This paper reports on the results of a study of peoples relationships with their gardens in California and Norway. This research project has involved ethnographic interviews which explore the meaning of everyday, common gardens. Several categories of garden meaning are identified including garden as a setting for creativity, a retreat from the outside world. A private activity, a social place, a connection to ones personal history, a reflection of ones personality, a productive landscape, a symbol of caring and as a declining landscape. The implications of the research on garden meaning for environmental design and research is discussed.