A pictoral history of the Taylor Garden
in Macon, Georgia (zone 8a).

August 2003

The New House

This is how we started. It was just a plain, grey house that had been built in 2000 as in-fill in a dilapidated (but improving) urban neighborhood. The owner had trouble selling this one. It sat on the market for three years before my wife and I came along with a little vision and a lot of energy and snatched it up.

Notice that there was no off-street parking and virtually no landscaping. We had a strip of sod across the front yard and a few bushes (Rhaphiolepis indica--Indian Hawthorn, as we later discovered). The back yard had received no landscaping attention whatsoever. There was hard-packed clay near the back door with some weeds farther back and a thicket of bushes and small trees at the very back of the property. Those I had to dig up, one by one, to create some semblance of a lawn. In fact, the back yard looked so bad that my wife and I were too ashamed to take any pictures of it. We had a lot of work to do first.

December 2004

The Landing

When we bought the house, there were nearly three full cubes of bricks sitting in the back yard. The seller offered to have them hauled away, but we wanted to keep them. We intended, even then, to build a brick fence around our yard. Sadly, though, our fence had to wait. My maternal grandmother passed away in 2003, and I inherited a patio set from her, so, instead of a fence, we built a patio to go with the set, and that's how we used our bonus bricks.

It was in the Fall of 2003 that we built the patio. In the Spring of 2004 we built a two-car parking pad on the side of the house to give us some off-street parking. In the Summer of 2004 we built a path from the back door to the patio so that we wouldn't be tracking in mud all the time. In the Fall of 2004, we built this landing behind the storage shed. This is the first picture we took of our garden as it was being constructed.

May 2005

The Patio Set

Here, sitting on the patio my wife and I built in 2003, is the patio set I got from my grandmother. By this point, a branch from our neighbor's pecan tree had already fallen off in a storm and shattered the table's glass top. I took this picture because I was trying to special order matching cast-iron doors for the grill I intended to build on the concrete foundation shown in the background. The cost of the custom iron work made the grill impractical, so we used the foundation to build a table and storage box in which I now keep my old, cast-iron grill and all my gardening supplies.

Sadly, the patio set was stolen some months later. We managed to recover parts of the set that had, evidently, fallen out of the get away vehicle while the thieves were leaving the scene.

November 2005

The Scenic View

In the Summer of 2005, construction began on a house that now sits ten feet off our back property line. I took this photograph from the second story of the new house before its windows were installed. This is the first panoramic shot we have of the developing garden. As you can see, by this time we had already made a number of improvements.

I edited the picture for historical purposes. To understand the significance of the Camellia japonica I have labeled, please see my reflective essay, "My Case of Palm Fever: A Journey of Rediscovery."


Copyright 2006 - Alan Taylor - All rights reserved.