What Kind of Gardener Are You?
You already know you’re a plant person, but there are all types of gardening enthusiasts on this green earth. Find out which of these relatable growers you identify with most.
Fess Up, Garden Fanatic!
You’ve been puttering aimlessly in the potting shed with your hat and gloves on, kicking despondently at the frozen dirt in your yard. It’s not unusual for you to drive repeatedly past your favorite nursery, gazing out with longing. Well, warmer weather is right around the corner, and you’ll soon be able to get growing again. To amuse yourself in the meantime, get in touch with what kind of gardener you really are with these 10 planter profiles.
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The Flower Fiend
A lawn? How pedestrian! Vegetables? You’re not a farmer, you’re a gardener, for goodness’ sake! You fancy flowers, from the first crocuses of spring through the mums and dahlias of autumn. Blooms are everywhere, front curb to backyard, and there’s not a room inside your home that doesn’t boast a bouquet. You believe your plots rival those of Hidcote, Sissinghurst Castle, and other famous British gardens for their flowers. Indeed, after a few hours lost among your precious petals, you’re prone to start speaking with an English accent!
Identifying marks: Daisy-chain crown, rose-colored glasses
Common call: “Flower power!”
The Caring Conservationist
Compost? Of course! You wouldn’t dream of using commercial fertilizer in your organic garden. You pooh-pooh all pesticides, too. Instead, you invite beneficial insects to your garden to prey on destructive bugs. And why bother with store-bought fencing or trellises when you can construct your own using twigs discovered right there in your yard? Why, you even knit your own bird netting out of hemp yarn!
Identifying marks: DIY cardboard Crocs, overalls inherited from grandpa
Common call: “Natural or nothing!”
The Tomato King
Regular people just don’t understand the deep and abiding relationship you share with Solanum lycopersicum. Tomatoes are the only vegetable you have any interest in nurturing (from seeds, of course), and you’ve grown them all, from the robust red Alicante to the delicately striped Green Zebra. Your ultimate vacation would be a visit to San Marzano sul Sarno in Italy, where the delicate namesake fruits were first grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius. You also consider the 1978 cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes to be a documentary.
Identifying marks: Bright red baseball cap, tomato cage
Common call: “Lycopene rules!”
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The Bumper Cropper
Let’s just say you’re green-thumb generous to a fault. It’s not that the neighbors dislike you; they’re just compelled to hide behind closed doors in late summer when they see you coming with your home-grown bonanza, be it a dozen foot-long zucchinis or a bushel of tomatoes. Well, if they don’t answer the doorbell, you’ll just deposit that produce plenty on every porch in the cul-de-sac. After all, you’re a positive person, so when life gives you vegetables, you make gazpacho…and then serve it by the gallon at the Labor Day block party.
Identifying marks: Straw hat, “Kiss the Gardener” apron
Common call: “Here!”
You’re proud of your garden, and you’re equally proud of the fact that you didn’t pay a dime for virtually any of it. Most of your veggies—celery, lettuce, potatoes, and more—are grown from table scraps. Your roses and hydrangeas come from cuttings surreptitiously snagged from a nearby park, while those forsythia and lilacs are the direct result of sucker shoots (courtesy of your grandmother’s shrubs). And, sure, you purchased some seedlings back around 2016, so these days your tomatoes are all volunteers.
Identifying marks: Thrifted clothes, permanent pocket shears
Common call: “Why buy?”
The Quixotic Never-Quitter
The Man of La Mancha thought he had it tough battling windmills! You constantly go up against the laws of nature. Whether you’re trying to cultivate species far afield of your USDA hardiness zone or create lovely loam out of your rocky, sandy soil, your garden is an impossible dream. But will you give up on harvesting avocados in Maine? Never!
Identifying marks: Hawaiian shirt, snow boots
Common call: “Too much sanity may be madness—and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”
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You’re thrilled that your pride and joy made the local garden tour! So are your neighbors, who are sick of hearing you pontificate about the care and feeding of every leaf, petal, stem, and seed when they only dropped by to return a borrowed hedge trimmer. Strangers, they hope, may provide the captive audience you crave—just don’t count on repeat visits!
Identifying marks: Rubber clogs, cap and gown
Common call: “Ah, the noble nierembergia…”
The Weed Whisperer
Some call them weeds; you call them indigenous plants. Queen Anne’s lace, chicory, lamb’s quarters, clover, even the humble dandelion: You love them all. Not just beautiful, they can protect and condition soil and attract pollinators. Some are even edible! Sure, there are some “real” plants in your plot, but you can’t bear to pull any of these spunky specimens and allow them to grow willy-nilly. You always root for the underdog, and you mean “root” literally!
Identifying marks: Messy bun, clothes in mismatched patterns
Common call: “But they’re so pretty!”
The Turf Warrior
Maybe it’s all that time spent on the links, but for you it’s gotta be grass—nothing but neatly shorn, even blades of gorgeous green grass. Yeah, you play the long lawn game, and you play to win. Your mower is top of the line, ditto for your sprinkler system. The shelves of your shed are filled with turf-care products, lined up with precise organization. Sure, you’ll admit it: You vacuum the lawn when necessary. Frisbee? Croquet? Foot traffic of any kind? Just try it, buddy—you’ll be sorry!
Identifying marks: Golf hat (green, of course)
Common call: “Get off the grass!”
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What good is a personal Eden if you can’t kick back in it? So you’re lax about your lawn, you often forget to fertilize, and deadheading flowers requires way too much effort (never mind pulling weeds). You enjoy the overgrown quality of your garden—plus, it provides excellent cover if your partner comes looking for you to do indoor chores! Of course, that persnickety guy across the street may complain about your imperfect curb appeal, but if he doesn’t like it he can come trim the hedges himself.
Identifying marks: Oversize hat (ideal for pulling over the eyes), pajama bottoms
Common call: “I’ll do it tomorrow…”