The Leather Oaks Garden -- 1994 Beginnings

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This Page Created on January 15th, 2008
Front Yard Plantings The first thing Mark did was outline some pretty big bordering beds. He likes things to look more natural, instead of that soldiering line of uniform shrubs you usually see.
     We installed a French drain just in front of the porch. The previous owner had bulldozed the grass away from the immediate area, and we knew it would be a hassle keeping water off the porch!
     This is one of the best views of the full extent of my favorite Live Oak, too!
     The vareigated pittosporum are too small to show, while the "cast iron plants" imported from my old yard already seem right at home. Mark and I dug the wax myrtles from volunteers growing on his place in the country. A few azaleas and a small stand of Chinese bamboo look rather forlorn, but just you wait! Southeast Corner
View from the Driveway      One last picture before we head back to see what Mark did with his "blank canvas" in the back yard. You can see from this view what an interesting life the big Live oak must have endured. Almost all the branches were on the West side.
      Originally, we planted Cleyeria along the whole Eastern fence line, even on the far side of the garage. You can just make out the Loquat tucked behind the first shrubs, though.
     Later on, I'd begin calling this my "Magic Tunnel". Right now, that seems rather an exageration.
      Follow me on back, OK?
Between House and Garage
The LeatherOaks Pond is One Hour Old!      As you might gather from the hose in the foreground, the Pond was just filled! Other than the privacy plantings, this was the first thing the guys completed.
     All of those rocks to the right would eventually get moved into more interesting positions along the Rubber Creek. But first, maybe we need to see what else is happening!
      It took a visit to my friendly banker to continue the landscaping. And as a bonus, the appraiser took this photo.
      Practically all of the planting had been completed, and I was keeping things as properly watered as I could with a 500 foot deep water well that seemed to be failing.
Back Yard Overview in early Summer
Rubber Creek Headwaters      It wouldn't be possible to take this photo now! Even the ferns, much less the hollies make the stream appear much longer than it is in reality.
     That small vertical rock near the top center of the photo marks the Rubber Creek headwaters. Other area "features" had yet to be named.
     Just off the left side of this photo is a large pine. Its location is the "reason" Rubber Creek takes that sharp bend on its way to Diver's Deep. Downstream View
Diver's Deep trademark Fountain There, you see behind the little statue, that big pine trunk? For awhile, it appeared that about all the divers would find would be sunken pine cones!
     But where's the pond, you ask? Seemingly, in my excitement at the general improvements, I simply didn't take many pictures. To the right is one of the few I could find. A friend took it just at dusk. Leather Oaks Pond at Dusk
Neptune on His Knoll      I always thought Neptune resided in the Deep. So it was quite a surprise to find him on this knoll over near the East side of the yard!
      I liberated Neptune (and his paint can rim "crown") from Fulton Concrete as soon as I saw a location marked "Statue" on Mark's landscaping plans. Gee Mark, you meant it to be an Abstract "Work"? At Leather Oaks, in the Rubber Garden? Surely you jest!
     Neptune has been frequently photographed, and he's usually pretty good natured about it. In his deeply shaded corner, he's got a different mood everytime you see him. Neptune's Second Portrait
Central Path Dweller      Looks like the same late afternoon sun has me too.
      If memory serves, this photo was taken just above the Season's Springs, headwaters of Rubber Creek. Remember, that rock from the earlier photo of the stream?
     The one corner of the lot we've yet to explore was also the closest thing to a developed area!  I needn't tell you that the big Sago Palm and even larger azaleas didn't just get planted! At some former period, the lot had hosted an old homestead. This was apparently the remaining features from their garden.
     And isn't that a neat middle-aged Live Oak? Gnarly. Yeah ! !
The Southwest Corner