Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Is There A Volcano In Your Neighborhood?



Let me be clear:  a view of Mount Hood doesn't count.  Or Hawaii.

Not at all what I expected, when seeing it from afar.  What I expected was a crude tiki-land sort of thing.  Up close, this was a carefully crafted Mount Fuji surrounded by a well designed Japanese-style conifer garden.  And it was old--it looked early 1960s-era.  Someone has loved and tended this garden for decades.

A wheelchair ramp indicates the original gardener may now be unable to tend the garden, and watering restrictions have forced the grass to die, but most of the conifers are still precisely cloud-pruned, and someone has watered and trimmed the cluster of Cycas revoluta.  They looked healthy.
This structure was a mystery.  The center branch of the dead tree was added.  There was a chipped bonsai container topping the roof, and the whole thing was in abysmal condition.  What was it, originally?  We were baffled.  



  Someone loved and enjoyed their garden here for a long, long time.  Until they couldn't any more.  

On the same street, a hellstrip of Agave attenuata:
 Around the corner, one of the homes in our area that is obviously the farmhouse once surrounded by citrus groves.  A check of property records show it was built in 1931.  Some charming details.



Next to that was the house with an olive tree buzzed into the shape of a...a...hockey puck?  Yes, that's an olive tree. I got out of the car and checked. 

 Okay.  Who's got a neighborhood volcano or a hockey-puck tree?

20 comments:

  1. Both so strange, so strange indeed. That olive tree in a more lush setting would work. Speaking of work, how much does it take to keep an olive pruned like that? Wow.

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    1. It's less work to prune it like that than to prune it properly. That's one guy with a gas-powered extra long hedge trimmer, a ladder, and an hour.

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  2. You got me beat there.
    Only in California. I know I've said it before..

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    1. I bet I could find a thatched-roof house here if I tried. Surrounded by Agaves and delphiniums. (We say Only in California, too!)

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  3. No hockey puck trees, although there are a few smaller versions. I think of them as ding dongs (as in the "chocolate" Hostess treat). As for the volcano, yes. Really.

    It's in this mash-up: http://www.thedangergarden.com/2010/05/what-were-they-thinking-wwtt-number-1.html but is next to impossible to see in my small 2010-sized photos.

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    1. Yeah, ding dong. That's it. Just broccoli-flavored instead of chocolate.

      I'll give you the win on the blue driveway award, but I think my volcano is better than your volcano.

      ;^)

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    2. Definitely! Your volcano get's the win. BTW later in the day I found myself chuckling about your disqualifying Mt. Hood. Funny stuff...

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  4. I like the Japanese garden very much. I was intrigued by the structure. So much so I did some searching on the web about Japanese garden features. The Mt. Fuji is not unusual in Japan. But this one is particularly well done. The shape of the bonsai bowl on top of the odd structure got me started thinking. It is very very similar to the ornaments on top of many Japanese garden lanterns which gives me the idea that this is an very ingenious reconstruction of a lantern by the shape or of a summer house for viewing by the size. Construction is from recycled materials. As I said, very ingenious. That's my take.

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    1. I like your take, that makes a lot of sense! I wish I could have seen the garden in its prime. The more I looked at it the more I realized how well designed it was.

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  5. Wow, you see the most interesting things in your neighborhood! The volcano is a head scratcher. I have no idea what it could be--other than a volcano.

    The dead-trees structure with a roof looks like a wishing well to me.

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    1. It's just a matter of wandering around looking to see what is out there. :)

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  6. The volcano is a new one for me. The olive tree breaks my heart a little, although it does look healthy.

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    1. Olive trees can get huge here. In a lawn, that olive is getting plenty of water (even with water restrictions)--no wonder it's growing like crazy.

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  7. The olive makes me want to cry, since they're such tough and beautiful and long-lived trees.

    The crumbling structure looks as if at one time it may have been a roofed house for a particularly spectacular bonsai, one that benefited from rain protection. I saw something like that almost 20 years ago at a bonsai exhibit that was part of/near the Rhododendron Species Foundation arboretum in Washington (closer to Tacoma than Seattle). Something of a mystery why they don't just take away the roof, bars, and dead tree and put something sculptural (or a container plant) on the platform.

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    1. Olives can live a thousand years and more, I read. Transplantable too, at large sizes--maybe they could sell it and plant something that isn't going to get so large?

      That is an interesting idea about the purpose of the structure. Sounds entirely plausible, considering the style of the garden.

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  8. Some very unusual garden elements in your neighbourhood dear Hoover, my neighbourhood is quite boring. Such a shame to get old and not be able to care for your garden, sad. I do love the Spanish style house, the 'scroll' detail at the side is lovely, also the decorative bars on the window. The olive tree is so dense, perhaps due to the pruning.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. You are right the olive tree foliage was incredibly dense. I went and looked at it close up--it was solid healthy foliage in there, quite amazing.

      Your neighborhood probably has some interesting things--I never would have expected to find a volcano in mine!

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  9. The only volcanoes we have are mulch volcanoes. Does that count?

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  10. I had to laugh at this post! I also have a neighborhood volcano. Posted a photo here (http://theflowerexperiment.blogspot.com/2016/08/08-06-2016.html) so we can compare. Yours is pretty spectacular. I had always hoped the owners would put red and yellow flowering plants at the base, but crab grass "lava" has taken hold and the bar is now out of business. Mine is a sadface volcano.

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