What Kind of Gardener Are You?

I wrote this on Garden Web some months ago. Somebody resurrected it over Christmas:

Got It All Together:

  • Has a plan on paper
  • Sticks to the plan
  • Buys new, improved hybrids from reputable dealers
  • Beds have neat edges
  • Pulls out plants that fail to perform as expected
  • Knows the botanical name of all plants, plus genus and family
  • Looks elegant sitting under garden pergola sipping iced tea.

    Trying to Keep It Together:

  • Has a plan
  • Easily distracted at garden centers, deviates from plan
  • Plants seeds from someone’s beautiful new hybrid which doesn’t come true
  • Has neat edges most of the time
  • Some plants just die without warning
  • Buys by color; if it fits the palette the name is not important
  • Hopes visiting children will not trample flower beds during cookout.

    Having Fun in the Garden:

  • Plan in the gardener’s head; loses notes
  • Plants where there’s a space
  • Grows mostly old, tried and true from seeds and divisions
  • Bed edges expand to accomodate new plants, leaves newcomer weeds to make sure they aren’t ‘something.’
  • Encourages plants that struggle but yanks out diseased
  • Knows the common name, sometimes can remember the latin name
  • Permanently stained right thumbnail, hopes white gloves for social occasions make a comeback.

    Grandmother in the Garden

  • Have a plan, on paper; can’t find it.
  • Plan is flawed — forgot actual bloom dates are not comparable to PNW and Zone 5 gardens where I lifted ideas.
  • Forget to plant on time; hanging on to 3-year old seeds, just in case. Seeds do get mixed up, hence the pink poppies in the orange bed.
  • Bed edges flex: more than 30 sq. ft. of grass to dig, well, you know.
  • Frequent searches for articles showing latest color combos, hoping my more bizarre palettes will turn up as suddenly fashionable.
  • Can usually identify every plant as familiar, forgot the name. I’ll think of it tomorrow.
  • Climb on something tall or lie on my stomach to get a better view with fewer weeds when making photos.
  • Know in my heart that the finest gardens have ‘off’ seasons and that the humblest gardens sometimes harbor most beautiful blossoms.

    1. Lancashire rose

       /  May 12, 2009

      I’m mostly having fun but some of the grandmother things apply too. Do you have anywhere about wearing flip flops and treading on a rusty spike! Just did that.

    2. janie

       /  December 26, 2008

      I have characteristics of all the different sorts of gardeners….except that I have never looked elegant sipping tea anywhere. I do have plans, but I tend to deviate- a LOT.I don’t know all the botanical names, and I forget the common names often, but whatever…I have few neat edges.

    3. Tom

       /  December 26, 2008

      I have several plans. I can’t seem to remember them when it comes time to divide and plant. I usually think about them when I’m lying on the ground to get a good picture. Standing up too quickly, the dizziness makes me forget them and the name of that hibiscus that I bought on a whim from a roadside stand in Delaware, or was it Maryland?

    4. Sue

       /  December 26, 2008

      I am mostly in the having fun in the garden category, but have one or two elements from the other lists.

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