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Photos Reveal the Truth About the Secret Garden

When I am in the garden I feel delighted with the progress I’ve made, and the space feels warm, inviting and lush. But once I post a picture online of that same space, all I see are blank spaces and lots of short plants. Why? When we are in the space our vision is clouded by our imagination of how we know things will eventually look. When we view a photo, we see the garden as it is—the good, the bad and the ugly.

Adventures Landless Gardener Bettman Nture Preserve

When I organized photography for an interior-design magazine, we painstakingly set the room for the shot. But it was not until we studied the test photo that we saw the “mistakes” in the room: a shade’s seam showing, a rug’s fringe out of formation or a book upside down on a table.

If you want to really see your garden, study pictures of it. Not only will you be better able to determine if you need to vary the height, color and texture of the garden, but you can see blank spots and areas that look too cluttered. The photos will be a good reference, too, when you forget what is growing where early next spring.

Adventures Landless Gardener Bettman Nature Preserve

Here are pictures of the shade garden. Can you see where I need to turn my attention in the coming weeks?