My Garden Ain't Pretty

I know what you are thinking....she seriously is saying her garden isn't pretty??  
Isn't she like a garden writer or something??  Are those photos fake?  Is that not really her yard?

OK, OK -- to set the record straight...I DO take photos in my own yard and I grow lots and lots of flowers and veggies.  Yes, I do write about gardening and give tips and tricks on how to get things to grow.  That doesn't mean that the garden is always pretty.

In fact, there are times in the year when the garden is just plain ugly.  I can write until my hands bleed about how you should consider winter in your landscape plans and pick plants for winter interest, but there just comes a point when the snow is slush and the compost piles up on the beds and cardboard is lining the paths and I am just pleading for some fresh snow to cover it all up.  This time of year -- my garden is just ugly.  I still love it, mind you.  I love weeding this time of year because the weeds are small and they are green (as opposed to the rest of the foliage which is brown and withered) and if we get a few nice days, I weed for hours.  I love planning in this season of dormancy...the garden catalogs and books and magazines are my constant companions in the bathtub every night.  Still...the garden is ugly.

It is ugly for a few reasons....

#1  I personally have a few reasons that my garden is often ugly, particularly in winter.  They are 5,3 and 2 and they don't weed very well yet.

#2  Winter is rough on plants' appearances.  While many plants can survive quite easily through winter, they don't always look good doing it (sounds like me and pregnancy).  It is just a fact of winter.

#3  Winter is a time for refreshing the soil and battling the weeds.  It might not seem like it, but winter is a vital period in the garden's life cycle.  The soil needs the nutrients from fallen leaves and compost and winter freezes and thaws break them down quite nicely into the garden beds.  I literally throw scraps into the flower beds and hastily cover them (sometimes) with leaves.  What the chickens don't find and eat, the ground is happy to receive.  However, it is ugly.

The same goes for the cardboard paths.  They are functional.  They are a blessing to the Earth.  They are also quite ugly (Don't tell them I said so!).

So what is the point?  Am I just trying to get you to say "Oh dear, your garden is always beautiful.  It doesn't matter that it is downtrodden and soggy and littered with banana peels.  It will always be beautiful through rose colored glasses"?  Am I just playing that card that we bloggers do when we want the world to know we are humble and that everything is not perfect behind our (chalkboard painted, repurposed, vintage or thrifted) doors?

No, not really.  The point is this:

Winter gardens are ugly.

My winter garden is very ugly.

I'm ok with it.

You should be too.

Now go throw some banana peels and cardboard on your rosebeds!  They will thank you later!


Felicia Kramer said…
Yeah, my garden's ugly right now too. But there will be no weeding - it's covered with snow. With all those foodstuffs you throw in the garden do you attract every critter within 5 miles?? That's what would happen to me ....
Well, compared to my existing (or maybe I should say non-existing) garden yours is absolutely stunning, lol! All I have in my harden are these hideous bushes I can't wait to hack to pieces and some blueberry bushes we planted last spring (God please don't let them die on me!). I'm so new to gardening, plants tend to shrivel up and die when I touch them.

I can't wait to read more and find out what I can do to make my garden flourish!
Amy Renea said…
Hey Felicia!
Anything really good the chickens eat during the day, and yes, we do have a resident groundhog and a skunk once in awhile, but they don't bother us and we rarely see them :) I wouldn't recommend the scrap throwing method in the city however!! ...oh and never any meat, ft or dairy goes out, so no big predators or anything. I do actually get around to covering everything with leaves eventually and when we have snow cover it is no biggie. That was a VERY long winded answer...goodness! ;)
Amy Renea said…
TMM - glad you are here and here is crossing my fingers for those blueberry bushes!! ;)