Last year, this year

Last Year:

This Year:

Last Year:

This Year:

Last Year:

This Year:

Last Year:

This Year:

These were taken at the same time of year – late May/early June. What a difference a year makes. There is one weird thing…in a way, I feel nostalgic for the bare, empty gardens. They had so much potential, they filled the mind with so many ideas, so much inspiration. It’s like seeing my kids go from babies to teens. It’s a tiny bit bittersweet…

There’s more, but I need to locate the before photos…and also take some 2009 photos when some other flowers come into bloom…



9 Responses to Last year, this year

  1. Anonymous says:

    How beautiful, you really did a great job.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "It's a tiny bit bittersweet…"
    A metaphor for ageing and our lives.

  3. The Open Lotus says:

    Frequent reader, first time poster, fellow Westchester-ite – did you always have a gardening ability or was it something that you started late? Reason I'm asking is we're about to move to a new home from our townhouse and, although I've NEVER, EVER gardened (and do not have a green thumb), I'm intrigued by learning. Any hints or am I doomed!?! Thanks – Diane

  4. The Open Lotus says:

    Oops – meant to say your garden looks great! — Diane

  5. Yoga Chickie says:

    I had zero experience. I lived in the city my entire adult life. When I moved in, it was the middle of summer (2007), and I didn't try to do anything at all in the garden other than plan. I decided to just observe – where it was sunny, where it was shady, where the soil was looking compacted from years of mulch that had not decomposed, where I wanted to focus my efforts when I got started filling things in.

    And I read. I read about perennials, I noticed what I liked and learned what I could. I read about what deer liked and didn't like to eat. I bought a notebook and made notes of what I thought I wanted to plant where. I still keep that notebook.

    At the end of the first summer, I took photos of the entire property, many photos, and printed them out on plain white paper – and I drew on them with markers, what I thought needed to be added. Then I priced it and nearly threw up. I realized I would have to go slow. I did nothing until the following spring.

    In March of last year, I started making weekly trips to Home Depot, where the inventory changes with what is in bloom. For a novice, that is incredibly helpful. If you want to have perennials in bloom at all times on your property, then you buy periodically as plants come into bloom. I also went to some local garden sales, like the ones at the high schools – they have them all over the place in early spring, and I asked lots of questions: does this plant stay in bloom for more than a week? does this one get eaten by deer?

    I kept reading and making notes. And I made lots of mistakes, but I think what is important is that when you start to realize that you put a plant in a place that doesn't look good or doesn't seem right for the plant (like, the roots are rotting, or the flowers are fading really quickly, or it seems to dehydrate too quickly, etc.), you have to be willing to move it.

    Oh, and that reminds me, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty and dig into the soil and break up root balls. It takes a little practice, but not much. You also have to be willing to be wrong, which means that you have to be willing to not fill in every gap immediately because you're to some extent going to be auditioning plants for the spots they will go in.

    If you don't love all the minutia of perennials, then you can spend more time with shrubs, like hydrangea and spirea, which can have beautiful flowers but take up much more space and involve less nitpicky planning. Or you can start with shrubs and branch out to perennials.

    Also, you can start with easy perennials and move onto more finicky ones. You will learn about what is easy as you peruse garden magazines and simplistic how-tow picture books.

    Bottom line – you have to love it. Otherwise, it just is no fun at all. But if you love it, it can become a healthy obsession with the same meditative properties as yoga…

  6. Tracy says:

    you Know I love it!!! Beautiful, Beautiful!!!

  7. The Open Lotus says:

    Thanks for the detailed reply, YC!


  8. alfia says:

    I agree, this is beautiful! Very peaceful, too.

    Lauren, my former bosses live in your area. I wonder if you know them – Victoria Arango and Mark Underwood? Just curious. You garden pics reminded me of their gorgeous place.

  9. Yoga Chickie says:

    Alfia – I don't know those names, but that doesn't mean they aren't neighbors of mine. I just don't know a lot of people who don't have kids in the same school district as mine…

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