Before And After

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9December 14, 2013

In my last photo post someone was kind enough to state that my garden = Motivation, and that prompted me to post these pictures of my yard as it was when we first moved in versus what it is now. I know many of you have seen these photos before, but hopefully there are some newer members that haven't and might be interested in the changes that we made.

When We First Moved In

The Lovely Front Yard

Doesn't It Take Your Breath Away?

The Glamour Quotient Goes Way Up In The Summer

It Doesn't Get Better Than This

A Bit Of A Start


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That's so beautiful Ingrid!! I have never seen it. You can tell their's alot of years and hard work dedicated ti your beautiful yard :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Wow! Your before pictures inspire us with new suburban gardens.
My backyard was a barren plot, no sod. I redesigned the front yard.
I created and expanded flower beds/hedges.

Can you tell us what inspired you when designing your garden? It has a beautiful & graceful flow. It should be featured in a magazine or blog like Gardenista!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 2:24PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

It's always the progress isn't it? To look back and see how you have beautified something is always rewarding!
Do you appreciate how far it has come?
Thanks so much for sharing with us your beautiful garden. I just love the setting.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 4:21PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Stunning! I love how the beds are big enough for a nice variety of things (which you planted), yet small enough that you can walk around them and see everything up-close. And I love the "spilling over the edges" look. I hope that what I put together will look half as good in a couple years.



    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 4:27PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Lovely, lovely transformation, Ingrid!


    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:30PM
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view1ny NY 6-7

wow. breathtaking!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:35PM
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porkpal zone 9 Tx

An amazing piece of creativity! I wish I had the vision to produce results a fraction as lovely.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I'm glad that you did this again. It is inspiring and helpful to others starting their gardens. it's a wonderful accomplishment Ingrid.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Ingrid - I really can't find the words! What a beautiful change, you are very gifted and I can only imagine all the hard work! May the beauty of it bring you enjoyment for many years to come!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:52PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I want to say first and foremost that my husband, a non-gardener, is responsible for planting everything you see, and without him there would be no garden.

When we began, I had no fixed idea except that I wanted a Mediterranean-style country garden. Bright red, orange or modern-looking roses don't appeal to me but other than that I had no fixed ideas at first. It was all trial and error, in a very challenging climate and poor soil. Many plants came and went. It took me some time to realize that bright yellow didn't fit into my scheme, and that a fairly subdued color scheme would blend best into the surrounding hills and native vegetation. I gravitate primarily toward cool tones and that has been my palette with a few exceptions such as Cl. Lady Hillingdon and the muted-apricot tea rose Miss Atwood. I bought many companion plants and most of them bit the dust after a year or two, partially due to the heat but also no doubt to my ignorance, but I've found that a fairly limited selection of plants actually gives a more cohesive and restful effect.

I have no special design talents. If you stick with a limited, harmonious range of colors and plant what you love you can't go far wrong.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 11:56PM
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I always enjoy your pictures because they convey a feel of a whole garden and not just plants that live near each other! ;-) How old are the "before" pictures, how long has it taken you to get your garden where it is today?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 10:32AM
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titian1 10b

Beautiful. I hope my garden turns out half as good.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 4:41PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

subk3, we began planting about seven years ago. I just counted how many roses I've discarded or given away and to my horror it's 104. I'm afraid that's why my garden doesn't look more mature or have larger roses. Our property is carved out of the side of a rather steep hill, with a steep hillside still above us, literally in our yard, and lots of boulders and hardscape, which makes the solar radiation very intense. Many of the roses that I'd grown easily elsewhere decided to commit suicide here, either slowly or rather quickly. I'm hoping that what's left now will decide to stay with us.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 6:54PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Ingrid, those pictures are absolutely gorgeous, and you have created such a harmonious symphony of color throughout your garden. I love the way the roses and other plants intermingle, and you've certainly met your goal of an exquisite example of Mediterranean gardening! It's even more inspiring that you've had the courage to take out roses that simply weren't working for you, and that's a tribute to your gardener's heart and eye.

Thanks so much for posting these!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 7:32PM
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Ingrid, I followed along your process of making a garden, but it's good to see the beginning and the current garden again. It looks beauriful: what a success! Thanks for posting the photos.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 9:36AM
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It's a really beautiful transformation, Ingrid. The plants look harmonious with the surrounding landscape, wonderful.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Motivation ++++++++++++++++


    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Nothing short of amazing!!!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Just...astonishing! What an artist you are. Such an oasis of beauty. A wonderful display of how a thoughtful & creative gardener improves nature, providing a superior habitat & a lovely landscape. Those snibbies look cheerful.

Clapclapclapclapclap!!! Please keep posting your photos. They are so inspiring. I want to be buried there :P

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:35PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Your garden looks awesome, so much more in tune now with the surrounding landscape.

Here's what I started with, pieced together from multiple photos so it looks jumbled. The cement mixer would have made a great garden ornament, no?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:49PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Cynthia, Melissa, Krista, Lee and Sidos House, I appreciate your kind words of approval so much. There's much joy in sharing what we've done in the garden with people who can truly understand the happiness and the work, the triumphs and the setbacks of such an undertaking. Melissa, I know full well everything you've achieved in your much larger garden has been through backbreaking work on the part of you and your husband, and indeed none of you here have done it by sitting back on a garden bench with a drink in your hands. But then there are those moments on a perfect evening when in the dusk the garden becomes a place of beauty and wonder, and we know that we've created it....


    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Oh Ingrid, these are wonderful pictures. You have created a beautiful garden that I would love to walk thru. I know you have experienced frustration in finding those roses that thrive in your climate. Bravo!!! You have succeeded! I agree with blue girl,,,,,more photos! Lesley

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Ingrid, I will probably say a hundred times how unbelievable I find it that you can grow such a lush garden in such dry dry dry conditions! It's beautiful and I have always been so impressed.

Hoovb, I am glad you posted your "this is what I started with" picture. I've often wondered when I look at your garden pictures. Maybe you have some such postings on your blog, but perhaps you'd consider doing a similar post to what Ingrid has done.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:31PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Yes, hoovb! I didn't know that you had begun your garden from scratch, but it doesn't surprise me considering how new your beautiful home looks. Please, please can you put together a series of pictures of how your garden came about? You have one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen and we could all learn from what you've done, not to mention seeing gorgeous pictures of your garden, of which we usually see just tantalizing glimpses here and there.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 9:45PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

A hauntingly beautiful garden.
Ingrid, you are the first person I know who can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!
Do you know that ancient saying?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 10:54AM
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So so lovely, Ingrid. I have the same taste in roses and seeing your garden always fills me with excitement for my future garden! You have done an amazing job.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Can you come design the rest of my gardens? Thanks. :-)


    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 1:32PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Daisy, I do indeed know that saying, and am immensely flattered that you should say so, since your garden in Cornwall was superb, and you've created a most spectacular garden out of nothing in Crete.

Melody, thank you so much. My greatest excitement and satisfaction comes from comments such as yours, where I can feel that I've inspired someone to create something wonderful of their own. Without the help of rose books and most especially the inspiration of beautiful gardens on this forum, I don't think I would have known where to start. Being able to pass on this knowledge in some way is a great honor.

Josh, I think you're well on the way to becoming a superb rose person and gardener. Any time that you would like to post pics of your ongoing efforts, I'd be more than happy to throw in a suggestion or two if you would like. You're in that early, exciting stage of acquisition where you want as many roses as possible, and it may be some time before you can stand back and really look at the overall plan. I wouldn't even want to spoil this giddy phase, and from what I can see your choices have been great.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 2:19PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I did a before & after post, back on the 9th, though the after pix being from December are not great. When the weather gets bad we all have a chance to look back at old photos. The "before" pix determined the "after" pix, so are not the prettiest bits.

Ingrid your elegant garden reflects your personality.

Here is a link that might be useful: before & after shots

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:35PM
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titian1 10b

Thoroughly enjoyable! Thanks hoovb.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Wow, hoovb! What a beautiful home. Your landscaping is gorgeous. To turn that bald lot into such a garden wonderland--lovely.
And your doggies are cute, too :-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 4:29PM
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lou_texas(8a N Central TX)

Ingrid and Hoovb, what I see in both your gardens - besides the obvious beauty - is perseverance. You had a vision and knew what you liked and continued to work for it no matter how many years it took, revising when necessary. And Ingrid, I must disagree, you certainly do have a special design talent. Lou

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 5:27PM
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I'm with Josh. I need to hire Ingrid and hoovb to be my landscapers. (Let's play Rosemary and Thyme! Maybe without the dead body?)

(And I see a telescope. Someone's a stargazer. I love stargazing, though it's been ages since I've done it.)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Thanks for sharing the link to your before and after, hoovb. You and Ingrid both have created little pieces of Eden. It's amazing and inspiring.

And, hoovb, I wonder if perhaps your beloved and your Hoover don't have a little bit of North Carolina in them... we are the tarheel state and it sounds like they would fit right in ;)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 7:45PM
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Love the Spanish architecture of your California homes, Las Vegas too.
It is uncommon in Houston. Mostly older homes or mansions in the museum district have this style. Some custom built homes & new gated upscale townhomes have the stucco and the tiled roofs.

Hardiplank siding and some brick are the norm.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:38PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

hoovb, I never realized how steep and hilly your property is. Even more credit to you for having made it such a showplace. The succulents on the slope are gorgeous, and the house as you've styled it now is even more beautiful. My past included a similar custom-built house on five acres in the hills, and I now live in a ranchburger on a much smaller property, but I love it more here. The many roses that flourished there (much more easily than they do here) were all allowed to die soon after I left.

bellegallica, the telescope is my husband's. He has a phenomenal knowledge of astronomy while I struggle to understand the basics. Of course he can't differentiate a banksia from a gallica....


    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:58PM
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