Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Control and Chaos

Last Friday we took a different route across town to meet friends for dinner. On the way I spotted this line of perfectly manicured cones, in a perfectly manicured lawn...

I wonder if the bright green new growth delights or irritates their creator?

And what thought process led to their placement, dividing the expansive back lawn in half? Were there once flowers blooming in the bare soil at the base of the laurel hedge, or was the negative space part of the pattern?

In case you're wondering here's the rest of the lot...

A little further down the street I found another case of extreme control.

And I wondered about the gravel stage upon which the fig tree grows.

Were the plant choices simply a case of careful editing of what had been planted by a previous owner?

Right next door a bit of chaos.

Plants (weeds) allowed to take over and do what they desire.

Neighbors, there's just no rhyme or reason how we end up where we do. Sometimes we land next to those that share our aesthetic (whatever it may be) and other times it's the odd couple.

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

30 comments:

  1. I can't even imagine the joy of every cat in the neighborhood in regards to the gravel mulched lot....

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  2. The austerity of that gravel appeals to me a lot more than the pruned trees or the weedy chaos. It just looks so tidy.

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    1. As I was taking these pictures I was mentally calculating how long I would be successful with that much negative space. Just a plant here and there...and pretty soon a jungle!

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  3. Those cones are too much! I got a good laugh out of them!

    That is a perfect description of the street I live on. Our one neighbours are clean and orderly. Their garden is somewhat cottage like but nice. Next door to them in the most horrific sight I think I've ever seen. And it seems to flip flop back and forth between shock/horror, and nice.

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    1. Ya our street is similar. You've got the cares and keeps it tidy, the mows only when you can hardly see the house any longer. The shrubs swallowing the house, the house where the trees are pollarded with-in an inch of their life, etc...

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  4. You need to live some place where most people think a yard should be lawn, a shrub or two, and maybe a tree (unless they are lawn people, in which case the tree has to go) and then you'll appreciate each one of these examples as something wonderful!

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    1. Oh we've got those too, don't you worry. That's why these stood out.

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  5. AnonymousMay 06, 2014

    While the weedy overgrown yards do irk me a bit with their invasive ways, the manicured, unnatural look bugs me more. I wonder what kind of relationships the owners have with their families, pets, etc.
    Jim N. Tabor

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    1. Indeed, and what the inside of their house looks like. Of course on any given day in the summer my garden probably looks better than the inside of my house!

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  6. I love all three of these as they appeal in different ways. The reckless abandon garden is closer to the way my own space looks.

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    1. But your plants are a lot cooler...

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  7. Psychology majors could probably base an interesting thesis on this...and maybe our varying reactions as well.

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    1. Oh that would be fun, really...

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  8. Can you imagine weeding all that gravel? On the bright side, at least the rhodies are away from the house. :)

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    1. Looks like it's raked too. Hope the mailman doesn't cut across it the way mine does, he'll mess up those stripes!

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  9. It's like three different gardening styles in three different yards, or at least the owner's interpretation of a formal/topiary, Japanese, and English woodland garden. It's fascinating, making you wonder what their thought process could be.

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    1. Oh you're so right, a study in gardening styles all on 30th Ave...

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  10. I like the chaotic one the best, but I wonder what it will look like in the summer? Is it mainly bluebell, Euphorbia(?) and poppies?

    The gravel one is seriously austere and what do you do when the Acer drops all of its leaves in the autumn?

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    1. Good question and yes indeed masses of those 3, unless there are other things hiding under that will spring up later. As for the leaves I bet there is a leaf blower.

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  11. I went by that garden on 31st & Skidmore today. A crew was planting more plants!

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    1. Where!!? Maybe some had gotten too old and needed to be removed and the holes filled up?

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  12. There's neat and then there's sterile...

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    1. True, but in both of the tidy gardens I do appreciate they're seeing their visions through, so much better than the boring lawn with a shrub or two planted by the builder.

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  13. Made me wonder if the "coneheads" from early SNL days might have taken up gardening in your neighborhood. I agree with Ricki that a great thesis could come of these and our reactions.

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  14. As others have said it is fun seeing the varying styles of garden as you walk down streets, as long as it doesn't impact your own garden too much (dropped leaves, creeping plants, blocking light). I like the gravel one best, although my version would have slightly more than pure gravel.

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    1. If I had to chose one of these for myself it would be the gravel one, just think how happy an agave or 4 would be on top of that gravel stage!

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  15. Ouch. That first one is seriously hard to look at. The second is almost a zen garden. If the owners could bring in some larger rocks it would look more like an intentional style. I like informal Japanese gardens, so I can see more potential in this one, with more plants (of course) and natural stone. The wild one is too full of little mushies (perennials) for me. I need my woody plants.

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  16. I'll take the chaos. The perfectly pruned trees remind me of a similar group near my parents house, but no gardener keeps them trimmed. The deer do.

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