I think the ancient Persians were the original purveyors of the term paradise. It translates to something along the lines of walled enclosure. I agree that a walled enclosure can be a garden paradise, but I find my idea of garden paradise has changed over time.
My first garden was about 100 square feet behind an urban townhouse my husband and I had when we first married. My husband had bought the townhouse when he was single. The garden consisted of a 8 x 8 foot slab of concrete with a telephone pole in the middle and dirt around the sides; he used it as motorcycle parking. There were french doors that looked out on this not very scenic view.
I built a garage for the motorcycle incorporating the telephone pole, bricked the slab of concrete and put 2 tree form roses in big pots at the back of the space…paradise found. Unfortunately, the tree roses only looked beautiful maybe two months out of the year. But those two months were spectacular. This also cured my desire to grow roses for the most part. The townhouse was sold and we moved to the suburbs for space and quiet.
My next garden was more ambitious a – 1/3 acre suburban lot with a vegetable parterre, water garden, a waterfall and perennial beds. I enjoyed creating the garden, but, after 17 years, it was just too much work. The couple who bought the house were 10 or 15 years younger, had 5 kids were excited about the garden and planned to add a pizza oven. Paradise found and lost again..
The Vegetable Parterre was another one of those things that looked great two months out of the year – but had the added bonus of providing vegetables and herbs. Eventually the parterre disappeared and it was mostly a kitchen garden with herbs.
I enjoyed the fish pond for a number of years, but it leaked, and leaked and I fixed it and fixed it…this cured me of water features, in the ground anyway.
My current garden paradise is a work in progress. My goal is more hardscape, more perennials and less maintenance. Still working on it…
Very true words – especially about being cured of the need of certain garden features or plants!
Very fortunate I was cured of Roses early on – growing them in South Florida is a real challenge!
The thing is, one’ s idea of Paradise changes to suit different stages of one’ s life. A good thing too, how boring if it stayed the same. The things I liked when I started gardening have been left behind. Even now though, I just get the garden how I like it and then I decide to change everything. My plants duck every time I walk past.
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So, you strike fear of relocation into the hearts of your plants when you walk by, that sounds like a normal gardener.