Friday, December 26, 2008

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

    2. 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?

    3. 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.

    4. 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.


    I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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