Monday, July 21, 2014

A little bit of closure

So much has happened since I last got around to write a post that its hard to know where to start.  Anyone who has been following this blog would of already known of my big move to distant lands, but before I get down to writing about that I feel I need some closure.  So for this post, I thought a little tour of my old garden would be appropriate.

The great divide - linking two unique spaces 
Someone once told me that garden bloggers should be willing to to give virtual tours of their own gardens. After all, we all claim to be masters of our art, but what better way to be judged on that claim then to show off your garden.
One of my favorite corners

However, creating your garden is a personal adventure. Some will claim that gardening is about creating a sanctuary to escape from society, others might go as far as to display their control over nature. Although I would agree it was my escape, my garden was a living laboratory, a place where I could experiment and push the envelope with the new and unusual. Because of this, at the start of every growing season I came to the realization that pushing the envelope equaled dead plants. This years winter was particularly cruel.


Brown lifeless sticks stood where years before unusual plants once grew. My cherished Eucalyptus neglecta came through the winter stone cold dead, where in any other winter it would only show burn around the edges of its evergreen foliage. My experiments in zone denial had proven that mother nature was really in control as she threw a curveball at my garden.

A circular area where the garden embraced you.

Fatsia forever!
However, I was surprised to see some of my 'so-called tender' plants struggle off the winter and push out hard in defiance.  My first success was a Fatsia japonica bursting forth from its roots.  Monrovia nurseries had listed this as a Zone 8 plant, but it was proving itself more adaptable than that.  Even my experiments in hardy palms seemed lost until I noticed the green spear erupting from the Sabal minor I had planted late last year.  Even Dan Hinkley's 'Golden Crane' hydrangea that had been pitifully struggling ever since I planted it some years back started throwing shoots out! I'm wondering if now I'm gone its become the star of the garden just to taunt me after all these years of nursing it along!
There's always hope!

Gardeners are never done creating gardens.  Even for myself, knowing that I would be selling the property I still wanted to change the design and add more plants.  We had sold our children's playset under the advice of our realtor and it opened up a wonderful opportunity to plant up a corner of the garden.  I couldn't resist moving a Heptacodium miconiodes, or Seven Son Flower tree that I planted last year into this newly found space.  Once in, it anchored some of the other planting I had done perfectly like a hand inside a glove.   I had to be restrained not to run out and buy a car load of other plants to add to this new section.



The view from the deck - minus a Ecalyptus!
I still had spots around the garden, that even after years of playing with still didn't work in my minds eye.  I was always frustrated with one border that would bake dry as concrete during the summer but be constantly flooded over the winter.  I had wanted to go with a more zeroscaped approach to reduce the need of water during the summer month and planted many plants that would favor this.  However, the winter wet always reduced the plants to rotten piles of mush.  Even butterfly bushes, the most robust weed ever released on our gardens would be no match to these conditions.  Some plants would show there disdain by uprooting and appearing somewhere else around the garden.  Case in point is the Blackberry lily, Belamcanda, that I've previously written about.  It would seed itself to more favorable conditions and prosper.  Should you try and return it to its intended spot it would flop down in disgust.

The hopeless wet border
I had learnt a lot working away in this garden but my time had come to close the gate.  I did leave part of my soul there but in reality it had one of its own as it personality changed year after year.  I hope the new owners embrace it as much as I did.  Even if they don't I can accept it as a garden is a reflection of your personality.  It wouldn't be right to expect them to continue with my dream as it was mine to start with.  Now its time for them to put their mark on what is such a personable space.  For me, I have new dirt to dig that I call now call my home!

My cast out section, on the other side of the fence became an oasis of calm

5 comments:

  1. Your garden was/is a wonderfully fun, but calm space that reflected you. I loved how interesting and pulled together your designs are. All it needed was some garden art of a pint of beer and some books. :o)

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  2. Yikes, I'm in trouble if I need to do a tour of the whole thing--lots of work to do. I do not claim to be a master of the art, although like you I do enjoy experimenting. And I definitely enjoy discovering, learning about, and writing about plants. In any case, your garden has a beautiful personality and is nicely arranged. I know it's tough to say goodbye, but as you say, you have new dirt to dig! Best wishes on your new adventures!

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  4. I disagree with the need to tour, not everyone wants to share there garden in such a way. That I very much understand, I do however appreciate the photos and commentary. Your ability to seem at peace while leaving a chunk of yourself behind is admirable.

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  5. Thanks for the tour.

    I'm fascinated by the Fatsia. So... how cold did it get in Bristow last year? I think we're in a similar zone although perhaps a hair colder here. I love the foliage on the Fatsia japonica, but in addition to doubts on cold tolerance (lessened somewhat here), I'm still worried about whether it could tolerate drought and wind (both of which we have here from time to time).

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