February 27, 2010

The Camera Lies

If you visit my gardens, you will see what all my gardening effort has produced so far.  None of the pictures are touched up or staged, they're just snaps I took at random times.  But they are so much more beautiful than what I see outside.

When I wander around my yard, all I can see are the gaps, the unsettling exposure to traffic on the road, the unfilled spaces in the mulch, the weeds in the meadow.  The camera shows a secluded, treed retreat with lush plantings and lots of privacy and greenery.

It's the same yard, people.  It just looks better in pictures. 

Why is that?  Is it because I still have a fresh memory of how it looked when the bulldozers left?  Is it because I see it close up at weed level and not the long view the camera takes?

Is it because I garden in time, always moving, changing, thinking of what it will be, what it was, while the camera visits the garden in space, seeing just that location in just that place, just as it is right then?

Dunno.  I still can't explain why I am generally dissatisfied with my yard living in it, but very satisfied looking at it in static photos.  I mean, I like my husband in real life so much more than just having a snapshot of him, and he's easily as changeable, full of gaps, and unfinished as my gardens.


  1. How old are your gardens? I'm asking because as my gardens matured I stopped feeling that way. Not that my gardens looked that great in pictures either, but that was pre-digital and pre-zoom.

  2. Karen and Sweet bay, it sounds like the experienced gardeners have been there. My gardens are very new. The big stuff was put in by the builder in 2005, and I added shrubs and trees starting in 2006. The borders and perennial gardens were cut in Fall, 2007. So it's all new and I've had to learn everything along the way!

  3. My garden is very new as well; in fact, it is still under construction. There are some angles I can't bear to look at.

    In the meantime, I know I should focus on the ones I can bear to look at. It looks to me like you have several charming views - you are lucky! The rest just takes time :)

  4. Hi Garden Ms. S -- thanks for the encouragement from someone with the same challenges of creating new spaces! I do need to be reminded to be patient.

  5. Hi Laurrie, thanks for your comment on Blotanical. Nice to see your blog, its very nice. I’m sure ill be able to keep a better eye on it when it has been published on Blotanical. Take care, Sunny from Stone Art's Blog. And remember, learning by your mistakes, is the surest way to be sure you don’t make it again!

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  7. PS btw, I do think your gardens look wonderful now. I love the wildflower garden merging into the woods.

    The flaws will become less apparent to you as the garden matures. :)

  8. Thanks, sweet bay. I think you're right, and I'll feel better about the whole place as it fills in and "grows on me"!


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