What a Difference 20 Years Makes

In a garden everything grows including my kids. My daughter, Corrie, was about 11 when I took this picture of her in my new rose garden which she designed in 2003.

The next photo was taken at the same place 20 years later when she is 31:

In the first photo she was wearing a tie dye that was purchased for her. In the second photo she was wearing a tie dye that she made herself.

She is still fairly short; notice that the lilies behind her are taller than she is.

The garden has changed quite a bit in the 20 years it has been growing. I will show you photos of different places in the garden 20 years ago and what it looks like now:

This is a photo of the bottom 2 ponds taken around 2003:

This is the same scene 20 years later showing both ponds filled with water lilies and the trees completely covering the 3 arches. The last photo in this series shows the 3 arches and how they are almost completely camouflaged by the planting.

The next 2 photos are of the dwarf conifer garden between the driveway and the house and was taken around 2004. I had just planted 100 Alberta Spruce a couple of years before.

This next picture was taken in 2023 after I removed many of the Alberta Spruce because they were getting too crowded:

The arbor was built in 2019:

This view of the front of the house shows the Alberta Spruces and the pathways in 2006:

The plantings have grown so much in the intervening 17 years that you can hardly see the pathways:

Here are a series of photos of the rose garden taken over the years:

This photo was taken around 2003 just after the upper pond was finished, the vegetable beds were constructed, and the fruit trees planted:

After 20 years I couldn’t find a place where I could see the pond, vegetable beds and the orchard all at the same time. Everything had grown so much and new things had been planted such as the Red Smoke Tree:

When the paths were first built in 2003, you could see where they went:

After 20 years of planting and plant growth you have a hard time seeing where the paths go. This adds to the mystery of the garden and encourages people to explore:

The front of the house is easily visible from the driveway in 2002:

But 21 years later you can barely see the house because of the plant growth:

Here are some lessons learned planting this garden:

Don’t plant too close; plants grow fast. I planted the Hornbeams along the driveway 30′ apart. After 15 years I had to take every other one out.

Be careful that you don’t hide the accents and the focus points. The 3 arches were supposed to be a focus point but now you can barely see them from across the garden.

Strong architectural lines in a design are gradually washed out by plant growth and time.

The massive space of the 8 acre area of the garden is gradually changed to many smaller individual spaces as the plants grow. The spaces get more intimate and quieter.

Over the years more birds come to live in the garden because of the water features and growth of plants with flowers and fruit.

Over the years I have made a lot of friends who like to come and see the garden, especially friends with kids who love to feed the fish and ride the golf cart.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Louise says:

    This shows plants mature steadily and gradually to attain their most appreciated “adult version” just as people do. Thanks for sharing their history.

  2. Linda Wulf says:

    Philosophical and practical at the same time.

  3. Elenita says:

    Thank you, loved seeing the before and after!

  4. Carolyn R Mettelmann says:

    Barry, it’s amazing to see the change. Sometimes the joy of working in our gardens takes us away from stepping back and looking at the whole canvas. Your gardens are a work of art, and I enjoy seeing them.

  5. Stella Guzman says:

    Love to visit your garden every year. Love to spend time experiencing all the different varieties of plants and the layout of the garden.

  6. johnsmithrack says:

    Wow this is nice Blonerhot site. You managed it so well. You explained so well all the things. It is amazing. You shared images which are clearly showing it. Keep sharing such things with us. Hope to see you again!
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