Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, September 12, 2008

Imperfectly Perfect

Celosia 'Dark Caracas'



"Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien."

The perfect is the enemy of good. As I work on my next post, I am pausing to remind myself that perfect can often get in the way of pretty good. So let me breath in this beautiful day and breath out perfectionism.

I wrote this  last February, after blogging one week!   At that time, my  blogging experience consisted of reading some of the best written and most popular blogs.  But,  in one short week of blogging, I  had overwhelmed myself with  pressure to produce comparable posts!   

This blogger, again,  fell into the comparison  trap.  So feeling overwhelmed and unproductive, she did what any good therapist would suggest.  She went inward; and going inward she rediscovered something profoundly important. There is beauty and freedom in imperfection.  

Please enjoy my imperfectly perfect photos.

                                                               The Fairy Rose


                                                   The Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)



                                                 Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis)


                                                   Gulf Fritillary on spent rose 

                                                    Ipomoea 'Blackie' with sawdust




Warmest thoughts for you all,

Gail

Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden. Letter to Pierre-Joseph Fran├žois Luneau de Boisjermain from Voltaire

51 comments:

  1. Thank you for reminding me that imperfect is ok. I do have nasty perfectionist tendencies, so that I either spend way to much time on something or I don't do it at all. I've been trying to learn to live with "good enough," because perfectionism + kids = crazy. And imperfect has its own beauty, as your photos prove. I'm glad you've discovered the futility of comparing your blog to anyone elses. It's great just the way it is.

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  2. Wonderful photos! I have only cropped a couple of my photos, prefer them more real.

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  3. mmd,

    Thank you and you're welcome! Same here...all or nothing! My goal is to get some balance again....much needed. Blogging has brought me insight and friendships.

    Gail

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  4. Hi Gail, You know what I like most about blogging? It is the fact that just as we are all individual in our own unique and beautiful way so are our gardens. From our gardens we come to the computer to express our creativity on another level and share one of our most priceless treasures ... our own little plot of ground... with whomever wants to see it and appreciate it. Each post and each blog genuine and entirely, perfectly its own.

    Your very good photos are perfectly "Clay and Limestone" and perfectly Gail... and that's why I never want to miss a post!

    I hope you are having one of those "let me breathe in this beautiful day and breathe out perfectionism" days.

    Hugs, Meems

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  5. Darla,

    I have to admit that I do crop and in the interests of full disclosure...digital easily erases fuzzy shots. Btw, Your sky watch post is great.

    Gail

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  6. This is such a good subject. It makes me sad when people do comparisons especially women doing it. I honestly have never meet two women exactly alike. It makes you a better person when you learn to appreciate the sum of a person. Sum of it is good and sum of it is average. But the sum of all the parts is the best judge of a character---and you Gail..add up to the best.

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  7. my dear meems, You say the kindest things...and bring tears to my eyes.

    I agree whole heartedly with you; each and every blog is perfect and the bloggers are incredible. It is truly an honor to be invited into their thoughts and gardens.

    Yes, breathing in the beauty and breathing out the perfectionism...as I type!

    Always glad to stop by!

    Gail

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  8. I can see the light of beauty! I have no idea how to crop so what you see is what you get with my pictures. LOL I am pretty good with the zoom lens though! About all I can do to a picture is make a circle around something in the photo shop! lol...

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  9. People who expect perfection, especially gardeners, live lives of disappointment. I have more than a few customers who expect a certain level of performance out of a plant - like it is some type of automobile or appliance, and they get frustrated when things don't grow like the tag says they will. Gardening is living process and as such it can get messy, dirty and rarely perfect - but beautiful none the less.

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  10. I don't ever "do" anything to my photos. Just another one of my imperfections is that I am a little lazy. It takes time and effort that I don't think is necessary to alter photos. If someone expects perfection at my blog they are gonna be disappointed. Your blog is just perfect as is to me. Don't fret over the small stuff. It is obvious that there are many that are in agreement with me as so many read and comment on your blog.

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  11. Gail, your blog has been such a pleasure to read from day one. It's full of insight and enthusiasm and a feeling of welcome. Don't sweat the small stuff. Having fun and reaching out to others is what makes a blog worth reading, IMHO.

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  12. Your photos don't look "imperfect" at all to me. I enjoy your blog immensely. Your writing and photography portray humor, patience, passion, compassion, an interest in the environment, etc., etc. The list goes on. My view of a blog is that it's primarily for yourself then if others find it interesting, that's an extra bonus. Of course as gardeners we love other gardening blogs but I'd say do it for the love of recording your experiences and keeping your own journal. The friendships and insights will follow (as they have) if people believe they are reading the truth.

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  13. Hi Gail, And what in this world IS perfect? ;-) It's nice to remember that the imperfect hails right alongside the "perfect." And everthing is just a matter of life. I do love the enjoyment of close-up photos because I often don't get close enough in real life to enjoy the exquisite little details. And that's what this blogging and photography is doing... helping me to better appreciate those little details.

    :-) Just keep on "keeping on!"

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  14. Imperfection is not something I'm prone to allow and that is difficult for me. Seems I want it perfect or not at all and I see there are others with the same disease! I'm inclined to believe that I was called to gardening to learn about the beauty and freedom of imperfection though I don't always listen. Thank you for a wonderful reminder, I truly needed it today!

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  15. It was very nice talking with you this morning. I hope you are feeling better and the doctor had good news. You and I are on the same sheet of music with blogging, I can assure you! I'm right there with you gal! But like Meems said, we are all individuals and have to keep in sight the reason we blog-and it all works out okay. Your pictures and writing are always a joy.

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  16. Dee/reddirtramblingsSeptember 12, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Only God is perfect. Several societies, incl. the Shakers, the Muslim mosaic and tile artisans, the great quilters all purposely left something undone in their work (art) to show this. You have tapped into something very beautiful and very ancient, my friend.~~Dee

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  17. I always tell people at work, "don't let perfect get in the way of good", and remind them of the law of diminishing returns! We should all remember that, whether we are fussing over our blogs or trying to make our gardens "perfect". Ain't no such thing as a perfect garden!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  18. anna,

    You are very kind as always! But what you say is true...what has our culture done through consumerism but try to get us to buy into the illusion that we can get to perfect. Perfect house, perfect car, perfect body, perfect life...perfect blogger!

    Thank you dear anna!

    gail

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  19. skeeter,

    All the photos we all post are beautiful...they let others have a window into our garden and that's what matters.

    Gail

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  20. les,

    That is a good and strong sentiment to remember...That expectations of perfection lead down the path to disappointment. Thanks, Les.

    Gail

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  21. Lisa,

    The not sweating the small stuff is very good advice! It is easy to forget. Thanks for the reminder!

    Gail

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  22. Pam,

    Thank you! Again, I have said this to several others, but I forgot to remember why I blog! Re-reading my earlier posts was very helpful! You were one of the first to comment. You, Dave, Frances and Tina! Thank you for all for being so generous and writing such terrific blog posts.

    gail

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  23. Kathleen,

    Thank you for your TOO kind words. I could say the same for you...and just did! I needed to stop pressuring myself and get back to enjoying the writing, the sharing and the community.

    Gail

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  24. Hi Gail, I also hope you are better. It's been a rough week and you need to be good to yourself. All of your posts are perfect to me, as are the photos. I see perfection in nearly everything. A fault I suppose.

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  25. Shady,

    I am breathing it in right now! I love the closeups, too. I think you have to look closely into a flower to see its soul....

    Gail

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  26. rhonda,

    You're very welcome! I needed the reminder myself!

    Gail

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  27. Tina,

    Thanks for asking...I am now on antibiotics and looking forward to feeling good again....feeling spent is no fun! Same page:) Absolutely.

    Gail

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  28. Gail, I confess to having perfectionism tendencies or I should say used to have them. I am a Virgo and that is a big trait in us. However-and this is a big however!-age, illness and life has gotten in the way the last several years. And if truth be known, throw in just plain laziness! Before I started blogging, I read many written by some of the best and thought I could never compete with them. Then I decided, I wanted to join this wonderful community and they would just have to take me the way I am. Not perfect, not a good writer and certainly not a good photographer! But I have found a niche and some wonderful supporing friends.

    As for your imperfect pictures-where?! I thought they were beautiful!

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  29. Gail - thanks for the great reminder. I think many of the gardeners I know are type A and we miss things sometimes in the search for perfection. I love your blog - and all of your wisdom and insights, and I'm with you - I just spew forth onto my blog and post pictures as they are and love having both an outlet and an inlet (as it were) where people can chat with me. I'm glad you're one of 'em!

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  30. It is like comparing apples to oranges. We are all unique.
    Who gets to decide what is perfect, anyway?

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  31. What wonderful comments!!!
    Gail, you must be doing something right so Keep up the Great Fun!

    I will not call it work as blogging should be more "fun" then work...

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  32. Imperfection has its place in every garden. No matter how much you want things to be perfect in your mind they never will be. Sometimes the most interesting things in natural would be imperfect were they perfect.

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  33. Don't we all just strive for the impossible goal "perfectionism". The garden has taught me that nothing is ever perfect but can still be beautiful. Great post today Gail. Thanks for the reminder that imperfect is good too. :)

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  34. Gail your pictures are beautiful. I can certainly identify with perfectionist tendencies. There are so many days that I just can't post on my blog because I have writers block. I so admire the witty and informative bloggers who always have something interesting to say. I usually just have to compensate with pictures and try get the best shots possible, but even that has its limitations.

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  35. Frances, It has been a rough week and now antibiotics will make it "all better"! I was taking things too serious, as you well know! Thanks for the support calls and emails! You are a dear, gail

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  36. Carol,

    Good advice! I need to put the Voltaire quote where I can see it everyday! Your employees are lucky to have a boss who doesn't demand perfection!

    Gail

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  37. Gail .. for some reason here I am near the last of the pack .. but I am HERE ! LOL
    I love the Voltaire quote (spelling my be chancy .. brain not totally awake ?)
    I have fallen in that trap many times as well .. and it is just no use .. I can't keep up or even compare to the pros here.
    thankfully .. I am not concerned about it .. I just putter along and keep my blog more for myself than for an audience ? LOL
    PHEW ! what a relief as you get older you get a tiny bit smarter ?

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  38. Dee, Dave, Diana, Eve, Skeeter, PGL, Robin, Joy and Beckie,

    I hope you don't mind the group thank you! I am still recovering from something icky and find myself surprisingly tired! Thank you all for your kind comments and constant support! You are the best.

    Your comments have touched on the ways perfectionism can be a BIG problem for many of us! Dee, you reminded me of how Persian rug weavers would deliberately make a mistake in their otherwise beautiful rug to honor God. Robin you mentioned writer's block...indeed I feel that often! Several of you thought it was fruitless to compare ourselves, our blogs and our gardens to others' as indeed it is! Perhaps the most troubling part of perfectionism is getting caught in trying to please others and forgetting what's important...being real!

    Thank you for these gentle reminders to be real, to do my best, to let go of expectations of perfection and to not take things personal!

    Thank you all for thinking my photos were good; I meant them to be the best shots I could take with the imperfect included. Hopefully no one felt like I was criticizing photo shop or any other photo enhancing program. Boy would I use it if knew how!

    Gail

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  39. Hi Gail ~ It has taken some mental training on my part but I have learned to be happy with the imperfect. Especially if it's something you have no control over. As for blogging, if I try too hard for perfection I'd never post anything! And what's the fun of that :)

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  40. Do you have fun when you go out exploring? Do you feel touched by the beauty of God's creation? Do you have fun taking your photos? Then, the rest never matters....your audience can enjoy your pictures as much as you do, and they don't have to be "perfect." Mine are far from perfect, but I am having a great time! I'm glad you are a blogger, and that I discovered you! I look forward to more sharing...by the way, I LOVE your photos!!!

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  41. I am grateful, because this post made me happy. Thank you. As my garden fades with the season, I will remember to rejoice in its imperfection; after all, that imperfection comes with the continuing cycle of life and the seasons.

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  42. I'm a big fan of perfectly imperfect. I often like the not-yet-ready and the past their prime photos past. I really like the potential of your blackberry lily.

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  43. vertie,

    I think he looks like he is sticking out his tongue and getting ready to say, Feed me Seymour! I like the perfectly imperfect, too.

    Gail

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  44. kim,

    That makes me smile! They are imperfectly perfect!

    gail

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  45. Yes, Gail, I have great memories of those apple trees in my grandmother's yard! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I'm glad you enjoyed my photos! I will check on yours as often as time allows....I really enjoy it.

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  46. tile lady,

    Fantastic! Life is a celebration.
    lad you like the photos!

    Gail

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  47. Hi Gail, I'm not sure I understand your comments but I know I don't compare blogs or blogggers. I really enjoy everyone of my regulars for their uniqueness. I have learned so much from my online friends. I should say that more often, and I think I will. Thank you Gail for your wonderful photos, and for showing us what is important to you in your garden.
    Marnie

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  48. Hi Gail, I hope you're continuing to feel better. That's one nasty bug that's been going around in the past several weeks, here too.

    I love your imperfectly perfect photos. This is a lovely post.

    I can relate to the scourge of perfectionism, had to learn to let go of it a few years ago after developing some health issues and going through some difficult times with a sick kid. That stuff can have a profound effect on a person's outlook and energy. I don't have the energy for perfectionism anymore.

    Life on the other side of perfectionism continues to be messy, just much more peaceful.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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