Remodeling and Home Design

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    « The Essential Werewolf’s Garden | Main | A Day in the Life of a Magazine Editor »


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    Rebecca Sweet

    Loving your 'Namby Pamby' curves - is that 'design lingo' you learned in school? I'll admit I'm more of a perfectionist than I'd like to be. I struggle with trying to be more of a 'laid back hippie chick' than a drill sergeant. I can't help it - it's in my blood!

    As you can see, it takes a high class degree to communicate complex design principles! Kids, don't try this at home.

    Kari Lonning

    Without have at least some of the perfectionistic traits, I don't think self-employed people (in the arts or other fields) can make it. I'm a slightly reformed, obsessive compulsive Virgo ..... but I do have a garden that is constantly on the edge of "wild."

    I imagine you can't be TOO much of a perfectionist, or your garden would drive you nuts! You can only control plants so much.


    Love this post. I'm on a crusade to make gardening a guilt-free zone. Not easy though.

    Dream on, my friend! My master gardener friends drive me nuts apologizing for everything that's wrong with their gardens when I visit...then I find myself doing the very same thing when they come to see me!

    Lila Das Gupta

    You need to set up a soap-box outside a garden centre to bring your message directly to the public that needs it most. Really good piece on design - yes, I'm a pot mover too...

    Nice to meet a fellow pot mover! My husband keeps asking why I can't figure all this out BEFORE they're filled with dirt and plants.


    A while back I read some of the negative traits associated with being a perfectionist, like not wanting to start a project unless you're almost completely certain you can succeed. I can't remember the rest - there were a bunch - but they described me. My husband would agree after I asked him to transplant a rose bush by 6 inches. Then he tranplanted it again for me later . . . poor guy, being married to a perfectionist. Your priorities in the garden sound great.

    Well give yourself some credit - it's much easier being a perfectionist if you're smart enough to marry someone willing to do the heavy lifting :-)


    Perfection is over-rated, I realize I'll never get there. I do tend to look at my garden like I'm art directing a photo shoot, so I'm pretty guilty of adjusting by inches & rearranging all the time too.

    I think you just described me perfectly!

    P.S. Nice photo in Fine Gardening this month.


    True confession: The last year I was living in Sweden, I didn't have time to garden. That was the year the garden looked the best...

    I hope I learned something from that.

    Doubt it. You'll just become a perfectionist about ignoring the garden in the EXACT SAME WAY in an effort to get the same result.

    Antigonum Cajan

    I have an absolute distaste for lawns, palms and hedges. Too much fuel, energy, it is spent in the keep up.

    The inherent stiffness is also felt, however,
    your thesis on perfection is all right with me. A garden should evidence thoughts, ideas, excellence.

    Otherwise what is the point of having one,
    not showing your taste, research,uniqueness?

    There are TOO many lame gardens, in the hands of residence owners, but the worst:
    landscape maintenance companies. Cookie
    mold cuts.........

    We're not a nation of gardeners yet, but we're getting there. There's hope!

    Country Mouse

    Weeds. Non native invasives. It is so hard to be a perfectionist in this arena! The weeds win every time, esp when you have 3 acres! Calla lilies - don't get me started. Cannot get rid of the bad word things. I also heard you on the strong lines. Have to lay out a path this summer for fall planting and I'll remember to check the namby-pamby factor!

    With your rugged landscape, namby-pamby has absolutely no place! Good luck with the war on invasives.


    My biggest weakness? That'll be an inability to see my weaknesses.... Don't know if that would work in an interview.

    What a transformation on the before and after.

    I guess as you say, balance is the key. Sometimes I've seen wonderful sprawling gardens balanced with say a discrete box sphere or such like tucked away in a corner, just a 'nod' to let you know the gardener's in control.

    Weaknesses? What weaknesses! The photos on your blog show a beautiful garden. Or at least one that's been expertly photoshopped, lol.

    Balance is a very easy concept to talk about, but very difficult to actually execute. I'm happiest when my clients allow me to tweak the design during the installation phase. Those are the gardens that turn out the best.


    way too imperfect to be a perfectionist in the garden, as for my art work, I am more at ease these days then in the past.

    Very zen. Sounds like you have it under control.

    Town Mouse

    Interesting topic. I think that in the end, clean lines and balance of design is what makes a garden a garden. You want to have the feeling that there's some order in the chaos.

    As for myself, I'm probably with you. The plants are allowed to do what they want, mostly, but I like to keep the hardscape areas mostly free of leaves and the pots must be at just the right angle.

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