What gardening personality are you?

So, I was looking out of my bathroom window the other morning and I caught sight of something that would make my next blog topic something rather interesting to share with you guys. Now don’t get too excited! At eight o’clock on a Monday morning, having a little nosey into the bedrooms and bathrooms of my neighbours’ homes across the street could probably find me quite a few “interesting” matters to share with you – but that’s just not my style. Having a little peak into their gardens however, is! I can’t help it…. and don’t come at me with the whole “nosey neighbour procrastinator” – you know you do it too!


Attractive Happy Young Adult Woman Wearing Hat Gardening Outdoors.


To continue with my story, I looked across to next door’s garden to see Mrs Gould tending with utmost precision to her little Alpine mint bush, taking every dead leaf off with care and placing it into somewhat of a tidy pile beside her as if her life quite depended on it. To the other side of the house was what can only be described as the complete opposite. Now, I have seen Mr Smedley on a number of occasions this year, come home with bucketful’s of annuals, trellising, compost, gardening forks and a whole load of other stuff to reinvent his rather tired-looking back yard to say the least! But to my surprise, as I scanned his garden, it appears that not one of his projects ever came to fruition. What an oddity I thought? But then that led me to share my thoughts with you guys about the many different gardening personalities out there. Just as a person’s home can tell us so much about their character, I am of the belief that so does their garden! What kind of gardener are you?


Neat freaks mean well, they really do! But they are just so perfect and… annoying. They sit with their cup of tea in the sun, admiring their good work making everyone else’s gardens look shameful. Now, if these kind of perfectionists didn’t exist in the neighborhood, there really wouldn’t be a problem because everyone’s garden would look well-kept in an average way. And for lots of people, average is more than enough for them because let’s face it – not everyone likes a competition, right? But a street full of moderately tidy gardens can never be the case because there is ALWAYS a neat freak sitting in her garden with a little grin on her face, slurping that blasted cup of tea!!


Well where do I start? One of my biggest gripes. Those mad shoppers you see on December 27th at the front of the queue holding up a line of 25 people all waiting to purchase just one item and there is Miss “Gotta have the whole shop” stood there whilst the shop keeper bags up every item needed for Christmas next year. That’s 16 rolls of celotape, a specialized Christmas card for every member of her village and ten rolls of wrapping paper that you just know she will forget all about by next December!! Yes, an impulsive do-gooder, just like our Mr Smedley here, will have the best intentions, buying practically everything on a whim with a vision in mind. But by the time he gets home, that vision is long gone and he’s now deciding how to convert his latest campervan project into a fold-away al a carte travel restaurant. These are the type of gardens that you see with a half-finished water feature thrown on top of some loose flagstones that never made it to the patio area, along with a half painted shed in three totally different colours and an area that looks similar to a builder’s site with a pile of downed tools that resemble a mish-mash of unfinished projects from 1992.


Now this type of gardening personality may sound a little similar to the neat freak but there is a difference – trust me! An OCD gardener would rather eat their entire body weight in slugs than see a wonky stem or a leaf out of place, never mind the ghastly sight of a weed! An OCD gardener will be tending to those plants day and night regardless of the time of year or the weather and trust me – it’s a rather scary sight to see a dark and mysterious silhouette in the shape of Mrs Gould’s bum pointing up into the night skies under a full moon, let me tell you!


Bog-eyed gnomes. Crazy-looking plastic squirrels. A garden space that sings to the sound of a thousand “tinkly” wind chimes. Ring a bell? (excuse the pun). Like an heirloom patchwork quilt that someone is piecing together, but never gets to finish – an eccentric’s garden is constantly growing with random additions in the form of bric-a brac, broken animal ornaments that have been collected and had their heads glued back on and a selection of painted Buddhas. The eccentric may like to deconstruct the normal gardening notions and mix things up a little but on a positive slant, all plants and garden accessories are welcomed. The eccentric’s garden is like an open hostel for down-and-out gnomes – the more the merrier. But there is a distinct happy tension between nature and the gardener and this leads me to believe that embracing the eccentric side of gardening can be quite a positive experience for all to enjoy!


Sometimes we come across the edible type. If I were to describe the edible type it would probably be those gardeners that are only into gardening to gain something tangible and useful out of it. There is nothing more satisfying that strolling down to the bottom of the garden to dig up some carrots or reaching across to the windowsill for a handful of rosemary sprigs to toss into your cooking.  Whether you’re the owner of a small herb greenhouse or an allotment connoisseur – gardening for edible reward isn’t always just a solution for those who don’t like to pay out for shelf prices They are actual hobbyists and put rather a lot of time into getting the balance  between what they reap and what they sow just right. Got to ask whether all that hard work is as clever as it sounds though, right? A Sainsburys online shop seems quite appealing round about now.


Now we certainly aren’t going to “dis” the conservation-friendly type! There just aren’t enough of us about, and that would be contradictory right?! But this blog wouldn’t be fair unless we poked a little fun at ourselves! Whilst there are many varieties of the hippy-type, the idea is rather an inspiring one. To look after the world and leave it as our great grandchildren will one day like to find it, is a motto that we quite like to live by. But there are also those that like to sing to their plants, those that like to dance around trees and those “grounding type”  that like to walk around on hands and knees, sniffing the earth’s soil.  We love the birds and we love the bees… but in this context, that’s just about as far as we go on the lovin’ front!


A Japanese-styled garden is definitely something to admire. Clean sweeping lines, a tidy landscape and plenty of inspirational space to clear the mind and thoughts. A simple uncluttered garden that reflects Buddhists principles of peace and tranquility is something, however, that very few people tend to get right. Unfortunately what takes shape in said person’s garden is a front lawn filled with a Buddha ornament from every bargain store they have ever visited. That said, a true Oriental-inspired garden with ONE solemn Buddha inside a temple is something of true beauty  so if you are reading this thinking, that’s me, a well-deserved pat on the back for you!

Please do share this on and let people know which type of gardener you are. We would also love to see your gardening photos. Thank you


Ryan Forshaw

Ryan Forshaw

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