But when I designed it, we were dating and living separately. He had just bought a brand new house - it wasn't quite finished yet. The yard was a blank slate made a bit grim by the remains of construction debris and the horrible subsoil from the basement excavation that was spoiled onsite, covering about two-thirds of the backyard.
He had never gardened. He wanted something relatively low-maintenance and resource-wise. No plants that were liable to require an inordinate level of care or quantity of water during our dry summers. Room for a tomato or two, a basil plant and some fruit: blueberries, strawberries and a compact fig tree.
Who knew how those plants would thrive in the brand new, perfect garden soil we hauled in to replace the grey clay. Plants achieved their predicted maximum size in two years and continued to grow. The garden looked choked. And a few plants died. Somehow the rock rose that seemed the perfect plant for this garden all died within two years. We still have no idea why.
And then I moved in, and wanted more variety and a few pet plants, including starts of Schizostylis coccinea from my old garden. I divided my native ginger, trillium and ducksfoot and moved them in to fill in the dry, shady narrow beds along the side walkways. I decided the garden needed a pomegranate.
And my husband is slowly learning that you don't just plant a garden and it's finished. As our late beloved local garden writer Dulcy Mahar would have said, a garden is never finished. There is always another amazing plant, or a new concept that might fit. Of course, her garden has more space than ours, so many of her brilliant ideas did fit and live on for us to see on visits.
This is true for so many areas of design. Not all media has the changeability of plants, but our understanding and needs change over time. The paint colors of the 80s no longer look so fresh and lovely. Our family changes and a room becomes a nursery. Our towns evolve as land uses and transportation needs change. New technology changes how we build nearly everything. This is the nature of places we live and things we use. Our need and vision changes over time, and with it our designs.