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The Ugly Post

After yesterdays post in which I gave a brief update on my summer garden, I received such complimentary comments and praise that I started to feel like a bit of a fraud. The reality is that it is still a young, developing garden with quite a number of unsightly corners and patches that need work. I seem to have become quite good at taking photos at angles that show my garden as a lush flowering little haven, and truth be told, I also tend to only show those areas in the garden that I am reasonably happy with.

So to keep things real, just for today I’ve decided to “show and tell” some (not all) of the less attractive spots in my garden (including an ailing plant). Only today. Just this once. We’ll call it “The Ugly Post”, ok?

Empty patches

[one_half]The still bare “Garden of Twelve“…The still bare "Garden of 12"[/one_half]

[one_half_last]I’ve not been inspired to work on itI've been uninspired to work on it[/one_half_last]

[one_half]An ailing Azalea (I don’t know why)An ailing Azalea (I don't know why)[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and the gorgeous one next to itand the gorgeous one next to it[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Crowded in front, bare at the backCrowded in front, bare at the back[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lots of bare patches in the backLots of bare patches in the back[/one_half_last]

[one_half]We’re slowly filling up here …We're slowly filling up here ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and here and there …and here and there ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]and waiting for things to growand waiting for things to grow[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and waiting for things to fill outand waiting for things to fill out[/one_half_last]

Oh dear, where did all the pretty go? Most of these photos are from my unfinished, work-in-progress back garden, which seems to be a bottomless pit that sucks up and devours plants. I’ve been buying plants on an almost weekly basis for a year now and I STILL have huge bare patches back there. I’m starting to wonder if it will ever look like those gorgeous flower-filled beds I see on all the blogs and in magazines … surely one day it will have enough plants to wow my socks off? I’m optimistic. Maybe NEXT spring!

If nothing else, gardening has taught me to be patient.

Happy Gardening

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

12 replies on “The Ugly Post”

I don’t see anything ugly. Some things need to be filled out – that’s called young, not ugly. Some plants are not doing as well as their neighbor – that’s called inevitable, not ugly. You want to see ugly? Well, too bad because I’m not going to post mine! 🙂 I figure magazines only show the pretty things – why shouldn’t we?

Hi Christina, I really enjoyed your lovely summer garden post but then was intrigued by your bravery of showing”ugly spots.” (This is something I’ve never been brave enough to do.) However, I was not surprised to see your “ugly” spots are not ugly at all! They are just not as refined and lush as your favorite areas. I really think all of your garden is looking beautiful and these areas you showed today just need some more time and probably a tweak here and there… Great posts! I enjoyed both.

No, I still see an attractive garden. Room for growth. My husband laughs when he reads the comments on our garden. They can’t see the other side ;~)

That One Grows and the Other Sulks is teaching me not Plant a Row, or a Pair of anything. There is always one that doesn’t want to play nice. My most popular post is on the fever trees. We still have fever treeS. Two. Of the original five. Tell your garden planting muse to wait, till it’s cooler. He is also losing the olive trees he insisted on planting in January …

I find your gardens quite beautiful. It is nice to see an assortment of plants rather than just the Big 3 you find where I live — yews, daylilies, and burning bushes. Maybe try filling in with some native plants. They will fill in nicely and require little work.

Well, I would happily live with those bare patches that can easily be filled with a “need-to-get-something-for-my-garden” shopping expedition! I’m always game!! 🙂

My patches are bare and dry and cement-like. These will have to wait until the wet weather arrives, or I can use a jack hammer! 🙂

And like Alan says – if our gardens were finished, then what would we be doing with our creative time??

Hmmm…. I wouldn’t call it ugly, Christine! Soon, the plants will fill up all those empty spaces. Then, there will be another chore – to thin it out! I like the variety of plants you use, and also, the use of grasses!

Those are your ugly spots?! Wow, you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished! Everyone has spots like that (and worse, much worse) in their gardens. Thanks for your humility and for sharing your plans for improvements. But your garden is lovely!

Thanks for showing this. I’m pretty sure that *every* garden has it’s “ugly” spots — not that I think your bare spots are particularly ugly.

A garden is always a work in progress. If it were finished and you didn’t want to change anything — add new plants, move things around, etc. — that would be boring, wouldn’t it?

You failed miserably in convincing me that your garden has ugly spots. :0) I like all of it.

About the Azalea…if it was planted less than 6 months ago, dig it up and check to see if the root ball still has the shape of the original pot. If this is too drastic, pull away the mulch and check for a layer of fine feeder roots all over the surface area. Now pull away the mulch of the healthy one and compare the feeder roots.
If they are vastly different, then dig it up, shake and untangle the root ball and replant with tender loving care. I have had plants up to a YEAR old still not take hold and have no new roots!
If it is above 30C, wait until it cools into the lower 20Cs.

Azaleas side by side with one of them struggling is indeed a mystery. Good luck.

Thanks for showing the “ugly” side of your garden, although I don’t think it’s ugly at all. It looks natural! having patches of our garden that are works-in-progress gives us something to work toward.

/laughs/ I don’t see any ‘ugly’ in your ugly post, just happy green plants and the garden of twelve is a flowerbed in waiting, and the few tiny bare patches just make sure all plants have enough room to stretch out 😉 …. but I do hope you can find out bothers the azalea 🙂

You are out of your mind…these still look good!!! My parking garden that I’m working on makes these look like fairy gardens. 🙂 But, I believe we are all guilty of hiding the ugly side, and frankly I’m all for it! I have a gas furnace that is such an eyesore that no planting has yet to cover it up. And despite the fact that some of my most beautiful roses are beside it, I refuse to take their picture because of the grey megalith behind them!

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