Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Gardening

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 

GARDENING

gardeningDescription: having a knack for cultivating and tending plants. Gardening can be a personal hobby or a professional career. It is an activity that can be done in solitude or in teams, in rural or urban areas.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: flexibility, dexterity, physical strength

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: patience, being environmentally conscious, creativity, meticulousness, organization, being observant

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: Gardening is typically associated with farmers and with elderly women in wide-brimmed hats puttering away in their backyards. But this hobby can be done just about anywhere these days; if you’re looking to modernize the experience, there are many advances in gardening that you can tap into: hydroponics, vertical gardening, aquaponics, container gardening, rooftop gardening, guerrilla gardening, community gardening, etc. Gardens don’t have to consist of just fruits or vegetables, either. You can fill your character’s plot with whatever fits the needs of your story, like flowers, herbs, poisonous shrubs, carnivorous plants, weird hybrid varieties, etc.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • An apocalyptic scenario where food is scarce
  • An emergency where one’s knowledge of medicinal plants could mean the difference between life and death
  • When a stress outlet is needed for a character
  • The aftermath of a traumatic event, where gardening might be therapeutic
  • A scenario where the unique items one grows are vital to a person’s or community’s survival
  • A scenario where the by-products of a garden are vital to the plot line (bees, butterflies, pollen, etc.)

Resources for Further Information:

Garden.org

The Urban Farming Guys

Hobby Farms

You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.

 

Image: Goiwara @ Pixabay

About BECCA PUGLISI

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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12 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Gardening

  1. Actually rented a house once where every plant looked like it belonged in a witch’s garden.

  2. ice says:

    Thank you for sharing. I like gardening. It helps reduce stress

  3. Rosi says:

    This is a really neat skill to flesh out a character. I would have to use a lot of imagination, though, since I have a very black thumb. 8-{

  4. I like this. I gave one of my main characters a cooking hobby. His family’s really BIG in their village for being the chefs others go to during celebrations. I just love that he does something so simple, yet complicated. It makes them more alive to give them traits like this.

    • This is an area of character development that sometimes we can skimp on, but figuring out a talent or skill that’s unique and meaningful to the character’s world and their journey is one of the easiest ways to make them feel real and compelling, isn’t it?

  5. Lisa Buie-Collard says:

    Brilliant post! Thanks for sharing… BTW, I love to garden…

    • I like the idea of gardening, lol. But whenever I try, it doesn’t turn out well. What I’m finding interesting about these skills and talents entries is the vast variety there are of each. I mean, I think ‘gardening’, and I imagine flowers or vegetables in a backyard. But modern gardening has expanded to include so many cool innovations so gardening can take place in unorthodox places with unusual methods. There are so many ways we can include various skills or talents and they don’t have to look the way we would anticipate them to look.

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