|The entrance to The Bicycle Garden - thanks to Susan Tomlinson for letting me use her photo :)|
Her gist is that visitors should be nice, be kind. I agree because I easily give myself 10 times the amount of criticism compared to anything a visitor might care to give. Susan's bravely illustrated her post with a picture of her garden's entrance, the kind of scene which might lead to the sort of negative remarks she talks about.
I saw that picture differently - it really made me want to visit Susan's garden because a) it has clues about her lifestyle and gardening in a different climate and b) I sense a kindred spirit. Here's why...
|Early Wednesday morning this week at VP Gardens|
Can you see the similarities? Admittedly the area bordering our side path is mainly my utility and cold frame area, but I really should tidy it up a bit. NB that splash of red you can see at the end is the 'Anna's Red' Hellebore I told you about for January's Blooms Day. You can also see a bit of the public land next door which I often talk about.
And so to our conversation. After some general talk about how some visitors like to criticise, Susan asked a very important question:
On a related note, do you find that since you blog about gardening, people expect your garden to be perfect? Even *all year*? A bit of pressure there.
Ha - because I blog about gardening, my garden is even worse! I'm trying to spend more time offline this year so I can reclaim the garden.
At one time I did strive for perfection, but that all changed when I was off work with stress 10 years ago. I was shocked to find my manager's vision of 'what a good job looks like' was way below my standard and so I'd been wasting a lot of my time.
And whilst achieving perfection might just about be possible in a job, it's nigh on impossible with a garden except perhaps for the most fleeting of moments. There are far too many changing variables to take into account and besides, life's too short.
Instead I prefer to enjoy the moment and find pleasure in my garden's positives. The negatives will be taken care of - eventually. I've realised I have very little talent gardenwise, though I have improved - blogging about it has taught me loads and I'll carry on learning - but I also know my favourite garden is mine. Susan agrees:
Exactly. My garden is the most beautiful garden in the world. Warts and all. My reply:
It has to be - why else spend all that time and attention on it? Hurray for our gardens - warts and all.
And someday Walu and I are going to come to England. I promise to drop by your garden unannounced and demand a tour!
And I'll be delighted to see you both! Hopefully I will have shifted the huge 1 tonne sack of conifer mulch on the patio by then ;)
|Fresh growth is springing up this week and I'm finally using that bag of mulch you can just about see |
on the right. I've spared you the sight of my washing - I'm celebrating its first venture outside this year
You're also welcome to come and visit my garden at any time - but let's just tiptoe past the shed on the way round shall we?
Victoria is the perfect garden visitor - she hasn't batted an eyelid at that huge bag of mulch on the patio. Instead we've enjoyed each other's company and simply being in the garden.
That's how it should be. Real Gardens. Real People. Good Times :)
You may also like:
VP's Open Garden - this separate blog from 2008 shows what the garden's like when I do look after it properly.
By a spooky coincidence Fran Sorin wrote a thoughtful post earlier this week about her experience of opening her garden formally to visitors. She tells us about what happened when it became less of a showpiece and more of a real garden.