We’ve all watched new homeowners move in and take over an existing garden. Some work with what they bought, taking out and adding to, making their mark on what was created by another – but now belongs to them. Others opt for the scorched earth approach and can only begin again by removing everything, and starting with a blank slate. It can be a painful transition for everyone involved, even those of us whose only involvement is appreciating the garden from the sidewalk.
This is not my normal approach to this garden, usually it’s seen almost head-on. By viewing this side first I was again struck by just how different it is from the surrounding (much more typical) front yards. No doubt those of you with some familiarity with my garden can see how much I was influenced by these plantings. Only 4 blocks from me, this garden has been a huge inspiration, especially when planting my front garden. When ownership of the home changed a couple of years ago I began to mourn it’s loss – what were the chances of a new owner appreciating what they had?
There were some rough patches, the new owners moved in just in time to experience a very cold and snowy winter. No doubt there was also a little getting used to the requirements of an unusual garden like this, you don’t just hire the mow-and-blow guys to do a sweep through. But things are once again looking great…
The hell-strip Cholla was cut back hard by the previous owners, it’s rebounded nicely. There used to be a label stuck in the ground at the base of that dreamy blue-green Arctostaphylos, I looked for it but couldn’t locate it.
On the far right, running off the edge of the photo, is a large Callistemon – I believe C. viridiflorus. Another plant crush that originated here.
I don’t want to give you the impression nothing has changed, there are plants that aren’t here any longer, and new ones have been introduced – but the overall look, and feel, of the garden has remained true. At least to an outside observer like me.