‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ in the Garden

‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ in the Garden

When I started putting together our first garden areas in our blank slate of a yard I always second guessed myself. Every planting was met with the oncoming thought “is this going to work like I want it to?” or “does this look right?” Ideas flow freely from my mind all the time and I always try to imagine what they will turn out like when everything is finished but there have always been those nagging thoughts. After several years of gardening I still have those thoughts that eat away at my confidence each time I do something new in the garden. Sometimes I’ll stare at a plant that I just bought and place it in 4-5 different locations before settling on a final spot for the plant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered what my neighbors think of my garden. I’m always my own worst critic.

But I’ve learned a little something over the years. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. There isn’t anything in the garden that can’t be changed or fixed to fit another idea or plan. Any “mistake” can be rectified. Every plant planted in the wrong location can be moved or replaced at any time! I can’t tell you how many plants I’ve moved over the years. I moved a willow tree three times, a maple at least twice and many perennials have migrated to different locations. I guess that’s another reason why I like to propagate the plants – so I can just plant a new one where I want it!

My vegetable garden is another example. I’ve changed it’s design every year. It started off as an “L” shape then moved to more standard potager feel and hopefully will become something even better as it changes. Maybe change isn’t the right word but rather “evolves.” A garden evolves and grows – constantly.

I’m finding that as I garden more the idea of something being “right” or “wrong” in the garden just isn’t true. “Right” and “wrong” are matters of personal taste and what looks right to one person might be just plain wrong to another. It’s up to the gardener. If you happen to be a new gardener who has had similar thoughts don’t worry so much. Whether it’s wrong or right, it’s all up to you, the gardener!


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Dave,

    Well stated indeed! Hope your garden does all you want it to this year.

  2. So unbelievably true!! My garden is in a constant state of change, the trick is to embrace it.

  3. I like the use of the term "evolving"–it sounds so much better than "changing"! I'll have to remember that next time hubby teases me about how I'm always changing this or that…..
    And so true-there is no right or wrong in the garden if it truly reflects YOUR tastes. I hate when stuffy magazines tell you that you can't do this, or can't do that. Bull! It's our gardens, and anything that pleases US is correct.

  4. Speaking of moving plants, I think we need to move the sycamore in the backyard. It was in the way of the sledding.

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