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

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm Looking At The Garden With Your Eyes

They are kinder, gentler then mine. 





They see possibility.



Not  unfinished projects. 


 I see all the things that don't work,




But, you see what does...


I  resolve this spring and summer and all this  year... 
To look at my garden with your eyes!

Gail

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

63 comments:

  1. What a nice idea, Gail. It's true that we tend to be overly critical of our own gardens...

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  2. Good morning Gail, yes yes yes, the day is full of promise of better things to come. I know you have the vision for what the back can become and are moving forward to achieve it. Excitement fills the air!
    Frances

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  3. Gail,

    Your garden is so lovely and I look forward to seeing your progress with your new planting areas.

    I am my own worst critic. I'm trying o go easier on myself since I'm older. :-) I'll have to keep the Dalai Lama quote in mind.

    Cameron

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  4. Great post. Why do others see what we have done and we see what needs to be done?

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  5. I am so looking forward to seeing this garden come along Gail. I think it lovely already so it will be neat to see what you add. Yes, do look at it thru other's eyes-get on the tour!!

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  6. Oh I do identify with this post Gail!

    I'm constantly bowled over when visitors say 'wow your garden looks great!' and I have to bite back the long list of jobs not done, where the weeds are etc etc.

    I went to a talk given by James Alexander Sinclair where he put up a slide and asked us what was wrong with it. The slide lloked lovely. 'What about that weed in the top right corner?' he asked. None of us had noticed it. That was his point - take less time on worrying about the weeds and more time enjoying the other things there. I've been trying to do that ever since.

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  7. Good morning Gail. I think most of us are the same way. We have this 'vision' of what we want our gardens to look like. Reality never matches that vision. It's not a bad thing because we always have that goal to strive toward. I look at your garden and see beauty and charm.
    Marnie

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  8. A wonderful sentiment, Gail! I tend to be this way about everything in my life, but as I get older I tend to worry less about what other people think. A garden is meant to be enjoyed--I hope you find lots of time to enjoy the beauty that is already there.

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  9. Good advice Gail. When I show up at a client's, often times, all I hear is the negative. Granted, I'm there to address what needs to be done. Still. So last year, I started telling clients, when we walk the gardens, lets address what is working well, as well as, what needs to be addressed. This has improved our stroll immeasurably. Suddenly, what was horrible is tolerable. And as friends, we grow closer.

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  10. Frances, It is happening as we read...the day is getting warmer and the plants I ordered from Sunshine Nursery will arrive next week. Gardening is afoot this weekend. I won't be planting the ilex or itea...They are going in once the contractor moves the big junipers...you read that right! Leigh is going to help me take care of the patio area.

    Thank you for your enthusiasm, support, great ideas and occasionally cajoling. Have a fantastic weekend.

    Gail

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  11. Susan,

    It is so easy to be critical and it's not at all helpful.

    Gail

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  12. Look through another's eyes gains you appreciation for what you don't see. We would all be happier if we could look at everything from another person's perspective! I'm looking forward to seeing how you GOBN comes this year!

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  13. Cameron,

    Thank you...it is a fun space. Don't you love the Dalai Lama's wise quotes. Thet are almost always about kindness, compassion and goodness.

    Have a great weekend...I hope you get to work in the garden.

    gail

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  14. Darla,

    Isn't that the million dollar question! Is the freeze over in your neck of the garden?

    Gail

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  15. Gail,
    What a great idea. It is difficult somtimes for us to see our own gardens with the bright, fresh eyes of our visitors.

    Oh, how I wish I could grow that wonderfully colored bee balm. I'm going to try this year to get some kind of rudbekia going.It is hardy to zone 9 but I am on the border of that and 10 so I don't know if that is my problem or if is the soil. BUT I'm giving it another shot.

    I can't wait to see the progress of your new area. Just remember to have some compassion on yourself, too and don't be in a hurry. It will come together and you must make sure you enjoy every moment of it.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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  16. Tina,

    I had to read that last sentence twice before I realized what you meant...Maybe I will get on the tour; if I do, would you help? I could use a docent...front or back garden? That is a big maybe by the way!

    gail

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  17. VP,

    That is an excellent story! I wish more garden speakers and garden designers would embrace that philosophy!

    gail

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  18. marnie,

    Thank you...what a sweet compliment and it means a lot to me~~

    gail

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  19. Rose,

    Thank you...maybe it is the Italian Roast coffee I am drinking but my heart was racing with garden plans! ! Your comment is perfect...I do need to enjoy the garden and will take the time to do that, too! I hope your weekend warms up!

    Gail

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  20. Helen,

    What a great way to approach clients...I know they must love working with you...Once we start trotting out the criticisms...it is not pleasant for anyone!

    Gail

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  21. Meems,

    You are so right...I am taking my time and working hard to be kind and see the garden through gentle eyes. One project I have started is redoing the patio area...it's below the GOBN...when it is done...there will a grassy area. We can once again sit on the patio and enjoy the fruits of our labors without my inner critic pointing out all the flaws! I had forgotten how much fun it was to sit by the patio fire pit and visit with friends.

    gail

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  22. Tina,

    I hoped you would...and IF I decide to join the tour I will give you ample advance warning!...well, you will know because I will post about my anxieties!

    gail

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  23. Dave,

    It is a pretty good philosophy to embrace...I am working on it!

    gail

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  24. Hi Gail and thank you for this lovely garden tour and the brilliant philosophic quote.

    Have a great weekend/ xoxo Tyra

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  25. Good morning Gail! Wise words from the Dalai Lama!

    Your gardens are already lovely expressions of who you are, and it's inspiring how you're sharing the change and growth you're enjoying in yourself and in your surroundings.

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  26. Meems,

    Have you heard about this bee balm relative~~
    http://www.easywildflowers.com/quality/mon.cit.htm

    It looks like it might grow in your garden...It's not the beautiful red. i think that if you give it a moist, but nicely drained spot out of the hot sun you can grew the red natives. Give it lots of room and underplant with some allium to deter powdery mildew...

    gail

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  27. That is a very good point. I always look and see what needs to be weeded, what I still haven't done yet, what didn't work out right just like you said. I'm much more generous with other people's gardens. :)

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  28. To these winter-weary eyes, your garden looks beautiful! It's a good commentary, Gail -- there are no mistakes, to me. Sure, there may be plants which disappoint in colour, or size, or pattern, or combination, but the fact that they're growing at all makes them perfect to me. I can still touch it, inhale it, marvel at its perfection. Perhaps that comes from moving from a wonderful 4.5 acres to a balcony garden. But if it's thriving, it's acceptable to me. :-)

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  29. You have left us with Dalai Lama's beautiful thought for each day, Gail. But don't be too hard on yourself ... gardener's are in a constant quest for perfection, a good thing ... we are growing with our gardens.

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  30. Gail, I used to actually fret about my garden, but as it has developed, a wonderful thing has happened -- I fell in love with my garden. Sure, it's unfinished, it has weeds, and flaws, but I love it anyway.

    I think that now you have embarqed on this wonderful journey of what will thrive in your garden, you will become more and more satisfied with it. Your garden is glorious, don't let yourself tell you otherwise! :)

    PS I love the picture of the skipper in the Stoke's Aster.

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  31. Sigh, why is it we gardeners all too often see the unfinished jobs instead of stopping to appreciate all we've actually done? And what Mother Nature has done for us? Yes, we should reserve some compassion for ourselves too. :-)

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  32. It is a shame that we are so critical of ourselves. Turn that compassion inward as well as out. I bet many would be much happier.

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  33. Capital idea! Shall I send my contacts now or will it wait? ;-)

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  34. I think this is true of most gardeners. We see the things that need doing or fixing instead of the good stuff we've already made. Thanks for the reminder to look for the good too, Gail.

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  35. What a lovely idea - if only it was that easy!!

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  36. You always make me think when I come here Gail. I am as guilty as everyone else for looking "down the road" at what needs to be done rather than living and loving the moment. It was my vow last year to do the latter and I didn't quite achieve it so I'll be working on it again this year. Everything I've seen of your garden looks beautiful and harmonious. Maybe you could look at it from the bees point of view ~ would that help? They sure seem to love it!

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  37. I find that most have compassion and are forgiving. Myself on the other hand...well, sometimes I forget to do that. There are two little words I use to help get out of that rut...
    "Be Grateful"!

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  38. Awwww--now you just don't have a thing to worry about. It always looks good. We have a pretty weekend coming up and that will have you planning like a mad woman. I think your gardens look grand and so true---we are harder on ourselves. Big hugs!

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  39. That was a nice post, Gail. In your third photo, I see all the beautiful phlox. At the bottom right-hand corner of the photo are two little red triangles. Are those wild columbine? Your garden definitely has great bones and a gardener with a love of the outdoors. This gardener (you) uses her creative juices with her desire to create a healthy balance in such pleasing ways. Thank you for sharing! :-)

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  40. LOL...well gail I wish I could do the same. It's a grand idea..I find that when complemented on my garden I never actually believe the complement..I seem to constantly fill in with..well this or that needs to be done..etc. Perhaps it is worth taking this advice and trying to be a bit kinder to myself this year..:)

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  41. A good way to end the week with a quote from the Dalai Lama, and how true it is.

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  42. Shady,

    Thank you...my .That is native columbine in the corner...it has seeded itself all over. I took that photo with Mr I's camera and for some reason the photos never enlarge.
    Do you have this columbine? I can save seed this summer/fall for you.., Heck I probably can send a few plants to you this spring.

    let me know!

    Gail

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  43. Rusty,

    it is isn't it! One of his quotes is that his religion is kindness...Have a great weekend!

    gail

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  44. Anna,

    Hey there...I have a question...where are you putting your 2008 photos? I have a mac, too and iphoto has way too many photos. Opening the program takes forever! Any help appreciated!

    gail

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  45. patsi,

    My husband and I were talking about gratitude this morning. We both believe it is essential for real happiness.

    gail

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  46. Kathleen,

    Now that is a good idea! I will be the bee! You know that was a very sweet thing to say to me...I love visiting blogs and having folks help me think about gardening or cooking or friendship, anything really differently then I do.

    Have a good weekend..

    'I am the bee'....gail

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  47. Words of wisdom! I know I always see all the things that need to be done and don't always see all the success & beauty already there.

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  48. You have a lovely garden Gail. I see the beauty in it with each of your post.I realize your vision for the backyard garden is much anticipated, but a thought, maybe we should look at our gardens like a child. They only see the beauty not the weeds. Why even weeds are pretty to a child. My GGS's bring me dandelion blooms as flowers for Mema---aren't dandelions weeds?
    Go easy on thyself, relax & enjoy all that Mother Nature has provided for us.

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  49. good for you gail, i have the same critical eye for my own yard with all that needs to be done but i am also endeavoring to look at the things i can actually accomplish and feel that accomplishment in my soul.

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  50. Absolutely, we need to look at our gardens with appreciative eyes, and not critical ones, and think about our successes and not what fret about what 'needs to be done.'

    What we've created in our gardens is enjoyable, and deserves to be acknowledged, to be sure!

    Lisa

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  51. True that when you're an outsider, you don't notice mess in a corner or a bare patch between 2 beautiful beds and it's always great to see from third person's eye, which'd make you pat yourself that you'd never do when you evaluate the garden yourself.

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  52. We too often are our biggest critic, right? It looks great.

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  53. Hi Gail....I love your garden....I sense peace and tranquility amongst the flowers.....a place for bees and butterflies.....

    The tree with the seat is perfect....it is open....a place to sit and reflect......

    I love the colours to......

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  54. Blogger is eating comments again. I had left a note yesterday that this is a wise post and one we might all well emulate in our own gardens. Others obviously feel the same as I do, Gail. Well done.

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  55. Gail - it doesn't matter that you've been away, you can still play 'Dinner Party' if you'd like to :)

    I hope you had a great time and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  56. A garden should never be finsihed. That would be boring.
    Katarina

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  57. Lovely post Gail, and so true. Will bring your words with me today.

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  58. Compassionate eyes, yes we all need some of that
    Lovely post and lovely reminder Gail
    Thank you.
    K

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  59. Hi Gail, I'm so frustrated with Blogger right now, I know I left a comment here a few days ago after I read this!!! I have lost a lot of comments on my blog, too. I'm tempted to switch but I don't want to go through the hassle.
    I said earlier that your words were gentle (as usual:)) but encouraging to other's and also giving us a chance to look at ourselves and how our own inner critic can eat at us. I know I need to practice positive self talk and now, positive self-gardening talk, WAY more often than I do:)
    Your photos are lovely and your garden's from past years have beautiful blooms. I can't imagine it being any prettier, cause it already is--but I'm sure you'll find a way...

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  60. Gail, your posts are always so thought-provoking. My son was reading a book recently about the psychology of perception (just for fun, you understand...) and it had a chapter on how spread a bad atmosphere. Basically, the idea was to surround people with negative thoughts and aggressive images, and they would start to respond in the same way.
    So maybe if we go out into our gardens thinking positive thoughts and looking for the good things rather than the bad things, we might find our gardens look better. They might just look better in our imagination, but hey, who's complaining?

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  61. Girl, you don't wanna be looking through my eyes--they are very different strengths and my depth perception isn't great! LOL. I know what you mean, though. I wrote an entry along the same lines in my now defunct blog. We always see everything we PLAN to do and others just see it as it is!

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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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