The Garden Now That We’re Gone
A while back, James at LostintheLandscape did a post titled Our Gardens After We’re Gone, musing about what might happen to his garden if or when he is no longer stewarding it. TownMouse and Bradzio at RootedinCalifornia and probably some other folks followed up with posts about what might happen to their own gardens. It makes sense that it was such a popular topic; gardening is largely about planning and envisioning the future. Anita and I have to do that pretty much all the time, and quite a few of the gardens we install are essentially a ‘garden with us gone’. After we design and plant, we usually return to do maintenance at least occasionally, but many times we just walk away. There are a few gardens out there that we installed and never saw again. It’s interesting to imagine what they look like.
One garden that we do see on a weekly basis is an example of some of the different things that can happen. We installed it four years ago and maintained it for about two, but then the client moved and took some of the plants with him. It was a shock the first time we saw the garden without them, but now we’re used to it and we find it interesting to see how the rest of the planting has endured.
This section is still largely intact, with just a couple of shrubs missing. It looks like the new tenants might be weeding it and watering (the irrigation system was a casualty when the plants were transplanted, but someone might be hand-watering), though it’s hard to guess about the watering this early in the dry season. The weeds were pretty thoroughly eradicated by the time we stopped maintaining it, so the plants might be holding off interlopers.
This section, with every plant moved to the new location, is a landscape designer’s memento mori. Coyote brush, one of the main pioneer plants in this area has already moved in. Without humans pulling the volunteers, I think coyote brush would pop up in almost every garden we’ve ever installed.
This Ceanothus and the Salvia clevelandii in the first photo are fighting the good fight against weeds. This section was never on irrigation and clearly doesn’t get any weeding. Salvia and ceanothus versus weeds, who will win? There’s probably some coyote brush in there somewhere getting ready to join the battle.
This smokebush is one of the plants that was transplanted to the new location. It’s easy to understand why the owner would want to take it to the new location.
This entry was posted on Saturday, June 19th, 2010 at 6:26 am and is filed under private gardens. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.