Friday, October 7, 2016

Then and Now (2005 - 2016)

For several years running I've done an end of summer tour of the garden. I fully intended to do one this year, but somehow never got around to it. I was too good at ignoring summer was actually coming to an end. Once I realized it was time to start the great migration of the succulents under-cover (rain, rain, rain — in the extended forecast) I sort of panicked and took a few quick pictures to compare the garden now (photos taken September 2016) to then (May 2005, during the home inspection as we were looking to buy). It's not a complete tour but at least it's something.

And shown below, the front of the house on May 20, 2005. What hasn't changed? Well, we've still got the same roof, that's about it! Lawn gone, all foundation plants removed, house color changed, new windows installed, address plaque gone, brass light fixture and door handle/kick-plate replaced, wrought iron railing removed...

Now...

I wonder why I took this photo? I must have just been trying to record all sides of the house, although I completely skipped the north side. Anyway, here's the backdoor and driveway then...

And now. Too bad I didn't take this before I pulled out the tomatoes and Zinnia, it would have been a more impressive photo with them.

Entering the back yard, there's narrow entrance between the house (right) and garage (left). That's the dearly departed (2014) wall-o-privet that you see directly ahead, under it is a Rhododendron which left in 2012. Oh and yes, that's a butterfly wing you can kind of make out on the front of the garage. Did I mention these photos were all taken during the inspection, before the house was ours?

We gated entrance in 2008, when Lila came to live with us. Originally it was a simple chain-link gate (never did care for that) but finally it was replaced with my Agavegate...

And with the gate open...

Stepping into the backyard, the side of the neighbor's garage marks the north end of our upper yard. On the right is the back of our house. I was in awe of that beautiful Rosemary and would have kept it, but see how the gutter is slightly hanging off their garage? A winter waterfall did it in.

2016. The angle isn't quite right, you see more of our house, but I was working from memory.

The side of our garage (which boarders the south end of the upper yard), the ginormous Hydrangea finally came out in 2013...

And now.

Looking back through that opening between the house and garage then (oh how I miss that giant hedge that hid the neighbor's house)...

And now...

This next image was taken standing in the upper yard looking at the southwest corner of our property. Believe it or not that fern at the edge of the garage is still there, although I trim it back every spring so it's a lot smaller. The chiminea went with the previous owners and that rose bush was ripped out our first weekend in the house.

2016 version! There were always steps down to the lower garden, but on the leftside was a gradual lawn and weed covered slope. We extended the wall in an "L" shape which created the sunken patio.

Looking due west, the wall-o-Laurel was deep, coming into our property a good 8 feet. We thought it was entirely ours but learned, that first summer, that it was the neighbor's. She cut it down and installed a (cheap) fence. There went our privacy.

Shortly after that she sold her house, which was then torn town and two McMansions (and the offending bi-colored garage) were built in its place. Our bamboo in the stock tanks was a knee-jerk reaction to the loss of the green wall.

Blurry but I wanted to include it anyway. This is the north side of the lower yard. Privet (with it's jaunty yellow variegated patch) all the way to the ground, the property line was about 10 ft back.

And now...all of the planted area beyond the patio was reclaimed from where the privet once grew.

This photo was taken standing on what was then lawn but is now the patio, towards the back of the garage. There was once an alley along the back of our property, so the garage opened on both the front and back, handy!

Kinda sorta the same angle today.

One last before, this the back of our house. AKA the movie screen.

And now...

Here's one last bonus photo, because I am really loving this view of the front garden and wanted to include it. Hope you enjoyed this "then and now" look at our ever-evolving garden. If you blog I'd love to see something similar on your garden, please share a link below if you do such a post!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

49 comments:

  1. Dang, girl - that's IMPRESSIVE to say the least. FM David says congratulations...he's pretty blown away also. You were and continue to be an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You both are kind...I think the real measure of accomplishment is seeing what you guys have done...in just a year!

      Delete
  2. omg so fabulous! It really is completely unrecognizable from the before.

    By the way, is that a Manihot G. that I see in the backyard against the garage? I wondered if that was borderline hardy and would need some insulating assistance in the winter. How old is yours? Thanks for the blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a Manihot, I'm not sure which plant your asking about?? Can you describe it? (And thanks).

      Delete
  3. I love before and after posts. I may have to do cover my garden in several installments. Your garden seems so much bigger to me than the wide open yard that was there before. The changes in space, the sense of enclosure, and of course all the fabulous plants, can make one forget the outside world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is the goal! (Forgetting the outside world)

      Delete
  4. I just came here from Tamara's then and now post, thinking I should do one too, and see your encouragement. I'll see what I can put together. I don't have great before photos of the front when it was a blank slate, but we did get pretty good before photos of the back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't if funny that Tamara and I both did them at the same time? And we didn't even talk about it. Hope you do one too.

      Delete
  5. What an amazing transformation. From boring to beautiful. And I love your color choices.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just incredible! I too love a good before & after. You have created such a beautiful, extraordinary garden. Thanks for this glimpse of where you started and how far you've come!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kate, I look forward to seeing your "after the construction..."

      Delete
  7. Wow! As always, I'm amazed by your awesomeness. This would be a fun post to do with my garden although I'd have to scan actual photograps from the film days for the before shots.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Incredible. I love the overviews and the complete transformation from 'meh' to OMG. Although I'm all about the plants, I'm simply amazed at how paint color has transformed your home from blah to wow. I'm in awe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how we put up with the white paint for as long as we did...it was so bad! We finally painted in 2011 and the garden was instantly better.

      Delete
  9. The next owners will need to install an amusement park (with roller coaster) in order to have "after" photos that show as much impact as yours do. (Did that make sense?)

    You don't miss the rose? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does make sense...and I love it! The rose -- not at all.

      Delete
  10. It's an utterly remarkable transformation, Loree. I can't even imagine you living in that 2005 house. It lacked the character, imagination and energy I associate with you, which your current house and garden reveals in spades. I regret that I don't have a "before" series of photos of my own garden - the earliest were taken by my brother almost exactly a year after we moved in, when some changes had already been made, and his photos covered only a few areas. Still, I did use one of them in this week's wide shots post on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We bought when houses were selling same day, we had to make a quick choice - the house had very little we had to erase so the blank slate was kind of a plus.

      Delete
  11. I'm reading this on my phone and so can't see all the details that make your garden truly amazing, but even on a small screen it's apparent how you've totally transformed a generic space and made it your own. I'm so glad to have been able to see it in person a couple of times. It's a work of art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam! Every once and awhile something reminds me of that first visit you made, back in 2011, such a fun time we had.

      Delete
  12. Love these before and after posts. Just fabulous transformation. I kept blowing up pix to study details like the back door roof supports are still there but painted so they disappear, right? We did a whole series of posts on designing our garden but it was back in 2009 when not too many people were reading my blog. Guess I should update it like you've done all in one post. I am curious and would love to have you write about why you bought this property: the house, the lot, the garden potential, neighborhood etc. How much did the gardening possibilities enter into your decision?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your series on designing your garden was what hooked me on Each Little World. I loved it.

      Loree, I'm a former Portlander living in hot, humid NE Alabama - truly a beautiful place but you can have the summers - I don't like them at all. Your garden is just amazing. I've followed you for quite a while but I don't know if I've ever commented. You've done splendidly.

      Delete
    2. Good eye Linda! Yes the supports are there but disappear with paint, just like the hideous scalloped trim on the front door overhang. I will have to go back and look for your series, or would love to have you update it!

      As for why this house...we looked at so many houses and I connected with very few of them. It was a gut instinct that this was the one. The lot and the way the house sat on it, the fact there is a park at the end of the street and yes, most importantly the garden possibilities -- the slope in the front and the back with the deep lot and change in grade. Plus it felt private even before I started planting. And while the immediate surrounding neighborhood isn't all that great the location is. Great amenities within walking distance - I just wish the other neighbor's were gardeners!

      Delete
    3. Barbara, while I love heat I do not enjoy humidity, it just zaps my will to live. Thank you for the compliment and for commenting!

      Delete
  13. Who is Tamara and how do I find her before and after post? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara writes Chickadee Gardens. Her before and after post is here: http://chickadeegardens.blogspot.com/2016/10/finding-land-one-year-later.html

      Delete
    2. Thanks Alison! I just sat down to reply and you'd already taken care of it!

      Delete
  14. So cool that you have before you even owned it shots. Were you a danger gardener back then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a few Agaves in containers, this was the first garden where I actually put one in the ground!

      Delete
  15. I've always been in awe of your design style, out and in... but today you sent me over the moon. To see the before and after brings all of your creative vision into place. The massive about of incredible texture going on. The depth of some of your beds to the slim ledges for your pots. Your plantings both in and out of the ground and your well thought out color limitations for the pots. With the overall view, I'm just in hog heaven. Bizarrely enough, orange is my fave color and I don't have a single orange pot. That will change next spring.
    I do feel your pain about bringing your pots under shelter. Mine are all nestled inside now for a long 6 months. We hit 32 last night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheila you're making me blush! Thank you for all the kind words, now get out there and buy an orange pot or seven...

      Delete
  16. Fabulous...nothing makes me happier than a good before/after post!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh how I enjoyed that ! I think the side-o-garage bed has always been one of my fave areas of your garden, what a transformation from one big blob of Hydrangea to the dynamic plant palette today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'm going to have to do a little editing in that bed next year, things are getting big...

      Delete
  18. I love before and after pictures. Nice Acacia! ;)
    edensgate3@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that Acacia fabulous? Some nice lady gave it to me! ;)

      Delete
  19. I really like your "Now" Garden. It is sort of like a cross between a formal garden and the chaos of a collector's garden, heavy on the collector's garden. With all the plants crowded together it gives a jungle look which I like.

    John(Aberdeen)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks John, I really do feel that the hardscape keeps it from dissolving into total chaos -- without it madness would rule.

      Delete
  20. Sweet property. It was good before you bought it (in a non-gardener way) and now much more sophisticated and stylish but still cared for with love.

    Old post, but a favorite in the then-and-now category:
    http://pieceofeden.blogspot.com/2013/12/1999-vs-2013.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be checking out that post ASAP!

      Delete
  21. That really is a transformation. I wouldn't have recognised it as the same place. Overgrown hedges have a lot to answer for but what a bonus when you can remove them, magic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so afraid of that big open space once the Privet was gone...now of course I am very happy we did it.

      Delete
  22. Isn't it weird how that blank slate you inherited looks so much smaller than the garden you created, with all your plants? There's just nothing to hold the eye in the old garden, so the eye just skips right over. And you've created so much detail and movement that the eye feels like it's on an epic journey -- and it is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that surprise factor when you walk into the back garden and don't realize the patio it there...love it!

      Delete
  23. Very fun. Love seeing the before and after. And it goes without saying, the changes are marvelous.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!