The Garden Before It Was The Garden

Thanks to a kind neighbor looking through old photographs, a view of the garden decades before it was our garden.  I've circled the approximate area of our house in red.  Circa 1970.
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Photo courtesy of KD

The view is no longer there;  mature trees obscure everything except the roads and a rooftop or two.  From roughly the same spot, you'd see something like this today:
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Inspired by that view of the past I scanned some photos taken by the landscape architect who initially worked on our property in late 1999.  The photos (remember film cameras?) are pieced together from separate shots, which is why they look higgledy-piggledy. 
The front of the house face on:
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That low rectangle of blocks is the future koi pond!  Behind all the block work you can see the mass of volunteer Eucalyptus we had cut down: 
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The front of the house looking westwards:
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The original east side of the house.  The balcony/patio was not yet 
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The balcony under construction:
The driveway area:  
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The very first plant that went in, a Quercus agrifolia that died soon afterwards.  I didn't know it at the time, but the right way to do it is to start with a local acorn, not with a 36" boxed specimen with compromised tap root.  
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  I need to get "today" shots from the same angles, but best not to do that in my bathrobe and slippers.  Next post. 


  1. Oh, this kind of look back at the past is so interesting! I wonder if any of my neighbors have pictures of what my lot looked like before our house was here. It was the last one built on the street, and according to the neighbors it was nothing but a huge mass of blackberries. What a bummer that the oak died. It's quite large with a nice form.

    1. Huge mass of blackberries. Yikes! Aren't you glad you didn't have to do the clearing?

      I have a baby oak from an acorn growing on the other side of the driveway now The Doomed Oak shall be avenged!

  2. It's fun to look at the old landscape and compare it to what it has become. I'll be interested to see your "after" shots. I wish I could locate pictures of my own area from the time it functioned as a rock quarry in the 1940s or when building began in the 1950s - maybe one day I'll check into whether our little city hall has anything.

    1. Rock quarry?!? Your soil must be wonderful. ;^) Public libraries often have local history collections. They have some fun stuff.

  3. Interesting to see how you started the garden and the building of your property. When you see old photographs it is amazing how it changed over the years, is not it.

    1. Photos are great--you think you remember a lot, then a photo reminds you of something you've forgotten.

  4. Wow, isn't it nice to see some of the history of your property?

    1. That shot from 1970 just gobsmacked me--there are so many big trees now you can't recognize the area.

  5. I always love seeing "before" spaces. I tell anybody who's interested in starting a garden to get lots of photos of what it looks like every year, even before they plant anything. Can't wait to see the "now" shots. :)

    1. Yes, isn't it a delight? I love the differences.

  6. Very cool to see what was! It makes me appreciate even more all of the hard work you've done.

    1. Now when my back hurts I have photos to prove why!


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