Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Plant Rescue

Last October I posted about the house down the street which had been owned by keen gardeners, but had been sold. That post was about a pot of lovely orchids which was discarded on the nature strip when the owners' children were clearing out the house:

You can see a little of how the garden once looked in this Google Street View from August 2008:
A magnolia tree is flowering, and the spring bulbs were probably beginning, but detail is hard to see in this low-resolution image.

Here's a summer view from December 2009:
The magnolia, weeping cherry, and crepe myrtles are in full leaf, the roses are blooming, and there are bulbs and daylilies through the whole front yard. Again, you can't really see the detail in the photo.

By February 2014, the owners had both suffered health problems, and the garden showed the neglect:
It is over-run with weeds, and obviously hasn't been watered in a while.

That's how it stayed until it was sold in about September. Since then it has only declined, as the various short-term tenants there took no care of the garden.

About a month ago, the electricity and water supplies were disconnected, so it was obvious that the house was about to be demolished. On a few evenings since, we have raided the front yard to rescue what we could of the thousands of bulbs we knew were there.

The rescued plants are temporarily planted in the back yard here. They will go with us to the new house when we move.

There are lots of weeds amongst them, which we will have to weed out. As well as bulbs, we rescued daylilies, a herbaceous peony root, and iris rhizomes. They may not all survive being dug up at the wrong time in their life-cycle, (and then again in a couple of months) but they've got a better chance than the ones we couldn't get:
What the house looks like today. The yard has been scraped clean, with everything, including probably thousands of bulbs, dumped in a skip and taken away. It also looks like the replacement buildings will be pretty close to the front of the property, so there won't be any garden in future.

Happily, some of the rescued bulbs are already flowering for us:
Old-fashioned freesias above, and below some spring stars.
I'm happy to have got some of these, as I didn't think to dig up any from my old garden when I sold it last year.


  1. Oh, how very sad. So grateful for people like you Vireya to save Mother Earth's treasures. Woman after my own heart..Next year everything will be beautiful...enjoy.

  2. Good work, I still have iris from my grandparents garden - taken on the day last day. New owner said he was going to live in it, less than 6 months later fence to fence townhouses.

  3. Good on you Vireya. I still have some plants (cuttings of cuttings of cuttings...) in Lara that were originally in my father's garden and he passed away 20 years ago.

  4. I think you left me some Good Luck Vireya! I was finally able to post pics right after I read your comment! Thank you Dear!