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Ok, so I played a fun game on Monrovia’s website where they tell you what kind of garden style you should have based on a brief personality profile. Unfortunately, they got me completely wrong. According to my answers, I would be happiest with a Zen Garden Style. The accompanying photos show a typical Japanese garden and the recommended plants are, not surprisingly, things like Japanese maple, Mugo pine, bamboo (eek!), and Japanese painted fern.

I’ve been to well-known public Japanese gardens in San Jose, San Francisco and Portland and each time thought, “Wow, this is really cool. This is really, um… Zen. It’s pretty, but I would never want a garden like this.” While I can appreciate the beauty and discipline and peacefulness of a Japanese garden, it’s just too damned perfect. I’d be happy if I had enough discipline to comb my hair every day, let alone my

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