You Know You're a Proper Gardener When:

  • You feel uncomfortable in some-one else's house if there's a badly placed houseplant.
  • You find it difficult resisting dead-heading in some-one else's garden.
  • You buy weak straggly, reduced price plants because you feel sorry for them.
  • You're pleased when some nettles grow in your garden because they're great for the compost heap, and they show that the soil is rich in that area.
  • You're constantly trying to give away plants to friends and neighbours because you propagated far too many.
  • You know exactly where the best specimens of your favourite plants are in your neighbourhood.
  • You read the labels on plants at the garden centre and disagree with what it says.
  • Seed catalogues are one the year's most anticipated, sumptuous and exciting literary events.
  • You get upset when some-one refers to soil as "dirt" or "mud".
  • You get upset when people get compost and manure confused.
  • You regard neglected gardens with greater envy than fabulous gardens - just imagine what you could do with them starting from scratch...?!
  • You very rarely return from even the shortest trip to your garden for any reason with clean hands.
  • Your garden looks better than your house.
  • Your friends stop asking for gardening advice as you made them feel bad that they know so little and the answers you give always seem like too much hard work.
  • There is no item of footwear you own that hasn't at sometime had soil on them.
  • You think £50 is a lot of money for a pair of trousers, but a great price for a particularly wonderful plant.
  • Even though your garden is already full, you could easily fill it again with completely different plants you want - from memory.
  • You could give local directions based on particularly fine hedges and specimen trees as landmarks without mentioning roads, post offices or pubs.
  • You covert your neighbours shed more than his ass.
  • There are always traces of soil, compost or plant material in your car.
  • You don't just have a favourite plant, you've a favourite tree, flowering tree, autumn foliage shrub, blue flowering spring perennial, summer bulb, evergreen climber etc. etc.
  • You understand why there are so many different types of fertiliser and despair that the array of pesticides are the same few chemicals in different guises.
  • For you - a watering can and spade are for life.
  • You secretly despise the "Gardener's gift sets" you get for Christmas and birthdays.
  • Buying a new spade or secateurs is one of the most significant purchase events in your life requiring much thought, research and comparative shopping trips.
  • You either have, or you'd love to have, an allotment.
  • Much of your gardening time is spent propagating.

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