Next week I will be participating for the first time in the Garden Designer’s Roundtable, a website that features a monthly round-up of blog-posts by garden design professionals. Each month, several of the Roundtable’s designers provide their unique perspectives on a given topic, with links to all the posts published on GDRT. Cool!
Given my limited experience with professional design, I confess that participating in this group makes me feel a bit like the Salahis at the White House State Dinner. Like, can I really get away with this? Is anybody going to notice I’m not supposed to be here? Seriously, though, it is an honor, and I thank Scott Hokunson for including me. Ever since staying at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC, I have always wanted to be part of a Roundtable!
Anyway, May’s topic will be “Our Home Gardens” and it should be really fun to get a glimpse into the backyards of all these designers. Revealing your own personal garden to a wider audience is a bit nerve-wracking, though. When you sell yourself as somebody who’s good at garden design, as somebody who even collects money from others in exchange for garden design services, you’d better have something going on in your yard. Right? Or is it acceptable to proudly declare yourself a garden designer even if your own garden is less than spectacular?
Do other professionals deal with this issue? I have to say, my dentist’s teeth aren’t all that impressive, yet he’s taken excellent care of my teeth for 34 years. Kristin, a young woman who’s done a phenomenal job cutting my hair on several occasions, sports blue hair herself. My dermatologist has terrible skin, yet his mole-removing skills are unmatched. So no, I don’t think a designer’s own garden necessarily reflects his professional skills.
Plus, with gardening, we can use photography very carefully to disguise the flaws. The macro shot is always a nice tactic. Unfortunately, if you show too many macros, your savvy audience will soon catch on to your trickery. (“Wait a minute, another close-up of a dew drop on a leaf? What gives?”) They will figure out that the macros don’t represent The Whole Truth of your garden. It’s sort of like when you’re dating online, and you try to string the other person along for awhile with just your cute headshot. They will humor you for awhile, but until you can provide evidence that from the neck down you don’t look like Jabba the Hut, they will remain wary and suspicious.
So I have decided that next week I will give you an honest look at my garden. I’ve got some pretty little places, but then I also have some ass-shots that I will go ahead and reveal. I have been working on my garden for five years now, and I will try my best to show you some of the processes I’ve gone through, the designers/books that have inspired me, as well as the problems that have arisen from my own indecision, impulsivity, and of course, sheer ignorance.
Woo-hoo! Should be fun. So I will see you back here on May 22, and please check out GDRT that day, too, to visit the gardens of several other excellent designers! It will be like getting a peek at their underpants!