As regular readers know, I’ve been doing a series of “real” shots of my gardens and the very real problems I’m dealing with this year. There are precious few glamour “reality gardening” shots because I’m shooting with my cell phone and simply posting what that camera sees.
And I’m getting some great feedback – comments that encourage me to continue doing this because it’s real gardening.
What I want to tell you is that we all have too high and expectation for our gardens and how they “should” look. And when our best efforts fall short all to often (or even all the time) 🙂 we get discouraged by that.
We Know How a Garden “Should” Look
You see, we’ve seen the pictures in magazines so we all know how a garden should look. Right?
How They Get That Look
What you don’t see in the high end magazines is the fact the garden is “staged”. Extra pots of flowering plants are brought into the garden and artfully arranged in each shot (and sometimes moved around as the photographer moves around)
There are special lights and/or light screens used to soften the light, diffusing it to give just that “look” to the close-ups of that one perfect flower the photographers have spent an hour looking for amidst the insect-nibbled and flawed blooms.
Lawns have been known to be spray-painted to touch up the dead bits (seriously, there are products to do this.)
And the angles are chosen to eliminate the neighbor’s chicken coop, the electric power pole, and that ugly compost pile you’ve been meaning to hide.
And after the photographer has finished, the art department is waiting with their software to take out remaining blemishes and cut/crop for just the right “look”.
And You Want To Compete?
And you want your backyard to compete with that?
Give me a break.
But, we all do don’t we? Yessir we all do. And then we get frustrated and discouraged because it never looks like those in the magazines even on a good day.
Here’s The Answer
- Garden because you like it, because you enjoy it.
- Garden for the joy it brings you to see that one perfect flower in a hundred.
- Garden for the sheer joy of discovering an oriole singing on your back deck some quiet morning.
- Garden for the excuse to forget your daily problems.
- Garden for the fragrance, for the color, for the exuberance of a rainbow of colors in a pouring rainstorm.
- Garden for learning resilience and patience in the face of overwhelmingly powerful Mother Nature.
- Garden to get to know Mother in all her glory.
- Indeed, garden for that all too brief moment in time when all is right with your world.
But don’t garden for those magazine pictures.