Sunday, February 1, 2009

When you catch up with your past.

Have you ever had the opportunity to see one of your gardens mature ?
Like put on 20 years ?

Today I visited and worked in a garden that I designed and installed about 17 or 18 years ago.
I can’t exactly remember the dates.

It was a delightful opportunity.

Trees that were just 4 or 5 feet tall were now 20 to 30 feet tall.
Some shrubs and trees had weathered the years well while other proved not to be hardy enough to survive the challenging climatic and wild life conditions .

In the view below, I had some native Rhododendrons planted on the knoll under the native oaks. They were history. But some of the low growing conifers had survived .
I had some low growing ground cover in the foreground but after about 10 years or so they got too woody and were replaced with some rosemary, santolina and artemesia.

From Alexander Valley

The small Cotinus purpureas that was planted from a 5 gallon container now stands about 15 to 18 feet tall and the lilacs are about 12 feet tall.

From Alexander Valley

I pruned the espalier apple trees in the vegetable garden.
The trunks are now able to stand easily on their own.
The fruit spurs ( hundreds of them ) were a real treat to see.
From Alexander Valley

Another surprise was the Pineapple guava tree. in the center of the vegetable garden - It was all grown up!
From Alexander Valley


gonativegal said...

That's really cool Michelle. The garden looks like it's been there forever.

I take progession photos of gardens I've installed and maintain. I hope some of them will still be around to make the 20 year mark - only 14! to go - lol

ArtSparker said...

I wonder if a required course in gardening for people considering a career in politics would help with the whole long-sighted thing...

Unknown said...

I bet it was so rewarding to be there again. Nice gardens.

weeder1 said...

Very lovely. I do have one question; Why would you plant water loving Rhododendrons under native oaks?

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

They were native Rhodo's
Rhododendron occidentalis.
They grow in the oak understory

Anonymous said...

Ohhh myyyy! I can't waittt for my little seedlings to sprout from beneath the top grade soil I gave them! I'm not gonna lie, I have dedicated soo much of my time and devotion to make sure that they come out just right... I am planning on growing my own exotic plants in a green house environment that I am almost done building for them, but soon it will be the new talk of my town without a doubt. I love plants and I believe that if the people in this world each individually just added one plant of their choice, this planet would most definitely be a more beautiful place! :)

Cynthia said...

You never really know how good a design is until it's aged awhile. I think that is one of the most challenging things about this profession- designing something that will look great upon completion and even better over the years. Most of the 'professional designs' I've seen are things that will look great immediately and for the next 5-10 years before the failing begins.

I've only got 2 years worth of designs under my belt to go back and review. I can only hope I will be as satisfied with their appearance in 15 years as I was initially.

We can all be so critical of our own work. You've learned A LOT over the years. Do you look back on your earlier work and think about what you'd do differently now? I wonder if I will- probably!