The vast majority of urban and suburban  home owners and others who visit the outdoors rather often,  are not particularly interested in beautiful landscape gardens.    Such gardens  are too rare   to be found.  If ever found, they are usually limited to the back ‘yard’.

Not that there might not be well manicured grounds, well mowed lawns, a healthy tree or two implying a degree of neatness and care somewhere.    But where are the  beautiful spring blooms, the spectacular opening buds on so many of the conifers, the very purpose of  nature’s Spring?      Annabelle hydrangeas don’t bloom for another month or two.    Hostas ringing around tree stumps appear artificial and silly….and the foliage will reach full strength and health in a couple weeks yet…until the slugs get to them.   And yes, there might be  a   Rhododendron and Magnolia blooming in the naked occasionally  somewhere in a square mile or two…..but where is the landscape gardened grounds of inspiration?

In the neighborhood where I live more than half of blue spruce trees over fifteen years old are already more than 50% dead.  Ash trees are all over the place whether wanted,  needed or not.   The positioning of other woody materials, whether needed or not,  occur by habit along the front foundation, whether attractive nor not.    Lawns, lots of them,  are mowed.    A shrub or two appear  somewhere.   But, there is little, if any, harmony anywhere on the home grounds.    Crabapples  do appear in the front of  some suburban homes occasionally, but live  unpruned, therefore return to  their natural ugly selves every   Autumn and Winter at leaf fall.

All of the conifers, if there are any planted at all,  are called either ‘evergreens’ or pine.   Few are ever pruned to beauty, for almost no one knows how to prune them to add to their beauty.    Their beautiful leaf buds are opening now and will continue to be displayed until  early June.

In the suburbs, many homes have garages attached to the house itself as a ‘convenience’  making it possible for folks to go to and come from work without ever  having to worry about visiting the   outdoors.   Perhaps fewer than  one in fifty homeowners  know the names of  any  woody plants planted on  their grounds and fewer would know why they were  planted there in the first place.   Identifying perennials might be limited to two species.

We at Masterpiece years ago offered  Spring landscape  garden tours of exceptional Twin City settings, but folks weren’t interested.  Garden tours, by habit in towns and cities  for more than a century have  occured  the first two weeks in July or so when  lady garden club members could show off their  flower gardens in best bloom.     Such gardened grounds are often exquisitely colorful for a week or two  as a flower garden, but  NOT a landscape garden setting where the home grounds are beautiful to come home to, live within, and enjoy whether visiting and  ‘sculpting’ or  looking out each window admiring the setting.

Beginning this Saturday, May 7, we at Masterpiece are offering a series of classes to learn more about landscape gardening in the home grounds.   Please call 612-919-5300 for further information.   Be sure to look at a blog earlier this week for more details……