Without going in to all the gory details, I’ll tell you it took me no less than three, maybe four trips back to various stores to pick up extra light bulbs, another extension cord, and more strings of lights. Putting up Christmas lights outdoors is something I do once a year, so I’m just now getting to the “intermediate” stage of expertise in doing it, as measured by the number of repeat visits to the store to get everything I need.
For any kind of project of this sort, can you determine someone’s skill level, from novice to expert and beyond, based on the number of trips they take to the store to get all the supplies?
I think you can!
So how do you measure up as a gardener when it comes to repeat trips to the garden center every time you do a little gardening?
Novice – You are a novice gardener if you get the urge to pot up a nice container of plants and realize you have neither a container nor potting soil on hand and no plants. After a trip to the garden center, you get home and realize you have no trowels and not enough plants, so you go back to the garden center for these items. You return home, start to plant up the container, and realize you didn’t get enough potting soil. You go back to the garden center again, and in addition to the potting soil, realize you also need a garden hose or watering can, so you buy these, too. At this point, you are seeking out sales help to find out if there is anything else you’ll need to plant up the container.
Intermediate – You’ve reached the intermediate level of gardening expertise when you have the basic tools (trowel, hoe, watering cans, etc.) for gardening and some containers used in previous years. When you decide to plant up a new container of plants, you still have to get some potting soil at the garden center and the plants, and may need an extra trip back because you underestimated how much potting soil you needed or how many plants it would take to fill the container. You seek out a sales person to help you figure out how much potting soil you really need.
Expert – You are an expert gardener when you have all the tools and containers to plant something up, plus you keep a supply of potting soil on hand for whenever you get the urge to pot up a new plant or two. Your trips to the garden center are to get the plants and to stock up on supplies in anticipation of future planting projects. You rarely need a trip back for anything you forgot but on occasion you might invent a reason to go back, just to have an excuse to buy more plants. You primarily need sales help to load those big bags onto our truck.
Obsessed – You’ve reached the obsessed level of gardening when you not only have all the tools and containers, but also all the amendments necessary to mix up your potting soil using your own potting soil recipe. You may not even need any plants from the garden center because you’ve been starting plants from seeds and dividing up plants you have on hand. In addition, you probably also bought a bunch of plants via mail order to get special new varieties not yet in the garden centers. When you do go to the garden center, the sales help greets you like a good friend and directs you toward the newest or unusual plants that they think you might like.
Based on your shopping habits, what level of gardener are you?