If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.  ~ Author Unknown

I’ve long hung on to the overgrown trees I inherited in my garden, believing that excessive cutting back or pruning would change things radically. I was wary of changing things too much. Mostly, I was wary of losing my fiercely guarded privacy. You see, I’m a very private person, reclusive some will tell you. And mostly, I liked it that way.

And then I started this blog, and suddenly, things were a bit less private. Strangers were “looking” over my walls and into my garden. It actually felt quite nice. Some of those strangers have become gardening buddies and I look forward to their virtual visits to my garden and mine to theirs. Then it dawned on me … perhaps cutting back a tree or two to let in some more light was not such a bad thing after all. Maybe just prune back a little … and so we did. And guess what? Nothing terrible happened. In fact, the sun peeped through and it made both the plants and me smile a bit. Perhaps time to prune back a bit more? Let more light in? Why not?

Get the tree feller in, see what he says. He said two trees HAD to go or they would cause problems with the foundations of my house within the next two years. Oh dear … more loss of privacy? He chopped them down. Then he cut back the others. Hard. Quite a shock to my system. It’s taken quite a while for me to get used to all the light (and seeing some neighbour roofs). But I’m still here, nothing bad happened and … now I like it! I can see the mountain – I have a view! And I see the sun and the sun sees my plants and they seem to be smiling back with their lovely blooms.

Today I’d like to share with you the jungle I was hiding in and how I have transformed this area which I call the “Azalea Bed” over the last three years …

Before – no light, no sun, just overgrown trees

After – Now in September 2011

After - September 2011

More “Before and Afters”

Before – Dexter as a puppyDecember 2007 - Dexter as a puppy

The same area (and Dexter) todayThe same area 4 years later

Another “before” with baby Dex

Today Lilies & Azaleas grow hereToday Lilies grow here

My “brag book”  – the way it looks today

(click to enlarge)

The way it looks todayThe way it looks today

Can you see the Mountain?Can you see the Mountain?

Azaleas and LiliesAzaleas and Lilies

Looking to the mountainLooking to the mountain

Looking from the other viewAnd from the other side

The last photograph shows the bed from the other side (with the mountain behind me). There is of course still work to be done in the front of the bed and once the Tulips have died down in the bed opposite the Lilies & Azaleas I will be planting perennials in there (not doing the Tulips again next year).

I should probably have waited to show this when all the Lilies are blooming and when the Prunus is covered in blossoms … but I’ll just have to show you how it looks then again … it will be another whole new look. I can’t wait!

Happy Gardening
xxx