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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That Ain't Real, Honey!

Yesterday, while attempting to organize my stack-filled home office, I discovered a stash of gardening magazines, and eagerly began to flip through them. Their glossy pages, creative ideas, and endless articles about gorgeous landscaping, complete with color pictures of perfect gardens, always appeal to me and I am suckered in every time.

I flip through a Garden, Deck, and Landscape magazine from 2005 and wonder how the gardens became so perfect. A small hyper pack of lawn gnomes with night vision that pinch, deadhead, and stake every plant while humans sleep? An independently wealthy home owner with sprinkler systems that stands to the side of her landscaping crew and yells, "Move that boulder over there!! No, no, a bit more to the right..." and then adds comments such as, "I had a bit of free time one day between lunch and dinner so I decided to make an amazing pebble mosaic for the garden path." ARE YOU KIDDING???

These gardens seem to exist in a sphere outside of Mother Nature, where plants aren't smashed by sudden storms with heavy wind and rain that comes in sideways and there is no such thing as drought, unintentional weed whacker accidents, or Japanese Beetles. Every plant, tree, and paver are utterly perfect. I look out the window at my garden and notice the grass needs to be mowed, and the rose of sharon, asiatic lillies,and some of the milkweed (asclepias incarnata), are completely bent over, courtesy of the storms that filled my rain barrels but wreaked havoc in my garden. I've already had one gaillardia die on me and had to give pep talks to several of its neighbors, who I feared had created a bizarre botanical suicide pact and my foster dogs have decided the absolute best place to lay in the entire back yard is right on top of the geums. My garden isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn good and I'm happy with that!!!

I pick up the magazines and head towards the bookcase, mentally filing them under "Fiction/ Fantasy". The view out the window is better: 100% Nonfiction!!


  1. Well said indeed. The thing with magazines though is they are of gardens at only one moment in time. Your garden looks like that too-just not all the time:)

  2. Thanks!!! I'd love to see what all those "perfect" gardens look like when the photgraphers aren't there! I bet the "Pebble Mosaic" garden has a porta potty and a chili cheese dog stand right next to the roses...!!

  3. I really had to laugh when I read this post. Just last night I was thinking the same thing as I thumbed through one of those magazines full of glorious photos. You are so right - it's fiction! But I still like to look at them :)

  4. Hi!! I keep some gardening mags just because they'll have a flower combo that I think is really amazing or an article about a plant I'm unfamiliar with, but I'm always amazed at the layouts titled "Carefree Delight" or "Plant and Forget" that go on to showcase a garden straight out of a Martha Stewart-esque landscape!! I'm thinking about buying a lawn gnome just in case I'm missing out on a potential work force!! :0)

  5. I love magazines and have stacks of them. When the pile gets too high, I tear the "great idea" pages out and discard the magazine. The tear sheets I then file in a binder. The problem is that after years of tearing out great ideas, the binder is bursting at the seams with these ideas I will most likely never act on.
    Love your Rose of Sharon pictures by the way.

  6. I do that with recipes and garden ideas, too. I like the pictures that show gorgeous gardens with quirky sculptures and lots of loose rambling plantings.

    The Rose of Sharon amazes me!!! I bought it about six years ago as a 2 ft shrublet and I'm surprised it hasn't hit the second floor of my house yet!! Today it was visited by multiple butterflies, hummingbirds, and tons of bees. I love it!!!


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