Destinations Magazine


By Alternativeeden @markngaz

Whatever happens to a garden when the owners are no longer there?

It's a question that I ponder upon every so often. It's also a question that I encounter on a regular basis too. And in light of recent events in the exotic gardening scene here, made me think of this question and subject matter again.


Gardeners move on from the garden they created for a myriad of reasons. And when the gardener is no longer there, what happens to that space that has been created and received so much love and attention before?

The answer is pretty obvious. Some gardens become immortal. But that is a rarity. A vast majority, ninety nine percent of the time the garden will go shortly after the departure of its creator and caretaker.

It's something that we have witnessed ourselves before. The garden of the house opposite ours used to have a very well presented collection of alpine plants on large raised beds. Now there is a large skip sitting on top of the largest raised bed as the new owner prepares the house for a makeover. One of the large palms on our top patio was dug up a few years ago from a garden that was being cleared after the owner's divorce. That's just a couple of several reality tales that we know of.

Asking the question above in relation to our own garden, what would happen to it if we are no longer living where we are now?


Jungle hut may become a row of brick houses...

I have no pretense that it will be preserved. A new owner is extremely unlikely to keep it as it is. There's no guarantee that the new owner will even be a gardener at all. Our garden as it is now, even if it receives compliments is more likely to daunt than appeal to whoever will potentially take over. 

If we put the house on the market then we'll put a clause that we'll clear the garden if the buyer wishes us to. Densely planted as it is now without that condition potential buyers may be put off. And if we continue gardening somewhere else with a similar climate and keep the same style we'll be taking as much of our plants now with us.

The koi pond will be decommissioned too, perhaps even filled up. Or we can just reinstate the old boundary fence before we bought that patch of land where the koi pond is now as it's not part of house deeds. 

When we are no longer where we are now it may not even be a garden at all. It's future may even be a row of houses as our back garden, together with the adjacent ones are potential building plots.


Densely planted, may become overgrown, or a lawn...

But we are still here and as long as we are our garden will remain a garden.

With all this pondering in mind, the lesson is to enjoy the process of creating the garden. To enjoy the present and relish in the memories of the many fleeting beauties one encounters in the garden. Very, very few gardens will attain immortality and continue as they are even when its creators are no longer there. 


Enjoy it while it lasts

But memories and photos can last much longer. That even if the garden will cease to exist, it can still attain a good degree of immortality.
Mark :-)

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