Guide to Horti-guiding, Part 2

Let’s review.

Horti-guiding is when an Eccentric Gardening Guide (EGG*), also known as a horti-guide, takes a Less Experienced Gardener (LEG) under her (or his) wing and shows them how to garden.

The EGG (horti-guide) shows the LEG how to turn compost, screen compost, weed, edge, hoe, mulch, mow, etc. and then, and this is the best part, the EGG (horti-guide) allows the LEG to practice these new found skills in the EGG’s (horti-guide’s) garden.

Once the LEG finishes all the work learns these lessons, they may think they are ready to be an EGG, too, but they aren’t. They must first be taught some advanced gardening lessons, including:

- How to sit in the garden and enjoy it. (This assumes that the EGG (Horti-guide) has mastered this herself (or himself). It’s not easy! You may want to start with sitting for just five minutes before jumping up to pull a weed, deadhead a flower, or if you are a garden blogger, chasing after some bee, butterfly or metallic green insect trying to get a close up picture of it.)

- How to eat the first ripe tomato of the season, observing the proper rituals of the first tomato with appropriate reverence.

- How to deter rabbits with plastic cutlery.

- How to pronounce botanical names. (The secret, of course, is to pronounce the name with confidence and no one will correct you. They will simply think they were wrong, because you are just so confident in how you say it.)

- How to conquer any fear of insects or worms.

Once they’ve learned these lessons, the LEG should have a good start on their journey to becoming a good EGG.   But it is just a good start. It will still take years for the LEG to actually become an EGG, but the journey, the time, the lessons, the hard work, are all very much worth it.

Just ask any EGG.

*EGG is a dual use acronym. Some gardeners are simply Eccentric Gardening Geeks and do not wish to be Eccentric Gardening Guides. That's perfectly all right, but these EGGs (the geek ones) should remember that LEGs are watching them from afar and learning from them, nonetheless.  So really you can use EGG (the geek one) and EGG (the guide one) interchangeably.  And yes, of course, guides are geeks, too, so don't worry if you become an EGG, you don't have to give up being an EGG, and vice versa.  (These dual use acronyms are tricky, aren't they, sort of like trying to stand an egg, a real chicken egg, up on its pointy end.  Just don't try to do that with EGGs.)


  1. I'm most probably a LEG without an EGG. I think I need to master how to sit in the garden and enjoy it. I can do 5 mins easy with my breakfast and post-dinner coffee in hand. What is my target? ;-P

  2. Very funny post with a bit of hard truth to it. I enjoyed.

  3. How to sit in the garden and enjoy it - a lesson still not learned after many years, but worth trying!

  4. I have found that 'Mastering the Art of Garden Sitting' takes times. Start with just two minutes and increase the time as you master the previous time. I would be happy to continue my training while an LEG weeds.

  5. I need to Master the Garden Sitting and feel very comfortable with you as my EGG...I think; you don't rest much either it seems ;~\

  6. Very funny post! I wonder how many more lessons I need to take to pass my LEG status

  7. I need an LEG in in my nursery display gardens, any volunteers?, and have actually had a few over the years. All kidding aside, I was an LEG myself when I was just starting out. There is no better way to learn about plants and gardening than working with an experienced gardener in their garden. Your approach to botanical names is very sound. I use it myself (don't know about the plastic cutlery).

  8. How to sit in the garden & enjoy it is a very difficult lesson. I've yet to master this skill, but I've made great strides. I must figure out how to help my personal LEG, the girl, conquer her fear of insects. Wish us luck.

  9. I can attest to the fact that if you try to stand me on my pointy end... I will fall over.

    'Course, I tend to do that anyway.....


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