Monday, January 14, 2013

Farewell .. Adieu, My Sweet Garden: 4th Blogiversary

Greetings my friends, 
today marks the 4th Blogiversary of Bay Area Tendrils ...

It's a celebratory day, yet one that is bittersweet as I'm preparing to say farewell to my garden.
Perhaps the dearth of posts has hinted at a major life change on the horizon. 

And so, for the second time I am parting from a garden I've nurtured from the ground up, having worked for nearly 15 years to create a sanctuary space from scratch in Northern California. The Bay Area Tendrils archives tell the tale of my move from Chicago, where I left behind a beloved small-space town garden.
The Midwestern winters had taken their toll after decades of shoveling snow, together with the endless challenges of icy winters and a flat-roof building. The temperate climate of California held the promise of a kinder environment: Year-round gardening with a breathtaking palette of plant material.
In the past I've posted photos to illustrate the transition: The process of designing an outdoor room for relaxation, to share meals, and bask in the company of birds, bees and butterflies. But first, I would spend the better part of two years extricating brambles and shoveling out loads of rubble in preparation for planting. Digging deep, then mounding up a series of beds and borders filled with compost and fresh soil amendment. All toted back and forth, bag-by-bag in my Honda hatchback, along with pavers and plants to transform the blank slate into my own lush botanical wonderland. 

When I leave here I'll take a small selection of container plants: 
 Indispensable herbs like rosemary and lavender;
Cupheas to invite hummingbirds to my new balcony; 
Succulent beauties like Aeonium 'Schwarzkopf' & 'Sunburst.'

"The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied.  The more one gardens, the more one learns; And the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows."   ~  Vita Sackville-West

37 comments:

  1. I wish that somebody will take good care of the lovely garden you leave. Will you have a new garden?

    Satu from Finland

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    1. Appreciate the good wishes, Satu,
      I do believe the garden will be taken care of, and I shall garden on a 'mini' scale.
      Altogether different than my way of doing things these past 20 years!

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  2. Hi Alice,
    This is all a bit sad to hear about your leaving a garden behind after such a long time. Sounds like you are going to start balcony gardening in a new apartment? Hope it all goes well for you
    kind regards
    Ian

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    1. Cheers Ian,
      Yes, a bitty balcony garden. Something a bit easier on the back!!

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  3. Whoever inherits your garden is a lucky soul. I look forward to seeing what you create on your balcony.

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    1. africanaussie,
      Always delighted to see you smiling face whenever and wherever we connect in cyberspace;-]
      I hope to be able to post a bit about the garden's new stewards, but must wait and see. Don't want to jump the gun or invade someone's privacy.
      Happy that you stopped by,
      xo

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  4. Alice, as you said, balcony garden is a bit easier and, also, has charm and magic! I'm sure you will enjoy! best wishes :)

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    1. My La Tabla friend,
      I'm ready to explore the charm and magic of balcony gardening. Maybe for once I'll actually be able to sit back and enjoy the view, the scents, the blooms, rather than feeling I must be productive, tending to some garden chore. Thank you!

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  5. Best of luck on your transition. Hopefully it will be a new opportunity to do something different and exciting..just on a smaller scale.

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    1. Hi Michael,
      Yes, certainly new and exciting, as well. Right now, "smaller scale" sounds just the ticket!

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  6. It's always a wrench to drag yourself away from something you've put your heart and soul into. You certainly created a thing of beauty, and I'm sure your new gardening space will be beautiful in its own way. Wishing you the very best for the new venture.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Bernie,
      I continue to be amazed at how fully a garden can consume one's time, energy, and affection.
      Although trying to take things one day at a time, I must say it's not always easy when changing direction.

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  7. That is big news, Alice! And I'm sure you'll have the most amazing balcony garden in the complex. I shall follow you wherever you choose to blog, or sign-on, or check in. ;-)

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    1. Hello PP,
      Big, yes, and scary, too.
      Ah well, change is invigorating as long as I remember to breathe.
      Right!
      Your comments are always a joy to behold. (We've a mutual admiration, my dear!!)

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  8. I sense the melancholy of your words but also the sweet anticipation of the garden that is to come. You are right! Gardeners ARE always optimistic. I look forward to seeing whatever space you create, my dear...

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    1. Carolyn,
      True, true. There is surely nothing quite like the optimism of designing with plants, only to have to remove those that do not thrive for one reason or another, leading to the inevitable excitement of finding replacements! Large or small, our garden spaces will always be special.
      So pleased that you'll be on board when I'm able to share the next chapter.
      Sending warm wishes to you, as well.

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  9. I wish you the best in your next stage of life! I can imagine how hard it will be to leave, but new adventures await. I suspect you will make a garden out of whatever challenges await, and it will be in its own way the best one yet.

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    1. Deb,
      you've certainly had your share of gardening adventures. I admire your fortitude.
      I'll take your words to heart and see whether my new space can become special, perhaps even the best!

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  10. Oh Alice this is so bittersweet indeed. It is a stunning space and whomever gets to live in your home and use that garden is very lucky indeed. I do agree with Deb though, you will make another Eden in your new place, it's an exciting time really :) x

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    1. Hey Sweet One,
      With your thoughtful Irish wishes aimed my way, luck will be on my side!

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  11. Parting and goodbyes is always sad for me, whether i am the leaving or i am left behind. I hope you are not as lonesome as myself, as if I were you i will always be thinking of my loved ones (plants). But I am sure your next destination will be more comforting and i hope you can still garden, a gardener will always be a gardener! Take care and God bless. We will follow you there too.

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  12. Hello Andrea,
    Garden blogging has allowed me to 'meet' you, one of the many blogger friends I treasure deeply, albeit, in the virtual sphere ~ and once in a while, in 'real' life.
    It warms my heart to hear you'll follow me to the new space!
    Where I will not be lonesome because of gardeners like you!!
    Thank you for stopping to comment....

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  13. Greetings! This is my first stop here, Andrea. I am at home from work playing a little bit of hookey. Sorry to see you downsize, but I understand how all encompassing a garden can become. I suppose the cliche "It's the journey not the end" can be said in situations like this, however I think nearing the end of a small journey can be extremely rewarding especially if you can hand it off to another superb gardener. I like to go back and look at how my previous gardens have matured, especially memorial plants.
    Good luck to you, and happy gardening. Greggo.

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    1. Alice, here, Greggo!
      I do believe we connected on Blotanical, but I've had no time to visit there.
      The journey, is indeed what gardening is all about. Here, there, or wherever!
      I have a bit of a problem going back to look at spaces I've created. Perhaps I'm happiest savoring the memories....

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  14. when in doubt, to the words of VSW but where are you going?

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    1. Catharine,
      London would be brilliant! But no, not London. Quite nearby in fact. Another Northern California town with great weather.

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  15. All the best for your new adventure. I tend not to go back to gardens I once created, It's usually a big disappointment. I prefer to remember them when they were being tended to with care.

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    1. Hi Sensible!
      Ever changing .. our gardens, and those same gardens reborn as the sanctuary of someone new.
      I have a feeling my garden's new owners will make splendid work of the space....

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  16. A lovely walk down memory lane. I really enjoyed your photos. I moved from Minnesota to Washington to share a milder climate so I understand your journey. I spent the past 5 years building my garden I can't imagine starting again, but I would.

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    1. Charlie
      from the Midwest to the West Coast, indeed, milder and a fascinatingly broad plant palette!

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  17. Alice, sounds like you're very busy at the moment, but I do hope you'll be attending the fling. It would be wonderful to meet you.

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  18. Denise,
    loved your recent Aloe post....
    I hope we meet among the flingers!

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  19. Your Garden is so beautiful. This is really nice. Best wishes to you.

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  20. So sorry to read you are leaving your little bit of paradise, but hope that someone cares for it with the same green fingers and love as you have done.

    Enjoy your new home.
    Every good wish.
    Sonjia

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  21. Life is certainly about change and new challenges. I wish nothing but the best for you as you make another course correction and encounter new adventures. I hope to see how you handle this change and find ways to add green elements to your new life.

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