What kind of gardener are you?

Baton Rouge, LA

I am watching my across-the-street neighbor in awe once again as she mows her lawn. She mows it every week, and then does her other gardening, dressed in a pink warm up suit, white tennis shoes, and a large-brimmed white floppy hat. Her hair is perfect, her pink gloves look spotless, and she never appears to perspire even in temps approaching 100 degrees. I am amazed! She is what I would call the neat and tidy gardener. She does a beautiful job with her yard and somehow remains beautiful herself through the process. How does she do it?!

I, on the other, am more of the garden warrior type. When I am done gardening for the day, I look like I've gone a couple of rounds in a dirt pit, and that I most likely lost! My gloves, clothing, and sometimes even hair, look as if I was somehow just exiting a jungle home where I'd been lost for 20 years. I'm usually covered with scratches because, although it's wise to cover your arms and legs when working with roses and other thorny foliage, I always somehow forget this wisdom and dress in shorts and a short-sleeve or sleeveless shirt. Now, don't get me wrong... I can priss up with the best of them when going out... but somehow I always seem to wear as much dirt as I've planted in while gardening.

Then there are those who are in the middle... the sensible gardener. These gardeners get the job done without looking like they dived headfirst into the flower bed in the process. They have dirt on their gloves and tools, but not much on themselves.

Of course, there are other types too. Do you fit one of these descriptions or have one of your own? Share, please! =)

Thumbnail by BlissfulGarden
Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

It takes me about one minute to get covered in dirt, I don't know how it happens! No matter how careful I am it's like the minute I get near a plant the dirt jumps up on my clothes, my arms, my hands, my face and into my hair. And of course even if it's dry somehow my shoes get covered with gooey mud! I have special gardening clothes that are the opposite of your neighbors, really old and beat up, because I know they will get filthy instantly and really need washing after about 5 minutes outside! So I look like a bag lady when I garden.:o)

Windermere, FL

I garden in my Crocs, oldest tshirt I can find and elderly shorts because I know, even though I try my hardest, I am going to wind up covered in dirt somehow.

I do wear gloves though because we have nettles popping up here and there in the yard and I can never remember what they look like. You only grab those things barehanded once...LOL The time I did, I spent the rest of the afternoon with fresh aloe sap, ice cubes and then Cortaid all over my palm.

Montgomery, TX(Zone 9a)

I usually dress with my custom tool belt, it has assorted supplies hanging upon it. On the immediate right is a can of Off (Texas ya know), to the right of that I have Rose gloves the ones with the rubber coating on them, to the right of that I have small clippers for small cuttings, then a pair of larger cutters, then I have a garden pen and cut up blades as lables, on the back of the belt I sport a tool my husband made me it is a stick with a nail inserted in it for picking up leaves too far back in a garden to feetch. On the left side of the belt I have a water bottle with a plastic hose that runs up to a necklace , when I turn my head to the left I can sip from it usually Iced tea, beside that is a misting bottle with the hose running to my left hand, pinned on my long sleeved shirt to the cuff, so I can mist my face when I get hot. Next to that is a bag of cheetos, just in case.
The knee high rubber boots I have on have a few things dangling from them, a camera, a wireless house phone, don't want to miss a call, especially if it concerns daylilies. I carry a bag of epsom salts as well. I stuff an umbrella in the left boot on the outside for shade mostly but an occasional shower does occur , it serves me well. I have a red bandana around my forhead then a straw hat on top of that. Yes I am well equiped for the outside adventures that await me, from catching that butterfly picture to full assault on the red ant hills in the backyard.

Baton Rouge, LA

TroubleX2, you certainly sound like Trouble times two!!! WIth that get-up, you'd be ready for a hurricane while gardening!

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

the kind that gets filthy dirty and then complains about hands/feet looking awful, just awful. Folks, to be clear, I do wash my hands/feet but they simply don't look as pretty as my non-gardening friends, sigh.

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

trouble, i would say you might be a militant gardner type then?lol? you certainly sound like you are dressed and prepared for combat.

I can't stand the feel of dirt on my hands, it's like they suck all the oil out of them, so i have to wash them often and apply lotion. Gloves are too hot and bulky. I hate to bend over so i usually try and sit on my butte and scoot around, mashing the grass and sometimes weeds. I prefer to do things while standing, so if there is a tool for that i will, otherwise it's down on my rear. A must have for me is a sweat band, otherwise i can't see from all the salt and sweat burning my eyes.

(dana)Owensboro, KY(Zone 6a)

len lol ! im a filthy gardener too . and my dh says my hands and feet look like they've been through a meat grinder , i go bare foot as much as possible . oh the most painfull thing happened . i was cutting off some big fat canes off of a climber that got hit with a cane bore, i was bare foot of course and glove-less and most likely in my pjs lol. for some reason i took off running and stepped full force on a cane long ways up the middle of my foot . i dropped like i was tackled by a 300 lb football player . i was saying some bad words and had to pull it out of my foot . there were 6 thorns in my foot with the cane attached so i pulled the cane and yelled and limped back to the house .the worst part was, as i stepped down i felt the first one go in then the second and so on .i was moving so fast i couldnt stop. it was like the pain was in slow mo but my foot wasnt .

Baton Rouge, LA

Iris... OUCH!!!

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

Yikes, iris, my feet hurt just reading that!!

Len, I too don't like to stoop over when gardening if I can help it so being a lazy gardener I bought one of those little rolling seats. It has a place for garden tools underneath plus a cup holder for liquid refreshment, although obviously I'm not nearly as well equipped as TroubleX2! It took some practice to get it to roll straight by wiggling my hips, at first I would go rolling off into the lawn instead of along the edge of the flower bed like I was trying to! :o)

(Zone 5b)

My feet get so dirty in the summer months that I have to scrub them with a stiff brush when I shower and they still look dirty. I actually use a Dremel tool sander on my feet to buff down the ground in dirt and callously parts.
I sweat like a hog and my hair gets all wet and I have splothes of dirt all over my shirt and shorts. My eyes get red from the sweat running into them.

Whats up with that lady neighbor of yours?
Thats crazy!
Do you live next door to Martha Stewart?

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

wearing no socks in the summer really nastifies your heels. I've been thinking about buying this gadget. anybody uses it? But I also know that the more you scrape, the more tender the area and then the easier and the more often is callouses. It's a losing battle.


(Zone 5b)

I love to go barefoot ( so get alot of callouses) but usually wear Crocks in the garden but my feet still get dirty cuz I often kick my Crocks off.
I can't use your basic buffers....hence the Dremel.
That egg thing (metal part) looks like a typical foot scraper you could probably get cheaper at Wal- Mart but it would be just be straight with
a handle. (like a small cheese grater)
I've used every kind of foot cream, anti-fungal, callous remover preperation, ointment and lotion but nothing seemed to work until
I got this stuff on www.hsn.com
called "To Skin Care" Cracked Heel Renewal.
I put it on every night before bed and put some socks or footies on and its actually gotten rid of my cracked heels.

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

my poor heels are like asiago cheese. I guess I should forget about thed ped-egg and just get me a cheese grater, lol

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

I bought a puma stone at walmart, it works if you use it after you take a shower, or your feet are well hydrated. Once upon a time i bought some clogs, somewhere online that had little foot messagers built into the shoe, constantly you would have to blow or shake the little flakes of skin out of them. Your feet will look like young children's feet, but you can't wear them constantly, because your feet start getting so tender and sore when you walk.

(Zone 5b)

If your feet are "cheesy" tender :o) you could try a pumice stone and moisturizer like Lubriderm.

Baton Rouge, LA

Vicky, the first time I saw Jeanie outside that way when she was working in the yard, a song from the old Disney movie "Summer Magic" came to mind... "The Pink of Perfection"!!! I have no idea how she does it. She's by herself doing all the mowing, gardening... everything. So, she's unloading the grass catcher and hauling dirt just like I am. It's a puzzlement!

I have a PedEgg... I loved it at first, but then over time it was no longer a good idea for me. Like Nery said, over time, it makes the area more tender. Yes, it was softer for a while, but then it got to where it was splitting when I would walk barefoot on the aggregate... so that's definitely not an improvement. I think I'd rather be able to do what I want and have callouses rather than have soft feet but be timid to go barefoot.

(Zone 5b)

Hey Len where did you get those?

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

vicki, it may have been clogsonline.com, but i didn't see them this time, they may have quit making them, and they are always changing them.
but here is a link to something i found on the internet, they had the little tentacles like the picture on this sandal or whatever it is.

(i don't know about the stimulation of organs and muscles, i think all i got was tender feet,lol)

Kannapolis, NC

I've really chuckled reading this thread. First let me say that I am definitely a dirty gardener. Just as I can't seem to paint a room without winding up covered in paint myself, I can't garden cleanly and neatly like the pink sweatsuit neighbor! I wear my oldest, most disheveled clothes, most often an old T-shirt of DH's, gloves if I'm working in thorns, otherwise, bare hands. I always look and smell as though I've been gardening, no doubt about it. Neighbors who drop over to visit during gardening hours usually try to stand upwind of me! Some have learned not to visit at this time.

I do wear shoes always and socks sometimes. The problem with dirty hands and fingernails is a constant battle. I keep a nail scrubber and lotion near each sink and use them each time I wash. The foot problem is one I don't usually have, but I do use a pumice stone or foot scub each time I shower and apply foot softening balm or cream each night. This is something I do throughout the year and it helps tremendously with that issue, although I don't have those pretty, well manicured feet that I see on lovely tanned women with beautifully coifed hair and well groomed hands. Just keep the nails short and clean and that's about it.

(dana)Owensboro, KY(Zone 6a)

i dont even try to keep my feet nice in the summer . i wear flip flops and they dont stay on unless im digging a hole , ive been known to do that with my slippers on lol. next year im investing in boots . im a hairstylist also trained in pedicures , manicures, facials the works and i have access to all the good foot stuff . but the thing that works for me is a foot scrubber that has metal on it that looks like sand paper . it has a course side and a fine side . it dosnt tenderize it just gets off the dead cracked skin. then i slather on creamy Vaseline, then socks . oh it helps to soak your feet first . my feet healed over night . dh even complimented it .
my neighbors think im nuts. i heard them say "she likes to dig in that dirt, dont she?" im like at least my yard isnt just a green square lol

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8b)

Cute thread!

I wear my worst clothes for garden chores. Ratty T-shirt or cami or tank top, bra hanging out, holy jeans or cutoff shorts, and sometimes my camo mini-skort handmedown from my teenage daughter. Crocs on my feet for light chores (usually kicked off quickly) or else my old work boots if I'm going to do any shoveling. Hair goes into a ponytail but stays messy, in my eyes regardless. I almost always have to have gloves on, I can't stand dirt under my nails and it is so drying to my hands.

I sit right down in the dirt and do my work. Filthy and fun!

Baton Rouge, LA

Reading these responses, I KNOW I am truly among kindred spirits here! =)

Keep 'em coming!

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

perhaps too racy sorry!

This message was edited Nov 7, 2008 1:59 PM

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

ahem! old women, with sun wrinkled faces under all them straw hats weaar tank tops w/ bras hanging out....

(dana)Owensboro, KY(Zone 6a)

lol uh oh len you are in trouble

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8b)

Hey I turned 40 this year but I don't feel old YET! LOL

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Wow...since I just purchased my first three roses, I came to this forum...this thread caught my attention first and I'm sooo glad that I read it. I laughed out loud a few times, which is always a welcome part of the day! :-D Thanks for sharing.

Troublex2..."the militant gardener" is a good title for you...my goodness, you are one prepared lady!!


MiniPonyFarmer...I can relate with your garden attire on a lot of my days playing outside.

BlissfulGarden...I have a neighbor like that too. I loved your description of her and that you broke into song in your head...lol! I just don't get it - how someone can do all that and look so great before, during and after!? Those are truly the people that live by the saying..."never let 'em see you sweat"

As far as what kind of gardener I am:

I am probably best described as a moody gardener and since Cancer the crab is my sign, that's even more fitting...lol! One day, I could be out in my pink fuzzy robe and slippers, with deshoveled hair, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette...catch eye of a weed that I've been having a staring contest with for the passing week and decide that today will be the day that it meets it's demise. Then of course, since my hands are already dirty, I keep playing in the dirt.

Once in a while, I will dress up and be ready to go somewhere soon. Then it happens...I start looking at something that just "has to be done" right then, climb into my flower bed and start messing with whatever it was that caught my attention. Only to realize, that I have to go back inside to get "cleaned up" again.

Otherwise, my everyday gardening shoes are flip flops, which I've gotten lectured about many times from family, friends and myself on certain days. I have hurt myself plenty of times by now. So, you would think that I would learn my lesson. If fact, as we speak, I have a open cut on my big toe from tripping over my pineapple shaped hose roller, which I should add - I have already hurt myself on a half a dozen times or more this year. My usual choice for clothes is a tank top and shorts. Sometimes bra hanging out...well, or other things, considering that strapless bras are *definitely* not made for gardening...eeek...yeah, I said it! (Len123, I curious to know what you edited out...hmmm?)

Wearing gloves: I have a dozen or more pairs...they're usually located in what I refer to as my glove stew bucket. A bucket that consists of vinegar and water and other gloves that have been deemed to dirty to use. Now, if I would actually finish the process of washing them, then I would have gloves abound! Yes, I am a procrastinator too. So, if I am doing something that absolutely requires gloves, then I resort to using my dishwashing gloves or wearing one of the lefties that I have found lying around. In other words, most of the time I am gloveless. My hands are rough and usually have that lovely perma-dirt look. Getting a manicure would just be a waste of money for me. I can also relate to the never-ending saga of dirty feet as well. On the subject, I find it funny that my husband-to-be is an engineer and therefore, is the one with beautiful smooth hands. That is, until I enlist his help in the yard. That's usually the only time that he gets his hands dirty and/or roughed up!

Oh, one more thing...I frequently have a Foster's beer in hand or beside me while gardening. ;-)

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

couldn't have beer. Would overdo it, then plant things upside down....hickup...

PS: BUT, and that is only a but, no Fosters for me. Has to be Shiner Bock. yeehaw!

Baton Rouge, LA

Dinkel Acker or Spaten here... my German grandmother had a keen influence on those choices for me!

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Well, most of the time I don't overdo it. ;-) However, there are a few exceptions though, that have led to, uh, let's just say some less than sound transplanting of things! Shiner Bock, huh...haven't had it.

Disclaimer: no plants were killed during the drinking of the Foster's in my garden.

Baton Rouge, LA

Beautiful... your disclaimer made me laugh out loud! Too funny!

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Blissful, always happy to make someone laugh out loud. ;-)

Also, considering that I am a "Steiner"...I guess I would do well to try some of these German beers!

Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

In some respects, I am the opposite of your neighbor. I wear pink tennis shoes and white sundresses, and I value suntans too much to ever wear a hat outside.

My gloves and shoes get very dirty, and my knees get dirty if I'm kneeling to weed, but the rest of me doesn't, although I'm usually bleeding from a thousand cuts and scratches every time I come inside.

I carry nothing with me on my rounds of the garden. For one thing, my dresses have no pockets. For another, if I had some sort of carrying device, I'd be tempted to take my cigarettes and lighter outside and I would never go back inside to take a break. Bizarre as it may sound, not to mention contrary to common practice, I never smoke outside. My nicotine addiction forces me to go inside and take a rest from gardening every hour or so.

I'm completely disorganized about my tools. It seems to me that I spend most of my time in the garden walking around in circles in search of shovels, rakes, loppers, etc. I buy the cheapest tools I can find, because I invariably leave mine outside at the mercy of the elements. I always mean to put them away, but something else always comes up to distract me.

(dana)Owensboro, KY(Zone 6a)

oh my goodness zuzu i just felt like i was reading about myself . in the spring i always find the rusted tools that have been outside all winter , that drives dh crazy .

Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

I am so glad I don't have a DH to drive crazy, Iris. I only drive myself crazy.

(dana)Owensboro, KY(Zone 6a)

it drives me crazy that it drives him crazy .lol i like to follow my own beat and hardly anything bothers me .

Baton Rouge, LA

Quoted from Zuzu:
"I'm completely disorganized about my tools. It seems to me that I spend most of my time in the garden walking around in circles in search of shovels, rakes, loppers, etc. I buy the cheapest tools I can find, because I invariably leave mine outside at the mercy of the elements. I always mean to put them away, but something else always comes up to distract me."

This is EXACTLY what I do! To complicate matters, DS does the same thing... so I am sometimes looking for tools in totally foreign places. DH is the worst, though, because he will come behind me and put things "away" in a place that makes absolutely NO sense. So, first I'll look where I should have put something away correctly, then I'll wander around the yard trying to find it, and then I'll spend the next 1/2 hour trying to figure out where DH would have thought was the logical place to put it!!! Talk about frustration... =P

(Sometime I need to learn how to do that quote thing on DG...!)

Windermere, FL

LOL..at all these replies. I am glad that I am not alone in getting filthy.

Speaking of which, I just got back inside from planting my new Fortunianas, 6 of which went into the back rose bed against the south facing wall. The last one, McCartney is in a pot for the time being as I cannot decide where to put it because the spaces I had available were just not talking to me.

And yes, I was filthy. Kept putting the gloves on and off since I was shovel pruning 13 out of the 20 Jackson Perkins roses I bought this spring and then mixing the cow manure and potting soil before throwing it in the bottom of the hole. I tried dragging the 40 lb bags across the back lawn but it didn't work so I just picked them up and of course got even dirtier. My feet were disgusting..LOL..even with the Crocs on and I had to soak my hands for 5 mins before I could even wash them properly.

Next thing we need to do is get rid of the rose bed bougainvillea as it has never grown properly and is just taking up space.

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

Blissh this is how: type the following

left bracket, the word quote, right bracket, words you want to quote, left bracket, backward slash, the word quote, right bracket

(Sometime I need to learn how to do that quote thing on DG...)

now you try it

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