Do you get irritating comments from NON-gardeners?

pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)June 2, 2005

The one i hate the most is, "Ohh! Nice garden, wanna come over and do mine?"

I smile sweetly but inside I'm thinking... "Why the %@#*! would I?" Yeah... I know it's just a thoughtless comment with nothing behind it. But it does grate on the nerves!

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husky004_(z5 NY)

If they are non-gardeners they just don't get's hard to explain how you can work so hard for the enjoyment of a garden...have a co-worker that cannot understand it so i've given favorite times are my times in my garden...weeding, planting, watering whatever...makes my days and life complete to see a plant growing.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 11:55PM
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Okay this is going to sound weird but my gardens are filled with flowers, each and everyone I have planted - tons of borders, filled with perennials, annuals - you know the picture. Then next door - we are divided by lots of woods - the people don't garden at all - they don't even cut their own grass - anyway, they hire someone to plant rows of begonias, lilies, lined up salvia - again, you get the picture. Well, they think THAT is gardening.
They say, come and look at my "gardens" - - While, I am looking I am thinking "but, you didn't lift a finger" Point? Most of the satisfaction in looking and walking along my gardens filled with color/flowers, etc. is all the hard work it took and the satisfaction I feel. They just don't get it.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 8:14AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

The one that grates most is, 'You're always changing your garden! Nothing's where it was!'

Of course it isn't. The trees are big now and the light patterns have changed. The garden is older and annuals have given way to perennials more suited to an open woodland.

Also,I'm growing on from being a garden labourer to planting on purpose for learning and bringing a dream to some sort of form rather than creating a flat copy of the public gardens year after unchanging year.

I've never been a great fan for formal planting - or minimalist, for that matter - but I know it must be pleasing to many just from the copies and variations I see. And it's 'way better than concrete all over the yard! :-) Live and let live.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 4:19AM
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I was talking to my new neighbor about my new perennials while she was planting annuals. Her comment was " I planted a bunch of perennials at my old place and they ended up looking so messy" I chuckled to myself because the gal that lived there before her was an avid gardener and luckily had planted tons of bulbs and perennials. Now they are blooming everywhere and its nice to see all the plants coming up!!! that was just the strangest gardening comment I've heard in a long while....Now my dh is so sweet he walks around and asks me is this a weed or is this a weed? Sometimes its hard to tell. I love to see him out experimenting and doing his own thing in the garden. He bought a beautiful red rose climber which has really added interest out back.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 5:05AM
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"Why do you grow vegetable X when you can just go to the store? Is $ 0.50 too much for ya?" Obnoxious and unnecessary! I don't criticize their hobbies! Oh that's right they don't have any hobbies! (Venting a bit. Can you tell?)! Sorry for the sarcasm (sp?) but that's the one that gets me.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 9:00PM
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No, I never have people say things like the above to me.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:47PM
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silly_me(z6 SE NY)

ok, this qualifies more as a dumb-as-mud comment, but i have to share it:
a few years ago when we were having our house painted. i was in my front yard (weeding, what else) when a neighbor walked by and, standing RIGHT NEXT TO to my very large clump of PEONIES said, i kid you not, "wow, that house paint smells great."

no joke!

and yes pam, i too get plenty of the
"Ohh! Nice garden, wanna come over and do mine?" comments.
i always respond with "you wouldn't be able to afford me!"

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 2:59PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Carrie - I was just passin' through. Read this somewhere: "The less help you get - the more yours it is". Thought you might appreciate it.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 9:52PM
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I swear my mom is the worst! She loves to micromanage her flowers as well as her veggies. She has to see bare ground so she goes to plucking at anything and everything. Opps was that my mallow??? She said the otherday "your the only person that shes ever seen that has cosmos reseed themselevs". I said im sure they do but you pluck them so fast you dont know what they are.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:24PM
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Our first gardens were a 1/2 acre country lot, where we grew our own food (huge vegetable garden), herbs and flowers. We grew shrubs, perennials, flowers for cutting, and flowers for drying. As you can imagine, the place was filled with gardens, and I thought, quite enchanting.
One day, a neighbour from up the road stopped by, and with a dismissive wave of his hand, said "I'd do this if I had more time."
Many years later, his house is still an orange brick slab plunked onto a country field of grass, with nary a shrub, vine or flower to soften the place.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 9:21AM
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:) well- I get snotty commments from the retired lady who plants lawn ornaments- five of them in a 10x6 bed, plus a mailbox post, plus an ornamental lamp post they never turn on, plus a flowering peach tree...she sweeps her sidewalk every day. I do mine once a month. they mow twice a week, and are always dusting or spraying SOMETHING. I encourage thyme, mint, aguja, and anything else I can get to replace the darned grass in my lawn, and mow when I can't see my feet any more...

but the only thing that really bugs me is the people who won't even try... they cry 'i would love to' then whine' but I don't have time/like getting my hands dirty/know what to do/ and a string of excuses...

but they're a minority, and I have made some very dear friends because I respond to 'you can come over and do mine' with a grin and an offer of trading an hour of my labor for an hour of shepard hooks are hand-forged, the drywall in the one room where the plaster AND the lathe had been removed was done for free...and the less talented people, well they pay cash- which is nice, since some of them make WAY more than I do, and think nothing of paying me $20 to deadhead their roses (which I would do for the basket of rose petals I walk away with!)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 11:14AM
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I just thought of another one, though this is professional.
We open our garden centre in April for shrubs and the greenhouse-grown perennials which are up and ready then. In what we call "the back", we overwinter, under snow, thousands and thousands of perennials (over 500 varieties) used for later sales, as they emerge from dormancy. This year, we had a visitor at the end of April, just after the snow had left looking through "the back." (There were a few isolated patches of snow sitting on the ground, just to remind us that winter had not left easily this year.) "Why are your plants so small?" she asked. I grabbed a gallon pot at random, showed her how the roots had filled the pot, and explained that the foliage was just emerging after the snow. She looked at me as if I was slow, and asked again, "Yes, but why are your plants so small."

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 3:56PM
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tapla - That saying is so true - so true! Carrie

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:51AM
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LaurelLily(9a Houston, TX)

About a month after I moved into my house (I brought over all my plants in containers and hadn't put anything in the ground yet) I was watering all the container plants when my neighbor walked by and called out, "You don't need to keep showing off, we all know you have a green thumb now!" I was kind of dumbstruck--I wasn't showing off, I was watering my plants so they would live! I'm sure he was just meaning to be funny, but it was a really weird comment.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 1:54PM
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I hate it when they have no idea of the work involved yet are bold to suggest yet one more difficult project, plant or design.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 10:59PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

I can't think of any irritating comments I've heard from non-gardeners, but I can think of one FUNNY one: a probably homeless guy in ragged clothes and even clutching a bottle in a brown paper bag rang our doorbell and asked if we wanted "some yard work done".

I'd describe the front (and back) garden as "naturalistic", "exuberant", "lavish" and/or "abandoned California Gold Country cottage" style. Others might describe it as "overplanted". Whatever. 9 out of 10 bees, butterflies and hummingbirds prefer MY garden! At any rate, I can see why the guy thought he could make a couple bucks "doing yard work", even I planted the garden that way on purpose.

There are a lot of Latinos among my neighbors, and it's kinda fun--I think the best one was overhearing one mother ask another: "Calabaza? (squash)", and pointing at the hollyhocks. They DID look like squash plants at that point, huge, huge-leaved and no blooms yet.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 6:26PM
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erk120(z6/7 SoNJ)

I hope that I'm not too late to get in on this thread. Now please don't attack, but I'm the unfortunate soul that has to be the Horticultural Specialist at a Home Depot (never knew that associates degree would come in handy) and you can't imagine how many people ask if I will come and plant their gardens( now you know why associates hide at the Home Depot... LOL). But my personal favorite question is "What kind of plant can I put in that doesn't require any upkeep?" or "What kind of grass seed doesn't need to be watered?" Although in defense of the watering question techincally crabgrass is a turfgrass and you don't need to water that...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 3:47AM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

LOL, aren't you tempted to tell them all about silk or plastic plants? You must hear some amazing things... don't hold back!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 11:59AM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

I worked at a garden center, and a woman came in one day wanting a plant that didn't grow out of control (I mean, this is FLORIDA!), bloomed all year, and didn't ever have to be pruned.

I told her that plant hadn't been invented yet, but when it was, I wanted a whole yard full of them.

The one I love it "You're always out here working in the yard!" Well, duuuuuuuuuh!!!! How the heck do you think I keep it going?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 8:34PM
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One comment was from a plumber who came to work on our house who said of my garden "It looks snakey." His wife is an avid gardener and he said that his yard and mine looked like the gardening magazines, but he didn't like it because it looked snakey. Plus, he said he wished his wife, who also watched anything gardening on television, would watch more shows on cooking and cleaning. I was rather annoyed, and even a little offended on behalf of his wife. He didn't exactly look like he was starving, so he must have been getting food somehow.

Can you imagine looking at someone's garden and calling it "snakey"?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 5:39PM
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I wasn't irritated by it, laughed actualy. It was early Sat evening, I was out in the back deadheading my rose bush and my 21 year old son came out to tell me he was leaving. I jokingly ask why he wasn't gonna hang out with me for the evening. He rolled his eyes and said "well just LOOK at what you are doing..." I think he had something a little more exciting in mind.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 1:26PM
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LaurelLily(9a Houston, TX)

"But my personal favorite question is "What kind of plant can I put in that doesn't require any upkeep?""

Do you point them towards native plants & wildflowers? That's my favorite solution to that question. ; )

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 2:30PM
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Well said! Carrie630: "Most of the satisfaction in looking and walking along my gardens filled with color/flowers, etc. is all the hard work it took and the satisfaction I feel. They just don't get it." Indeed!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 11:12PM
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garden_witch(z6a MI)

I would have to say the most annoying thing I hear, right around 7:00 pm when I am in the middle of weeding, planting, pruning, etc...

"Hey, when's supper?"


    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 2:32PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

Garden witch: I LOVE it! NOW I know why I'm (still) divorced, no children, and thankful that it's that way. I do have three cats, who think that Supervising in the Garden is Very Important, even More Important Than Food. No wonder I like them :-)

I think the most irritating comment I've gotten (repeatedly) from (our neighbors across the street) non-gardeners is: "We didn't MEAN to throw our ball into your yard. Can we go get it?". I finally put an end to that nonsense by pressing charges for tresspassing.

The funniest comment this year was from the UPS man, struggling up the walk with yet another box of plants: "Where are you going to PLANT all this?" My garden style is a loose approximation of Christopher Lloyd's Great Dixter. It's long on dense mixed plantings and short on tidiness.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 2:22AM
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When we first opened our business, we used to take our plants to market. Although there were gardeners there, most people had no idea what a plant was for.
We fielded questions, patiently told people how to plant, what to expect etc.
But the question that we answered most frequently was "Do you have anything that will bloom in deep shade where nothing else can grow, has huge red flowers, grows to about 5', and blooms all year?"
Now this is Canada, eh. I awakened this morning to our first serious snowfall, and it's highly unlikely I will see the ground or any part of it until April. Snow and cold are what we get here.
Anyway, one morning someone came and asked my partner that same question. "Do you have anything that will bloom in deep shade, is red, about 5' tall, and will bloom all year?"
He looked at them for a moment, considered, and finally asked, "Have you tried a balloon?"
We still use that answer whenever anyone asks for something mother nature just didn't design a plant to do.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 11:55AM
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Jillofall(z5 CO)

Oh my! I'm too lucky. I keep trying to plant stuff that dies, have a miniscule budget, plant the wrong things, and my neighbors just tell me how much they like it. I live at the entrance to a dead end street, so they all know I'm out there all the time TRYing. Maybe they laugh behind my back, but they've been very supportive. --Kris

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 5:33PM
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Carole39(Z-5 OH)

One year I started 2 flats of large mixed Zinnias, got lots of butterflies, caught a kid, just in time, 2 feet from my front door trying to catch a big yellow & black one for his "collection"....Last year was planting lily bulbs, it was cold out too early, back breaking, and the guy across from me came over and said "what are you doing now? !" UGHH!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 3:20PM
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I have a few, although some are more of an attitude I get,than a specific comment.
One is that disgusted,haughty look I get,followed by a I/WE..DONT...GARDEN. Another that floored me,was the same followed by "We don't put our hands in dirt" or something like "We dont get dirty". I got that from some friends of mine. Another is a "So you like that,huh", while their eyes glaze over.
"Don't bother planting anything because all of the kids will destroy it.", or "Why are you are going to put all of your valuable plants out,the kids are going to destroy them".
I hardly got any damage from the 'kids' by the way.

"How much did you spend on that?" or "YOU SPENT HOW MUCH ON PLANTS!?", like it's a waste of money. Of course I could go on about what I think about what I believe they are wasting their money on. I never say anything about their new speakers or boats or bike gear or video games or whatever-gardening is what I love to do,its my hobby that I spend money on. I don't want to spend money on their hobbies. Or another one thats kind of related;"Do you really need another plant? What are you going to do with it, where are you going to put it?". I got that from my dad.

All of that being said,however,most comments I get are very encouraging and flattering. Most people complement me enthusiastically on my garden and love it and I think they are glad I'm doing it. I love it when they tell me how georgeous my garden is. I'm glad they appreciate it.
MY favorite comment was once when I was outside working on the garden and a little girl walked by with her mother, pointed to my red hibiscus bush and gasped in wonder-"Mommy! It looks like a Hawaiian flower!" I loved it and had to smile.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 8:25PM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

Last month I overheard the renters across the street talking to my neighbor. They were enthusiastically complimenting him on his yard. Oh yes, it was the most beautiful yard on the block...blah blah blah. Now my neighbor does have pretty grass....but you should see his beds. Nasty faded silk flowers staked in the mulch, piddly plants set 3' apart and some ridiculous plastic squirrels. The height of suburban tackiness. No compliments were bestowed upon me, but I already know I have the prettiest yard. :-) I'm rather glad they are moving away.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 10:51PM
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"I wish I had your ambition" (I don't see gardening as 'work.' I go out every night and do a LITTLE bit of something. I never 'set out' to do major 'gardening projects.' Then it would become work.)

"Mine aren't doing anything" (This in response to Winter Sowing when my basic instructions were: a recycled container, 3" of soil, sow seeds, watch moisture, don't let dry out...and her container has MAYBE 1/2" of soil, and is bone dry. Gee, I can't for the life of me figure out what the problem could be!)

"When you're done, you can come do mine"

(Asks for ideas. I provide ideas- with pictures no less for inspiration- then says) "Well, when you get home, you come over and show me what to do"
Translation (you have to know this person): "I don't want to think. I don't want to do. You do and you think for me."

(Asks for instruction on how to do, then says) "Well, I don't know how to do all that" and refuses to do the simple instruction. Just wants it done by someone else. So I plant a row of yellow annuals, and a row of purple annuals behind it. (See, this wasn't a difficult task!)

Pretty sure this person was spoiled as a child.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 3:26PM
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terrene(5b MA)

My flower gardens are in the front yard and along the street, because that is the only large area around the house that gets full sun (except for way out back - 200 feet behind house). So I am out in front a lot working in the garden.

I haven't gotten any irritating comments, usually people say something like "pretty gardens". And I say "thank you" and go about my business.

One day, some joggers came down the street. One lady said "oh I should hire you to do my front yard". And I said "But then it wouldn't be fun anymore."

Gardening is a hobby I do because I love it - it is art, therapy, meditation, communing with nature, and joy. It is a refuge from the pressures and worries of everyday life.

If I did it to make money and pay the bills, it would become a JOB! (albeit a fun job sometimes!)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 3:13PM
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Mary Palmer

Just stumbled on this forum!
The other day a co-worker of my husband saw me working in the garden and asked "Do you think you will have it the way you want it in 10-15 years?" I said "I hope not!" He didn't know how to respond...

I think only other gardeners could understand this!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 2:10AM
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I love my husband to death, but he can't get over the notion that plants are not dead when the flowers are gone. Flowers need deadheading? Must be because I can't keep plants alive arrrgh! I keep trying to explain how plants bloom in cycles and some only bloom for a few weeks a year but it doesn't sink in

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 10:55AM
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philomena(z 5A NY)

I didn't consider this a truly irritating comment, but more funny, as it came from a very close friend who is only sloooowly starting to understand the gardening mind...

In the about 5 years that I have had my home, I have pretty much planted flowers in just about every conceivable space, and then some - lots of perennials, bulbs, shrubs, etc... So, last summer, as I finished putting in yet another bed of flowers, my friend asked me: "What are you going to do now that you are done with all your garden?"

After staring at her for a couple seconds like she was an alien, I just started laughing so hard - "done" ?!?!?! what the heck does that mean ??? A garden is never "done" !! :-))


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 11:36AM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

How about the person who, after being shown a lovely landscaped perennial garden, with textures of shrubs, grasses, trees, etc. says, "Hmmm. Why don't you have any yellow flowers?"

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:24PM
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kelpie473(9b sw Fla)

Christmas eve at my sister's house - she puts the brown-and-serve rolls in the oven and says to me, "come outside and tell me what to do with my yard" - a bare acre of grass. Then she says her neighbors are "only growing grass" and I'm thinking "oh, like you?"

Every plant I could come up with off the top of my head that I love (and she asked me cause she likes my yard) she turned her nose up at. Then when I said she needed to not plant trees on top of the septic tank she disagreed. The next month they had to have the whole tank dug up but she still didn't get it.

She's also the one who painted her house terra cotta. It's nice except that her crepe myrtle, bougainvilleas and lilies are fuschia and planted right by the house.

I remind myself she asks me for help because she likes my yard.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 7:56PM
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My (former) neighbor would call over the fence "Hey Jan, are you putzing again?" To which I would reply under my breath, "no stupid cow, I am doing my part making the world a more beautiful place. You wanna think about weeding that bed in front of your house so I don't have to look at the weedy mess everyday?"

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 10:37PM
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I grow alot of everything, flowers, vegetables, you know... I try like everyone here to keep things neat and orderly, but inevitably theres some weed that pokes thru the mulch. Well, theres always someone whom I'm walking thru the garden with ..who instead of commenting on the beauty of it all says to me.."whats THAT plant?" Of course its THE WEED. Geezzzz!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 5:14PM
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TOTALLY agree with "When's supper?" awfully annoying!...and then the best look down and are covered with dirt from head to toe and have at least a pound of it accumulated under your fingernails!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 11:39PM
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I like to keep a photographic record of the garden as it progresses through the seasons. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, my FIL saw me looking for a pic on my digital camera & noticed some of my garden shots. Laughing, he incredulously asks me, "You take pictures of FLOWERS?" (Some people just don't get it.)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:58PM
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I shudder at the vision of fuschia flowers in front of a terra cotta house!

I've seen commercial buildings, shopping centers, civic centers, etc, with white crepe myrtles in front of a white brick or concrete or stucco building, & some with watermelon-colored crepes in front of oxblood-red (maroon) brick buildings.

The white ones look the same as the parking lot, & the maroon/watermelon ones look hot, heavy, & headachey.

One comment that hurt my feelings was from a "friend":
"It's a work in progress."

Yes, it is.
unlike hers, which was a magnificently complete weed patch...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:46AM
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boisenoise(5/6 West)

People around here are generally pretty nice, and the only time I've been actually annoyed was when we had a new refrigerator delivered. The delivery truck pulled into our driveway frontways, and as the men unloaded the refrigerator and tried to wheel it between their truck and the row of roses along the side of the driveway, one guy snarled, "If I lived here, those would be the first things I'd get rid of!"

One spring, when one of my friends who lives nearby had a beautiful clump of 'Angelique' tulips blooming in her yard, a young man knocked on her door and asked if she would mind if he picked them as a bouquet to take to his mother who was in the hospital. She stammered and finally, feeling very cruel and hard-hearted, told him that, no, she would rather that he didn't! I'm sure he had no idea of the cost and work that had gone into planting those . . . and in our area, those particular tulips are annuals, with only one brief, beautiful display.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Stoners always tell me "Ive got some seeds for you to plant". Funny at first but ive heard it a lot. No, im not gonna grow pot seeds for you!!!!!!

I also hate the comments "Is it ok to plant this time of year"? Of course!!! Would plants get sold if its not ok to plant them!!!

Another one that i want to slap people for. I worked at a nursery and was showing some people some arborvitaes when they said. arent those the trees you always see dead? I replied "Yes, because people think you plant them and never have to do anything ever again". Ok people, plants breathe and eat. Would your children live if you stopped giving them water!!!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 6:06PM
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Oh,Merry Christmas Everyone;-> HO! HO! HO!
This thread is great. Its almost Christmas, and cold outside,so i thought i do some lurking around the sites, and came upon this thread.I have been literally laughing out Loud!!!!HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
So now I guess its my turn to add a lil, somethin' somethin' Well here goes......................
Iam out in my yard and the garden all the time...winter, summer,spring,and fall! Oh yea, in the rain too! If your a gardener like me, you get my drift! SOoooo......I always get alot of comments. Some good,some bad,some indifferent, some just downright stupid! I live in the hood. I'll clean that up a bit."I live in the city" LOL. so iam always asked things like.........
"I see you at it again" Or how about this one. When iam working shoveling or planting; and iam working really HARD!! My nosy neighbor will walk over, watch me work really HARD for about 2or 3 mins and then ask me......
"What you doin'?" it takes everything in me not to shout "WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE IM DOIN!!!!" Or this one "I see You workin" harddd A g i n."
Alot of prissy people have said "Oh but your an outside kind of person,and iam inside type of person" and ive heard
"see i couldnt be doin'that!" thats while iam putting in plants, or hauling mulch from the truck, or filthy from being out there from 6am till dark!They cant understand that I LOVE IT!!!!!
And my DH when iam in the middle of gardening and food is the last thing on my mind...He'll....."Hey baby when we gonna eat!" If he knows like i do, he better go in there and rustle up somethin' from that kitchen if he's going to eat tonite!! Especially when its SPRINGTIMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!
When we 1st bought the house about 18yrs ago. I started planting my flowers; and i was so proud of them! I asked my DH what he thought of them. He looked at my flowers and said rather matter-of-factly......"I dont care if we just have grass. All these years later, over the course of the summer; we'll be visiting in someones backyard and he'll remark when we get home....." I didnt like their yard at all,it looked crappy,and they dont have NOTHIN"! Ours is wayyyy better than Anybodies I've seen" I guess thats a compliment.
I rather enjoyed the post about the yard "looking snakey" I thought that was hilarious!!!
Oh and my all time favorite,"What happened to those big red pretty flowers you had?" Oh.. i remarked,"feeling PROUD> those were MY TULIPS! She asked me Whats a tulip?" This is from a woman that was about 47yrs old. As i stood there with my mouth agape, she asked "Will they bloom again?" I was able to respond and said "Not until next year" she screwed up her face and said "Is THAT ALL!!"
Well thats my bit. Hope someone else stumbles upon this thread, and gets as much-of-a-kick out of it as i did!!!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 11:46AM
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pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)

"Ohh! Nice garden, wanna come over and do mine?"

Smile sweetly and say......You couldn't afford me. ;)


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 9:42PM
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"My landscaper does a better job."

Well, LaDeDa!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 9:42AM
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Oh, yeah, the comments here are funny. I have neighbors who don't get it either.
One who's always wanting me to do her whole yard because she doesn't want to get dirty and she doesn't want to water either. She like all my flowers, but doesn't want to learn or help. I finally told her, pay me or stop asking. She stopped asking.
Another neighbor likes to park out in the yard to watch me work and says, you make me tired, why do you do that all the time? Duh, I like to do it, why do you sit on your *** all day and don't ever do anything?
Most people that walk by, always have nice things to say, and enjoy the progression each season, so it's nice to hear those compliments.
I have another neighbor who waters his few plants in the heat of the day, and wonders why his plants look awful. I've told him and told him, but he just isn't catching on. My hubby says, you'd think he would catch on, seeing you water early in the morning, but I guess not.
I just shake my head and go on. I feel sorry for his plants though.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 6:35AM
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One of my neighbors does all his own gardening & yard work.

One day a new Cadillac went by, & the driver slowed down, stopped, backed up, & rolled down the window.

The driver stuck his head out the window & asked,
"Say, fella, do you do this whole place yourself?"


"You do a nice job. How much do they pay you?"

"Well, sir, they don't exactly pay me, but I do get to sleep with the lady of the house."

Cliff said he never had realized a Cadillac could zoom...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 9:47AM
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Ah, this thread is making me giggle!

My husband and I havenÂt been in our new house long enough to get many funny comments about our gardens. The neighbors are mostly still commenting about how the previous owners had let the yard go all weedy. Though I did get some funny reactions from a neighbor who is a gardener. In one conversation, I casually mentioned my ongoing duel with the poison ivy, and she got this feral gleam and went on about the evil awful poison ivy; and in another conversation I mentioned that we were starting a vegetable garden, and she got the same wild look in her eyes and went on about how the wildlife here will level our vegi beds if we donÂt put up a fence. (I declined to point out that we grew a single row of tomatoes, cukes, herbs, and eggplant the previous Summer, and despite the lack of fence or chemical, we got a lovely little crop.) Everything she said was thoroughly good-natured though, which made me happy all over, so I hope to get to know her better. :)

I think it helps that IÂm already deeply used to being an oddball. IÂm A. an artist, professionally, and I knew it was art or bust since I was very young; and B. my job is to make computer games. IÂve been hearing ignorant comments about these topics since long before I chose my profession. Years ago I realized that the best way to deal with the goofy layman misconceptions is to cheerfully tell them all they care to hear about the reality of what I do, without getting defensive or irritated by their forgivable lack of first-hand knowledge.

With any luck, my yard will start looking "snakey" in a few years!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 10:20AM
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gardenerbythelake(z7 N AL)

Maybe funny rather than irritating: Some new people moved up the road from us and remarked to their nearest neighbors(who we happened to know) "That old man & old woman down at the end of the street are out in that yard every Saturday" - did I mention that we live 'down at the end of the street'.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:21PM
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I have only been gardening for about four or five years so maybe I still don't get it. I have always taken the "You can come do my yard next" comment as a compliment and it always makes me feel good...especially in the current state of my landscape.

Then again I always feel sort of awkward talking to people face to face so I relate with some of what would be considered odd-ball comments. I want to make an effort to show interest and appreciation for what others do. I may not know what they are doing specifically but I know what hard work and effort looks like. Awkwardness and ignorance can make for an interesting introduction. And rarely do you see human beings walk up and say, "Hi! You look like you would be an interesting person to talk to. Care to have a conversation?". No matter what stupid thing might come out of my mouth, that is usually all I meant.

" way to deal with the goofy layman misconceptions is to cheerfully tell them all they care to hear about the reality of what I do...."

This is pretty much how I see it. Those who are truly interested will enjoy the conversation. Those who are not are not likely to ask a superficial question in the future.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 3:27PM
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terrene(5b MA)

LOL, I love this thread! Thought of more to add since my last post.

Several years ago, I dated a neighbor who lived down the street a few times. Attractive, never married, wealthy, cultured, etc., a single woman's dream right? I was very interested at first but that interest died a little more with each date, when it became abundantly clear we weren't compatible. One day I was out gardening and he drove by and stopped to chat. He said "You look like a farm lady." Well excuse me, if I don't dress in designer clothes and heels to garden!

I live in an area that is affluent and many people hire landscapers to do their yards. One day I was out gardening, and a lady walked by. She said "Are you the gardener?" Uh duh, don't see anybody else around doing any gardening, do you? I said "Yes" and she says "Good for you." Well gee, thanks for your approval, and BTW some people actually do their own gardens!

Then there's the nice neighbor lady who rides her bike by often. She is kind of a local activist. I usually like to chat a bit with her, she keeps me updated on town politics, but some days I am out in the garden to commune with the plants, not the neighbors! One day she stops by and starts going on and on about the possibility that the town will put in a sidewalk, and what about my garden, and 30 years ago this neighbor was mad they stopped the sidewalk down the street, blah blah blah. Help, I just went out to check the Gaillardia seedlings I planted!

Sometimes I literally hide when neighbors go by on the street. So glad the Norway maples were removed in back yard and now I'm making large new gardens. No neighbors back there!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 7:43AM
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This may not be hardly on the same theme as annoying comments about your gardening skills, but I just need to vent. For the past several years, job,family and not a very good location kept me from doing much gardening. always in the back of my mind was... someday and somehow I am going to return to a property that I had owned for years, and have a garden. During that time, friends that knew my dreams would give me startings from their gardens and family and friends would give me a plant for special occasions. If I found a plant I liked on clearance I would buy it. Dh had been told many times that instead of a vase of roses, I would much rather have a rose plant. My yard basically became a "holding place" for my dream. A year ago things finally fell into place, for this to happen. But first things,first-- the house had to have major renavations, and my mother had a stroke and was hospitalized for 5 months before passing away. Needless to say my dream had to move down my list of proierities. Since we still own the property, we had just moved from, I thought my "treasures" would be safe until I could get a chance to move them. Imangine how I felt when people would come up to me and ask what I was going to do with all my flowers since I had moved away. One person remarked " you"e got flowers I have never seen before". Well, I am moving them to a new "Holding place", and will eventually get them into the right spot. If I had anything I didn't want to move, I would like the liberty of deciding what to do with it-- trade it-- gift it-- or even compost it. I"m not a selfish person, I love to divide--- but I want to know when I finally find the right spot for a special plant that it will still be there for me and that someone has just not helped themselves to it. Sorry for the rant-- I"ve waited 15 years, and I just don't want to be rushed now! Janet

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:09AM
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Janet - We essential did the same thing, collecting plants to move to our new location and went through the same thing. With all we put into getting this house and moving, I had a small 8X10 greenhouse that I had to leave until we could afford to move it. We had people asking what we were going to do with the plants and the greenhouse. It's sort of a compliment that they wanted our things but what annoyed me was after telling them I was taking those things with me they would persist with, "Well, I was going to say.. if you were getting rid of it...". Well, I'm not so why keep trying to talk me out of my stuff? After too many queries it makes you worry about your things when you are not there to watch them. You know people get brave when they know nobody is actually living on a property.

I am glad we are past that now. The good news is that we managed to get everything here without it being messed with. I certainly feel your frustration though and hope you are able to get everything in place soon!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 2:29PM
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bekkilyn(NC: 7b - 8)

I'm new to gardening and right now, my yard looks like it's planted mostly with grass and weeds - I've lived here a year and have been spending more time thinking than doing. My main goal will be to get rid of as much of this grass as possible. I *hate* grass with a passion and this yard is full of it!

Anyway, I've had a number of creative hobbies and it seems like these types of comments are very universal to most who love their hobbies. The eyes glazing over, the not getting it, the implication that people are wasting their time, etc.

I think there are a number of people who just don't do anything that is creative or even don't have any hobbies at all whatsoever and interacting with them can sometimes be very frustrating. They are the type who believe that if you are not at work or out doing something "productive" or "fun" (in their eyes - partying, shopping, etc.) then you must not have anything to do and they are always asking "aren't you bored?"

I'm just fine with being thought of as an eccentric because I enjoy doing quiet, creative things with my free time.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 8:41AM
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When I'm out in flower garden watering new transplants,and cleaning the bird baths, neighbor will yell, its going to rain tomorrow. They don't understand that newly transplanted flowers need water and the bird baths need cleaned out every day.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 2:30PM
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Nobody said mine. The comments I get the most and HATE the most go like this: "You could sell the back half of your lot and then you wouldn't have so much to take care of." "You could put in a pool/gazebo/garage apt./barn and then you wouldn't have so much to mow." "Look at all this SPACE - what are you going to DO with it all?" "You could rent that back half acre and then it would be somebody else's problem to take care of."

SOME PEOPLE JUST DO NOT GET IT. Just so long as I don't have to live under their control...

The other part I hate is people who have to have "lawns." It rained for eight weeks straight this spring and the whole back yard couldn't be mowed (the lawm mower sank, the ground was so wet). So the grass grew...and grew... The land looked like a meadow; it was beautiful!!! But eventually things dried out, and my neighbor rented a walk-behind brush mower and thoughtfully did his yard and mine both.


I got used to being "different" when I was a kid, because I was a dairy farmer's daughter and I took care of noisy calves and weeded rows of peas and went fishing in the creek instead of watching TV and lounging by the swimming pool and spending hours on the phone. My friends thought farming was interesting but they didn't like getting dirty. Nobody understood where I was coming from then, and they still don't. They have no concept of how nice it truly is to grow your own food rather than pick it up nicely shrinkwrapped at the store.

Oh well.

Verdant Croft

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 7:13PM
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I too enjoyed this thread. How about what people DON'T say?
In the 20 plus years I have been building upon what a dedicated woman set up here in 1925, I have had folks visit for one reason or another and sit in the middle of almost 2 acres of shrubs, trees, paths and perennial gardens and not say a single word about the yard, as if they were in a windowless office.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 8:28PM
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I had to chuckle at your post about the designer clothes and heels simply because sometimes when I get home I am eager to get out to my times I don't even make it to the back door - I get out of the car and head straight to my yard and find myself tending to plants...and an hour or so into it I realize that I'm still wearing my stacks and that my neighbors must think I'm a looney trying to garden in heels!! LOL

I've gotten the water comment also - just because it's going to rain LATER doesn't mean some of my newly planted flowers or the birdbath doesn't need water NOW.

Gardening in the rain is not new to me. Glad I'm not the only one.

Husband gets irritated that I move plants around. He doesn't get it. He's waiting for me to be "finished" - LOL.

Generally I don't mind gardening comments and try to take them as a compliment when they come from non gardeners, but this one irritated me. I was told by a neighbor that I need more "color" in my back yard (I've only just begun with the back yard this year).

This is coming from a neighbor who removed EVERY tree and shrub in the back of their property, and without hardscaping they are left with nothing but flowering perennials and annuals. They have no winter/fall interest whatsoever, and the ONLY color they have is with their flowers.

The worst part is the reason they removed a beautiful shrub is because they needed to make room for seating for a party they were having that weekend. My husband and I just about fell over. The mature trees were replaced with
a mulched playground because "you have to do that when you have kids". The nearest playground is a block away!

You don't need annual and perennial "flowers" in every corner of your yard in order to introduce color into your landscaping!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:17AM
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I too was one of those who had no idea and said most of these remarks, I meant no harm. I have been educated in the error of my ways and work very hard to have that perfect garden we all strive for but never attain. So when I hear those remarks I just smile and say to myself, you have no idea do you.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 1:16AM
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This thread was too funny!!!

My best friend (whom I love dearly) told me the other day that I needed to stop doing manual labor because it's "icky". I guess she's right. Gardening is so much "ickier" than the cigarettes she smokes...

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:17PM
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