Pursuit of Perfection
Along with my wife Myra, I have been absolutely mad about gardening since 1970. In the early 90s, in fact I think it was 1993 we were to take it a stage further when the Aberdeen council limo pulled up at the door whilst judging the entries for the Aberdeen in bloom competition. We were persuaded to enter our front garden in the competition for that year. I don’t have photos from then but here is a few below from 2005 until the present.
In that year we were placed third for our area Aberdeen south, that was the start, we were to enter every year from then up till 2008. More often than not it would be the front garden, on a few occasions we did enter the back garden instead.
With the exception of one year (when for whatever reason we didn’t enter,) we were placed first for our Aberdeen South area. On two occasions we were given overall best for the front garden, and on another two we got best overall for the back.
This is when the pursuit of perfection stepped in. Now if there was a problem we were unaware of it in the earlier years. After all we were gardeners and not just annual bedders. Our back garden always had annuals at the front of the borders, but was very much smothered with perennials, shrubs and trees. Even the front garden which may look a mass of colour has a surprising permanent set up when the annuals are removed.
People pass by when I am in the front garden and may say, the garden is looking beautiful. At times I would say, thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. On Other occasions I would find myself replying, yes it is looking really good this year, I think a gardener would understand this response, but some may think, huh, he sounds full of himself.. Well I have decided it is ok, lets face it I am the gardener, the labourer and the planter of plants, the real beauty comes from elsewhere.
We now no longer enter the competition, not sure why really in fact I still have a fondness for the in your face look. I guess it was all just becoming too obsessive.
A fallen leaf or petal in the wrong place could not be left, the lawns had to be just right and dead heading was an endless task. Over the last three years the garden has been given more structure, resulting in a better all year round effect. Less and less annuals are being used, although I wont completely give them the cold shoulder.
I now realise it is time to enjoy the garden as well as tend it. Don’t get me wrong it will be mentally impossible for me not to keep the garden looking good, however looking for perfection in gardening is a frustrating and impossible task. Also in Spring and Summer, I am going to appreciate how good the garden is looking and not just wait until Winter to look at the photos.
My new years resolution —- Take things easier.