A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about different styles of gardening beauty. And it got me thinking back to when I enlisted the help of a very talented stylist because I was frustrated with my looks.

(Not her fault that I still like to garden in my rattiest, old jeans and T-shirts, one of which has a hole in the underarm now. That’s because it’s been loved in the style of the Velveteen Rabbit!)

Anyway, way back when, I attended a workshop with a small group of women, during which we each decided on four “inner beauty words”. The idea was that by keying in to words that expressed the essence of who we are as people, we could simplify shopping by looking for clothing that expressed those same qualities.

Shopping suddenly became an enjoyable exercise in creativity. To be honest (as you might expect from my ratty gardening clothes comment), I still trend a bit lazy when it comes to the everyday.

Nevertheless, it feels really good to be confident. When I want to put together a polished look, I know how to do it.

Why on earth am I writing about clothes on a gardening blog?

Well, it occurred to me that we could do much the same thing with our gardens. Decide on beauty words for our gardens and then think how we might express them visually.

Here are just a few I thought of related to looks:

  • Lush
  • Abundant
  • Colorful
  • Full of texture
  • Layered
  • Formal vs. Informal
  • Straight (or Angled) vs. Curved
  • Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical
  • Visually Simple vs. Complex
  • Manicured vs. Naturalistic
  • (Obviously) Unified vs. (Seemingly) Random

And it really gets fun when you start thinking of feel. Just to get us started, how about:

  • Open
  • Cozy
  • Soothing
  • Evocative (you decide of what)
  • Whimsical
  • Hidden
  • Inviting
  • Haven
  • Nurturing
  • Expansive
  • Carefree
  • Exciting

How many more can you think of?

Here are the qualities I seek to express in my garden:

  • Structured Informality (Formal looks tend to require a lot of upkeep; not a good match for me. And I’m comfortable with informality. But I do want to sense an underlying structure to the design.)
  • Abundant (I like a really full, lush, colorful look)
  • Haven (I want to go into my garden and have the space feel like a big, deep belly breath)
  • Exciting (I want my garden to be full of life and little moments of surprise and wonder)

Now it’s your turn! 😊

If you had to cull it down to four qualities (eight words or less), what do you seek to express in your garden’s look and feel?