What is it that makes someone a gardener?
I was talking to someone who was planning to retire in a few years. She proudly announced, “My husband is buying me a greenhouse for my retirement!” My response, “I didn’t know you liked to garden.” Her answer, “Oh, I don’t really garden, but my husband thinks I might like to when I retire.”
I had a sinking feeling her greenhouse would be an empty greenhouse.
How many people buy all the tools or toys for a new hobby or activity that they’ve never tried before and then find out they weren’t really all that interested in it after all? If someone had never played golf or shown any prior interest in it, would anyone recommend they go out and buy some golf clubs and a cart to see if they like it? If someone thought they might like to garden, should they go out and buy a greenhouse to see if they like working with plants? Hardly!
I assume that anyone who buys a greenhouse already has a passion for plants and growing things and has previously acted upon that passion in other ways. They are compelled to garden, even without a greenhouse. Would someone suddenly develop that desire to garden after buying a greenhouse, if they’ve never gardened before?
So, what makes a gardener?
Do you consider yourself a gardener? How did you decide you were a gardener?
When is the first time you referred to yourself as a gardener? Where and how did you learn to be a gardener?
Has anyone ever introduced you to someone else as a gardener?
When someone tells you they are a gardener, what image of them does it bring to mind? What do you expect of them?
Can a gardener live where there is no place to plant anything, and still remain a gardener?
What about horticulturists? Are they a subset of “gardeners” or a whole different group?
I’m thinking about why some people are gardeners and other aren’t, and how buying a greenhouse won’t suddenly make someone a gardener.
(Note, the person I talked to came back later and said she wasn’t going to get a greenhouse after all because she realized she was not a gardener. So all the gardeners reading this can relax. There is not an empty greenhouse out there someplace, waiting for you to rescue it, take it to your house and load it up with plants. By the way, does every gardener just naturally want a greenhouse?)