Physocarpus Coppertina and Kolkwitzia amabilis

Garden Designers Roundtable: My Home Garden

by Andrew Keys on May 22, 2012

My garden: let me show you it. Well… Some of it.

Cotinus and Calamagrostis You see, my garden, above all else, is my own personal form of self-expression. It’s easily the one I’ve worked longest and hardest on, and it’s one place I’m pretty much free to do as I please without answering to anyone. It means more to me than almost anything in the world. It’s my mad scientist lab, and it’s my sanctuary. It’s my art.

Centaurea 'John Coutts' As we move through life, we spend an inordinate amount of time explaining ourselves. Some people thrive on that, but at the end of the day, it exhausts me. Guess what my outlet is?

Of course you see bits and pieces of my garden here all the time (and here are some more, click photos to Corylus and Baptisia enlarge), but you see how it’d be a bit ironic to dump it ALL out here, with the express purpose of explaining it. It’s like, “My inner sanctum: DISCUSS!”

There are too many mysteries to try to tell all, too many philosophies to expound upon–but I think that’s the way it should be, at least for me.

Lindera, Salvia and Yucca

More than that, the internet is too broad and fickle an audience, although I’d love to attempt to explain my garden to you one on one, beer in hand, when you come to visit in person–and hell, I don’t even care if YOU want to explain what you think it means to the internet. For me, it’s too intimate to impart to the Actaea pachypoda 'Misty Blue' World Wide Web in the space of a blog post, and too much gets lost in translation.

Colin Meloy from the band the Decemberists once said something to the effect that he hated to see the lyrics to music written down, because something was inextricably lost when they weren’t sung. It’s kind of like that.

What the heck does this mean in the context of landscape design?

Aralia cordata

Interestingly, it’s down to a couple of the most basic tenets, and two that are overlooked all too often: make your garden what you most need it to be, and remember the landscape can be wallpaper, or it can be an intimate, personal interaction between you and your surroundings.

Which do you choose?

Find out what other GDRTers have to say about their home gardens!:
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.
Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO
Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI
Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA
Rochelle Greayer : studio “g” : Boston, MA

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