Yesterday afternoon we took our two youngest children for a walk around the block. Well..if the truth be told…we (Deb and I) went for a walk while our two young children rode their bikes. Actually…that’s still not quite the truth. We went for a walk, the kids rode (for a little while) and then we ended carrying them and their bikes home.

It was a leisurely stroll though and as we walked around admiring the gardens in our neighbourhood it struck me at the diversity of people and how they view their own gardens. Some were a mish-mash of ideas and plants, others were more formal and obviously constructed while others seemed to have a charm all their own.

Gardening is obviously more about personal taste than it is about what should and shouldn’t be. The rules I apply for my garden aren’t accepted by others and their rules wouldn’t work in mine.

Then I stumbled across this great article “What kind of gardener are you? – Figure it out — THEN go shopping” [since moved] which talks about the type of gardeners we are. I’ve reproduced their list below…

Wanna-be gardener
Gets inspired in the spring and works her heart out.
As soon as it gets hot, says, “I think I’ve had enough.”
Has to work twice as hard the next spring because of nine months of neglect.
Advice: Keep the area around the front door watered and weed-free through the whole summer.

Prunes shrubs into circles and squares.
Keeps plants as specimens — no touching.
Mows grass to within an inch of its life.
Advice: Let the next shrub you plant grow the way God intended.

Hates trees.
Loves one big stretch o’ lawn on which to run his riding lawnmower unimpeded.
Advice: Enjoy.

Plant collector
Buys one kind of plant that makes a bold statement when it’s in bloom but leaves the yard blah the rest of the year.
Has no design in mind.

Advice: Pick a plant that blooms earlier or later than those in your collection.

Should-be renter
Thinks bindweed flowers are pretty, their vine a nice cover for the chain-link fence.
Uses a hose only to wash the car.
Mows about once a month.
Advice: Call a real estate agent.

Does the bare minimum to keep the neighbors from complaining that housing values are going down.

Keep things neat, i.e., the weeds mowed.

Armchair gardener
Watches HGTV.
Reads this garden column.
Knows beauty when he sees it.

Try a container of flowers on your doorstep this spring.

Real gardener
Studies and comes up with a design before throwing plants at the yard.
Loses track of time and catches a glimpse of heaven while working outside.
Kills lots of plants because he tries lots of plants, some of them risky for the climate.

Advice: Share yours.