Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beautiful or Realistic - What do you Prefer?

I was reading a blog the other day about how to increase readership to your own blog. It was filled with good tips of how not to be a droning writer, but the comments about photos used on your site really stuck with me. It said to post beautiful, mouth-watering photographs. Well, nothing I love better than a gorgeous pic and I post those unreal, glamorous images all the time on Pinterest...but when it comes to a realistic, backyard garden, I think I like the rough around the edges, a tad weedy, photos of somone's real backyard.

A clump of lovely daffs in my backyard
Which is not to say that I don't think we shouldn't strive for excellence or beautiful vignettes in our own yards. But my meager attempt at bulb gardens will never rival the flowing rivers of color at Keukenhoff in Holland. I did once plant a large group of blue, glory-of-the-snow under a clear yellow forsythia a long time ago and it made a satisfying spring picture for a while, but I can't afford the money or the space to plant a huge bed of glorious, riotous color. Those gardens are for show and usually come with a staff of gardeners, plucking every weed in sight in order to make the picture perfect. This garden only has one gardener, sometimes two, and it is a working place, growing fruits and vegetables for the table. The ornamental side of it is because I see a need for a beautiful space to work in.

I'd love some feedback on this...would you rather see the scruffy side of a real garden or should I rely on Photoshop to retouch all the images. My backyard is mouth-watering in a real way with all it's edibles and sometimes foods to eat aren't the most beautiful. I am not making apologies, here, but I am saying maybe we should give ourselves some slack in our own yards and enjoy the beauty of one single flower.


  1. I'd rather see whatever is in your garden than 'borrowed' photos from Keukenhof or Sweden, no matter how beautiful. I am interested in real people growing sturdy gardens.

    I suspect the advice for increasing readership is slanted toward those folk who want much traffic because they have advertising splayed all over their blog and want money for not much.

    My readership is other gardeners. I feel they come to see what I'm up to now, not to be dazzled by manicured commercial settings. My biggest hope is to encourage others to get out and plant, pinch, prune, protect and enjoy every precious fruit and flower.

  2. I want the real thing. I'm a gardener, not a photographer with a fancy camera and software tricks to go with it. If I want pictures of world class commerical gardening I can buy a book full of great pictures to drool over. For gardening blogs give me good practical advice that I can use and photos of your and mine realities. It's about getting your hands dirty and enjoying nature.

  3. Thanks for the feedback NellJean and sensiblegardening - it is exactly what I like to see - practical advice on how to do it in your own backyard!

  4. Hi Margaret,

    I actually find that I don't see enough of people's gardens! I want to see more shots - almost a panoramic - of what is planted where and combined with what. For me (just beginning my own garden) I value that the most. I'd like to tell a lot of bloggers "Take a photo of the plant, and then step back about 6 feet and get its 'setting'... " That's what I really want to see!

    Because of my inexperience and because my garden is still wee, I (personally) focus on photographing the blooms, blossoms and bits; sans photoshopping. Hopefully this spring my garden will have grown enough to be captured as a whole. :)

    1. Thanks for looking in Sarah! I'll remember that when I take photos this year. I am forever wanting more than just the "mug shots" I see in catalogs - I want to see what the whole plant looks like.

  5. I like to read about the effort, the attempt, the experiments, and the emotions of gardeners. Anything they share with this regard, will always be beautiful.

  6. I second your comments. I like to read about the real thing - not what is unattainable.


Thank you for your comments. I always appreciate feedback from other gardeners and bloggers.