The Well Tended Garden
What is a well-tended garden?
Basically it is a garden that gives the impression that the owner loves it and cares for it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it has been tidied within an inch of its life. Often it is the contrast between the clean lines of the horizontal surfaces (lawns, paths, terraces) and the abundance of the verticals (trees, climbers, borders) that sets the mood. And a garden doesn’t need to be consistently well-tended to look good, in fact some of the loveliest gardens are those where they are at their most groomed close to the house and then gradually loses the crisp edges and orderliness as they move away.
6 Easy Ways to Smarten up your Garden
- Mow the lawn – it looks tidy and the smell of mown grass is associated with well-kept gardens
- Trim lawn edges – this indicates attention to detail
- Sweep the paths – a messy path is not a good look
- Dead head flowers – removing flowers that are past their best transforms a border – even if there is less colour it creates a better impression
- Do not point out shortcomings to your visitors – they are unlikely to notice without your prompting
- Put a vase of flowers on the garden table – this shows you enjoy relaxing in your garden
Of course there are gardeners who love nothing more than an immaculate lawn and plant in straight rows with bare soil between the plants (mainly men in my experience) but the thing about plants is that they grow. They are not like furniture that gets positioned and stays the same, they can get huge, they can flop, they can die or be overwhelmed by weeds. What I’m saying is that you will be a happier gardener if you lose the illusion that you can control nature. Make friends with it instead, enjoy the abundance and tidy it to your own taste – it is your garden after all.