doodle by andre: (horti)cult(ure) of perfection


ONE OF THE GREAT JOYS OF LIVING ALONE is that there is only one circle on the chart here at A Way to Garden, eliminating the need for compromise. Newlywed and newly gardening Andre Jordan, on the other hand, has quickly learned the secrets to a happy marriage (carefully depicted by said doodler, above). So how do you design a “perfect” garden, or life? Separate beds, perhaps? This collaboration stuff is tricky business, methinks.

  1. Susan says:

    I offered my dogs a part of the garden, but they have left it all to me. I keep on trying to get them to help, but they just want to play with balls. So I have one circle.

  2. andre says:

    I am lucky – I get the garden and my wife gets the lawn. Unfortunately the garden has gone a bit ‘wild’ and doesn’t look anything like the ‘country garden’ look we had imagined.

  3. Deirdre says:

    I remarried a couple of years ago. My first husband didn’t care what I did in the garden so long as it looked nice. This husband used to be an architect. He wants walls and masses of the same plants. Trying to reconcile his desires and my plant lust is tricky. I have partly solved it by buying multiples of a plant or collections of similar plants when lust hits. That’s good design anyway. Now, I just need to satisfy his desire for formality without actually having a formal garden. I’m trying informal planting in formally shaped beds.

    He also dislikes pastel color schemes which I love. This house came with large rhodies that dictate a pastel scheme a couple of months in the spring. I’m putting in the colors he loves for the rest of the year.

    I feel like the compromise is mostly his ideas. He thinks the compromise is mostly mine.

  4. chigal says:

    You contribute garden ideas?? I get requests for “lots of basil” and deferential approval on blue flowers to match his eyes. That’s about it for contributions, though he does help keep everything alive when I’m away. Well, and he doesn’t stop me from growing 10-foot monsters from two-foot pots as long as I prevent them from killing anybody. That’s sometimes the best contribution — just letting me do my thing.

  5. Balsamfir says:

    Also live alone, so not speaking from experience, but this came up in a country house post on the NYT website a few weeks ago. The ex-couple mentioned that they essentially divied up the rooms, and that this was an indicator things weren’t going well with them. In really successful shared gardens, there may be some inequality of ideas, but I think the best gardens often turn out to BE truly collaborative and interactive, a shared excitement about the place and the plants, and about each others’ ideas. No idea how to get there of course. Mine, mine, mine. I have a hard time even letting someone weed in my garden.

  6. Rosella says:

    My dear husband of 48 years is horticulturally challenged, and can’t tell a daffodil from a daphne, so he leaves it all to me. Which is very nice indeed, although while the triumphs are mine, so are the disasters. He has though contributed to the disasters on at least one occasion, when I asked him to remove the dead dogwood from the little grove of three dogwoods. Yes, he did — he removed one of the live ones. Actually, after I opened the consolation box with the diamond earrings, I didn’t mind at all.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Tudza. I agree. Enough said. :)

      Welcome Rosella. Well, at least he pays for his mistakes. Very sweet story, thank you. See you both soon again.

  7. Bee Balm Gal says:

    My blog is named after the FIVE varieties (at least) of bee balm that grow EVERYWHERE in our garden and have even escaped into the woods.
    My Handsome Husband asks, “How come you never show me which ones are the bee balm?”
    But hey, he’s a cheerful and willing mower of lawns and will happily lug heavy bags THERE or saw off the limb HERE. Who could ask for anything more?

  8. Lauren Starkey says:

    I got married and moved into my husband’s house 12 years ago. Making it into our home and our garden took some time! How long? Two years to convince him the rugosa rose was not suitable for poolside with small children, another year to removed the forsythia that only bloomed on the bottom two branches, and I’m still working on the anthony spirea that blooms a beautiful pink…for about 10 minutes, after which the blossoms turn brown. But now, we both delight in taking a morning walk with out coffee through Our garden, and it was worth every bit of gentle pressuring and compromise!

  9. deb says:

    My husband and I both love to putter around our small pool area garden, although he’s a little possessive about the lawn, small as it is . I do have to keep undercover when I sabotage some of his sentimental plants, the one lily, the spindly out of climate rhodo, the weigela that looks like pick up sticks gone mad. He is jealous that I garden a bit for a job, while he digs away in the corporate world for our living. That is a compromise I’m more than willing to do.

  10. Todd says:

    It’s easy for us… she helps (OK decides) what we are going to grow and then I take care of making sure it happens ;) That way it’s my fault if they don’t produce! haha

  11. Everyday Earth says:

    My wife and I love to garden and we have started a herb garden with lots of fresh basil, oregano, mint etc… Our three circles overlap in a similar way but as you state, the majority of the compromise is in my circle.

    P.S. I found your blog on the BloggersChoiceAwards website and think it is great! I voted for you, I write for the Our Everyday Earth – Green Blog and wondered if you would vote for us in the best Education blog category;


    Thanks in advance :)

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Everyday Earth. I will go take a look and thank you for your vote of confidence. Hope we see you soon again.

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