Home & Garden

Quiz: What's your garden personality?

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Quiz: What's your garden personality?

Find out what type of garden best suits you by taking our quiz. Simply write your answers down on a piece of paper and then when you are finished taking the quiz, add up the number of ones, twos, threes and fours you've selected to reveal the type of garden you should plant.

Which bouquet would you most love to receive?
1. A riot of seasonal extravagance -- roses, peonies, daisies, larkspur, etc.
2. A trio of tall calla lilies or bamboo stalks in a clear, unfussy container
3. A symmetrical arrangement of complementary pastel blooms
4. A spray of Prairie coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and wild rye

A fairy godmother grants you a week's vacation anywhere in the world. You choose:
1. A historic town house enclosing an elegant courtyard in Paris
2. A quiet retreat where you can rest, read and rejuvenate
3. A wilderness campsite in the nearest national park
4. Any place colourful, surprising and exotic for you to explore -- you'd love to be surprised

A favourite read since childhood is:
1. The Secret Garden
2. The Wind in the Willows
3. Little House in the Big Woods
4. A compilation of ancient Greek myths and legends

The decorative style you're most drawn to is:
1. Victorian
2. Arts and Crafts
3. Art Deco
4. Classical Greco-Roman

When decorating your home, your top priority is that it be:
1. Peaceful and calming
2. Well-ordered and sophisticated
3. Comfortable and welcoming
4. Practical and a natural fit for its environment

Your close friends would describe you as (be honest!):
1. Unconventional and a free spirit
2. Serene and centred
3. Precise and a perfectionist
4. Spontaneous and fun-loving

The aspect of gardening you most enjoy is:
1. Running riot at the nursery, planting lots of different things and watching them grow
2. Lovingly tending a few special plants until they are absolutely perfect
3. Planning every detail and showing off the perfect results
4. Watching the butterflies, birds and other wildlife that are drawn to your garden

Page 1 of 3 -- Complete our quiz and discover your garden personality on page 2

Whatever else is in your dream garden, it absolutely MUST have:
1. A pool or waterfall
2. Straight pathways and a statue or two
3. Grasses and birdhouses
4. Plots in which your children can grow whatever they like

Quite unexpectedly, you find yourself with a free afternoon. You:
1. Catch a new exhibit at an art gallery or museum
2. Go for a drive in the country, alone or with your partner or a friend
3. Call someone you'd love to see and invite her to a movie
4. Spend a few hours alone, writing in your journal

What style or genre of painting is your favourite?
1. French Impressionism (Renoir, Monet)
2. Primitive or folk art (Maud Lewis, Grandma Moses)
3. Modern abstracts (Mondrian, Miro)
4. Classical/Renaissance (Raphael, Da Vinci).

Who would feel most at home in your dream garden?
1. David Suzuki
2. Karen Kain
3. Leonard Cohen
4. Jann Arden

The rooms that you really belong in are:
1. Full of your favourite things, collections and memorabilia
2. Inspired by nature, with plenty of wood, pebbles and greenery
3. Well-ordered and harmonious
4. Uncluttered, but with one or two beautiful things

What do you like to include in your garden?
1. Sculptural, carefully chosen boulders and stones
2. Twig arbours, low fences or folk art picked up on family vacations
3. A split-rail fence or rustic bench
4. A classically inspired statue or birdbath

Which colour scheme appeals to you the most?
1. A palette comprising the colours found in nature: brown, green, gold, wheat, soft pink and blue
2. A monochromatic, sophisticated combination, such as purple and blue with white
3. Bright colours, such as reds, purples, yellows and pinks, in profusion -- they're so cheerful!
4. A dramatic statement of two or three colours: black and white, black and brown or grey and red

Calculate your score
Now add up the number of ones, twos, threes and fours you've selected, then click on Your perfect garden below to reveal the type of garden you should plant.

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Seven or more 1s:
An English cottage garden will satisfy your exuberant, try-anything-once nature. Not wanting to be bound by gardening "rules," you'll love the informal, sprawling beds; jumble of colours, heights and shapes; and meandering paths of gravel, stepping stones or old brick.

Plants: Inspired by the profuse and packed front gardens of old England, this style begs for classic English flowers -- forget-me-nots, daisies, delphiniums, foxgloves, hollyhocks, larkspur, marigolds, nasturtiums, pinks and climbing roses -- as well as rambling greenery, such as ivy. Vegetables and herbs were traditionally tucked between the ornamentals, so if you want a versatile garden for the whole family to enjoy, this is the style for you.

Care and upkeep: To keep weeds out, plant the perennials close together -- but leave some spaces so you can add annuals and vegetables each spring. Allow plants to spread onto pathways and annuals to self-seed, but water, weed and deadhead regularly, and divide perennials when necessary.

Seven or more 2s:
A Japanese landscape garden will surround you with the serene atmosphere, timeless feel and contemplative simplicity you yearn for. These Far East retreats feature spare, naturalistic plantings and stone, gravel or cedar-bark pathways, decorative boulders and fieldstone walkways. Ornaments and accents include carefully selected and situated stone lanterns, bamboo screens or lattices and weathered wood or stone benches. Trees are rigorously pruned to look ancient, gnarled and windswept. And water -- in a pond, fountain or simple stone trough -- is essential.

Plants: Rather than flowers, this style highlights the shapes and textures of foliage. Ornamental trees -- conifers such as pines and junipers, small deciduous trees including Japanese maples, willows and magnolia, and small fruit trees such as crabapple and cherry -- figure prominently. A wide variety of greenery -- including bittersweet and wisteria vines, ferns, hostas, ornamental grasses and reeds, as well as dramatic, simple flowers such as Japanese and Siberian irises and rhododendrons -- find a natural home in this style, as do water plants, such as water lilies.

Care and upkeep: After the plants are established, you won't need to do much maintenance, but you will need to exercise restraint. Take time to choose each tree, shrub and stone; in this spare landscape, each element is important. Consult books on Japanese gardens to learn about traditional layouts (even lanterns should be positioned just so), pond design and pruning techniques.

Seven or more 3s:
A French formal garden, with its hallmark precision, should fit you like a well-cut jacket. Marked off by clipped boundary hedges and dotted with topiary, this style is known for layouts that are geometrical and symmetrical. In these gardens you will also find fountains, stone birdbaths, straight pathways of brick or square-cut paving stones, wrought ironwork and classically inspired statuary.

Plants: Traditionally, hedges of boxwood and yew are planted along the edge of the garden or the beds. Low-lying shrubs or massed plantings of ground-hugging annuals are punctuated by architectural spikes of cedar or yew. While this style displays more foliage than flowers, some flowers (in well-disciplined colour schemes) are classic components: standard roses, peonies and herbs, densely planted in knot patterns.

Care and upkeep: First, you'll want a fence or hedge to contain and define your formal garden. Take your time planning, preparing and planting a symmetrical and geometrical design, then plant borders and accents, lay the paved paths and add focal points such as arbours, benches and statuary. You'll have to regularly clip, prune and water to maintain the well-tended order, but the good news is that the closely planted beds will help keep weeds to a minimum.

Seven or more 4s:
A free-spirited, no-fuss Canadian wildflower meadow should suit your laid-back, laissez-faire self. This increasingly popular style eschews flowerbeds, European-style statues and temperamental hybrids in favour of native wildflowers and grasses in a sunny, free-form site. Paths may be simple strips of mown grass. Split-rail fences and rustic birdhouses comprise the ornaments (if any) and self-seeding wildflowers bring in birds and butterflies.

Plants: Grasses, of course, are essential in a meadow; some Canadian classics are buffalo grass, Canada wild rye and Indian grass. Native flowers include black-eyed Susans, cardinal flowers, cinquefoil, columbine, joe-pye weed, purple coneflowers, coreopsis, lupines and tiger lilies. Don't forget plants that are interesting for their foliage, such as milkweed, pearly everlasting and wild bergamot. (To protect plants in the wild, purchase only nursery-propagated ones.)

Care and upkeep: While you may think that a "wild" meadow requires nothing more than neglect to get established, it will require some hard work. Begin by eliminating all turfgrass and weeds before you plant. Then, to help your plantings get started, you'll have to water and pull out weeds and any unwanted invasive imports through the first one or two growing seasons. Once they set down roots, however, native plants need very little help or watering and no pesticides, but the meadow may need annual mowing.

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Quiz: What's your garden personality?

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