May 6, 2012

"Genesis" In the beginning........


The past few months has been spent removing sod, amending soil, digging holes and planting plants, both old and new in the new landscape.  When we moved in the overall landscape theme was green on green on green, which in itself was not bad considering the natural beauty of the surrounding vistas. I am reminded of pastoral scenes from England and areas of the United States I have visited and of the landscape architects such as Fredrick Law Omsted who embraced the 'genius of a place". Omsted wanted his designs to stay true to the character of their natural surrounds. He referred to "the genius of a place," a belief that every site has ecologically and spiritually unique qualities.  His goal was to "access the genius" and let it infuse all design decisions. 


While Omsted was opposed to any type of ornamentation that distracted from the natural surroundings or brought attention to "individual elements".  Olmsted believed the goal wasn’t to make viewers see his work. It was to make them unaware of it. To him, the art was to conceal art. And the way to do this was to remove distractions and demands on the conscious mind. Viewers weren’t supposed to examine or analyze parts of the scene. They were supposed to be unaware of everything that was working. Unfortunately, while I appreciate the lesson he is trying to impart, I am afraid in this respect, I fail miserably. While I hope to preserve as much as possible the beautiful vistas that I enjoy daily, I also want to put my "own stamp" in the landscape. I realize that over time things will change, plants will be removed and discarded, others will be incorporated, hardscapes will be installed or altered and questions asked, "what in the hell were you thinking" immediately comes to mind. The great thing about landscaping and gardening it that it is an ever evolving process. Nothing is "set in stone" so to speak. 


Most of my efforts so far have been directed towards the back yard/pool area.  I have removed a ton of sod literally to make beds for the new plants. This is the back porch area before......


  


and now......



                
                          then.... 







                         now.......






The new arbor at dusk ... See Buddha in the background!








The bottle tree ......"haint it cool" 


 The yard birds ....






Things are starting to take shape. I am excited in that I have some new plants in the landscape. These include: Drift knockout roses (peach, coral) and I plan on getting a few Apricot ones when I can find them. Purple pixie weeping Lorapetulum. "White Out" knockout roses, which are really not knockouts but were developed by the same breeder of the knockout roses. A chartreuse buddleia named "Evil Ways". I have 20 green velvet boxwoods outlining the back porch bed with four "Snowflake Hydrangeas inside the bed and a lady banksia rose that I plan to train up the porch columns. I also have a "Pinkie Winky" hydrangea and some cast iron plants. 


Today, I weeded some of the beds, cleared off another area next to the deck and moved about 30+ hostas in pots to a new location under some maple trees as some were getting a little "sunburned". 






I planted a beautiful Japanese Maple "Shidare" in the area left of the hostas shown above. I plan on planting some hydrangeas or maybe some azaleas or camelias in the area previously occupied by the hostas. 


     " In the beginning David created his garden.  Now the garden was previously formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the pool, and David's spirit was hovering over the landscape. And David said, "Let there be plants, and there were plants. David saw that the plants were good, and he separated the plants from their pots. David planted the plants in the light of day, and rested in the darkness of night. And there was evening, and there was morning- the first day." 

6 comments:

Kelly said...

I love your blog and your yard is beautiful! A lot of work I know!! Perry and I have 3 acres with a pond stocked with fish and now I'm getting estimates on a swimming pool. Seems like I always have to have something going on!! My most favorite things to do, though is to work in the yard! I just pray my aches and pains don't keep getting in the way!! Thanks for sharing with us!

David said...

Thanks Kelly for your comments and for visiting my blog. This is our first experience with a pool. We are in the learning process of how to take care of it. Apparently, the first step is to get a degree in chemistry. If it doesn't work out I plan on putting some rocks around it and throwing some Koi in it. Just kidding :) I know what you mean as I am no longer a spring chicken. I go to work every Monday to rest up from the weekend. Thanks again for your kind comments.

Phillip Oliver said...

You have done a lot of work! Where did you find the Buddha?

David said...

Hi Phillip, great to hear from you. I found the Buddha at Southeastern Salvage here in Irondale. BTW, I have been inspired by some of your roses and recently went to Petals from the Past in Jemison and purchased Dortmund, Albertine, New Dawn and Veilchenblau roses. I'm hoping mine look half as good as the one's in your garden.

Linda Dawson said...

Hi David....Your yard is looking great. The only thing about planting a bunch of stuff though is you have to take care of a bunch of stuff! I love working in the yard though. If you need any help with your pool, I will be glad to impart any knowledge (which may be limited that I have). I just converted to a salt system which seems to be a lot less time-consuming in taking care of the chemical aspect and is supposed to be better for your skin and hair. You are doing a great joy. Tell your sweet wife that I said HI. Linda Dawson

David said...

Hi Linda,

Great to hear from you. Hope you are doing ok. I will pass the offer on to Cynthia as the pool is her pet project. We had considered doing the salt water system but decided to wait until next year to give ourselves time to get used to having a pool and how to care for it. I'm sure we will want to talk with you more about this down the road. Cynthia sends her love.