Gawd, What a Wreck – The Dirty Little Secret of Spring Garden Magazines

Despite the best predictions of the weather men, the temperature today was 60F. The snow seemed to flee the vicinity and revealed the horror that I forgot was my yard.

All of the toys that the kids didn’t quite get put away before the cold weather struck. The two bags of leaves my husband conveniently forgot to take to the curb. Not to mention nearly all the Fall clean-up that I best intended but never actually did.

My yard is a wreck. I sometimes wonder if the burst of energy I feel in the Spring has more to do with abject embarrassment than warm weather excitement. How in the name of all that is good could I call myself a gardener when my yard looks like this?

The gardening magazines this time of year are no help. Much like fashion magazines prey on the self-image of young women, gardening magazines are created to do nothing but ravage the psyche of gardeners.

Here we are in early March and those darn magazines are screaming at me from the grocery checkout lane.

  • Picture Perfect Perennials in Less Than 30 Days!
  • How to Make Your Man Smile in Your Vegetable Bed
  • How to Grow a Perfect Garden with No Work
  • Why You Suck as A Gardener (and How We Can Help Fix That)

Wave upon wave of stories (with graphic photos) about wealthy women and gay couples who dedicated the entire last decade to creating a perfect garden. And I, like the sorry dope that I am, pile these magazines into my cart and gleefully head home with them like a crack whore with a rock.

And as I pull into my driveway, the devastation that is my yard rolls over me. How will I ever get my yard to look like those perfect chippy yards pictured in the magazines that I just paid a small fortune for?

It is then with a heavy heart that I bring those magazines into my home. Perhaps if I just read them carefully enough, I too can have a yard that others will envy, rather than call the city hall on, which is what I am sure some of my neighbors are considering now that the snow is gone.

I will faithfully read those garden porn magazines, consoling myself in that it is only for educational purposes. But it will be the pictures I see in these magazines that will drive me to spend more on my garden than some small African nations do in their whole fiscal budget.

My yard is a wreck. A mess. A disaster. Welcome Spring.

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