Friday, May 30, 2008

Before and After: Marking 10 years here

A decade ago - before the makeover

Ten years ago today we moved here to a very unkempt 10 acres with no gardens to speak of. A silo marked the location where a barn used to be. Foundation rocks and rusted metal bits were strewn at its foot and hidden by tall grass and thistles.

These pictures show before and after scenes of just that one area, which we now call the orchard because of the crab apple trees we planted there.

I remember well sowing the grass seed with a broadcast spreader meant for fertilizer. It was in the fall after the bulldozer man had done his work. Like so many of the seasons over the past decade, it was a drought year, and the seed didn't germinate until it finally rained in December. Then the snow came. I despaired about ever seeing the grass come up.

Earlier this spring before the crabapple bloom

Last week, with the trees in their full glory

It's really gratifying to see the lawn I planted flourishing and those crab apple trees getting more lovely by the year. They were just four or five-feet tall and bare root when we planted them.

These days I marvel at the energy and imagination we had to create a garden like this. (We were kind of crazy in our enthusiasm. Our energy certainly isn't what it was 10 years ago.) Oh, the irony: the trees are getting more handsome as they age. But my husband and I? Well, we just look 10 years older. But, as my 80-year-old mother would say: Oh, stop it. You're still young.

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener


  1. Yvonne ... that is absoluetly gorgeous with the trees and plants .. it is so gratifying to see such a beautiful result of your hard work .. the hubby part .. well that is good old mother nature (our eye sight weakens with age too .. so that makes it easier ? LOL)
    Wonderful before and after !

  2. It's so amazing what you have done Yvonne. I've been on my property since 1988. The changes, not only natural, but what we have done are dramatic, especially the natural changes both good and bad. Bad meaning invasive species like buckthorn. We now have a brush hog and are working on improving the natural beauty a bit at a time. It’s a true blessing to have the property to devote attention to. I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks so much.

  3. Thanks, Eve and Joy. Eve, you mention buckthorn. Our place was overrun with that horrid invasive shrub too. We slashed and burned it in the first couple of years. Of course, it keeps coming back in the tree line between us and the neighbors - that area the Brits call a hedgerow. But it's easy to control in the garden: you just pull it out when it's a little sprout. Here's a link about buckthorn:

  4. You have really created an amazing place- a gardened place! Do you remember the variety of crabtree you planted?

  5. Ilona: The variety in the picture is Donald Wyman. I also have Sugar Tyme, and White Angel. They're all white-flowering, I love them. They're pretty, quite disease-resistant, and all have persistent fruit over the winter.

    Thanks for you comment. -Yvonne

  6. You've done a great job. It's beautiful!

  7. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Kudos to you and yours on a job well done, what a transformation? I know where that silo structure is, driven past it a number of times :-)

    The CA's look wicked!

    Mick in Southern Ontario


Thanks so much for visiting this site. I have a new country garden blog and I will no longer be publishing comments at this blog. If you have a question or comment about the topic here, please use the contact form at my new blog to get in touch with me.

-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener