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What is a gardener?


By jan65


As I’ve said in a previous post, I consider myself a keen gardener, but today I’ve been thinking (dangerous, I know!) There are lots of things I don’t do that I suspect real gardeners should do.

For instance, I don’t grow my own plants from seed. I gave it a go last year, but just wasn’t dedicated enough to give them the care and attention they needed and so I lost them.

Ditto with cuttings. Again, I tried, I really did, but the poor things died from neglect.

This is mainly because I can’t stand the cold, and once the end of autumn is approaching, my main aim is to simply get the garden tidied up, in order to leave it in a reasonable state until the early spring, when I find my interest is awakened again. Anything that’s in my little greenhouse over the winter gets forgotten about I’m afraid, and I don’t do kitchen window ledge gardening!

I don’t plant bulbs either. I just don’t seem to have any success with them – I must do something wrong, but I don’t know what. Any bulb-type plants that are in my garden have been planted as full grown plants, bought or donated, and if they happen to come again the following year then this is a bonus. I have no idea which bulbs I should leave and which I should lift!

I usually forget to over-winter things. So the lovely, large, geranium that I bought last year from my local farm shop, that I was told was three years old, was killed off by the frost. I could have kicked myself.

I don’t mulch. I don’t improve the soil very much other than when I’m planting. I don’t compost – I can’t find a spot in my average sized garden to put a compost bin that wouldn’t be in my face every time I went in the garden! Luckily we do have the green bag scheme so that redeems me a little in that aspect.

I don’t do anything to the lawn except mow and edge it regularly and weed n feed it now and again (just remembered I was going to do that tonight, oh dear, forgot about it!) I don’t scarify, aerate, use lawn sand, or any other technical things.

I’m not much good at working out how large things will grow, so end up with some parts of the borders crowded, and other parts with large gaps that I need to fill in a hurry. Although I usually end up with a pleasing result.

I’d love to have a bit of colour through the winter – baskets, tubs, troughs, winter flowering plants in the borders, that sort of thing – but again, the cold puts paid to that idea.

Trouble is, being the daughter of an absolutely dedicated gardener, whose garden looks fabulous all year round, means that I have a lot to live up to.

But I’m gradually starting to accept my limitations of time, dedication and knowledge, and to be more content with my lot instead of feeling inadequate. My garden, in my eyes at least, looks lovely for three quarters of the year, and although I buy most of my plants, I do buy them small and bring them on in my little greenhouse, so hopefully that counts although I know it’s an expensive way of doing things. And during the winter, with a bit of luck and planning, the garden looks reasonable, if a bit drab and neglected, with only occasionally some periods of looking awful, if the weather is really bad.

I think that my garden is possibly better than some, and not as good as many, and I’m now beginning to accept that, and in any case, I love it! Perhaps I should make a list of the things that I do, rather than a list of the things that I don’t do!

But it did get me thinking – just what is a gardener?

More blog posts by jan65

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a gardener i think is some 1 who loves there garden and tends it as u do , who can apresiate it 4 wot it is big small or wot ever. sumwere to learn relax wot u enjoy . every one is different and does it there way. happy gardening .

28 Jun, 2010


a gardener is some one who loves and tends their out side space. so yep you are a gardener jan65

28 Jun, 2010


A gardener is you Jan!

28 Jun, 2010


A lot of what you shared there, are similar to me, majority actually, but yet the garden always blesses me. So you are not alone, and you are doing well, as much as I adore gardening, I have never intended to be a slave to it... it has never wanted me too either... I can tell by the way it blesses me year after year. If and when you have time, have a look at my pictures you will see what I mean, yet I do nothing much to it, apart from cutting the grass and very occasionally water the plants if it is very dry in the summer, like the day before yesterday. So....... Happy Gardening to you..:)))))

29 Jun, 2010


Definition of a gardener is 'one who makes and tends a garden for pleasure ' so you're certainly a gardener, Jan.

29 Jun, 2010


Thank you all for the general consensus that I *am* a gardener - I was worried that I was just playing at it and not a gardener at all! Phew! Happy gardening all!

29 Jun, 2010


and you tooooooooooooooo

29 Jun, 2010


Well Jan, from the photos of your garden I would say you're definitely a gardener! Funnily enough I wrote a blog on this subject last year and never published it, it's still in my draft box. My conclusion was that whatever anyone's shortcomings as to the level at which they garden, if they get pleasure from tending it and just being in it then they ARE a gardener. I used to do far more in the garden than I do now ( then I had less time but more energy!). It's very far from perfect but I would still rather be in my garden than anywhere else!!!

29 Jun, 2010


You aren't the only one who has no luck growing plants from seed, don't worry! I buy most of my plants too.

30 Jun, 2010

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