What makes a good gardener? I am a gardener, at least I like to think so - anyone who sticks anything in the ground is a gardener in my book – but am I a good gardener?
Does having qualifications make you a good gardener – I hope not, I don’t have any – it is probably necessary if you want to be a professional – but for a domestic garden, no I wouldn’t think so.
Does knowing all the Latin names of plants help to make you a good gardener – I hope not – at one time I probably did know them – but now my memory is not what it was – most days I can’t even remember the common names.
Oh dear – this isn’t going well.
Okay – what about determination and perseverance – you know the saying “if at first you don’t succeed” etc. but maybe knowing when to say “enough is enough” is almost as important – to keep buying the same plant over and over because you like it, but it doesn’t like you and it keeps dying (Hebes spring to mind) – is maybe not the sign of a good gardener just a persistent/determined one.
Creativity, ingenuity and plant knowledge are needed for garden design and putting a good mix of plants together, but is that what makes a good gardener? I mostly garden by instinct – you can’t learn everything just from books or internet websites – you have to rely on common sense – you have to love growing things be it flowers, fruit or vegetables – a scientific, by the rules gardener, doesn’t always get the best results – in my view you have to garden with your heart and your head.
Even good gardeners have failures – let’s face it, in the natural world, everything is out to get you – the weather, pests and diseases – so a good gardener has to have a sense of humour above all and keep on trying regardless.
So, after all this, do I think I am a good gardener? No – but I am a keen enthusiast who enjoys seeing things grow; the flower garden full of beauty inviting wild life in, and the veg garden full of delicious things for me and not the slugs to eat, all put together in my own inimitable fashion – a less than perfect gardener who, mostly, loves every minute of it.
All the above pictures were taken last year.
Do you have any thoughts as to what makes a good gardener?