An Alameda Garden: In the Beginning...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

In the Beginning...

There is something about starting a garden that makes one feel a little god-like. (The humbling days come further down the line.) When I bought my house almost four years ago, the back yard boasted two small patches of green-but-awful lawn, three sickly potted palms, a lovely redwood deck with two Adirondack chairs, and a large area of cracked, boring, concrete pavement. One long, narrow flower bed along the southeast fence and an L-shaped bed along the western corner of the yard had been covered with landscape fabric and a layer of large redwood nuggests. That was it. Boring, boring, boring.

Since then I've made a number of novice attempts to improve the situation. I've removed all of the lawn, resigned the poor palms to the green recycling bin, hauled out the redwood nuggets, and (OK, this might have been a mistake) pulled up all the landscape fabric. And I've planted, mostly annuals, and mostly without a plan. I've had some amazing successes: delicious Quinault everbearing strawberries, stately sunflowers, and countless pounds of Roma tomatoes (too bad I don't like tomatoes!).

But last year my lack of gardening know-how began to weigh me down and I decided to take a class in the Landscape Horticulture department at Merritt College in Oakland. I began with a plant terminology course, followed this semester by the Intro to Landscape Hort class. And now I'm hooked. I'm hoping that what I learn there will lead to a garden that is gorgeous, robust, and intriguing. Or at least green.

This blog is intended to chronicle my efforts in my own garden as well as discuss the amazing gardens, public and private, in the Bay Area and the gardeners who work them.

Welcome, and come back to visit often!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Clare i started my garden off with hints from TV (Im in the UK).I love the garden design programs.Ground force is iconic about how much a team of people can acheive.In reality its much more difficult and the end results are not what we would have liked.
    I have a basic horticultural course to do.Here we have the royal horticultural society for exams and training.They award new plants and flowers.
    love to see your garden,you can see my english garden!


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