Sunday, May 6, 2007

It's All a Matter of Perspective

In gardening, as in life, perspective counts for a lot. Take for example the two pictures posted here today. Garden #1 is the stuff of garden magazines. Lush greenery, well placed garden architecture, and a hint of spring blossoms all bathed in the late afternoon sunshine. Filmmakers call this time of day "magic hour" for good reason. Gardeners should adopt the phrase and make it their own.

Garden #2 reminds me of amateur hour. Lots of bare patches, not much colour except for the grey of lean soil, not much variation in height or texture. And what about that rickety old fence! Yuck with a capital "Y!"

If you haven't guessed by now, these are pictures of the same garden. My garden.

Depending on the day and my mood, I see one of my two gardens. Garden #1 makes me go "Wow!." I take pride in having transformed a boring strip of grass into a border bursting with shrubs, flowers, herbs, and a whimsical garden statue or two. What an awesome sense of accomplishment.

Then there are days that I see my "other" garden. Garden #2. You know, the one where weeds run rampant. The one where there are too many coneflowers and not enough sedum. Too many globe thistles and not enough heather. The one without a strong overall design. The one where the rickety old fence threatens to blow over in a light breeze. And don't let me forget the one where a wrong step on a really hideous interlocking brick path could mean a broken ankle.

So my one garden really occupies two spaces. The first is where I want to be and the second is where I'm at. And depending on the day or my mood, one will take precedence over the other. It's sort of like using the "glass half-empty" or "glass half-full" analogy to describe one's garden. In other words, it will take a lot of work to get to where I want to be, but, baby, look at how far I've come!"

Gardening, it seems, really is a matter of perspective.

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