Don’t other people’s gardens look fantastic? Or at least not actively bad? Or is that just my own selective perception going on?

We spent a lovely evening recently with friends on a screened porch overlooking their substantial vegetable garden. I’m not a great judge of distances, but I’d say the plot was at least 15 feet from the house. And from that distance, it was perfect. Everything looked lush, with a nice mix of annual flowers interspersed to give some color amid all the green veggies. A hummingbird flitted up to visit some cleomes. If there were any weeds, they didn’t stand out.

I commented on what a nice support system they had in place. I was told, yeah, that really wasn’t so much supporting anything because the tomatoes had just decided to flop on their own in between the two supports. I exclaimed over the adorable little cucumbers on the kitchen counter and the mounds of red banana-shaped tomatoes. I was told that the cucumbers were sadly a tad bitter and the tomatoes were fairly tasteless.

But to my eyes in the waning light of a beautiful late summer night, it looked picture perfect. And those cucumbers were just fine drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

I look at my own garden hypercritically, and there’s plenty to criticize from anyone’s perspective. But maybe I just need to sit further away from it on the porch with a cool drink and it will take on a different look, and even the weeds will recede. Distance is a gardener’s best friend.