Gardener? Watch Your Mouth!


Saxon Holt reports on Gardening Gone Wild about his visit  to the California Pack Trials, a strangely-named event that is all about seeing the new plants that the trade is rolling out to the market.  Don’t miss his photos, and check out his second post on the subject, too. And yes, Saxon, we are definitely interested in seeing "the nearly soft porn photo of two young women embracing with geranium necklaces."  If you’re not gonna post it on your site, send it over here. 

This is the line that really got my attention:

The industry
is not catering to the gardener who wants a few sixpacks of a carefully
chosen annuals. The industry is selling color to homeowners who want to
accessorize their living space. One marketing person was heard to tell
a retail nurseryman that they risk insulting their customer by calling
them a gardener.

Yeah, don’t you dare.  They’re not gardeners; they’re consumers.  Of…uh…lifestyle accessories.


  1. Nearly every time I stop at a “garden center” I am mistaken by the consumers there as one of the store employees. Probably its my scruffy-looking fingernails. We gardeners do sometimes get caught up in consumption (hybrid non-invasive oenothera!??!) but actually growing the plants brings us back to our senses.

  2. hmmm. I feel speechless which is not normal for me. I am a gardner and very proud of it. I buy and plant what appeals to me, doing so in my grubby clothes. I will never come close to looking like the woman in the picture. I think I will stick to my local garden center and do my own thing on my own time in my own way. There is snow in the forecast for this weekend. I am depressed.

  3. JT, me, too! Without tips from a magazine (Gardeners Wear Daily perhaps?) somehow I know exactly what to wear to profess my love of the craft: well-worn jeans with soiled knees and old T-shirts.

    Gardener and gardening are not four-letter words, for crying out loud (but diet is).

  4. The garden *industry* can’t afford to cater to real gardeners. Even though we spend a lot, we are relatively few in number, and don’t spend as much as the gated-community set paying a service to do the work for them. We also don’t buy enough “heavy” equipment: lawn tractors, oversized gas grills, leaf blowers, lah-di-dah patio furniture sets and the like.

    Yes, superb specialty nurseries and suppliers can and do cater to our interests, but some of those nurseries barely provide a living for the proprietor, much less any sense of financial well-being. Many of the finest nurseries are hobbies that just got too big to be hobbies any longer. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m eternally grateful to specialist nurseries for sending me wonderful plants to watch and grow.

    But let’s face it: *industries* are about PROFIT, and we gardeners simply can not and will not generate the profits any industry requires. Nor should we–gardening is an art, a passion, a calling, a talent, an entertainment and an expression of ourselves and our humanity.

  5. “Accessorize” their “living space?” Don’t tell me, let me guess — they “accessorize” with “plant material,” yes?

    And what, pray tell, is the difference between selling sixpacks of “carefully chosen annuals” and “selling color to homeowners?”

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