Being True to Yourself

Miss-Kim-LilacThe Beautiful Mask

This is a close-up of the Miss Kim lilac in our front yard.  It’s carefully pruned into a topiary tree form. The plants in the foundation bed around it are groomed, the mulch is plentiful and weeds are nowhere to be seen.  From the front, my yard looks like someone has got it together. This is the yard the world sees—strangers walk past all day, never knowing otherwise.

Behind the Mask

My back yard is a totally different story. Overgrown flower beds abound, weeds are everywhere and mulch is sparsely distributed. This is the part of my yard that I put on the backburner; the part that I put off again until “next year;” the part that, since no one but me sees it, I tend to neglect. This is the yard that few ever see–the select few people I trust with my disorganized, out-of-control side.

Putting It All Out There

My goal is to gain the courage to invite a group of people for a garden party—people I wouldn’t ordinarily choose to see the “mess.”  I’d like to put myself out there—all sides of me: the good, the bad and the ugly. I’d like to have a great time and feel the confidence of “this is me…take it or leave it.”

I’m not feeling it yet…maybe next year…




Are You Too Hard On Yourself?

Neighbors-YardThis is my neighbor’s yard.  It is immaculate, well-maintained, tended daily if not several times per day.  All of her plants are tidy, contained, i.e. under control.  I am so impressed with her ability to nurture all of her plantings so lovingly.

What Does She Think of My Yard?

When I see her working outside, sometimes I wonder what she thinks of our yard which is the exact opposite of tidy. Sometimes I’m embarrassed that I haven’t kept up with my landscaping, and I wonder if she thinks I’m lazy or disorganized or just don’t care. If I follow this line of thought, I can get myself pretty worked up about all the things I “should” be on top of and more dedicated to.


Last night, I visited her in her yard and expressed how beautiful I thought it looked.  She thanked me, but began pointing out the things that she wished she could change and that she was irritated about.  She pointed out with frustration some weeds here; some uneven spots there and the plants the rabbits had munched over the winter…

I laughed to myself and started pointing out all the flaws in my backyard.

My neighbor gave me a big smile and said, “Angie, it looks beautiful from here.”

Lesson Learned