Saturday, March 5, 2011

Watching a Garden Transform

The view over my back fence.

The house next door has had a chequered history. While one family lived in our house for five decades, half-a-dozen owners lived next door. The retired German couple, the eccentric heiress, the podiatrist who always had a cocktail in his hand, the Zen Buddhist married to the ex-G.I., and the Chinese restaurant owner and his clan are a few who come to mind.

Long ago, it had a beautiful formal garden in the back with roses and camellias and a gravel path raked carefully by a Japanese gardener. Now the back is just an open field--I don't really mind it that way, as it makes me feel as if I live next to an open space preserve.

The front, however, is a different matter. But that is changing.

Front view of the house next door.

The new owner is a physician from Iran who works at our local hospital. She decided something should be done about her front yard, and turned to another neighbor for help.

Work begins.

Our neighbor, Mr. Potts, has a landscaping business and this week he has been transforming Dr. Z's front yard, with the help of his friend Toby, the errant yellow Labrador.

Mr. Potts' assistant, Toby Tyler.

California is very water conscious, green conscious, global warming conscious, non-invasive species conscious, and pesticide conscious, so this will be a very conscious garden. Much more environmentally correct, it will also look a heck of a lot better than it has been looking.

Neighbor helping neighbor.

This is also a very good lesson in micro-economics. Dr. Z gets a job and hires Mr. P to landscape her yard. Mr. P. has work for two employees (plus Toby). All (except Toby) pay a portion of their income in taxes and use the rest to save ($ which can then be borrowed by other people to build and expand) or buy things that keep other people working. All this without the help of any government stimulus whatsoever. Amazing.

Under this new economic plan, even a greenhouse, somewhere, benefits. As does our neighborhood.

I've been taking photos of the transformation, and it promises to be a thing of beauty. I get to see more of Toby too, because he likes to escape from time to time and visit me. Throwing a stick for him is always a nice break from working on my t@#$s, and cleaning my house for the upcoming visit of my sister and brother-in-law.

Stay tuned and I'll have more pictures as the work continues. It is a good sign that houses are selling and people are doing things like landscaping. As California goes, so goes the nation. At least that is what they say.

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peretzklein said...

What a beautiful view over that fence! I bet you hopped that fence 100 times as a little girl.

Robin Chapman said...

I think there were camellias in a flower bed on the other side of the fence then, so, I don't think I did. If I had lots and lots of moolah (about 1.3 million would do it) I would buy that little house and tear it down and put in a nice apricot orchard over there, just for open space and all those fresh apricots. This whole neighborhood was once a big apricot orchard and when we were kids, all summer we had warm, sweet, tree-ripened apricots for our snacks. Not so many trees left any more. But the Packards, of Hewlett Packard, still have an orchard up in the hills as a sort of community service, and you can buy cots from them in the summer at very low prices. Wow, that was long answer. Good thing I'm not Tweeting!

Don Meuler said...

What a great neighborhood! What does the yard bunny think of all the commotion?

Robin Chapman said...

I think I heard it say: "Uhhh, what's up, Doc?"