This is what the back garden looked like one day around 1987.
Here's a scene from 2001.
And here's some pics from 2004.
These were taken in 2008.
And these were taken today.
What do these photos show? Over time you might think things get bigger and better.
Some plants do get bigger because they have found their right place and are continuing to earn their place by looking right. An example of this is the Agonis flexuosa which I brought home in my car many years ago as a small young tree. (I have known it nearly all its life!) This tree not only looks great, but since it is near the compost it provides a handy place for possums to nest and eat dinner.
As for getting better ... I like to think that the overall design is improving. But the reality is that the garden progresses cyclically - it looks great but then something changes, and it doesn't look so great. I had a visit from a blunt speaking non gardening cousin over the summer. He looked out the window and said in surprise: "There's nothing there". I guess some people see what is, other people spot what is potentially there.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Richard Louv characterized disconnection from nature as Nature Deficiency Disorder. In his book The Last Child in the Woods he argues that exposure to natural materials and spaces boosts imagination and creativity and helps with problems such as attention deficit disorder and childhood obesity.
Past generations of city children wandered the streets, played in vacant blocks and felt free and unafraid. Now many parents have fears about stranger danger, and local councils have fears about litigation if play equipment does not meet stringent safety standards.
Yet there are signs that things are changing for the better. Community gardens are recognized as a good thing and planners and the public are starting to think about how to plan public natural spaces that allow for interactivity, such as beds for growing and harvesting flowers and vegetables.
People are starting to think up creative ways to incorporate natural spaces in cities, such as rooftop gardens. These have the advantage of cooling the building below, as well as resolving the problem of lack of space.
Yet many people who are able to live on decent sized blocks of land still seem to choose to cover their land with large mansions and a minute token garden. It’s as if they see a garden as an unproductive waste of space. I hope they hear about Nature Deficiency Disorder and change their ways.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
A week ago Melbourne had a freak hailstorm. Suddenly the sky went dark and heavy rain pelted down. Then the rain turned to large hailstorms the size of golf balls. I was out but my daughter in law Violet was home and took these photos of the garden.
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