GARDENER COLUMN: Learning to love your imperfect garden | Home & Garden

Stop comparing your garden to others. It’s really hard to do when you see everyone’s posts of their spectacular flowers blooming in their yards and or all the vegetables they are harvesting in their gardens. It’s also hard when you visit a beautifully maintained botanical garden where everything is placed just so. At this point, take the time to realize there is no perfect yard – and enjoy the one you have.

Focus on what is going well in your garden. Look at your garden with an eye that appreciates what is going on right in your garden. Your garden is always going to have things you want to change or fix. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in your garden, take the time to appreciate what is doing well and learn from it so you can replicate it in other parts of your garden.

Make a realistic, practical list of garden improvements. This doesn’t mean make a wish list; instead, consider the time and budget you have for your garden. I tend to take on multiple projects each summer and many times, they don’t all get done because I’m not great at accepting how much time each project takes. You don’t have to accomplish everything in one season, instead do what you can and be happy when you accomplish it.

Strive to cross one thing off the list each season. Getting started is many times the hardest step. Break your projects up into smaller steps and cross those steps off one at a time. That will help make those bigger projects much easier to accomplish when you measure your progress. For me, that means selecting one garden bed at a time to focus on doing major changes within it. I still have to do other garden maintenance, particularly in my vegetable garden, but major garden bed overhauls should only be done one at a time.