Garden Musings

My Garden is a Mess – A Poem

A few weeks ago, someone visiting one of my neighbors walked over to my house while I was out working in the garden. “Your garden is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see the backyard,” she said. As she started walking toward the back, I stepped in front of her. “The back is a mess,” I explained, “I haven’t had time to get there yet. The next time you visit, come on over.”

I am hoping she doesn’t visit often.

Just a couple days ago, I was outside when another neighbor was walking by. We chatted about trading perennials and the heat wave before the conversation turned to pond chat. He observed, “I have never seen your pond. Can we go take a look?” “Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to clean up around the pond yet,” I answered, “Give me a couple weeks, okay?”

I am hoping a couple weeks turn into a month, or more.

Working at a garden center makes me feel like the cobbler and his children who have no shoes. I work six days every week in May so there is little time to get in my own garden until June. By then, the weeds are attempting a garden takeover and my driveway is filled with all the beautiful plants that somehow made their way into my car on my way home from work. I have learned, instead of getting overwhelmed, to just start – garden by garden – to weed, plant and prune.

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you know I am in the process of reclaiming my landscape (and my life) from past workaholic ways. My gardens are still a work in progress. Each year I get a couple beds or borders further along in the landscape. My gardens are nowhere close to garden walk condition, but they are no longer embarrassing.

As I played in the garden the other day, I pondered my unwillingness to share my garden with others when there are areas in need of improvement. I spend days at work sharing my love of plants and the excitement of growing things. I write articles, speak to groups, and started my blog to encourage folks to garden. Why does sharing my less-than-perfect garden terrify me? I guess I am, like my landscape, a work in progress, too.

My ponderings became a poem. I hope you enjoy it!

My Garden is A Mess

My garden is a mess.
You can’t see it today.
Come on over next week,
When it’s not in disarray.

My garden is a mess.
You can’t see it this week.
It rained for days. I had no time.
And the garden just looks bleak.

My garden is a mess.
It’s been so hot and dry.
Flowers and foliage are wilting.
Come next month, but for now, avert your eyes.

My garden is a mess.
And summer’s in full stride.
Spent flowers need deadheading.
Bug-bitten leaves need insecticide.

My garden is a mess.
You can’t see it this summer.
Give me ‘til fall to get it in shape,
So when you visit, it isn’t a bummer.

My garden is a mess.
You can’t see it in September.
The flowers have gone, the weeds have grown back.
Try again later, if you remember.

My garden was a mess,
From the spring until the fall.
Come by next year and take a walk.
I can’t wait for you to call.

We’ll stroll through weed-free gardens,
With perennials in full bloom.
The plants will all be perfect,
The air filled with their sweet perfume.

We’ll admire the veggies growing strong,
And the pots perfectly designed.
The annuals self-seeded just as planned,
And the beauty will blow your mind…

…Unless the garden is a mess.

Garden with me!



4 thoughts on “My Garden is a Mess – A Poem

  1. If I made people wait until my garden wasn’t a mess I would never let anyone in. ha… I hope you get over that “perfectionist” condition and enjoy your garden. I bet it is fabulous. Just remember, a lot of people don’t know a weed from some other plant unless it is a dandelion. ha…

  2. I love your poem! Whenever people visit and complement my garden, I find myself apologizing for it. As in “Wait, you must have missed the ugly patch there or the dead plant over there!” I keep asking myself why I do that but I haven’t found the answer yet. Perfectionism is a disease I think, and must be tackled one day at a time.

    1. Thanks a lot, Kris. Why are we so hard on ourselves? It’s funny because whenever I photograph a garden, I don’t think less of the gardener who has a weed here or there. I just try to capture the beauty.

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