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……