Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Come a Long Way...

 Most sources say that a landscape can be considered mature when it is around three years old. I don't agree with that. Six years is probably more accurate, which is now the age of my landscape. At three years, my trees and shrubs were far from the mature sizes listed in garden planning literature. Now, they are about the size expected at maturity. This photo shows what I started with when we moved to this property.



This is what part of my back yard looks like now. Over the years we've lost quite a few trees to the elements, various perennials to age, prickly pear cactus to cochineal scale, other plants to drought, others to rot--just what you would expect over the life of a garden.


 As the landscape matured, I replaced fewer and fewer plants. When everything was new, I needed numerous plants to make it look less barren, but as the landscape matured, there was little need to replace. When I talk about a mature garden, I do exclude cacti and Agave species, which will continue to grow for decades.



What do I wish I would have done six years ago if I could do it over again? Rather than my heavy emphasis on zeriscape with all the Mesquite and Palo Verde trees, I would have planted a 'Wonderful' pomegranate, a few 'Arizona Sweet' orange trees and a couple of 'Desert Gold' or 'Earli Grande' peach trees, a Mission Fig rather than the Brown Turkey Fig I have that has not done all that well. In addition, had I planted fruit trees, I would have put in a separate irrigation valve dedicated to the fruit trees, and there would have been a raised, enclosed vegetable garden with retractable sun shade, and a separate vegetable garden irrigation valve.

But, we don't get do-overs, so as long as we live here, my garden is what it is, and that's the way it's going to stay. I'll just buy my fruit and vegetables at the grocery store.


5 comments:

Julie said...

Helllloooo!!! So nice to see you, Aiyana!!! Your garden is so beautiful!!! The vegie garden would be great, but also even more work! I love your bridge and creek and, well...OK...everything in your garden! Hope you and your hubby are doing well. xoxo- Julie

Pudgeduck said...

does this mean I need to blog again?? Your landscape looks wonderful-wish you would have planted the fruit trees though....

Aiyana said...

Pudge...
Yes, you need to post again! You have plenty to blog about and you have just been lazy.
"If wishes and wants were candy and nuts, then it would be Christmas." It's really too late to even think about planting fruit trees...it's hard to take care of the trees and plants we have!

BlossomAZ said...

Great inspiration! Your garden is gorgeous! And while it may be missing the fruits and veggies, I'm sure you get a lot of hummingbirds and butterflies with all those native plants. This is something to aspire to!

Lythrum said...

Your garden is so beautiful Aiyana, such a wonderful contrast to what you started with. :)