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

Monday, April 5, 2010

I've Done It Again!

Brought several landscape and design magazines home with me. They are now sitting on my desk, taunting me with designs impossible to do unless one has access to Fort Knox or lives in another part of the US!

I am hourly making amends to Clay and Limestone for muttering dissatisfaction under my breath. The earth feels it, the trees feel it and I am more then sure the birds are looking at me with astonished looks and disapproval.

I've broken my garden agreements:

After a little reassurance...I was able to convince Clay and Limestone that I would keep my agreements to honor my roots; not fall prey to comparisons and the dissatisfaction they breed; not for a minute think a gorgeous flowering face was enough to base a gardening relationship upon and never, never disparage the garden to another gardener.

Thank goodness, I've gotten my senses back...But, truthfully, it isn't just the magazines! Several gardenbloggers have said they may be in the area and would love to stop by the garden!

Panic is ensuing. I'm planning on using the "Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain" ploy that worked so well the first time Frances of Fairegarden fame visited!

It did work didn't it?!

Gail

"Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than Emperor's."...Mary Cantwell

48 comments:

  1. Your garden is delightful. Don't you let those magazines make you feel bad about anything.

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  2. Gail - your garden is beautiful, your home and your sanctuary.

    I really enjoy the inspiration from other gardens (like yours) and am happy for the gardeners who create them. Garden eye candy is just fun!

    Freda

    PS I don't worry about my garden until another gardener comes to visit. Then, I panic! :-)

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  3. Your garden looks beautiful. The tulips are so pretty. I'm getting ready to post some of my tulip pics.

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  4. Oh, you have a beautiful garden that is an inspiration! Your garden needs to be in those magazines.

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  5. Dear Gail, no need to panic. I can't imagine how you could make your gardens more beautiful than they already are. (Though it is fun to imagine, isn't it?)

    Nancy @ Soliloquy (Blogger is having trouble with Open ID this morning.)

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  6. Oh how I sympathize - much as I love visitors, they make me nervous, especially when the visitors are great gardeners! Judging by your pix, you've no reason to panic though :)

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  7. If I visited, it wouldn't be to inspect the housekeeping (groundskeeping) or make comparisons. It would be to speak in Latin or Commonname and call each plant by its little name, exclaiming at the wonders and enjoying just being there.

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  8. My dear Gail....I can relate to this post so much.
    Having to change my gardens because of the rabbits has caused so many problems. I am now planting things that I am not overly keen on. I started to worry about what others would think but soon had a chat with myself....this is the space I care for, and love very dearly.
    You have a lovely garden, because you garden with your soul. I garden with my soul......I can never have the garden I would like because of 'bad bunnies' but I do have a sanctuary for anything or anybody that needs it.

    I think you will find Gail we all love you just the way you are......

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  9. Ah, don't worry! We all know how to look through "Gardener's Glasses" (like rose-colored glasses, but green!) to see the beauty and work and love in another garden. Even when certain patches haven't quite been weeded, or certain plants haven't quite filled in the way that they were meant to.

    Lucky gardeners, to get a tour of Clay & Limestone!!! :)

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  10. Yes, no need to panic! Everyone knows about 'real' gardens, and real gardeners.

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  11. I love to look at blogs, magazines and garden books for inspiration, but it is easy to become discontent.

    Your Clay and Limestone garden is delightful and I'm sure the lucky gardeners will enjoy their visit with you!

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  12. You know those fashion magazines with the airbrushed pictures of stick-thin models? I think some of those designer gardens undergo similar treatment. At least that is what I tell myself when I start to compare mine with theirs ;-)

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  13. I do know just what you mean. I was even a tiny bit relieved that Karen from An Artist's Garden came to see my so early in the season that nothing was really happening - at least I could pretend it was beautiful at some other time! Hopeless eh? Your garden looks beautiful though. I love that little tulip.

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  14. Oh Gail, well I know the seductive lure of those glossy flowered pages. They had their evil way with me for a while but common sense (and poverty) prevailed in the end.

    If I were you, I would not change one tiny thing about your garden. Not one. I admire the way you've mixed natives with some hybrids and created a very lovely, serene spot with something always in bloom.
    Marnie

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  15. Oh you have certainly fallen off the be true to your school, er garden, Gail! You could just threaten them with the double whammy of poison ivy and turbo charged mosquitoes to keep them out of the way back, like you did for me. HA Of course those magazines make us dissatisfied with our own gardens. I feel just like that as well. They want us to spend great wads of treasure and buy, buy, buy, as though that would change our spaces into what is shown on their pages. Just like interior home design mags or fashion ones. The whole purpose is to make us want the impossible, whether it is garden, indoor rooms or being six feet tall and willowy thin, and twenty. Don't fall for it, my dear friend, your garden is a tribute to your doing it right. :-)
    Frances

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  16. Just remember alot of those magazines have done photoshop work on their photos. I recognise alot of the photos from batch photos from Chelsea etc - those gardens to me are not real gardens. I've had this garden nearly 10 years and its always changing alittle at a time but just taking a tiny bit of inspiration from those magazines with their ideas.

    I hope you have a good time with your visitors........ and your garden is lovely so just enjoy sharing it and telling them of your plans for the year.

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  17. Too funny... Your garden is a delight. Much more so because you don't need full time art directors sprucing things up for the photo shoots! Are you giving out tours? Yippee. I better go book a flight! :)

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  18. Tulips look gorgeous! Don't let the magazines make you go down.

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  19. To me, your garden seems perfect! I don't understand how you could possibly doubt that... ; )

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  20. Gail-
    A garden is most successful when it works for YOU and makes you happy, I think. The photo-shopped and airbrushed gardens in some magazines are definitely styled!

    Lisa

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  21. Magazines are so great for inspiration but just know, they are of gardens at just one point in time and can never be as special or as pretty as our own gardens to us:)

    P.S. did Frances give you the Dulci euphorbia? I have some of hers too and it is getting ready to bloom. Makes a nice deep red in the garden.

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  22. Step away from the panic button! You the gardener will see the weeds and what could be. The visitors will see all the good that is.

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  23. Don't worry, Gail! I'm sure any visitors will be delighted by your garden! If you pictures are an honest representation, then you have nothing to worry about!

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  24. Oh my...really, your garden is stunning. Don't believe me? Come and visit mine...and then you'll KNOW how beautiful yours is! Ours is currently stuck in that 'pardon our dust' 'we're under construction' phase. Makes me shudder just thinking about it. Think I'll go back and look at your tulips again...for inspiration :P

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  25. Tina, yes Chameleon and is it happy here! I am so shocked, euphorbias have usually died in the too wet soil!
    She has hers planted with a very lime green plant that looks stellar...mine is planted with acre sedum.

    gail

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  26. Gail, it is so easy to be envious of those magazine gardens. But Fort Knox and a full compliment of garden workers is not my idea of a garden. Yours is beautiful and reflects what you love-natural. I know those Susans and the PPPP will do you proud and you will rejoice in their beauty. :)

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  27. Every time I open a magazine or book to a lovely garden idea, I am ready to dig up more turf for more garden space and head off to the nursery to spend more of the grocery money. But unless I had the money to employ some extra help, most of these ideas are just not going to get accomplished by this bone-tired gardener:) Your garden is beautiful as it is, Gail, and I know all your guests are going to think so, too!

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  28. Oh, that's funny! A women's magazine for how you're supposed to look, Architectural Digest (or maybe Martha Stewart's magazine) for how your house is supposed to look, and some garden magazines...

    I'm glad you came to your senses so quickly. ;->

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  29. I think your garden is perfect the way it is. Magazines are for reading only. Don't be intimidated by them.

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  30. Why do we do that to ourselves???!!!

    I'm quite sure visitors to your garden will be delighted Gail. Hope you can relax and enjoy your guests!

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  31. Remember not to compare your garden's weak spots to another garden's strenghts, as they all have both! Enjoy the company. Nothing better than an interested gardener to visit and share enthusiasm.

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  32. It's funny that I should read this after just coming from reading a bunch of drivel by some British prat who calls himself a landscape designer and critic. What I want to say to him isn't fit for family viewing, so rather than focus on my contempt for HIM, I'll celebrate you and your garden.

    It's wonderful. It's alive and healthy, and its yours. I would be delighted to see it at any time, just like I would welcome anyone coming to mine even on its worst days. We garden for the joy of it, not to impress some pompous magazine or critic.

    I know you were being funny in writing this post, but you do touch on something that we all face at times. You just keep right on gardening, and writing your awesome posts, Gail. You're a delight to 'know' across the miles.

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  33. Yes, when other gardeners visit (with camera in hand) it can be intimidating. But I know when I visit a friend's garden I don't even notice the weeds; I'm too busy looking at the flowers and beautiful foliage, and wherever else the gardener is directing me. Have fun with your visitors!

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  34. Oh Gail, you just have Garden Visit Anxiety Disorder. Remember when Pam from Digging visited my garden? You'll be fine as soon as they walk out on that pine straw path, and y'all get talking about soil, seeds, natives, etc. Your garden lovely.~~Dee

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  35. I too get crazed in spring, Gail, with several meetings and casual walkabouts scheduled here. One reason I love May is that I serve May wine to the guests as they tour ... makes everything look a bit better! Always and inspiration, I would so enjoy walking/snapping your garden with you.

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  36. Gail, you need to throw those magazines into the recycle bin or the trash, whichever is closer. Or use them for some lasanga gardening.

    I have to admit that visitors make me panic too! But your garden looks beautiful.

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  37. I just read Noelle's comment and that's the same way I feel about garden magazines, although I still buy them and fold page corners over with that have plantings I love.
    I've always loved your garden agreements and need to make the same with mine. I'm sure all the visitors to your garden will love it.

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  38. Ok Britney, just calm down. Breathe... it's OK. You have a lovely garden and people will be happy to visit you and enjoy it. Now put that magazine away and look at some meadows or nature preserves online. There we go, now you're feeling better.

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  39. Don't be too tempted Gail...your gardens are just great...know the feeling well though.

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  40. Hi Gail~~ I didn't read through all of the comments so forgive me if I'm repeating an earlier sentiment.

    I think you've hit on a subject that plagues most of us at one time or another. It's kind of neurotic though when you think about it. I can't remember one time when visiting a garden that I've focused on the [inevitable] imperfections. I'm just happy to be there and witness up close and personal the creative skills and talents of the garden maker. And I'm always doing it while mentally referencing back to my garden and how I can employ similar inspiration.

    As easy as it is to enjoy and compliment the efforts of a fellow garden maker, it is easy to criticize our own efforts. I think it's something we all have to make a serious effort to avoid. When you've got it down, let me know. I'm a very skilled offender.

    I love your photos!

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  41. Oh my Gail. Smack yourself girl. You have absolutely nothing to be in a panic about. C&L is to be envied. You've created a very unique garden that showcases so many native wildflowers that a lot of us know nothing about. So among its many other attributes you can add "learning garden." I know it's been that for me. It would be a great privilege to tour it in person ~ I think I could spend hours just sitting in your purple chairs or on your porch (if the mosquitoes are indeed turbo charged)! Relax. Everyone will have a terrific time (including you) and maybe thru the eyes of other gardeners you will find new delights in what you see every day.

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  42. Oh dear...you took a hard fall, didn't you? I'm glad you recovered quickly, though. Remember, magazines are meant to give you an idea, not to be a mold. They're not real anyway. Especially after photoshop. You're so hard on yourself and your beautiful garden! You cannot make such a fuss and worry so. Any true gardener would never find fault in any garden...that's the beauty of it all!

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  43. Hi Gail,
    My eyes landed on Noelle's comment right away, and I agree with her. Also, it seems to me, that we see the things we don't like about our gardens, while others are drawn to what's blooming and pretty.

    I am really scatterbrained. I put together a Wildflower Wednesday post, then tried to find your blog in my sidebar. I couldn't believe it wasn't there, then I saw that I wasn't even a follower of your blog. Well, then, when I saw that WW is on the 4th Wednesday of the month, I decided to schedule the post for midnight anyway, with an explanation of when it really is.)

    Well, I hope you honor your agreement to your garden. Get ideas from those magazines, then use the ones that are doable. :o) It's spring! Yay!

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  44. It's looking very Spring-y over there, Gail! You just keep on purchasing those magazines and looking for inspiration! Even if you never use 99% of what you see, it's fun and you will use something here and there! :-)

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  45. Oh yes, those garden magazines are all a cruel illusion! :)

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  46. Your garden could never disappoint. Your southern hospitality will also win awards. Love the new straw paths. They look functional in addition to giving good color contrast. You must be tired.

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  47. Garden in the way that makes YOU happy, and forget about everyone else. :D

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  48. Everyone else has already said it, but here's my 3 cents (inflation, not bad typing). Aren't garden visits like those impossibly long "to do" lists? We see all the things left to do and give ourselves no credit for the almost humanly impossible things we accomplished? They do help us focus on clearing up some of the clutter, but they also keep us humbly human. Then we get to step out of the panic and look at the miracles all around us when our visitors have arrived, if we allow ourselves to be in the moment. It's all about connection - with the earth, the plants, the birds, even the insects, and sometimes even other human beings. Enjoy!

    Barbara H.

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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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