What Is Your Gardening Style?

By: Nikki Weed

What Is Your Gardening Style?
Image: Kathrin Ziegler/DigitalVision/gettyimages

About This Quiz

Gardening is a vast, beautiful and extremely versatile hobby to enjoy. Some people love the challenge of contorting small junipers into unique shapes through the art of bonsai. Others use that same plant as a foundation planting around their split-level house in a subdivision. The one thing that runs through the veins of every gardener is the appreciation and love of all things plant and horticulture-related. It takes a special person to want to nurture a plant to see it flourish, but like just about anything in life, preferences vary from person to person.

Whether you have a green thumb or black, gardening means something different to everyone. Do you long for the open meadows and free-flowing flowers of the English countryside, or would you feel more at peace sitting near a meticulously trimmed topiary overlooking a Koi pond? Does the thought of a knot garden make you anxious? Does your nose crinkle when smelling compost? Maybe you're not exactly sure what sort of gardener you are, and that's OK!

Navigate your way through this floral bouquet of quiz questions to find out if you should be plucking peonies from your patio or rolling in the hay next to your crop-producing raised bed garden. Who knows, you might be changing your magazine subscriptions and canceling your manicure after learning your real gardening style.

01_garden tools It's your day off and you're about to go play in your garden. What's the first tool you grab?
A hydrometer
An old set of bypass pruners
A wood-handled mattock
Lambskin garden gloves

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02_gardening_books If you were to entertain the local garden club, what two pieces of reading material could be found on your coffee table?
Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and a brochure from Sedona, Arizona
The Farmers Almanac and a local newspaper
Birds and Blooms magazine and a Duluth Trading catalog
Garden and Gun Magazine and a Belk flyer

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03_garden gnome In your gardening opinion, where do garden gnomes belong?
My eccentric aunt's yard
Near the zucchini, they ward off borers.
Everywhere and anywhere, gnomes are real.
The garbage can

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04_gardening gloves What style of gardening gloves work best for you?
Long neoprene with cuffs
Nitrile coated canvas with reinforced tips
Mismatched canvas with a hole in the right thumb
Lambskin work gloves

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05_pruners It's time to trim! What's your favorite brand of pruners?
Whatever scissors I can find, probably Fiskars
Okatsune, because they're specially engineered for bonsai
Corona, because they're cheap enough to replace if I lose them
Felco #2, the same set I had as a teenager

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06_fish_garden As a gardener, what sentence comes to mind when you hear the word "fish"?
Kohaku are my favorite!
Fish emulsion is the best fertilizer!
Stinks up the office when it's microwaved!
My mother used to swear by using carp heads under the tomato plants.

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07_yard_garden If you were to summarize your yard in one word, what would it be?
Tiny
Relaxing
Exuberant
Clean

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08_annuals_marigolds How do you feel about purchasing annuals several times a year?
I'd rather invest in something that will last.
Investing in starter plants is more important.
As long as they're on clearance, they're great!
They're essential to adding a color pop.

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09_Buxus sempervirens You have a beautiful Buxus sempervirens next to your garage. How would you trim it?
Up off the ground a bit, but allow a rounded shape
Leave it be, when it flowers it attracts tons of pollinators.
Don't trim at all just to see how big it can get.
Exactly 24" tall and 24" wide, flat on each side and a very slight dome on top

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10_garden_house What is the primary purpose of your garden/yard?
Serenity and peace
A fruitful hobby
Free exercise and fresh air
Enhanced property value

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11_Cymbidium orchid If you had to narrow down all of the beauty and wonder of gardening into your favorite plant, what would it be?
Cymbidium orchid
Cherokee purple tomato
Sacred lotus
Alpine currant

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12_dandelion_weed How do you kill dandelions?
Pluck the seed head and blow the seed pods to make a wish
Use a weed pulling tool that resembles a long bifurcated poker
Elbow grease
2,4-D

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13_drought Your geographical area is in a severe drought and a watering ban is enforced. How do you respond?
I panic, knowing that a combination of heat and lack of rainfall might influence my pond levels.
Shrug it off and change my irrigation timer to go off at 3 a.m. Nobody is going to be policing the water in the dark.
I invest in soaker hoses and run them directly under the soil to avoid suspicion. I water at 6 a.m., the best time of day to irrigate.
Laugh because all of the watering I do is done indoors where nobody can see me.

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14_fertilizer Organic matter is crucial to healthy and fertile soil. How do you haul your soil amendments?
Buy bags one at a time and place them in plastic bins on the backseat to protect the upholstery
Trade my neighbor garden-fresh produce for the use of his truck
I have a compost bin in my back yard that I haul from.
Haul? It comes in liquid form and called fertilizer!

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15_topiary Let's talk topiary! What is your honest opinion of them?
Some of them are tasteful if done correctly.
They're a unique addition to the landscape if you have the patience for them!
That's plant abuse, no plant wants to be whacked on like that!
The lost art of topiary is underrated.

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16_plant fertilizer Spring has sprung and it's time to broadcast some fertilizer on your plants. What's your go to fertilizer?
Miracle-Gro or any other water-soluble fertilizer
Organically based, low nitrogen, high potassium granular fertilizer
Milorganite
Anything urea-based and slow-release, preferably a 10-10-10

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17_potassium What does potassium mean to you?
Bananas are a great source of potassium.
Potassium permanganate works great to clear a cloudy pond!
Potassium-rich fertilizers boost crop production.
You want flowers, add kelp meal that is rich in potassium; that's how you get flowers!

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18-garden nursery You've won a $50 gift card to your local nursery! What are you going to spend your loot on?
New orchid pots and perhaps an African violet
A rare Koi fry that I've had your eye on
Starter plants and maybe some sunflower seeds
Yard art made of metal that will rust after one rainy season

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19_Learning Gardening comes naturally to most people, but some people have to be taught. How did you learn how to garden?
Lots of YouTube videos and advice from the local garden center
Message boards mostly, but a few newspaper clippings my Mom saved
Gardening is in the heart, you feel what the plant needs and provide.
Gardening comes from the pocketbook, pay someone that knows what they're doing.

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20_soil What do you call that stuff in the ground where roots grow?
Growing media
Amended soil
Earth's life force
Dirt

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21_garden rabbit What is the primary thing you're trying to lure into your garden?
Envious neighbors
Pollinating insects such as bees
Deer, rabbits, small children, whatever would enjoy the surroundings
Door-to-door salesmen, just to brush them off

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22_Vermiculite What would you do with a handful of vermiculite?
Add to peat moss to create a lightweight potting media for African violets
Mix with equal parts compost and peat moss for a raised bed
Insulate my potting shed
Add it to the soil of potted geraniums to increase water retention

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23_dig_hole You've come into possession of some exotic starter plants; what method would you choose to dig the hole to plant them in?
An auger bit on the end of a screwdriver
I'd don my gardening overalls and use a combination of trowels, spades and picks.
I'd use my finger to create a hole in some potting soil.
I'd ask my gardener nicely and bribe them with a juicy tip.

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24_green thumb If you were to give the definition of a "green thumb" to somebody unfamiliar with the phrase, what would your definition be?
Achieving the perfect level of foliage humidity and root stimulation to produce a healthy plant
The ability to balance soil nutrients and pollination to create a fruitful crop
Willing a plant to flourish and survive by looking at it
A turf of green grass with a backdrop of equally green shrubbery with little to no work

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25_missing_person If you went missing, how would your friends describe you to the local news media?
"A quiet reserved individual that wears sensible shoes and makes a mean Beef Wellington"
"An opinionated yet polite individual with an appreciation of all cultures but can't cook to save their life"
"Sort of flighty. They always have cough drops in their pocket and a fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen though."
"Never late or early, but sometimes forgets events because they're too busy. I wouldn't be surprised if they're being held for a ransom."

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26_grass_seed After winning a sweepstake, you're able to plant your absolute dream garden, but only on the premise that you plant grass seed for publicity purposes. Where do you place it?
Broadcast between walkway pavers to create a unique texture experience while walking barefoot
In the side yard to allow it to grow as tall as possible to attract pollinators
Throw it into the wind and let nature take control from there
The patch of grass in my front yard is already flourishing, so I donate the grass to a needy neighbor with less than flourishing turf.

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27_mitchell-park-domes-milwaukee As a gardener, where would you go for your continental United States dream vacation?
Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, AKA "The Domes"
The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, AKA "The Biggest, Freest Koi In America"
Coeur d'Alene, Middle of Nowhere Idaho, AKA "The Nature Speaks Such Volumes You Need To Wear Ear Protection."
Calloway Gardens outside of Atlanta, Georgia, AKA "The Best Garden To Take Selfies"

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28_bark_additive As an avid gardener, what's your favorite soil amendment and why?
Pine Bark, it's light and cheap.
Mushroom compost, you can't beat aged horse poop for nutrients!
Any broken bag at the local garden center, anything is better than nothing!
Kelp and Cottonseed meal, they're organic and boost soil composition.

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29_insecticide All of a sudden you're plagued with an infestation of white flies. What's your method of evicting them from your garden?
Neem Oil in a hose-end sprayer
Petroleum-based "organic" insect spray
Allow them to carry on, they'll leave once the weather changes.
Malathion in heavy doses

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30_lady bugs Insects and gardens go hand in hand; what insect do you welcome the most and why?
Fruit flies, only for the gratification of seeing them dead in a fruit fly trap
Lady bugs, because they eat aphids
Praying mantis, they're just so weird and entertaining.
Fireflies, they are an enchanting addition to garden parties.

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