Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Kind of Gardener Are You?

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, nor are the plant's needs
•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.
•Climbs on something tall or lies on 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.

SCGardener added a fifth Gardener:

Horticulturist with a garden:
•Remember what they say about cobbler's children and their shoes?
•Has a plan, can't read for all the erasures and revisions.
•Acquires plants in many licit and semi-licit means. Good nurseries, mail-order, flea markets, seed swaps, over the fence, plant sales, rustling. (I knew a guy who smuggled Mahonias from the UK in his dirty laundry socks.)
•The more unusual the better. Although common can be good too. Oh, heck, it's a plant. I'll find a home for it.
•Has a small (or not so small) nursery of plants in pots waiting to find homes.
•Knows the names, is mistakenly sure that they can remember all the cultivar names.
•Weeds? Pokeweed is kinda pretty don't you think? Did you know you can eat lambsquarters and purslane?
•Knows all the garden rules. Believes firmly that they can break them with sheer determination. Sometimes it works.
•Every single pair of jeans they own has permanent knee stains.

31 comments:

  1. I aspire to the first, but fall somewhere in the middle!
    Very funny post.

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  2. Great read Nell Jean! I have some of each category, but most love the leaving of an unknown plant because it might be *something*! You are a riot! :-)
    Frances

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  3. I just skipped that first one! I knew that wasn't going to describe me.

    But when I got to '
    Having fun in the Garden' it hit home. I do know almost all of the latin names of my plants though, but sometimes I forget....wait that throws me into the Grandmother in the Garden one.

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  4. I think I must be a grandmother...

    I do have a plan, on paper. I often cannot find it, but I remember some of it in my head. Wait, that was last year's plan.

    I don't know most of the latin names. If I can't remember the regular names, how would I remember latin names?

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  5. I'm torn between the two middle ones. Deviation and expanding beds is so me. I've just started leaving the 'errant' weed since I've learned I usually weed out good things. Urgh. Very fun categories.

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  6. Thank you for the list and laugh. I want to add a category.

    Horticulturist with a garden.

    Remember what they say about cobbler's children and their shoes?

    Has a plan, can't read for all the erasures and revisions.

    Acquires plants in many licit and semi-licit means. Good nurseries, mail-order, flea markets, seed swaps, over the fence, plant sales, rustling. (I knew a guy who smuggled Mahonias from the UK in his dirty laundry socks.)

    The more unusual the better. Although common can be good too. Oh, heck, it's a plant. I'll find a home for it.

    Has a small (or not so small) nursery of plants in pots waiting to find homes.

    Knows the names, is mistakenly sure that they can remember all the cultivar names.

    Weeds? Pokeweed is kinda pretty don't you think? Did you know you can eat lambsquarters and purslane?

    Knows all the garden rules. Believes firmly that they can break them with sheer determination. Sometimes it works.

    Every single pair of jeans they own has permanent knee stains.

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  7. FUN!

    I have gone through some of each of these!

    I first started buying anything that was deer resistant to try for 3-4 years. It has been an experiment -- full sun, deer, drought, rabbits -- after having gardened in the shade, without pests, until 2005.

    Now, I have a plan -- I'm rearranging all those plants that are scattered throughout my garden to TRY to create a design from the survivors. I'm doing it by color combinations.

    I don't buy rare plants -- as those would bust the retiree budget. I am addicted to seed sowing (thanks to you, Nell).

    I've learned the Latin names -- but can't pronounce most correctly! LOL

    I leave weeds in case they are "something" and let a weed get 3 feet tall this summer before declaring it was indeed, a weed!

    No neat borders except where my husband mows anything that gets in the way along the meadow edge.

    Cameron

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  8. Think I fall into the 'having fun in the garden' catagory. Plan? I don't need no stinkin' plan.

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  9. Having fun. What better reason to do all that I do?

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  10. Great post! I think most of us want to be the "got it all together" type, but end up in the middle. I will never get it all together. That's okay with me.
    Did you mention what type you are?
    Rosey

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  11. Love it! Black under the nails is in, no?

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  12. I'm glad you all find this amusing as I intended. I appreciate my new SC friend adding another group, Horticulturist in the Garden.

    Rosey, were you not aware that I am the ultimate Grandmother's Garden? When I was about 40, the topless dancer from across the street came over and said, "This is a Grandma Back Yard." She meant it as a compliment. My methods have changed little in the next quarter century, I just know more plants and weeds than before.

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  13. I am definitely Having Fun in the Garden. I fly by the seat of my pants and do whatever strikes me that day and am easily side tracked at the garden center. Great post!

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  14. I can't pick...there are characteristics in all categories that fit my style. Very fun post...loved it! gail

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  15. Really fun post. I certainly fall more toward the last few without really fitting one.

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  16. Haha! I AM the grandmother in the garden! It's all in my head and I can't remember for spit! My life is not perfect; my home is not perfect; my garden is not perfect! But it's all happy!

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  17. Fabulous post.....I so enjoyed reading it

    I am, most definately....'Having fun in the garden'.....

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  18. LOL. I think I must be the Grandmother but I can see myself at points in all of them. I think there needs to be one more category. ;-)

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  19. This is another great post!

    As a horticulturist, I would have to place myself in "The Horticulturist With a Garden". Our garden rarely look well designed because we are plant collectors and are never finished.

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  20. Hmmmmm, I mostly "Having Fun in the Garden," I suppose, but I also have plants suddenly die without warning.

    Also, I am "Never Will Win 'Yard of the Month' Gardener." :-D

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  21. This is soooo funny! I think I'm definitely the first one, though I try too loosen up. Weird how you know about all these characteristics, b/c they don't really fit a particular stereotype either... You must be psychic!! The grandmother one was really funny. That's funny that someone told you you had a grandma backyard when you were 40!

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  22. Hi Nell~~ I was thinking about what a mixed up gardener I am since my character is a composite of all of these. But then I scanned some of the other comments and don't feel so bad now. LOL

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  23. Very fun post. I'm between Trying to Keep it together and Having fun in the garden. I'm very easily distracted in garden centers and am expanding the beds to make room for the plants I was distracted by.

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  24. Nice grouping...I think I fall someplace in the "having fun in the garden" arena...Thanks for popping by my blog this morning! If you ever make it to Austin, I'd
    be delighted to give you a tour!

    Happy Gardening,

    Cheryl

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  25. 'Having fun in the garden' struck a chord within me.

    FlowerLady

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  26. I'm a Horticulturist gardener to the max.
    Scott

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  27. Nell Jean, Very funny post. There's a bit of me in all those categories. Like everyone else, *I have a plan* to become Got it Together... if I could only find it.

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  28. What about the schizophrenic gardener? In one way or another, I seem to fall into all of those.

    I plan, but am easily distracted. Obsessive when I have the time, but neglectful when I do not...

    I -c-a-n-'t- -d-e-c-i-d-e-
    Ahhhhhh....

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  29. Think that I may be a horticulturalist with a garden :)
    Great post.

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  30. Very funny! I kept thinking "Oh, yes, that's me". Actually, I think I currently come under the heading of Workaholic Gardener. I've spent more time sitting at my computer writing about gardening recently than I have being out there doing it.

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



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