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does your garden reflect your personality? Which gardens do?

Marie Tulin
June 13, 2010

That's my wondering this morning. What garden factors or elements might reflect the gardener's personality? (and we don't really need to get into theories of personality here, unless you want to)

As I write this, I realize gardens also reflect the reality of the gardener's life, which may not have much to do with personality. Leisure time, disposable income, friendships (pass along plants, divisions and gifts from friends)

Its too wet to do much gardening today, so please waste a little time pondering and writing about this question.

I am tire of green gray skies, even though I'm transplanting like crazy.


Comments (18)
  • donicaben

    Absolutely. It's green and lush in the summer and everything dies in the winter. The house came with evergreen trees. If it hadn't, I probably wouldn't plant them. I feel like a zombie in the winter and so should my yard. :-D

    Some of my stuff came from online nursery sales, some came from online friend trades, some came from the dead and dying rack at Lowe's. I'm influenced by everything, I guess. :-D

  • mxk3

    Yes, I think it does to a large degree - when one chooses/has input regarding the plantings/landscape design themselves.

  • coolplantsguy

    For sure! Mine reflects my interest in "collecting" plants, in particular perennials.

    It's also obvious that I have a general inability to garden in April or May (too busy at work). I noticed in particular this year that I didn't have very many spring-flowering perennials -- gotta change that! ;)

  • gottagarden

    I once read "All gardens are a form of autobiography" and I suspect that's true.

    I think mine show that I'm a hopeless romantic . . .

  • terrene

    Most of the time my personality is steadfast, hard-working, responsible, and somewhat humorless. I am a pragmatic person and dress in functional drab clothes; barely have time to shower let alone dress up. Stress level is often high. All this reflects the rigorous demands of life circumstances at this stage of life I suppose.

    On the other hand, I love colorful lush gardens, tall showy native perennials, and lots of flowers. Although I grow mostly native plants, and try to attract the birds and butterflies, a few of the plants in the garden exist for their sheer beauty alone (i.e. peonies). The garden is pretty much the only place where the artistic and romantic side of my personality is expressed. Thank goodness for that.

  • ala8south

    Absolutely it reflects personalities of the gardener. Mine is definitely informal, shows my love for intense color, inability to walk in and out of a garden center without buying something (Hmmm....maybe that is my desire to save the poor lonely homeless plants of the world?). There is also the scentimental aspect as some plants are there simply to remind me of those I love. Some are starts of plants from family members and friends.

    Have a friend who is a very orderly person. Her garden is all white blooming plants. HORRORS! I on the other hand have only two white bloomers. The formosa lily just there because it was so fun to discover. Mysteriously showed up in our yard one year. We've had one get as tall as 9 feet. Hubby and I call them the Trifids. (If you are over 50 you will understand that.) And the butterfly ginger because hummingbird moths visit them. And those are freaky little critters. I like different!

  • prairiemoon2 z6 MA

    Yes and no. Yes, my garden is a very personal one that reflects a lot about me. No one else in the family has any overwhelming desire to choose garden plants, so I have free reign to choose what suits me. I still consider it a family garden. I respond to what everyone likes. My children love the lilacs and I wanted to get rid of them because of powdery mildew every year, so the compromise was to get rid of the old variety and buy a new variety in hopes of avoiding the powdery mildew. My DH loves fragrance, so I've added a lot of that. They all cook, so there is interest in having lots of basil, tomatoes, asparagus, green beans, etc. Anything someone expresses a liking for, I try to add more of. Everyone has worked to create the garden, so they all feel a part of it, but I'm sure they see it as 'my' garden.

    Does the 'style' of garden reflect my personality? I like a lot of garden styles with a few that I really don't enjoy. The style I end up with is what is practical for our property and our needs. I would love a lot of things that I can't grow. A sunny meadow, a change in elevation, more roses, a native woodland, more evergreen trees, more fruiting shrubs and trees, a larger vegetable garden, etc.

    Yet, I'm very happy with my garden. Taking my little corner of the world and making the best use of it is an ongoing challenge that is very rewarding and sustaining. I can't imagine life without gardening and I'm sure everyone here feels the same way. In that regard, being a 'gardener' in itself reflects something about our personalities, yes?

  • mori1

    I don't know if my garden reflects my personality or my ever changing moods. All I know is I enjoy losing myself while working the soil or triming a shrub for the fourth time in two months. The consistant rain makes it hard to keep up but at least I don't have to water. I love seeing new birds poking around. Now if I could get a hawk to visit occasionaly that would help in the rabbit department.

  • a2zmom

    Let's see - somewhat sprawly and messy, lots of purples and reds, often common plants but unusal cultivars picked specifically for their color -

    yeah, that'd be me.

  • mmqchdygg

    Yep...helter-skelter-all-over-the-place with a couple of beds actually organized, but not weeded.

    As with everything else I do in life, if I even HAVE well-laid-plans, they fail miserably upon execution, but somehow it all works out in the end.

  • njmomma

    I have thought about this often lately because we are trying to plan a new section for the backyard that includes a path through the garden. I love exploring/discovering new things so a path that curves around and is surrounded by beautiful and fun things (garden statues, water fixture, etc...) is very appealing to me.

    I haven't quite figured out the design yet as I want to include a climbing rose on an arbor as well.
    I'm more of a planter, not a planner! Planning kind of takes the fun out of it for me. I like to move things around.
    If it's true "All gardens are a form of autobiography" then you would look at mine and say OCD! LOL I got addicted to daylilies and bought 88 in 2 years. Now I am down to 75 but idealy, for my small space, I need to further bring down my collection to 50 which will be very hard to do. I also deadhead EVERY day so yeh, a bit OCD.
    I getting addicted to roses now.

  • wieslaw59

    Well , if all gardens are a form of autobiography, then I must have been a parrot or something in my former life. My garden has to explode with colours, the brighter the better, nothing is 'too gaudy ' for me. I would die instantly if I was surrounded by only white, light pink and light violet plants(which were proclaimed as 'in ' in a tv program here in Denmark)

    Here are some pictures from my May/June garden:












    There is a lady further down the street, who wanted to buy something interesting from me for her 'wet spot'. I suggested a beautiful Ligularia. She looked at me as if I was an alien or something , just asking : YELLOW????(meaning : are you an idiot or what?)

    Hope you enjoy the pictures.

  • pamghatten

    Beautiful pictures, gorgeous colorful plants!

  • crackingtheconcrete

    I am so glad this post came to the top! What a great topic.
    Wieslaw, you really have such a gift for putting gorgeous combinations together! I love plants and get them to grow well, but I'm not so good at "big pictures". I can put together really fantastic smaller areas or ideas and then the rest is just a jungle of plants I really wanted to try, ordered, and found a spot anywhere for.
    I guess this is like my personality in that I get massively excited about something and just go for it - lots of excitement and interesting things, but a bit hectic and disorderly.
    My garden is not always cohesive or pulled together well on a larger scale, where I'd look at my entire garden space and say I'm thrilled as a whole.

  • yeonasky

    I doubt you could find a garden that reflects my personality, better than my own garden. I say it's a reflection of my penchant for an eccentric person's eclectic and wild looking collection. My husband says that since we don't have money to speak of, we can't call ourselves eccentric, we're just dirt plain crazy. Our garden looks like a wild and crazy person planted it, he says. Eccentric or crazy, it's all ours and I love it.

    Thank you for showing us your wonderfully colourful garden, Wieslaw. I wish I had that kind of room and vision.


  • marquest

    I never thought of this before but my gardens do reflect my personality. People often comment on my calm quiet subtle personality. My favorite garden is my shade gardens with the greens, yellows, blue and whites.

    My indoor space is the same white and earthy colors.

    I have some splashes of colors in the sunny gardens but they are not a lot or very bright colors in large numbers.

  • ATekk

    Wieslaw...you did such an amazing job with your garden. I love the way the plants flow together as well as the way you meandered the lawn throughout the garden. Looks amazing!

    Would you mind sharing what those colorful plants are in your garden...I am still fairly new to gardening so my identification skills aren't completely there yet. Some look like Rhododendron but I can't quite tell.

    Than you!

  • wieslaw59

    ATekk, they are basically all rhododendrons, most of them deciduous(azaleas)
    The first three on the first picture : Golden Eagle(orange), Feuerwerk(red), Golden Sunset(yellow)
    Picture 2: Klondyke(yellow-orange), Blue Peter(light violet), Homebush(pink)
    Picture 3: Persil(white), Klondyke(yellow-orange)
    Picture 4: Klondyke and Hachmann's Feuerschein(dark red)
    Picture 5:Silver Slipper(cream), Hamlet(salmon orange), Narcissiflora(light yellow) Jolie Madamme(tall pink)
    Picture 6: left for the tree R. Kokardia
    Picture 7: R.catawbiense Grandiflorum, in the background R. catawbiense Album(white), Borsault, and azalea Gibraltar
    Picture 8:dark purple is Tamarindos, the light pink on the left in the background is Soir de Paris

    Picture 9: Ballerina (white), Sylphides(light pink), Gibraltar (red), the yellow is either Gold Flame or Gold Flare(possibly mistaken identity)

    Thanks for the comments.

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