Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Five Years of Blogging

As of last Friday, September 5, I have been blogging about my garden for 5 years. Because I started the blog when we first moved into our new house here in Washington state, after having lived in Massachusetts for all of my 50+ years, this blog has also served as a record of all the changes I've made in my garden here.

The Back Garden

When we came for the home inspection, I took photos of the back yard as it appeared when the former owners lived here. I also put this set of photos in my very first blog post, which you can read here. The pictures proceed from right to left across the back yard. Sorry about the very contrasty sun and shadows in the Now photos.

Before, taken from the back porch:

Here is that view now:









Finally, Before:


And one more, the view taken from the gate in the photo above now, down on ground level:

Here's a panorama view of the back garden taken with my iPhone (click on it to embiggen).

The Gravel Garden

The second major overhaul we made to this garden was installing the gravel garden. When we bought it, the house had one entire side of the yard devoted to a gravel parking pad for trailers and boats, neither of which we have. I decided to put in a low berm bordered by boulders, mulched with gravel, and filled with drought-tolerant plants.

Below is a shot of the "Scorched Earth" parking area before we started working on it:

Here's a scan of the crude drawing I made showing my hardscape plans for the space:

Although work didn't start until March, 2012, I took that photo above back in August, 2011, not long after seeing Shelagh Tucker's gravel garden during the Garden Bloggers Fling in Seattle. Hers was the inspiration for mine. Also, while visiting Lorene Edwards Forkner's garden during the Fling, I saw tall gabions like I planned to use in the gravel garden. And I saw the culverts and stock tanks used as planters at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Equal Opportunity Theft here all round.

Here are some photos from today showing the gravel garden, now 2 years old.

Here below is a closer view of that first set of gabions and culvert.

Here is an iPhone panorama, distorted as if taken with a fisheye lens, of the gravel garden.

The Front Garden

For four of the five years that I've been blogging, we made very few changes to the front yard, which was primarily a large expanse of grass. In January of this year, just before we started working on it, the front looked like this:

And now, it looks like this:

From another angle:

And in the front, this is the view from the front door:

The house has one foundation bed that wraps around the southwest corner of the house. Early on in our occupation of the house, it looked like this:

And here it is today:

Here are some other views of the front. I don't have matching Before shots for these, because...well...basically just imagine grass.

And below is the front, taken with the iPhone.

That's the end of big transformative projects around here. From now on it's just tweaking.

Happy Blogaversary to me!