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Questionnaire: Are you a gardener?

Updated on November 8, 2009

From my book, "Gardening Is A State Of Mind"

There are two sorts of people in this world; gardeners and the lost. The lost are the sort of people that come with built-in lifestyle clichés and sleazy TV shows attached. They can therefore be enthusiastically ignored. The question is,


You may agree to any or all answers.

Do you always water the kids and mulch the spouse before going to bed?

  1. Yes.
  2. Sorry, I have to breastfeed the Pittosporum.
  3. No, the Agapanthus usually does that.
  4. Bed?

Do you sometimes forget to fertilize the neighbors?

  1. Never.
  2. I think I overdid it.
  3. I prefer organic, free range, neighbors.
  4. Neighbors?

Is the ferny water feature in your office starting to attract adverse comment?

  1. There does seem to be an issue about seasonal flooding.
  2. The hydroelectric plant is paying for my geraniums.
  3. The main problem is landslides.
  4. It’s an anti-erosion measure.

Have the people at the local nursery developed a sudden profound interest in the afterlife?

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes, but perhaps not their own afterlife.
  3. Do people have to pray when I buy petunias?
  4. Well, the cash register receipt does say, “Repent Now!”… although that’s after tax, I notice.

Have foreign governments expressed concern at the expansion of your rockery?

  1. Yes, but you’d think they’d appreciate a distraction.
  2. The Swiss have. Apparently their Alps are jealous. 
  3. So a few alyssums got a bit frisky.
  4. Well, who needed the Indian Ocean anyway?

What is your understanding of the description “jungle”?

  1. That place my partner lives in.
  2. I can’t answer that one, because the kudzu has taken out an injunction. Also several villages.
  3. A jungle is that part of the bedroom where the rainforest is.
  4. According to the maidenhair and the crocodiles, it’s the bathroom.

Indoor gardening is:

  1. An excuse to put the Sahara to shame.
  2. A refreshing way of preventing the indoors.
  3. Difficult, because the ferns prefer political documentaries.
  4. Eventually, a way of providing new furniture.

People are:

  1. Difficult to transplant.
  2. Usually better in hanging baskets.
  3. Things with inadequate foliage.
  4. So-so as compost.

Other gardeners are:

  1. Territorial rivals; I train my geraniums to hunt them down.
  2. Pleasantly avoidable.
  3. Valuable allies in one’s effort’s to hide/destroy civilization.
  4. Preferably sexy.

Pruning requires what skills?

  1. Abstinence, or non-secateur.
  2. The ability to enter the garden.
  3. No skills, just the lust to kill.
  4. A degree in astronomy, infinite patience with textbooks, and a lack of morals.

Vegetable gardens are:

  1. Places where carrots can laugh at you.
  2. Terrible wastelands full of anarchic beetroot.
  3. The domain of Parsnip Warlords.
  4. The reason I’m now largely carnivorous.

Garden games are popular. Which do you prefer?

  1. That one where you have to try and find the house.
  2. Golden Poker.
  3. Hide and Leek.
  4. Pumpkin Racing.

Your friends (you remember them) think of your garden as:

  1. The main reason they don’t have to worry about your funeral expenses.
  2. A useful place to lose Great-Aunt Hermantrude.
  3. Interesting, because you seem to be alive, in some way.
  4. Dangerous, because of the nasturtiums.

Your friends wish you had a garden because:

  1. They think the dog looks slightly over-planted.
  2. The Atlas Spruce trees don’t go with the furniture in your bed sit.
  3. You keep grafting things onto the car.
  4. You keep getting arrested for trying to grow radishes in pedestrians.

Score 1 for each answer numbered 1, 2 for 2, etc. Maximum possible score is 140. If you scored above this number, congratulations, but your calculator doesn’t work. If you scored below zero, may I suggest immediate taxidermy, before anyone suspects.


Your role in the garden is likely to be passive, if nutritious.


That Kentia palm had friends, you know. Powerful friends.


Make up your mind. The celery will leave you, if you can’t be more decisive.


Don’t turn in the watering can just yet. You may be able to perform some useful task, like being a mobile vase.


Much better. Nobody ever knew about that agapanthus, did they? The fools. They never suspect the gardener.


Well done. You may not be a member of the human race any more, but you didn’t ask to join anyway.


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