Berkeley gardens are typically full and wild; grasses, roses, wild flowers, and small shrubs fill the space. One can grow so many plants in Berkeley because there is lots of sun, heat, and people who love their gardens. The owner of this house on Delaware Street has plants and trees everywhere. In exchange for several tickets to the San Francisco symphony, I agreed to tend to his trees.
These two trees in front are an olive (left) and a Campbell Magnolia (right).
Olives get thick and bushy if left alone. With some thinning, no more than one third of the canopy, I allowed its natural shape to appear: in this case, a graceful s curve. When pruning olive trees, it’s crucial to know when to stop.
The magnolia was full of buds. I only made about six small cuts because I prefer to prune Magnolias after they have bloomed. The secret to pruning this tree was less is more. With just a few small snips I was able to even out the shape.
In the back, there were several fruit trees, vines, shrubs, roses, and lots of flowers. This Bay Tree was front and center. To me it felt like the Incredible Hulk next to all these delicate plants. So I did my best to thin it out and keep a natural shape.