Shrub border views

– Posted in: Garden Design, Garden Photography

A recent post on photographer David Perry’s fine site challenges his readers to spend 15 minutes and take a garden photo from a window in their house.  Hmmm, I can waste 15 minutes . . .  grabbed my camera and opened the door of my studio.  Here is what I sent him:


I thought immediately that GGW readers might want to know that the photo, taken from my office door looking out to my driveway and shrub  border, is the book-end complement to the photo with urns from my Making a Photo posting on Jan 18:


Notice the Weeping Katsura tree, Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendula’, at the end of my driveway is the tree with the weeping branches looking out from my office door in the photo for David Perry’s post.  The point of my Jan 18 post was about cleaning up the view above and adding some terra cotta pots as accent plants.  But my post implied I had cleaned up my entire border, mulched, swept and generally made it tidy.  Ah,’twas a lie.  The Camera Aways Lies.

This is what my border really looked like when I photographed the end where the urns were put:


I just could not leave it looking so messy and now I have finished cleaning the border, have pruned back the rest of the shrubs, and washed away the grime:


And since several readers asked to see more of the shrub border, I took a series of photos documenting my progress.  Look for the daffodils blooming between the lavender hedge in March and Mahogony Red Poppies in the summer.

I do enjoy the process of pruning and cleaning up the shrubs.  Somehow I know they appreciate getting rid of the clutter removing last year’s spent and tired leaves and twigs.  Rejuvenated and ready for another year:


In the foreground – Lavender ‘Fred Boutin’ with Liriope ‘Silver Dragon’; shrubs from far left – Carpenteria californica with gray peeling bark, pink flowering Camellia sasanqua ‘Kanjiro’, pruned French hybrid Ceanothus (Ceanothus x pallidus ‘Marie Simon’), foliage Camellia sasanqua ‘Cleopatra’; behind ‘Marie Simon’ in the meadow is Deer Grass, Muhlenbergia rigens which I have not cut back in three years.

And now more to do, and the week-end is gone.  I still have to cut back the mixed border, most of the roses still need pruning, and if I don’t get to the fruit trees they will be blooming soon with all this warm weather.  Is there no end to garden work?  Actually it is not work, it is therapy.  Work is what I must do in the morning ….  Monday awaits.

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Saxon Holt

Saxon Holt is the owner of, a garden picture resource for photographs, on-line workshops, and garden photography stories. An award winning photojournalist and Fellow of The Garden Writers Association with more than 25 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California. PhotoBotanic - Garden Photography online at
Saxon Holt

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