1999 vs. 2013

1999
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2013.  Planting succulents on that front slope was the best dumb luck ever.  When the pair of 'Dynamite' Crepe Myrtles mature, their height will draw the eye upwards to the top of the house.  That trio of 'Bright Star' Yucca is so good--in looking at the photo, I should repeat them to the left of the big Agave clump, and do the same with the Calothamnus trio, though it would be difficult to give up the well-established-and-blooms-like-crazy roses on the left. 
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1999
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2013.  The Doomed Oak's replacement--that standard rose--had a poor year.  I'm going to give it a hard prune in January--its first ever--to see if that revivifies it.  I have an Aloe 'Hercules' waiting if the rose doesn't come back strong.  The Dymondia has been wonderful--on one third the water lawn got, it looks twice as good.
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1999.  The homeowner in the back had planted four or six Erythrinas and there were a bunch of volunteer Eucalyptus and several palm trees all crammed in there, each tree about 3' apart, on our property.  I remember digging out two of the stumps;  it took me a month. 
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2013.  That piece of wrought iron fencing leaning against the wall is to prevent the puppies from eating the Maireana sedifolia.  The green fence and the neighbor's roof in the back will be screened by the Ligustrum hedge soon;  the hedge is growing rapidly.  The Landscape Architect had put a hedge of Carolina Laurel Cherry, which was okay for about five years, but then got too big.  I'm glad they are gone.  Never choose a tree to do a shrub's job.  Ligustrum will be plenty big and a lot more dense. 
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1999
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2013.  The wrought iron is an improvement over the original wooden pseudo-shutters. but I must paint that iron before spring, I must, I must.
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1999.   Soooo glad those Eucs are gone.  When the Santa Anas would blow, a couple of the Eucs would slam against the house. 
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2013.  This isn't the most interesting angle of the garden, but I had to do a comparison shot.  Unfortunately the garden is also not at its best in December.  That large rose, my wonderful 'Firefighter', looks dreadful because it spent the entire year completely engulfed by a now-gone 'Laguna' climber.  However it's recovering rapidly, and will be beautiful again next spring.
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1999  The balcony construction started right after we moved in.  My lasting memory of the balcony was the night, a short time before it was completed, when Beloved went out on the balcony to look around at it.  Hoover followed him.  Unfortunately, the contractor had that day waterproofed the floor of the balcony with tar.  Beloved noticed that both his shoes and Hoover's paws were sticking to the tar, and yelled.  Hoover, startled by the yell, ran back into the house and down the stairs;  Beloved following him.  

The contractor's carpet cleaner got most of the tarry shoe and paw prints out of the carpet, but traces of them remained until we finally replaced the carpet.  I can laugh about it--now! 
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2013  We do enjoy that balcony and covered patio. 
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1999
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2013.  The balcony/patio addition made quite a change. I expect that potted 'Hercules' Aloe will eventually take the Doomed Oak's place, and will likely be better than the Oak would have been--less litter on the driveway.  That's our entire remaining lawn, there on the right.
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I wish I'd taken many more photos back in '99, but they would have been film then, and likely out of focus, over exposed, and so on.  It's fascinating to see how a property changes over the years. 

My thoughts also go to a different aspect of 1999, to much-loved dogs, much missed now.
1999:  Teddy and Hoover.  I didn't have to photoshop Santa hats on those two.  They'd do anything for food, including laying down next to each other wearing hats. 
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2013.  I need to get out the Santa Hats and get the same shot of Boris and Natasha.  They'll do anything for food.  Many things change, but not the Samoyed appetite.





Comments

  1. Amazing work there, the difference is outstanding!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks M&G, your own garden has also made quite a transformation. Isn't it fun?

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  2. Great photos dear Hoover, a garden really completes a house. Your puppies from 1999 are so beautiful, it is sad when we lose our beloved pets.
    Boris and Natasha will help fill that empty spot in your heart.
    Happy week!
    xoxoxo ♡

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  3. I've very much enjoyed this series, seeing more of your home and garden as a whole. You've been a very busy lady!

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  4. More wonderful before and after photos! You done good. What a truly lovely home and garden you have.

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    1. I can't believe I live here. Anyone who knows me can't believe it either!

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  5. Love it! There are some angles of your garden that you never (or rarely) have shown -- until now. Would love to see a few shots from the early-to-mid 2000's too for comparison if you have them.

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    1. I'll look around through my first digitals, but the photography is pretty bad.

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  6. That is quite a transformation. It makes me wish I had more before photos than I do.

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  7. I'm in awe of all the work you've done! If I had any sense, I'd commit myself more fully to succulents now and stop futzing about with all sorts of perennials but I guess I'm still working through the collector phase of my development as a gardener. Coincidentally, I recently purchased my 1st Yucca 'Bright Star' - it's in a large pot but, after seeing yours, I think maybe in needs to be moved and joined by a couple more. Thanks for the post! It also made me wish I'd taken more "before" pictures myself.

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    1. If your water bill can handle the perennials, why be in a hurry? :^)

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  8. I've never commented before but a:) I love this particular post and b:) your blog is one of my favorites. Looking forward to more in the coming year!

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  9. Thanks for that time comparison. I didn't do enough of that, pre-digital camera era, and we built the last Abq house in about the same time period as your's - in 1998. Good changes and refinements you've made over the years, and then some!

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  10. This is so instructive. I like the overall view of your front bank most of all. The dark section (I had to enlarge the photo to see it was aeoniums) provides such a good counterpoint to the variegated and gray foliage there. I hope you are enjoying the look of your labor, Hoov. I just love a before and after! Oh, and a cute doggy pic, of course.

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    1. Still, and always, a work in progress.

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  11. ah, the front slope in all its macro glory! What an achievement. Every inch of the garden has your stamp on it.

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    1. Not always for the good, but I keep trying.

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  12. The imagination of gardeners never ceases to amaze me. Always special to see before and afters. They give us the incentive to imagine what we might do.

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    1. And the amazement of knowing what we did do! :)

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  13. What a spectacular before and after! I loved getting a better feel of the lay of the land, too. More of these, please!

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