The Obsessed Gardener

Are you one? Take the test.

decorative border
drawing of person in the garden

It’s hard for me to say exactly when gardening stopped being just a healthy pastime and became an all-consuming passion. One day I’m fertilizing a few tomato plants, and the next thing I know, an eighteen-wheeler is unloading 50 yards of compost for a 3,000- square-foot cutting garden.

How can you tell if you’re a normal, healthy gardener or have crossed the line into dangerous territory? Easy, take this quiz!

Normal Gardener

Obsessed Gardener

You won’t leave town when your tulips are in bloom.

… or your daffodils, your lilacs, your wisteria, your roses, your clematis, your lilies, your hydrangea, your asters …

You have a charge account at the local garden center.

Your spouse buys all your Christmas presents there.

You invest in fine gardening tools.

You keep spare tools in your car for gardening emergencies.

You value all living things, great and small.

You cheered when Bambi’s mother died.

You value all living things, great and small.

You cheered when Bambi’s mother died.

You have a compost heap.

You take its temperature every day.

You can’t believe you ordered so many bulbs this fall.

It wasn’t enough.

You know the Latin names of your plants.

You use them in conversations … with the plants.

You love to grow and cook your own vegetables.

Cook? Who has time to cook?

You are proud of your baby carrots.

You carry pictures of them in your wallet.

You can crush a Japanese beetle in your bare fingertips.

You love the sound it makes when you do.

You would never kill a ladybug.

You bring them inside for the winter.

You have dirt under your fingernails.

What fingernails?

You know the pH of your soil.

All your friends know the pH of your soil.

You’ve had a soil test.

You studied for it.

You buy composted cow manure to top dress your garden.

You buy a cow.

You think Eliot Coleman is cute.

You think Roger Swain is cute.

You know the virtues of hand weeding.

… after dark.

You teach your children the wonders of gardening.

Children? Who has time to have children?

You love gardening more than anything.

“And what’s wrong with that?!”


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