When I made that observation to a magazine editor as he was scouting my former garden in Connecticut before a shoot (Here's my effort from 2010), he smiled and said: "No worries, we'll bring the magic camera."
I've never had a magic camera, but from time to time I try to shoot the whole, hoping to give a sense of change and progress during the 11 months since I cleared the canvas for my new space here in Marietta, Georgia. This is what it looked like during and after the tear-out:
Fast forwarding 11 months, I shot the whole on a recent morning:
While change is evident, I cannot convey what the eye sees during a walkabout and some looks at various "rooms" in this becoming front garden. In the following images I try to do that – starting with the view from the porch.
|Gravel path in earlier photo, dumping into "pond"/scree.|
|And, looking right . . .|
|. . . where the bonsai rack stands.|
Some of this space belongs to the next-door neighbors, as is typical in the cul. Gardening in a cul de sac often means gardening without boundaries.
Like the rest of my front, this space was torn out as much as possible. On the wild side, however, I've been challenged by virtually indestructible turf grass. I have dug through it to plant, I have dug out chunks of the turf, and I have poured vinegar and placed cardboard on some parts. Anything to avoid growing grass and wasting water and fuel maintaining it. Not to mention the noise.
Grasses, however, I love. I've bought a few, and some wild ones have appeared on their own. Here, they all grow together, along with flowers, clover and "weeds," which are simply plants one doesn't want.
|Purple coneflower working hard in broiling sun.|
|Evocative broom sedge came in from the roadside.|
|Weeds and wild grasses came in from wherever.|
|The sweet smell of this clover tells why bees love to use it for honey-making.|
In time I'll surround the bench with wild things. As the space was just beginning last year, it was clear that it appealed to birds, butterflies and bees. After a long hard winter, the birds are back and singing. Butterflies and bees should start returning any day now, and I'll be waiting – and working – for them.
(While I've planted hard in spaces in front of the house, I've also steadily added to spaces out back, where I grow woodland and old-garden plants. Someday soon, I'll try to capture the progress in images.)