Using the patio to look back

I was searching for some older photos this morning, and decided that it would be a good day to take a look back, just to put things into perspective.


The patio seems to be a popular subject of mine, so that's what I'll use. This is the patio today, 15 December 2012. Green. Private. Almost overgrown. Now we'll start stepping backward.


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Is it obvious that winter has gotten off to a mild start again?

Last year (2011) was wonderfully mild too:


17 Dec 2011

Those are terrible photos, but they illustrate my point: still lots of green. Not too different plant-wise from 2012 either, other than the bamboo is fuller and larger this year of course.

How about 2010?

12 Dec 2010

Hey! Two years ago we had snow at this time of year! Bamboo in the snow looks so beautiful.

Keep going...

28 Jan 2009

I couldn't find a December 2009 photo -- that was before I started the blog so didn't take as many photos -- so you have to think of this one as two years before the previous photo. It's essentially Dec 2008.

Lots of snow, and the bamboo is tiny -- and wrapped in plastic for protection from the wind. The fernspray cypress is so much smaller too! Not much privacy in the patio area at this time.

One more year back:

16 Dec 2007
Look at all of the snow! The fernspray cypress is so small, and there's a Japanese maple (since deceased) in the very foreground. Sigh. The bamboo bed on the left doesn't even exist -- in its place are three tiered perennial beds. I'm so glad I decided to remove those and replace with a more substantial plant!

Back one more year:

1 Dec 2006

In 2006 -- the patio's first year -- we had snow so early in the year. All of the plants are so tiny! I can't bear to look at this for too long, so let's keep going...

One more two-year step back:

13 Jan 2005

Winter 2004-2005 and the patio didn't even exist yet, but winter did. Having lived here for 25 years, my general impression of St. Louis winters is that they're not that snowy. Funny how I have photographic evidence that seems to suggest I'm wrong.

So are we on track for another mild winter like 2011 was, or will the colder temperatures and snow make a return? I'm hoping for mild, even though it probably means another summer of drought.

Any guesses?


If you want to see the full evolution of my yard into a garden, take a look at this recent post.

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Alan  – (December 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM)  

BTW, I forgot to say that it's going to be 64ºF (17ºC) today.

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (December 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM)  

Great post to illustrate the evolution of your patio. I love the snow pictures, too.

Keeping my fingers crossed your winter will be a mild one. Your plants would have a great head start next spring.

Bobby  – (December 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM)  

Need a good winter to have a good summer. Didn't cut our roses back last year while I was waiting for winter. They;re gonna get cut back this year, frost or not. Your patio looks inviting.

Steve Lau  – (December 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM)  

It looks like your aureosulcata aureocaulus is getting pretty thick. Have you ever had any drought issues, or a reduction in new shoots yet?

I would imagine that they would grow to a certain point, and keeping them contained in a box would cause them to hit a ceiling in growth unless rhizomes are allowed to grow underneath and outside the box.

M  – (December 15, 2012 at 6:31 PM)  

I'd wager a zonal pacific flow with more moisture this time around. It will dominate most of the winter weather.

Denise  – (December 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM)  

Your garden today could easily be my zone 10 garden. As for your snowy Decembers, what an amazing transformation snow brings to a landscape!

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