Garden humour

Your Garden Is an Expression of your Personality

Larry Hodgson has published thousands of articles and 65 books over the course of his career, in both French and English. His son, Mathieu, has made it his mission to make his father’s writings available to the public. This text was originally published in Le Soleil on October 22, 1994. Although I have serious doubts about the scientific basis of this article, who doesn’t love a good personality test?

Everyone has his or her favorite colors… and we know that the choice of these colors is indicative of your personality. These preferences are also evident in gardeners who use the colors that attract them most… and so reveal, without necessarily wanting to, their personality.

colour samples

According to Leatrice Eiseman, a specialist in the effect of color on people at the Pantone Color Institute in New Jersey, the human brain is programmed from birth to associate colors with emotions.

Yellow, for example, stimulates cheerfulness and red tends to make the heart beat faster. On the other hand, the color/emotion association is not fixed: we can easily come to associate a color with any situation, because of a traumatic experience, for example. In most cases, however, humans associate the same colors with the same emotions… and it becomes possible to guess their personality by the color associations they choose.

Your Personality Type

What do the colors in your garden say about your personality? Here are some examples:

yellow and red gaillarde
Do you like warm colors like this gaillardia? You may have a “type A” personality. Photo: Ali Eminov,

Your Garden Is Made Up of “Warm” Colors

Bright yellows, brilliant reds, intense purples. You like contrasts: the flowers you choose are often colorful. Some of your favorite flowers: blanket flowers, bicolored tulips, oriental poppies.

Analysis: You have a “type A” personality. You want to have everything… and right away. You live intensely, without wasting a minute. Your loved ones tell you that you work too hard… but you don’t listen to them, because you’re always right!

lilac coloured columbine flower
Do you like soft, fresh colours like this columbine (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium)? You have a “Type B personality”. Photo: AnnaKika,

You Like Multicolored but Soft and Fresh Compositions

Pale blue, green, pink, lilac, often separated by white or pastel shades. You may use a few strong colors—yellow, red, etc.—in your garden.—but they are never placed side by side. Some favorite flowers: columbine, meadow rue, forget-me-not.

Analysis: You have a “type B personality”. You are quiet, peaceful, gentle. Your garden is a place of rest, a haven of peace and tranquility. You go there to get away from stress… and you like to lounge in your garden more than anything else. Use circles and curves in your design instead of squares and straight lines: you’ll be happier for it.

sweet peas and daisies
Your favourite flowers are sweet peas and daisies? You’re such a romantic! Photo: Alwyn Ladell,

You Like Everything Pink, Peach, Mauve and Cherry

Your garden is a combination of colours that are quite similar, but with enough contrast to highlight each one. Some favorite flowers: rose, daisy, sweet pea.

Analysis: You are such a romantic! Anything to do with love blows your mind. Don’t forget to set up a little bench in a cozy corner of your yard where you can spend your summer reading romance novels and love poems!

mix of pink, red, orange and white flowers
Do you prefer only flowers in your plant beds, like this mix of Cosmos ‘Purity’ and ‘Sensation’ with Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’? You’re a people person. Photo:

Only Flowers in My Garden!

They blend happily together haphazardly, creating contrasts and harmonies. Your preference is for oranges, reds and yellows with a few touches of white to soften them. Some favourite flowers: cosmos, narcissus, rudbeckia.

Analysis: You are the typical socialite. You’d go out every night if the opportunity arose… and even at work, you’re most often found in a situation where human contact is important. You don’t like to be alone… and probably even share your passion for gardening with someone else.

aconite flowers
Just purple in your garden? You’ve got the soul of a designer. Photo: Svetlana,

Purple, Purple and More Purple

Your garden is full of it, with just enough white and pink to let the purple of your soul shine through. Some favorite flowers: lupine, aconite, clematis.

Analysis: You have the soul of a creator, an artist. Chances are, you work in the arts or on the stage… or dream of doing so!

red, yellow and blue flowers
If you like primary colors in your garden, you have a child’s spirit. Photo: Dmitry Sobanin,

Red, Yellow, Blue

Your garden is full of bright, primary colours. It’s a fairy tale of contrasting hues… and the bigger the flower, the better. Other people may find your garden a bit too bright… but you love it! Some of your favourite flowers: sunflowers, decorative cabbage, tulips.

Analysis: You’re 10 years old or younger… or you’re a child at heart, for your garden is that of a young mind. A little naive, full of energy and a little mischievous, you are easily impressed by what surrounds you. You look at life with surprise and satisfaction: each day brings you something completely, yellow and blue flowers.

prison yard made entrelie of concrete
If your garden looks like this one, you don’t like gardening. How did you manage to read this far through the article? Photo: Steven Lek, Wikimedia Commmons.

You Don’t Have a Garden and Don’t Particularly Like Flowers

You prefer apartment life, surrounded by concrete. If you are forced to garden, you choose dark colours – dark purple, almost black, sometimes with a little orange as a contrast. Some favorite flowers: weeds, poison ivy, black tulips, dead branches.

Analysis: You have serious personality problems. Your neighbors think you’re strange… and you think they’re nosey. There’s no point in prolonging this description, because you don’t read gardening blogs anyway!

Originally published in Le Soleil on October 22, 1994.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

8 comments on “Your Garden Is an Expression of your Personality

  1. Mary L Discuillo

    I absolutely laughed out loud when I read the end with the cement. Very funny and very clever. My garden is mostly native and “wild” It grows exclusively for butterflies. I’m not sure where I fit in on the test but am always way to busy out there to enjoy it-guess that makes me a type a.

  2. Hmmm . . . Most of my garden is very simple, plain and utilitarian, with vegetables in strict rows, and fruit trees in a strict grid pattern. I waste minimal but important space on meaningful flowers that I have collected throughout my lifetime. If I were to choose flowers, which I very rarely do, they would be white. People are surprised by that, but that is how I do it.

  3. Well, I describe my eclectic color choices in the garden as a “happy mess”…which does, indeed, describe me. Thank you, Mathieu, for carrying on your father’s legacy as a gardener and writer.

  4. This post gave me a good chuckle as if any gardener can restrain themselves when it comes to using colours. I wonder what personality type you are if you like them all/

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  6. Meredith Royds

    Thanks for republishing this article; it made me smile. After reading each description, I have come to two conclusions: I am an ‘alphabet’ personality (some A, some B, etc…), and at my advanced age, I am really a 10-year old playing dress up! My gardens are planned eclecticism, surprising me each season with the evolving blend of colours they produce. Sometimes blues and lavenders dominate, sometimes stands of yellows brighten the spirit. But all of it brings me joy and peace.

  7. Jt Michaels

    Hmmn, what if we have different beds each featuring one of the described color combos? (No, I don’t have a therapist!)

    Big smiles, giggles and blessing Mr. Hodgson’s spirit. Surely he lives on!

  8. Shaunn Munn

    And if, despite your best efforts, you end up with a vast wasteland, like the last photo, you, like me, have a brown thumb. ??

    Thank God for the Larry Hodgsons of this beautiful world! ??????????????????

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