In 1995, and then in 1997, I opened the door to my garden. Since then, readers have emailed asking to see what new changes have been wrought upon the landscape outside my door.
The first set of pictures in the 1999 Garden Book were shot between May 15-25 1999, using one of those cheap disposable cameras. (Sparing no expense for you, oh loyal readers!) The second set were shot today (July 9) using a digital camera. As you'll see, many things happened in the intervening weeks.
Also, for this update, I dug some old pictures out of a file, showing exactly what the garden area looked like when I got here. As I'd explained in the first installments, the backyard had suffered years of neglect. Also, as a purely urban creature, I knew absolutely nothing about gardening beyond caring for a few houseplants over the years. (And not always successfully.) So my first couple of attempts at gardening here were, in retrospect, hilariously awful.
But, being an academic nerd through and through, I set about educating myself. One winter I began borrowing books on gardening from the public library, and by the end of the season, I had read through nearly ever decent text they had on the subject and attacked the garden (in the summer of 1993) with real enthusiasm.
Book-learning and enthusiasm, however, are never enough. Equally important to what you learn from a book is practical, hands-on experience. This applies to gardening as well as to life (and sex, of course). Books can't account for all the variables. But, again, being the academic type, I made the garden my classroom. I let the plants teach me where I was going wrong. And instruct me they did. From garden pests and nutrient- poor soil, to insufficient light and inadequate weeding, I learned about most of the perils of gardening and how to thwart them.
Now you can see for yourself how much I've learned over the years. The update begins with two pictures of the house as Will and I found it when we moved here in 1991. You can compare those to the current ones for a clear sense of the transformations.
In some shots you'll see my beloved dog, Bobo. He likes to garden too. Sometimes he gets so excited, he digs holes beside me; often, he chases squirrels, chipmunks, the house cat or Dante, the annoying dachshound from next door. Mostly he laughs silently to himself. What is he thinking?
So welcome to our garden. Bobo won't bite (unless you're a rodent). Enjoy your visit and don't hurry. My garden on earth is full of surprises.
Dream of the Possibilities
the garden when I got here
Gloria Glickstein Brame
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