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The Ugly of Gardening


grass weeds growing in my fairy bed!

Did I get your attention yet? Well, I bet I did. I was thinking the other day that when we let people see the “real” us without makeup, unshaven, first thing in the morning with all our foibles shining brightly, we are real. LOL. Yep, like any of us want to do that since once we do; we make ourselves vulnerable. People know the real us after hours.  People find out we are not perfect. GASP!


Oops! look at the weeds, I forgot to pick up before taking my picture. This picture inspired my post today – The Ugly of Gardening

I invited a couple a month ago to my garden in it’s most vulnerable state. It was a MESS! We had to repair and replace part of our deck, garden beds were ripped out from the previous years. Weeds ALL  over the place and it was not a pretty sight. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I just love sharing plants and ideas. I want everyone to create a garden all over the city. If I can get them excited or inspire them, well, I can’t hold myself back!

I  love meeting new people and I never know where it might happen. My husband and I were looking through some railings for our deck at Menards one Saturday and this friendly lady walked passed and said, ” I would be careful, kids can get their heads stuck in between those bars. LOL. She was with her husband, and we started chatting.  I learned one of their children actually did that, and it was a funny story. She loved plants and was in the process of starting a new garden. I told her she could stop by one day and pick up some extra plants I had grown. Later that day,  I thought, “why did I do that since my garden is a mess!

IMG_1957 red bee balm zinnia 2018

Look at my rattlesnake green bean vine creeping over toward the red bee balm I guess, I missed that one.

A few weeks later they stopped by, and I shared a few plants and a tour of my messy garden. It is what we gardeners do. We love to share seeds, plants, and stories about our gardens. We are a giving people. They were a nice couple. We had a lovely time getting to know each other, but I don’t know if I will ever hear from her again. It really does not matter. I was glad to share my garden with another gardener in our city. I hope she passes on the same love for gardening to another. We do catch it from one another.

I feel that we need to share our gardens when they are less than perfect.  The Ugly of Gardening is they don’t always look like they do in magazines or books on gardening.  Sometimes they are lived in like our homes. If you live in your garden, it is going to have its ugly times. Like when I harvest my garlic, and  I have messes all over until I replant the area.

IMG_1948 2018 red bee balm dancing

It has taken me 2 years to create this native garden bed. To get my red bee balm dancing through this bed. It is a process. It takes time and along the way I have learned to enjoy the imperfections.

It got me thinking. What is Urban Gardening? It is about building community and helping one another. To do that we need to not be afraid to let people see our imperfections. It is essential we allow people to look at the flaws in our gardens. This is especially true of new gardeners or those that are building a garden. A garden is a personal story. It is a collection of plants that create a world that you want to have right where you live in the heart of the city.

So, as you look at your garden. Don’t be ashamed when it is not perfect. It really does not have to be. It is a process. It is about the journey; even when it is not perfect. Isn’t that like life. We should never be afraid to invite people into our lives even when we know we are less than perfect!

Happy Gardening!


15 replies »

  1. Oh, boy, there’s a fair amount of ugly in my garden, lol! I sometimes wonder if folks are disappointed that a ‘horticulturist’ doesn’t have park-perfect gardens, but not my worry. What can I say? I’m understaffed! 😉

  2. It’s lovely to hear from you again Robbie! I think a good garden, even when it is in a less than perfect state, can still be seen as a lovely garden……… and it sure sounds like you have had your work cut out for you in recent times! My garden is a water logged and bedraggled mess 🙂 It’s winter, it’s rained a lot – how else can it be 🙂

  3. I am with you all the way Robbie. To most people my garden probably seems to grow more ‘weeds’ than anything else. But i love weeds and so does Mother Nature and all her little creatures. It’s just a matter of managing weeds. I am sure your visitors will have loved your garden. Last weekend i had a gentleman visit mine. He belongs to a residents group of a small town housing estate who i have been giving advice to on making their area more biodiverse. I am not sure he was impressed with my ‘wild’ garden but i do know he went home with some ideas!

    • Kindred Spirits we are!! I agree he did go home with ideas. I love your comment. It makes me feel good to know that I am not alone in the world of managed chaos!!!

    • OOops-one more thing-To me, your paradise is heaven on Earth!!! Sometimes the weeds in my garden hold up my flowers or provide food for insects. I see weeds right next to my flowers eaten up and my perennials flawless. They earn their keep-LOL

  4. If I only had people over when my garden was perfect, no one would ever be invited!
    I am enjoying the “overrun jingle” look these days. I’m curious if the volunteer pumpkin, volunteer sweet potato, or intentional watermelon will win the Fight of the Vines in my pathways this year…

    • I know what you mean! I love the wild look to be honest. I am not into those perfect gardens that each plant looks like it was “stuck” there and never wanders. I love my red bee balm dancing all around and part of the fun is letting it tell you where it wants to go:-) within reason!

  5. Well, as you know Robbie I’ve been “behind” in the garden for several years now and caught up fairly well last year but not nearly “magazine” caught up. Amazingly my house and hygiene are also a little behind ha ha ha. But you know what? We have been showing our house (and garden) to sell this spring and summer and we have an interested buyer who LOVES the garden just as it is!!! I will be sad to leave my garden but I am so happy it will become the love of someone else. It really has become it’s own thing. I take peace in the fact that even if someone did mow it down (gasp) that it lived fully and wildly for its time.

  6. Kathy-that is amazing! I would love it if someone bought my house AND garden and added their own twist. I hope someday there is a special person that wants my garden.
    I have to laugh about the ” my house and hygiene a little behind”…ME TOO SISTER! Yesterday, after months of doing the garden I finally washed my windows and blinds. They were pretty awful. My heart is in the garden not inside the house. I would rather be outside than inside cleaning any day!!!

  7. Hi Robbie… I think your garden is most beautiful… talking about ugly, you may faint if you see mine… messy, and super messy… 🙂

    • Hi Lrong!!! Oh I need to stop over and see what you are doing. I have been away from my computer for weeks. I am so sorry I missed your comment. You are my first blogger garden friend.
      I know messy means productive-that is what I tell myself:-)

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