Future of Gardening

Hannon othonna@gmail.com
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 13:47:26 PDT

I too have witnessed the continual decline of various horticultural
societies in my lifetime. As far as passing the torch to younger
generations, ours is a hands-on past time that is merely augmented by the
wonders of the digital age. What is missing is a living experience for
young and old alike: seeing unusual flowers like *Phaedranassa* or *
Geissorhiza* up close and personal. Groups like PBS raise awareness above
the everyday experience of tulips and daffodils. These latter beauties are
in the mix of course but in my experience it is a particular and unique
flower that motivates a person to find greater depth in gardening or
collecting plants.

At some point the actions of teaching and learning must be able to pass on
what I like to call "living knowledge". It is the direct exchange of energy
between people, together with plants and knowledge, that keeps societies
going, including society at large. I once brought some unusual plants to a
5th grade classroom and the kids were delighted and amazed, especially with
plants that "protect themselves" with stinging hairs or spines. This made
it clear to me that what plants "do", their natural history and
relationships with man, are intrinsically bound together with horticultural
appeal. Bringing this experience to the students-- comfortable on their own
turf in the classroom-- I think was different from a field trip in
important ways.

Even modest numbers of growers sharing their botanical and horticultural
passion with kids in this way would accomplish a lot over the years. But
they need to witness what it is that gets us so motivated, whether tulip,
oxalis or *Paramongaia*. An opportunity to plant seeds or bulbs and take
them home could also inspire.



On 1 October 2012 12:21, Robert Pries <robertpries@embarqmail.com> wrote:

> I agree with everyone. Tulips, daffodils, Iris, what does it matter? The
> important point is to connect the young people with plants, animals, and
> nature in general.
> But Children are a long term project. We need to be working on them, but
> how do we get their parents involved? Or even those grandparents that seem
> a necessary key to the puzzle.
> These are questions I agonize over daily since I work as PR person for the
> American Iris Society. The stalwart venerable plant societies have
> generally been in decline for about 20 years, some less than others. It
> seems the older they are, the more they have declined.
> The internet has removed the need to join to discover sources, and learn
> about cultivation. Is the plant society a vanishing species?
> I keep hoping that if we bring plant societies into the digital age they
> will begin to prosper once again. I work as hard trying to make AIS and for
> that matter all plant societies prosper as I would at a full time paid job,
> maybe more so. But I hear many saying what’s the use, that the world is
> changing away from gardening. Is this true? I have seen all sorts of data
> that says gardening is the number one activity but the parameters often
> seem skewed. It seems if you plant a petunia or mow the lawn you are
> counted.
>  Although I argue continually against this decline, I sometimes have
> doubts. I am curious as to what this forum thinks about the prospects of
> gardening for the future. It a rainy day and maybe i am just down.
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list
> pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/list.php
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/

More information about the pbs mailing list