Full disclosure: 7 ugly images from my garden

When I shoot and edit pictures, I’m painfully aware that I’m focusing on the good. Now it’s time to share the bad and the ugly. (This craziness was inspired by Elizabeth’s post over at GardenRant coming clean on her garden’s shortcomings in preparation for visitors coming to the Buffalo Garden Walk. But, at the risk of sounding boastful, my garden sucks more than hers.)

grass clippings

This was a nice little patch of sweet woodruff. But it got overrun by buttercups. Plus the deer found the hosta in the rear. I’ve got half a dozen spots around the yard where I’ve thrown in the towel — ripping everything out (rescuing a few plants that were hanging in) and piling on the grass clippings. I hit some spots with the lawn mower first, they were that bad. This fall or next spring, I’ll weed out anything obnoxious that survives and plant something more competitive.

bummer coleus

Every year, I get a couple of nice coleus as a thank you for doing floral set-ups for Cornell’s graduation. Every year, I put them in a big basket in front of an ugly, foil-coated wooden box that houses potting supplies. Every year, the coleus stalls out in August. I cut it back hard and it bounces back goes until frost. This year, ‘Fish Stockings’ stalled in early July and despite my best efforts, continues to look like crap. I moved the two pots to the cold frame and hope that it may yet rebound.

slugs on darmera

Slugs. And snails. ‘Nuf said. Actually, they haven’t been as bad as usual this year.

west bed, yuk

The west bed. Oy. It gets a little direct sun in the middle of the day. (House to the east. Norway spruce to the west.) Soil’s not good. Care is neglectful, at best. The ‘Cuisse de Nymphe’ roses there threatened to take over a couple years ago. So I sat back and relaxed. This year, they barely came back. Lotsa good plants in there. But unless the roses come back with a vengence, this bed is due for some serious renovation.

water garden

Oh my. I love the water garden. And the fish are healthy and give me no end of pleasure. But the liner has developed a serious bubble. One pot of water lilies has tipped. The other lily’s roots have detached from the soil in the pot. The cannas that I usually have in the background bed failed. (Three buckets of seemingly sound roots and only three plants came up. Dahlias and elephants ears from the same buckets did fine. Go figure.) Compare this with my banner image from a couple years ago.

golden raintree Critters. Can’t live with them. Can’t serve them for supper. The rabbits that graze the clover in the lawn also like the redbuds (below) I transplanted out of the veggie garden this spring in their salad mix. And my experiment to see if deer like golden raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata, right) have some pretty definitive results. Oh well.

Great gardens look good everywhere all the time. I don’t think I have the patience or skill to ever get to that point. But I’m always fascinated and thrilled when something turns out great and I can always use my camera or selective vision to focus on that. The other stuff? Maybe next year.


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8 thoughts on “Full disclosure: 7 ugly images from my garden”

  1. How many times do we bloggers toss out the photos of areas we’re not proud of, posting instead only the good stuff? Regularly, at Digging anyway. Here’s to you for owning up to the bad as well as the good.

  2. Oh, you definitely win. I saw Elizabeth’s “ugly” spots and man, does she exaggerate. But then her garden is TINY compared to yours and mostly gorgeous hardscape. DOn’t city gardeners have it easy?

  3. I think I would fare poorly in a city garden. We lived a small city with a small city lot when I first go into gardening. My style (lack of subtlety, tolerance of weeds etc.) just didn’t fit. So physically, sure. A lot easier on a city lot. But mentally? The small the space, the greater the a challenge.

  4. Oh, I don’t think bravery has anything to do with it. If something doesn’t get away from you from time to time, then you haven’t planted enough. If something doesn’t work out the way you planned, you haven’t risked enough.

  5. Wow Craig–just saw this. See, on a small city garden, you just can’t get away withy ugliness writ large. I salute you. And I am finally trying to start a full disclosure mass posting. We’ll see.

    If I were on a big lot like this I would have much more ugliness, I promise you.

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