Gardening Magazine

The Top Five Misconceptions of Gardening

By Alison_wood @midnight_eden

I watch all the gardening shows. I read magazines, like Country Garden, and I spend hours on websites, like From all this entertaining information, I’ve learned a few things.

1. A garden improves the appearance of a house. This may be true for some—for me, not so much. After a full season of gardening, my yard does not look better. In spite of my efforts (and, okay, probably the large amount of time being neglected between those efforts), it looks like I’ve made a large, shabby dried flower arrangement—and cut off all the flowers.

2. In spite of what the tag tells you, hardy perennials are not hardy. Hardy, to me, suggests I’m getting the Clint Eastwood of plants. However, if these plants can’t even get through a couple of weeks (okay, a month tops) in summer without water, I don’t know how anyone expects them to stand up to a long, cold winter.

3. The popular wisdom is that gardens should be weeded regularly. I say that without the dandelions and wild violets my garden would have no color at all.

4. I know that pinching spent flowers is supposed to encourage vigorous growth and blooming. This past season, I waited eagerly for the first bloom so that I could ruthlessly pinch it back. And I waited. When one sickly little pink bud finally appeared in late August, I couldn’t bring myself to remove it. I so desperately wanted to see at least one flower bloom. The next morning, however, it fell off by itself.

5. I have accepted, finally, that the biggest misconception of all is that I have to want the garden I see in magazines. With my busy life, it obviously isn’t possible to take as much time to care for my garden. Between rushing the kids off to school, racing to work, and speeding home again, I simply don’t have the time. I don’t need the perfect garden; I just want color, beauty, and relaxation!

So, this season, I didn’t buy any plants. Instead, I installed outside garden fountains. My neighbors say that the free standing water fountains in my backyard are much more attractive than the free standing stalks of dead plants that I used to call a garden. A beautiful wicker patio set, a bright yellow umbrella, and a rainbow of birdhouses arranged around the soothing sound of two outdoor water wall fountains finally provide all the color, beauty, and much needed relaxation that I’ve been longing for.

Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about furniture. You can learn more about Free Standing Water Fountains at

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