Before and After
I once heard someone on the TV show, Gardener's World, characterize gardening as a "beautiful struggle." Whenever I'm bogged down in the "struggle" part, and I'm battling rabbits, pests, blight or days of unhelpful weather, it's easy for me to forget how much progress I've really made. At these moments, I find it helpful to look back at pictures of the garden "before." Reminding myself of the mostly blank slate that used to be here puts everything into perspective and revives my spirits.
The East Garden - Before and After
During the early days, I mostly focused on removing what little was here. I liked the pachysandra beds out front but removed the overgrown boxwoods by the front door, the rustic tree house and one bed of pachysandra which my husband and I dug out by hand (stubborn remnants kept popping up for months afterwards!). In went new garden beds and hundreds of colorful plants, including thousands of tulips. A big moment was when we had the two arbors installed. They really define the space. The "before" pictures mostly date from 2014 and 2015, and the "after" pictures are mostly from 2021 and 2022.
The South Garden - Before and After
When we moved in, there was no landscaping of note in the South Garden except for one hydrangea shrub and two boxwoods. One third of the garden was filled with wild forsythia bushes which we cleared out (they were so untidy that I never took a picture of them!). The grass was in bad shape. We had a weed-filled brick patio removed and added a new screened porch in 2017 and then I got to work designing the garden from there. Most of the "before" pictures are from 2014 to 2017 and the "after" pictures are from 2021 and 2022.