Today’s photos come from Carol Cowee. Her images remind us to cherish the beauty of our gardens and inspire us to rebuild when disaster strikes.
This was my garden of 34 years in Redding, California, Zone 9. We had nine acres, mostly on a hill, and could only garden on the top part, which was not level. It was a very challenging garden: no soil, only rocks, and nowhere to dig soil with a shovel. My main tool was a rock bar! I had 170 roses, and as a plantaholic, I had countless plants and bulbs. We had a magnificent view of Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta.
On July 26, 2018, the Carr Wildfire tore through our area and instantly destroyed our steel prefab home and the garden. Fortunately, I constantly took photos of the garden, the house, and the many arrangements I had made over the years. I plan to write a book, mostly a picture book, titled Epitaph of a Much Loved Home and Garden.
We have sold this property, which now looks like war zone, and bought a nine-year-old home on the other side of town with a nice, smaller garden. At 80, I will carry on and continue my love of gardening. I was able to dig up about a dozen mini roses that survived not only the fire but three hot months with no water. They are alive and vigorous, in pots, waiting to be planted in their new garden.
The rose Mme. Isaac Pereire climbing up the rose trellis.
Climbing Iceberg rose
Mature ginkgo and persimmon trees presiding over the garden.
Climbing Peace rose on the railing, Royal Sunset climbing an oak tree in back, and Mt. Lassen to the right.
After the fire: the best ever rose trellis made from chainlink fence posts.
After the fire: my 44-year-old gingko and the persimmon tree.
The arrangement here is the last one to come from my garden. Farewell . . .
Read our interview with Douglas Kent to learn about firescaping. Doug is an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona, where he teaches ecological land management, ecological restoration, regenerative life-support systems, and landscape construction. He is also the author of the book Firescaping.
Ways to help
Consider donating to relief efforts by going to California Community Foundation (a five-star organization on Charity Navigator) and donating to its Wildfire Relief Fund.
To learn more about firescaping
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to GPOD@finegardening.com along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
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