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Are You An Extreme Gardener?

My eyes are riveted to the television as a snowboarder speeds through a half pipe or launches from a ramp to perform gnarly, gravity-defying tricks. Or a person hurls himself off a cliff and soars into the beyond with arms and legs spread inside a wingsuit, personifying Batman. How in the world do you learn to do such extreme sports without killing yourself first?

Extreme gardening is much safer. In fact, one can argue that extreme gardening has many physical and emotional benefits. Nevertheless, some people may shake their heads and think that an extreme gardener is a bit strange, if not outright nuts. The jasmine arch by the patio is blooming.

How do you know you are an extreme gardener? I have compiled a list of ten traits that, while completely unverified and unscientific, may indicate you are an extreme gardener:

1.You garden, no matter what your environmental conditions or living arrangements. You find a way to garden, year round, in one form or another.My arbor garden swing is a good place to relax and enjoy the garden.

2. When people visit, they ask to see your garden. If they don't ask, you show them anyway.Here is a view inside my perennial/pollinator garden, planted since last August.

3. People you don't know have come up to you and asked for gardening advice.

4. You own at least 50 gardening books, not counting garden magazines. No way you can count all those.

5. You have gardened at night under the floodlights around your house. 

6. You arrange vacation time around gardening activities. 

7. You know the botanical names for most of your plants. Amaryllis 'Apple Blossom' (Hippeastrum) has 16 blooms on it this year!

Planted earlier this year, Acanthus 'Whitewater' has its first bloom.

Fatsia japonica 'Spiderweb' is a shade-lover with beautiful leaves.

8. You have attended a demonstration or lecture about hydroponics.

9. You publish a garden blog.Views of my little blue bridge in the woodland garden have appeared many times on my blog. I recently moved a blue bottle tree to its side.

This large urn was one of the first features I put in the arbor garden when I began developing the space a decade ago. 

This green rabbit is one of a collection of rabbits that appear throughout my garden, in addition to the real ones!

10. Gardening is your favorite form of physical therapy for such things as hip replacement, torn meniscus, and recovery from debilitating infection.

If you are positive for any of the above, chances are you are a real gardener. The more traits you have, the more serious you are about gardening. If you own up to six or more, you may indeed be an extreme gardener. I confess I am guilty of all ten. But at least I am not putting on a wingsuit and jumping off cliffs.

So, how extreme are you?

Wishing all you gardeners the very best!  Deb

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Reader Comments (12)

I confess to 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10! Extreme? Maybe slightly obsessed :-) Happy gardening Deb.

May 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I have not come across the Acanthus 'Whitewater', very interesting. I have to say I am an extremely nutty gardener.

May 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

I will confess to 8 of them, that's bad enough! Happy gardening!

May 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

I met 9 of the 10 on your list. I haven't actually attended a lecture on hydroponics, although I've asked my local botanic garden to provide input to its docents on how the hydroponic system in the garden's Living Wall works. And, when working on my steep back slope with one bad (unstable) knee, it's occurred to me that taking risks to pull noxious weeds may qualify as "extreme."

May 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I would say I have tendencies of an extreme gardener, though I don't possess all 10 characteristics! xo

I was going to say I'm not an "extreme" gardener, but then I answered affirmatively to most of your items. LOL. This is a great post. :)

May 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBeth@PlantPostings

That jasmine arch is striking and I bet it smells marvelous. I think I get a wiff every time I look at the picture! Extreme gardener??? You bet I can own up to all that you have listed. It is nice to know I am in good company and not in physical danger. Gardening makes you healthy without posing any life threatening activity.

May 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

Deb, I so wish I'd been able to come visit this spring. I have so many commitments. 😣 I need gardening advise!! Hahahaha!

May 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Do you only use pine straw as mulch or do you use pine bark also?

May 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterlinda

I fit all the criteria except 5 and 8, so I guess that makes me fairly extreme.

May 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting my blog! I appreciate every comment! Linda, regarding my choice of mulch, I use pine straw around my plants, while I use pine bark nuggets (I prefer mini-nuggets) for all my garden paths, except the moss paths in the woodland garden.
Best wishes,

May 27, 2019 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Now you know I certainly fit the bill as an extreme gardener!

May 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Ruff Leja

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