Design tip: Photograph the bare spots and ugly bits

This picture shows me where the white tulips are winding down

As garden bloggers, we’re often trying to present only the pretty pictures – making the camera show us off to our best advantage. But as gardeners, we really need to look at the “bad side” of our gardens sometimes, using photographs as record-keepers and an aide-mémoire.

This spring, I went around my garden taking pictures to remind myself what was planted where, and what wasn’t planted anywhere. It was a tremendous help when I came back this fall with bags of bulbs to try to fill the gaps or refuel the dying embers. You think you’ll remember, but you don’t.

Knowing where the bodies er, bulbs were buried allowed me to interplant in the rights spots among the geraniums.
Look for bare spots. That one in the middle is now filled with promise (and new tulips).
It’s good to have an “unposed” shot of the big picture, too. With luck, the new bulbs planted this fall will both fill in the gaps and create more cohesive movement through the garden. Fingers crossed.


  1. Great advice! Every spring I struggle to remember what I wanted to change in my garden; but inevitably, without pictures it's almost impossible to remember exactly what your garden looks like after so many months of snow everywhere. Thanks for the tips! I will be taking lost of pictures of my mistakes from now on for future reference.

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