What Kind of Gardener Are You?

The Collector
The collector has a carefree mix of plants in the garden. This person has to have one of everything. They often frequent garden tours to get new ideas for their garden, and they love to shop for the newest varieties available at the nursery.  Their garden is very informal without a lot of structure. Collectors are also sometimes considered mad scientists, experimenting with new breeds and trying to see just how far they can push the boundaries of their particular zone or habitat. Collector’s gardens are very forgiving, with a flexible maintenance schedule, and are not bothered by a few weeds along the way. Ideal Plant Choices: hydrangeas, peonies, roses, phlox , lilacs and many other flowering perennials, annuals and shrubs.


by Phillip Capper on Flickr

An example of one of many collectors’ gardens is the English Cottage Garden.

The Sophisticate
This gardener does everything by the book. Their gardens are meticulous and orderly. Often this gardener is looking for control over nature and may be considered a neat freak. The sophisticate enjoys repetition of choice plants, defined borders and structural forms. Ideal Plant Choices: boxwood, lavender, rosemary, cypress, privet, spruce, standards and topiaries.

Formal gardens, such as French gardens with their symmetry and geometry, are good examples.


by Gregory Garnich on Flickr

by Gregory Garnich on Flickr

The Zen Gardener
The zen gardener enjoys a tranquil space where they can meditate and escape their busy lives. This is a garden where less is more and may incorporate the five Chinese elements of earth, water, wood, fire and metal in their landscape. The zen garden usually does not have a lot of colors but rather the serene shades of nature. Ideal Plant Choices: bamboo, Japanese Maples, hostas, grasses, conifers, azaleas and rhododendrons. Japanese gardens with water features are good examples.

by Jeremy Levine on Flickr

by Jeremy Levine on Flickr

The Artist
This gardener loves expressing their creativity over and over again with many different colors, textures and shapes. Many artist gardens are full of fun and whimsy filled with lots of bold colors. Some may also have an array of flea market finds used in unorthodox ways. The artist is often a nature lover choosing plants to attract wildlife as part of the design.Ideal Plant Choices: anything that blooms all season long, colorful annuals, perennials such as coneflowers, salvias and shrubs such as the butterfly bush.

by jo-marshall on Flickr

by jo-marshall on Flickr


About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

Affiliate Account Hearth and Vine/Patti Estep is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


  1. Denise Wright says:

    What about the clueless gardener? That’s me. Great article….I like the pics! I think I would like to be the collector. I like the lack of structure and ability to experiment.

  2. Yep. That’s me!!

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