Sunday, August 22, 2010
This year my husband, Rick, and I were judges in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society city gardens contest. The requirements to be a judge are not that stringent— membership in the Horticultural Society and attendance at a training session for prospective judges.
At the training session, we were shown examples of good and bad gardens, including a photo described as “an over-planted garden.” I didn’t understand what the problem was; it looked good to me.
When I got home, I looked at my garden and realized I had created one of those horticultural no-no’s: "the over-planted garden." Rick said if the Horticultural Society trainers could see our garden, they would never let us be judges. Probably so.
Thanks to my friend Fran Waksler, I’ve learned the trick of taking photos of my garden when it’s especially wild and unkempt: close-ups.
Here’s the star of my August garden, crape myrtle:
And when my garden’s really a mess, there’s the close-up of the single flower. This amazing dahlia (variety unknown) begins as a rosy lavender and gradually morphs into a blazing orange:
It’s clear my garden will never win a prize in the city gardens contest. Rick made me feel a little better about it; “Think of a garden as creating an environment—a place you want to be—not a showpiece which meets the highest standards of the Horticultural Society.”
I thought I had made my peace with the messiness of my garden and wrote a post last August in which I proudly stated: “ I can deal with the fact that some of my friends think my garden is a chaotic mess… It took me a lot longer than it should have to get to this state of acceptance, but I think I’m there.”
Well, I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll keep working on making peace with my garden’s imperfections. It’s a lot easier than creating the perfect garden.