Thursday, March 06, 2008

St Augustine Gardens

St. Augustine, Florida, is a pretty place. Walking around there reminds me of all the history that's been forgotten: Florida has really the longest recorded history of any state in the Union, that four flags (French, Spanish, English and American) have flown over Florida, that the Spaniards were really the discoverers and conquerors of North America. The city should be congratulated for enforcing strict building codes in the historic district, and for preserving/restoring much of the area. It's an architectural treasure, though a bit of a superficial one.

But I was hard-pressed to find much in the way of interesting municipal areas from the horticultural point of view. The public spaces were predictable units of weedy St Augie, oleander, and crepe myrtle. Yawn. Even Flagler College, with its all its stunning architecture, was landscaped with little more than some sagos, azaleas, and crepe myrtles. Oh, and weedy St Augustine. The courtyards of private houses, glimpsed from the street, were hardly more interesting. Lots of ratty potted geraniums and asparagus fern.

But I did find this little gem of a courtyard at the O'Reilly House Museum. Too bad the darn place was closed on Wednesdays. But I snapped some pictures from over the top of the fence. A nice mix of edible and ornamental landscaping in a classic courtyard style of straight lines. They even managed some nicely trellised trees -- I was too far back to see what kind, but perhaps these were fruit trees? The leaves look elongated like a peach tree, but I hope they didn't try to trellis a peach tree, since it peaches grow far too quickly, and have far too few buds, to trellis successfully.

4 comments:

Emily said...
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Anonymous said...
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ldybug said...

I love the espalier trees. I thought peach trees worked for this...guess I'm wrong. Looks like a nice garden for the corner of a small yard.

Mark Howard Long said...

I do not mean to be picky, my friend, but you forgot a flag that flew over Florida - that belonging to the Confederate States of America. Of course we would rather forget it, but...