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50 gardening and plant idioms

Gardening and plant idioms

Here we have a list of 50 gardening and plant idioms. There are in (a sort of) alphabetical order of the first word in the idiom.

Bark up the wrong tree – This means to waste your time doing something that will never give results.

Beat around the bush – People do this when they avoid talking about the main topic of conversation and do not get to the point.

A Bed of roses is a place or situation that is very easy or trouble free.

Bushed –  if you feel bushed you are exhausted

To cherry-pick is to choose the best things from a number of options in an unfair way. For example, a person may cherry pick information to use in their favour for an argument or opinion.

If you can’t see the wood for the trees, you are focusing on small details of something without seeing the bigger, more important picture.

Dig (something) – If you dig something you like it.

To dig some dirt up on somebody is to look for negative or bad information about them.

Dig up – This can mean to search or look for something.

Everything in the garden is ˈlovely/ˈrosy is an expression meaning that all is well and good.

Everything is rosy – as above

Flowery speech – This describes using lots of beautiful words, often without real meaning or substance.

a wheelbarrow on a garden path

Garden variety describes something that is common and not in any way special.

Garden/Gardening Leave – This is to be off work while still getting fully paid.

To go to seed is to become unattractive or run down because no care is taken.

Grow like a weed – This means to grow quickly and is often used to describe children.

Grassroots – This can be the origin of something or the common people in a large group.

A Green thumb to have or be one is to be good at or love gardening. It is also said as green fingers.

To Hear (Something) Through the Grapevine is to hear it informally from friends or acquaintances.

In a nutshell, describes the summary or whole point of something. It can be used to describe something using very few words.

In season – A point of time in a year when something is abundant or at its peak.

In spades – If you have something in spades, you have a lot of it.

Kick the bucket – This means to die.

A Late bloomer is a person who becomes successful late in their lifetime. It is also used to describe a teenager who develops physically later than others.

lead (someone) down the garden path – If you do this to someone, you lie or deceive them.

a field of red roses

Lose your gourd – This means to lose your mind or go crazy.

Money doesn’t grow on trees – This expression simply means that money is not easy to come by.

Nip it in the bud – this means to stop something at an early stage before it gets bigger.

Olive branch – you extend or offer this you try to make peace in a situation or argument.

To Plant one on somebody is to either kiss them or punch them.

To plant a seed is to start something in the hope it will grow to something much bigger in the future.

If you plant one on somebody, you are either giving them a kiss or a punch.

To plant something on someone is to put something illegal on them or something they own.

Pushing up the daisies refers to something or someone that is dead.

To put down roots is to establish something or to make a place your home.

To put someone to bed with a shovel is to kill and bury them.

To Rake in something is to get a lot of it. This is commonly used when talking about money.

If you rake someone over the coals, you get angry and reprimand them very strongly.

green leaves from above

To reap what you sow means to get something bad from previous actions.

To root for something or someone is to support them and hope they are successful.

Seed money is money to start a new business or venture.

To shake like a leaf is to physically shake or tremble a lot because of fear or cold.

A shrinking violet is used to describe a very shy person who is not self-confident.

To shovel in your food is to put a lot in your mouth and eat very quickly.

To sow a/the seed of doubt is to give someone the idea of failure that they didn’t have beforehand.

To Stop and smell the roses is to stop in your busy life and enjoy small things. It can also mean to appreciate things that are usually not given attention.

The last straw is the final thing that makes a person lose control of their anger.

A thorn in your side is something that irritates you or causes you trouble.

To turn over a new leaf is to make a new beginning or a fresh start and behave in a better way.

A wallflower is a shy or unconfident person who doesn’t take part in social activities.

Related activities

If you enjoyed the gardening and plant idioms, have a look at the gardening conversation questions.


A view looking up in a forest
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