Thursday, April 13, 2006

In the Spirit of Full Garden Disclosure

NOTE: Please don't link to this blog entry... yet!
There appears to be a serious bug in the blogger "backlinks" mechanism, and it causes IE, Firefox and AOL to crash badly. The original "In the Spirit of Full Garden Disclosure" post of Monday, April 10 gathered two backlinks, and that triggers the bug. Until the bug is fixed we're reposting the entry to shake off the backlinks. Feel free to add more comments to this one! We'll try to straighten it all out later.
Thank you,
Angela's technical consultant, aka husband.

Garden bloggers have been discussing the fact that magazines and TV shows rarely show gardens in anything less than a state of perfection. So they've started baring all on their blogs. Why? Because they can. Because we should. Because society's overly-obsessed with the notion that everything must be perfect-- our clothes, our bodies, our cars, our homes, our gardens. The cool thing about blogs is that we're free to share the truth.

Now it's my turn.

I have a lot of planted pots of varying shapes, sizes and colors. A week or so ago, they were mostly scattered around the yard. Even though it's a potpourri of pots, I think they look more cohesive grouped together like this. The empty-looking pots actually contain summer bulbs. Real early-spring gardens have bare pots and pots with plants not at their peak bloom period.

An uncoiled hose in the background? I'm aghast.

I have a bad habit of leaving empty pots all over the place. They eventually make it to the greenhouse or back to a nursery for recycling, but jeeze, I can be lazy.

So can my 13-year-old son and his friends.

Pool equipment, tools and crap. I really need a shed.

The bed that never looks finished.

My chair planter. It's falling apart, but I'm giving it a go for one more season. I re-planted the seat a few days ago and birds have been stealing the coir liner for their nests. I'm happy to contribute, I just need to know ahead of time to buy more coir. Something chomped to death the schizanthus plant I raised from seed and excitedly placed at the front of the chair. Again, I know snails gotta eat, but schizanthus? Talk about champagne tastes.

This is perhaps one of the sorriest sights in my yard. This particular spot has hideous drainage and has been flooded much of the winter. As for the toys, let's just say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. And if it does, nobody here's gonna pick it up.

An upright shovel in the yard is actually an improvement for me. Usually they're lying on the ground waiting to trip someone.

Leaves from my oak tree have stained my patio umbrella. Flowers from the same tree are all over the table and patio. Fallen twigs? Well they're everywhere. The yellow-billed magpies and other birds use them for their nests, so I have an excuse to leave them on the ground. Where's a new umbrella and a mow-and-blow crew when you need one?

Needs plants! The rubber ducks are a classy touch, no?

This is the my only "wet shade" bed. I'm working on establishing a mosaic of different heucheras and columbines. I also planted a couple abutilons, tree peonies, and lavender trumpet vines. A little impulse purchase ming fern sits in a pot waiting to be planted. This bed will be pretty as a picture... someday.

What it looks like on the Smith & Hawken website.

What it looks like after one summer (candle melted) and one winter (full of oak leaves and rain water). Also, the candle base was a little crooked right out of the box, unlike the perfect catalog specimen they chose to photograph.

Heucheras and columbines and vines and stuff that haven't filled in to the point of magazine lushness.

Except for the patio crack, this view actually looks pretty good! You can't see the portion of the patio cover still under construction.

This is not a what my piles of crap look like. This is actually a rather neat pile of crap gathered by other household members in preparation for a birthday party. I aspire to this level of crap neatness. The birthday happened and the crap still sits in plain sight.

Ooh, this is spectacularly crappy. My ornamental grasses are just coming up, I'm behind on my weeding and I need to fill more plant gaps. The empty black can with white label ties in nicely with Annie's black and white coloring, don't you think?

Weeds and a wet dog chew toy.

Nibbled Chinese ground orchids and pots containing new ground orchid acquisitions. Empty reddish pot laying on its side is a mystery.

Lawn looks crappy after a wet winter and two doggies. Adjacent bed is the one with bad drainage.

Yes... I own plastic Adirondack chairs. I bought them at the grocery store.

One herb window box, just starting to grow again.

Another herb window box coming back to life.

My Bush Garden Gnome next to some nibbled pansies. He must have gotten hungry.

Let me out!

Let me in!

They do this all day and night. I live to serve my dogs and they know it. They think we're cheap for not putting in a dog door.

The greenhouse. I need to decorate it. Not that I'm complaining about having a greenhouse. When I also have a chicken coop and a shed, my life will be complete.

A friend gave me these metal thingies and I spray painted them. I spray paint things a lot. I have a lot of metal thingies. I have a lot of metal thingies that I spray paint a lot. I'm trying to cut down on thingie painting.

Another thingie. Weeds in my greenhouse. Oh, the horror.

Yes, I own plastic and metal pool furniture. Believe it or not, they came from Smith & Hawken. The empty half barrels are being reserved for overflow tomato plants. I always start too many tomatoes.

This ceramic donkey spent years living on my grandmother's front porch. When I see it, it reminds me of all the times she opened her front door, happy to see me.

My newly-planted "fruit shrubs", newly dug by Dan and Annie. I get no canine respect.

8 Comments (copied from original post):
At 6:26 PM, Jail Librarian said...
This made my day. I'm trying to relax about my ugly garden which is way more weedy than yours. The real question is will it ever stop raining in Northern CA? And will I remember how wonderful rain can be when I'm barely making it through late September 100 degrees?

At 10:28 PM, Petunia's Gardener said...
This was lots of fun and great relief from these taxes I'm try to get started! Check my site after tomorrow night to see architecture at its finest. After seeing the pictures I took, I thought I should spiff it up a little, but it's in the garden - mud smudges are part of it! We all should indeed have a posting frenzy on this topic!

At 9:50 AM, Claire Splan said...
God, I feel so much better! I guess if you can show us the good and the bad in your garden, I can fully disclose the ugly side(s) of my garden too. Gulp. I'll think about that tomorrow...

At 10:14 AM, Eileen said...
Yeah baby, own it! What a relief from the constant pressure of perfection. However my yard is way more funk-nasty than that, but now I don't feel quite so bad about it. Sign me up for the garage and laundry room "full disclosure".

At 4:41 PM, Amy Stewart said...
HA! I love this! OK, you've taken this to a whole new level. I'm going to go outside and take a picture of the UGLIEST part of my garden right now!

(ps. I love that pale green chair in the garden.)

At 3:28 PM, snappy said...
Your post has made me smile and laugh more than any other blog for ages.Only on TV are gardens in a perfect state of being pristine.
In real life they share with children, small furry animals, and the vagaries of human nature.
I love the chair as a planter.Sweet dogs too!Keep blogging.You have an awful lot going on to try to keep it tidy-ish.

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous said...
I'm so jealous! You have a greenhouse and a pool and some lawn! Oh to live in a house with that much space. I love your pictures and your comments.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:14 AM

    After all the propagating that I do, my garden should be a show piece! I wish! Life is for living, not displaying utter perfection as in the lifestyle mags. I'm not brave enough to show the pots and labels floating around my backyard.