Do You Know Any Haughtyculturists?

“The haughtyculturist is a good name for the kind of person who is as terrified of growing last year’s roses as is a woman of being seen in last year’s hats.” From Of Flowers and a Village by Wilfrid Blunt

Do you know a haughyculturist? The kind of gardener who has to have the most current flower varieties and would actually prefer if they were the only gardener they knew who had those flowers?

They would surely think my little woodland violet was just a common weed.

Of Flowers and a Village is a novel about a retired gentleman who buys an old house and garden in a small village in England and then works on restoring the garden while learning about all his neighbors in the village. Blunt told the story, such as it is, through letters written by a godfather to his goddaughter. Each letter includes tidbits on gardening, plants, and horticulture and that’s really the whole point of the book for me. The story of the people in the village is secondary to the gardening info. It’s a “good read”, though I think, I know some of the humor and plant references are lost on me.

But I did take notice of this bit about haughyculturists.

I knew a haughtyculturist. She was a member of a garden club I was in a few years ago at the turn of the century (Ha, that sounds like it was a long time ago!) I don’t know why she bothered with us ‘mere mortal gardeners’. Her garden, from her description, must have been the best one for miles around. But I don’t know that for sure as I declined her invitation to have members of the garden club come out and see it.

I much preferred visiting the gardens of members who were a bit shy about showing their gardens, which were all wonderful places, with many tried and true flower varieities.

Please don’t ever be a haughyculturist. Grow whatever flowers you like and don’t worry that your flowers aren’t the latest and greatest varieties.


  1. Pam @ Digging says:

    I don't know a single one, thank heaven. Certainly none of the Austin bloggers I've met falls into that category.

  2. I have met a few haughtyculturists. They all belonged to a garden club, the same one. I think it was a game to see who could be the haughtiest. They had no patience with anyone not doing what they thought was "in". 'Red" this year, or 'succulents' for the patio this summer etc. Who had the best designer for their garden and if you did something on your own heaven forbid. Their world would stop rotating I am sure.

    Luckily I don't have to deal with them.

  3. I have a 2007 rose from J&P....

    I hope that doesnt make me a haughtycilterist!!

  4. "The kind of gardener who has to have the most current flower varieties and would actually prefer if they were the only gardener they knew who had those flowers?"

    Ummmm ...

    What was the question?!

  5. Actually, seeing the same rare plant in another person's garden can be a kind of bonding experience rather than a stratifying one - in the same way you can be pleased to see a person at the park who is reading the same book you are reading.

    From your description, reading Of Flowers and a Village sounds like fun, Carol!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. I really do not know any of these gardeners. But of course most of my off line friends aren't gardeners. My family share plants and don't really care or know about all the new plants.

  7. That's one reason why I've avoided garden clubs. They seem to be more about clubbing than gardening.

  8. I've run into a few haughtyculturists ( love that term ! ) in my time .

    I admit to keeping my eyes on the 'perennial of the year ' but only if it's hardy and long blooming for my small garden.

    There's a very haughty garden club in Chicago that I've had some contact with and like entagled said " they seem to be more about clubbing than gardening. "

  9. I wish I actually knew people who even cared about gardening, other than my on-line gardening friends. I can safely say that I don't know any haughtyculturist.

    Most people I know, if they garden at all, just plant the tried and true simple flowers, which is what I have also done.

    Thanks to garden bloggers I'm becoming familiar with so many plants that have previously been unfamiliar to me.

  10. I haven't run into any haughtyculturists yet, and I hope it stays that way. It certainly doesn't seem like a very fun way to garden!

  11. I don't know any "haughtyculturists" as I don't move in those rarified circles. Most of the gardeners around here that I know are prairie plant proponents. Although, I suppose, there is a certain snobbery in being able to grow a native orchid or a fussy native gentian.

  12. Pam/digging... I agree, non of you Austin garden bloggers are haughty, not even a little bit.

    Lisa at Greenbow... Those sound like some very haughty gardeners!

    Nickie... But I bet you have older roses, too, so you aren't haughty.

    Xris(Flatbush Gardener)... Are you telling us you might be a haughty gardener??

    Annie in Austin... yes this book is a fun read, and I agree, finding out you have plants in common with another gardener is bonding.

    Curtis... you are better off not knowing any haughtyculturists!

    Entangled... Clubbing, hmmmm. Maybe that's why I left the one I was in?

    Carolyn Gail... I hope when you ran in to a haughtyculturist that you ran the other way.

    Robin's Nesting Place... I've learned a lot about some new flowers through bloggers, too.

    Colleen... it doesn't sound like a very fun way to live, either.

    Mr. McGregor's Daughter... Unfortunately, in some locales, haughtyculturists aren't all that rare.

    Thanks all for the comments and kind words,

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  13. This years roses' roses only haughtyculturalists....yes I have come across some though I suspect they mean well ....even if they think that anyone who grows common iceberg roses, roses which make up a third of nursery rose growing sales here, is beyond help LOL.

    Extolling the virtues of hybrid and floribunda is always fun to do when you come across one and it is a civic duty to all gardeners.

  14. EEEEEYEWWWWW....I too have run into haughtyculturists (beautiful word, perfectly describing them); they love to throw out last year's plant because this year's is newer. darker, more floriferous, etc. And they look down their noses, as you say, at the choices of others.

    A pox on their houses (and on their fancy plants.) You know my mantra; bloom where you're planted with what gives you joy. I love old plants. I love (some) new plants. I suffer plant lust and plant envy over those I want and those I can't grow. But I would NEVER, EVER be a haughticulturist. And you can all kick me in the butt if I ever come across that way!

    Carol, dear so rock! This is another of your stellar posts.

  15. >>> The kind of gardener who has to have the most current flower varieties and would actually prefer if they were the only gardener they knew who had those flowers?
    >> Ummmm ... What was the question?!
    > Xris(Flatbush Gardener)... Are you telling us you might be a haughty gardener??

    I admit to the plant collectors' pleasure in acquiring something rare and unusual, and that I seek out such plants. I already have several "I'm the only one I know" kinds of plants. Not that I believe I am the only one; I got them from someone else, after all.

    I think my haughtiness stops there. I hope so. I deign to plant daffodils in tree-pits, and I preach the gospel of compost, so I think I'm good.

  16. I think you can pursue the rare and unusual for your collection because you are so passionate about that particular plant, and still not be a haughtyculturist (what a delicious word). That particular beast is all about superiority and class and show.

    I am a passionate collector of narcissi, have dozens of different kinds. I love to show them off and give them away while they are blooming in bouquets to all and sundry. But I have plenty of all the more "common" stuff too, and love it just as much. I don't pursue the newest variety of daffodil mostly because I usually can't afford it and there are still so many I don't have. By the time I get around to two-years-ago's newest, it has come down in price.


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