I’ve had some of my most relaxing, enjoyable moments as the reward of the transformative effort.

Photographs taken by and property of the author


Anonymous said...

JOAN!!! OMG your garden is GORGEOUS! I love it! So sorry for the late comment, since your post was dated the 19th. Just got back to Denver last night and am getting caught up on blog reading!

Seriously though - I am BLOWN AWAY by your photos! What an amazing transformation! How much time do you spend each week in your garden during 'peak season'? That looks like a full-time job all by itself!

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos!


Joan said...

Hi Shari, Thanks for the nice comments.
I spend as much time as I can each week. Sometimes it's a few hours or just a few minutes here and there. It's not something I schedule, but since it's a pleasure not work for me I try to get out there as much as I can. Naturally a new garden will be more time consuming than an established one. Each gardener is different...some just wanting to maintain and others like me always tweeking and moving things around. Time can also be pared down by not having alot of constant trimming like hedges in formal gardens. Spring is busier than fall in my garden and summer I spend more time watering, harvesting vegies and pulling a few weeds here and there.
What's nice about gardens is you can create what you can handle, even if it is all in pots.