Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Then and Now

Months ago it seems, Loree over at danger garden challenged her readers to do a before and after post on their gardens. Because I have no photo organization tool, it's taken me this long to find my old photos from 2008 and 2009 and take matching new ones.

In fact, "matching" was all but impossible in some cases, due to the amount of vegetation we've planted, and the location of new trees and shrubs. But I did what I could to replicate the views. Here we go!

Looking at the front of the house from the west then:

Now: there are a lot of new plants along the front, but you can't see a lot of difference from this view. Do love the simplified entrance and the new paint job, though!
Looking from the southwest then:

Now: of course, big, deciduous trees change the look in summer. They have all grown a lot in the past five years. And you can hardly see the fence and retaining wall from this point.

From the south then: roses, roses, roses, along the narrow hell strip.

Now: the hell strip is looking much more interesting, with some remaining roses, but a number of drought-tolerant species introduced. Hard to see in this photo is the Malus 'Prairifire' on the strip.
Along the south side then: can you spot the tiny Ceanothus 'Victoria' against the retaining wall?


Then: we've moved into the back garden, looking northwest.

Then: looking due north.

Now: looking slightly northeast.

Then: looking east after building the deck. This is a later picture, but before we made any garden changes.
Now: it's pretty hard to even see the neighbor's house in summer - goal!
Then: looking south, shortly after building the deck.
Now: that remaining lawn is going, I promise you!
Then: we're looking north from the narrow middle part of the back garden. You can see we were figuring out tree placement using upturned pots.
Now: this is slightly further north, but there was a bed in my way.
Then: looking northeast from near the same spot.
Now: plants, plants plants!

Then: looking north-northeast near the back door of the house.


Then: concrete ran along the east side of the house.

Now: we got rid of most of the concrete. The new bed created to the south is our best morning-sun, afternoon-shade exposure.

Then: "RV parking" along the north side of the garage.

Now: about the same, but filled with amendments and garden treats. Every gardener needs a utility space, right? That's bamboo in containers along the driveway beyond the gate.

Finally, one of our most dramatic change views. Then: looking south from the north fence.

Now: Less opens space, but far more privacy. We enjoy dinner out here almost every evening.
I hope you've enjoyed this little retrospective of the garden's progress. I look forward to doing another Then-and-Now five years hence, if I can get any perspective after the boskiness increases still further!


  1. Love the transformation, Jane! Nice work!

  2. I'd been "wowing" at the changes all along and then I got to the last one where you say "Finally, one of our most dramatic change views"...and WOW! You were right! What a wonderful collection of photos Jane, you and Ben have done so much to your home and property. Of course all the plants are my fav change (love your container collection on the deck!)...but getting rid of that horrible red concrete and that fluffy metal work at the entrance, your house must have been breathing a sigh of relief to get its dignity back. Congrats on making the neighbors go away and creating a private space for you!

  3. AMAZING!!!!! that is insane how much your garden has changed! It looks really beautiful. Good on ya!!!!

  4. I can't believe it's the same house! Everything is beautiful. Did you build the deck yourself or did you hire out for that? Everything looks so cozy and established--I can't wait to see it in person some day.

  5. WOW is right! What a huge amount of work you guys have done...stunning :)

  6. You've made some amazing changes in only five years. I love the seclusion and privacy you've created for yourselves. I'm still working on that in my own garden, but we've only been here for three years.

  7. This is great! I love a good before and after - and it now looks less like a prison yard without chain link fence visible from almost every angle!

  8. There is no doubt that a plant person lives here! The transformation is amazing. Your yard is so cool. I love the privacy and feeling of enclosure now. I think this is what I would do too if I had your space. Great post!

  9. OMG...such an amazing transformation! I know we've all seen it happening, but it's always amazing to see the full range of changes in one it!

  10. The garden is beautiful, the changes remarkable, and the fact that you documented it...priceless.

  11. Funny how the previous owners had such frou frou taste in home decoration and zero interest in the yard. Ours was similar, with baroque touches everywhere inside and a blank slate outside. I love the way you have imprinted your personality on your surroundings...and you give new meaning to the term "five year plan". I don't think we should have to wait that long: three year intervals, or even less, would show sweeping changes, is my bet.

  12. What a lot you've accomplished in just four years, and what smart choices for screening, privacy, sitting areas. And ripping out concrete too -- I'm impressed! Looks beautiful, Jane.

  13. Beautiful I love all your lush planting, those huge conifers , what are they? Mugos?
    Can't wait to see your new project.

  14. Well done you! I love these Then and Now posts--so inspiring. I wish I had photos of my place when we first moved in but at least I have some now--It will be fun to join you in 5 years time for another comparison.

  15. Vast improvement. You've done great work, but admit it, you miss that red concrete, don't you? ;^)

  16. I just found this post from last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love before and after shots, and yours are well documented, easy to follow, and --- totally transformative! You made just the right improvements, keeping it simple, but adding lushness and privacy in small spaces. I love your rock and pebble paths.


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