2017 – The Island Evolution

January 21 2017
From January 21, 2017 – trunk of a small Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) – someday to be a focal point on the Island

Earlier this year, during a radio interview, the head of the Toronto Botanical Garden described gardening as a type of performance art.  He was right, of course.  That’s one of the fascinations of a garden – watching it change day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year.

Sure, you can create a space that never changes, using stone walls or pathways to maintain rigid boundaries, pruning hedges and shrubs the same way year after year. But even then, if you have trees, they will grow and conditions will change.

I, like most gardeners, like an evolving space.  I enjoy the four seasons, the unexpected seedlings, moving perennials, planting bulbs, deciding whether to keep a growing shrub or prune it back or maybe even remove it.

The largest micro garden on our property is The Island.  I’ve documented its changing patterns in 2017 – you can see it by clicking the tab above that says ’12 Months on an Island’ – or by clicking the link below.  The Island will keep changing in 2018 and beyond and I’ll keep taking pictures of it.  Hopefully my skills with a camera will also evolve!




  1. I stopped by my former home that I moved out of eleven years ago. I left it in a state of very low maintenance, thinking that I did not want to leave much that could be done improperly. The ‘maintenance gardeners’ that ‘maintain’ it have invented an entire set of new variables that they could do very improperly. It has evolved in the worst way, worse than I could have imagined. They ruined things that would be fine now if they had done nothing at all to them, while ignoring things that needed to be done! That sort of evolution is not easy to look at, especially knowing how I planned it.


    1. It’s a bit heartbreaking eh? I avoid going down a street where I planted a Kousa Dogwood many years ago – it was so beautiful, especially in bloom. I’m afraid to go by our old house only to discover a new owner has chopped it down…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I go to my former neighborhood because some of the neighbors still live there. Otherwise, I would never do so. The home of my ancestors is now occupied by a nice young family who fixed it up nicely, did a lot of repair, and remodeled it into a nice modern home. However, even though the home will be better taken care of now, and maybe last another century, I still do not want to see it.


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