Many beginner gardeners think there’s a magic way to landscape their property, a key to garden design success that, when learned, will give them an instantly magical garden.
And they search for this silver bullet of garden success, getting more and more frustrated that their gardens don’t ever live up the the expectations created online and in magazines.
I confess I sometimes get all bent out of shape when I look at my garden. It’s different in my imagination than it is in reality. And even when other folks say it’s nice, I disagree. The garden design is not the way it “should” be.
Then I remind myself that “I should not should upon myself” 🙂
There Is No Royal Road
The important point in the image above is the last. There is no royal road or clean-cut path to making a garden. It’s a meandering pathway, sometimes forward and sometimes doubling back onto itself.
We all struggle with the same problems and we never meet the expectations in our head created by the artificial garden photography (ever hear of photoshop?) in garden magazines and the Net. I’ve written before of the amount of work that goes into creating those gorgeous shots for magazines and broadcast shows.
I struggle for sure. Heck, I’m supposed to have a great garden because I’m a garden writer. I put all this pressure on myself and sometimes it becomes too much.
A Real Life Example
Let me tell you a short story. When I was filming the video series for Craftsy, one segment involved me talking about trench composting. I was supposed to dump the bucket of kitchen vegetable scraps into the trench I’d just finished digging and the cameraman would zoom into the trench to show you the compost.
I did the little speech, then dumped the compost into the trench.
The cameraman then stopped shooting. Got down on his knees to arrange the compost in the trench so it was color-coordinated better and laid out in a much more even distribution along a shorter length of trench.
This better color combination and shorter distribution made a better picture than me just dumping the compost into a hole in the ground.
Seriously. The compost was arranged in the trench.
And this is the kind of thing that happens in a garden shoot to make things look good.
I don’t have a picture of the crew arranging the compost but between the cameraman on the step ladder getting a shot and the lighting person on the roof creating a shadow for me, they created a very different image than what our eye would see in real life.
A Garden Is An Individual Work Of Art
- My garden is a work of art.
- It’s a work in progress.
- It reflects my own journey in life – sometimes forward and sometimes not – but always changing.
- Always moving.
- When I’m happy with myself, the garden begins to change and reflect that. When I’m not, it also changes.
I see these things. Others may not.
But that’s why, on good days and on bad ones, it’s my garden. But there’s never a really easy road forward. Wilson has it right.