I was recently accused of being obsessed with gardening/plants/flowers. And the person said this like it was a bad thing. Huh.
It's no secret that I get great enjoyment out of digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, going to garden shows, and looking for new and unusual things to grow in my garden. I love to talk shop with fellow gardeners. I like to see what others are growing and am happy to give tours of my own garden. It's nothing fancy, but it's mine and it keeps me busy doing what I love. I enjoy getting up close and personal with a blossom to study the intricacies of its design. If that's obsession, then hang an "O" around my neck. There are worse things.
But really, when does a hobby become an obsession? There's probably a fine line dividing the two and how do we know when we've crossed over it? I've come up with some key things to ask yourself to help determine if you might have a problem...
1. Do you find it hard to throw away a seed catalog, even when you have no intention of ever ordering from the company? (It's good reference material.)
2. When traveling, do you get out the hotel phone book and look for nurseries and garden centers there might be nearby?
3. Do you just have to have that zone 7 plant even though you live in zone 5 and you delude yourself by thinking you can create a microclimate for its survival? (Oh, and mulch for the winter will help, too.)
4. Can you walk out of places like Walmart without at least browsing through the garden section? (If you can, just skip the rest of the quiz. You're not even close to being addicted.)
5. Do you have a makeshift greenhouse set up in your basement so you can continue to garden throughout the winter, because you know you'll go mad by spring if you don't? (Give yourself extra points if your 'greenhouse' occupies your guest bathroom.)
6. Have you ever eaten a nasturtium?
7. Do you become intoxicated by the smell of mulch?
8. Have you ever mourned the loss of a plant after a brutal winter? (Be honest now.)
9. Do you know what a cotyledon is? And why it's important?
10. Do strangers ask you for advice when you're in the garden center, because they see you every time they are there and think you work there?
11. Do you spend more on plants each summer than you do on food to feed your family? (Or want to?)
12. Do people walk in your house and ask you if you like flowers? (And you say, "I guess so. But I only have 176 house plants." )
13. The names of your cats are Lily, Posey, Rose, Daisy, Fern, Violet, Poppy, and Iris. (Wait ... let's deal with one obsession at a time, shall we?)
14. Do you choose the vehicle you drive by how many plants you can haul in the back of it?
15. Do you Tivo Rebecca's Garden, The Victory Garden, Martha Stewart, Gardener's Diary, World Garden Tour, Secret Gardens Of..., Garden Sense, Grounds For Improvement, Fresh From the Garden, and Weekend Gardening?
16. Did you not even have to take this quiz to know that you are obsessed?
Okay, so you've crossed the line. Never fear; you're not alone. There are plenty of us out there and if the day ever comes that we need to be committed because of our enthusiasm/passion/addiction/compulsion/obsession, you know darn well that our gardens will be the envy of all the 'normal' people out there.
Let them eat cake. We'll be having a heck of a salad. Pass the dressing, please.
Thursday, March 29, 2007