Earth Day Tribute - What Type of Gardener Are You?

Grapes are really abundant this year
Pink Verbena

The more I garden and visit with other people and their gardens I have started asking this question. Its easy to be defined by a style, but in truth it goes deeper than that. I have found that gardening in many ways is an extension of a personality. Order, whimsy and purpose mark a garden in the same way we dress ourselves and decorate our homes. I think it is why our curiosity is sparked when an opportunity arises to walk around someone's yard or garden. They all tell a story. And we want to hear that story.

Being involved with the Master Gardener program allows me the privilege of seeing more gardens than most. It's interesting to know that some gardens are more showy and "out-front" types that appeal to the eye.Those are the ones that make an immediate impression on visitors as one who knows everything about gardening and must be an expert. The truth is, the surface has only been scratched on the levels of gardening and know how. Even among our Master Gardeners if a question comes up about a certain plant or situation we often know immediately who needs to answer that question. That is why we have "Specialists" for certain things such as Vegetable Gardening, Composting, Etymology, Propagation etc. Its just hard to know everything.

I often wonder when someone asks to see my yard what they expect. A botanical garden maybe? A show stopping view from the street? That always intimidates me when I think about it because in truth, I'm not that type of gardener. Mind you, I LOVE flowers and blooms of all types. I collect perennials and my inspiration is always an English Cottage Garden style. I fill in plants and collect them as gifts from friends and family. All of my plants have a story to tell.

What is my type? I guess I'm really a backyard type of gardener with a cottage style flair. I plant things with a purpose. I like flowers and herbs so my bees and butterflies are welcomed in for a visit and nourishment. I plant vines and trees for shade. I grow food for animals and people. Its a broad spectrum of interests and I enjoy the challenge. It may not always be showy, but boy does it have a story to tell.

One thing I can say is this, moving to the country has liberated my garden creativity process. I love the idea of hanging baskets overflowing with massive annual flowers and show stopping landscape design. I am inspired by them and often under my own breath say, "next year I will try this or that". But I often find myself back in the same places year after year building and dreaming in my own backyard. I like that... no pressure.

Today I will be planting a few more herbs and filling soil in a three more raised beds where I grow food. I have several plants that have been given to me as gifts from friends that need a home in my yard. I will gladly place them with love and care as I think about my dear friends who gave them to me.

New raised garden beds


  1. You have got me thinking...and I don't really have an answer yet. I have elements of geometric design in my garden and also have a cottage garden. Leaves a lot for me to ponder...

  2. The raised beds look awesome! I've thought about doing concrete block beds because word rots so fast here in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe I'll do so as I need to replace beds.


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