I’ve been noticing the signs for a while now, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit the truth. It started innocently enough, an extra seed packet added to the shopping cart every once in a while, but it has escalated over the years. Now it might be getting out of control. My garden beds are full, my seed storage organizer is bursting at the seams, and yet, in my mind, there’s always room for more. I think it’s time to admit that I am a hoarderculturist.
Unlike horticulturists, who study the science and art of cultivation, I am a hoarderculturist, someone who accumulates plants…lots of plants. It’s true; I’m the type of gardener that garden centers adore! Unable to walk out those doors empty-handed, I must come home with a plant, or two, or five, whenever I visit. I imagine the employees snickering as they count all the money from my wallet that is now in their hands. I can almost hear them saying, “There goes another sucker,” as I walk away. I prefer to think of myself not as a sucker but as a hoarderculturist; it sounds better that way.
It gets worse in my garden beds. I started with one peony plant years ago and fell head over heels in love with it. Now, years later, I have SEVEN different peony cultivars growing in my aptly named “Peony Bed.” I’ve come to accept that resistance from all the fantastic peony cultivars is futile. They come in so many different colors, bloom types, and leaf shapes. How can a gardener defy their allure? This gardener can’t because she’s a hoarderculturist.
Unfortunately, it’s not just peonies that have earned my affection. Depending on the year, or shopping trip, it could be tomatoes, dahlias, natives, or any other number of species that happen to catch my eye. When I find a plant I like, I go all in. “One is good, but several are better” seems to be this hoarderculturists motto.
As a hoarderculturist, I am not immune to the latest and greatest trends in the plant world. When I read a book on dahlias, see a beautiful photo of ranunculus, watch a video on planting saffron, and hear a fellow gardener mention their success with a vegetable, I want to grow them all. It seems that if a plant reaches any of my five senses, if I see it, smell it, hear about it, touch it, or taste it and love it, then I want to grow it!
If I run out of space in my garden beds, I expand, and if I grow too much, I share. There always seem to be solutions to aid my obsession with plants. I know I have a problem, will now be the first to admit it, but regardless of its few pitfalls (ahem, my wallet), is it that bad of a dilemma to have?
When I grow my many plants in my garden beds, I provide food for pollinators and our plates, a refuge for wildlife, and beauty in the landscape that makes people, including me, smile. Hmmm, I think I’ve convinced myself that being a hoarderculturist isn’t so bad after all. In fact, maybe I should buy more plants.