Here's one of my best photos from a recent Daffodil Show at the local public garden – which is to say, they're all crappy. There really IS no way to make daffodils look good displayed as they must be (I suppose) in a judged show.
Contrast that bit of ugliness with a sampling of the dozens of gorgeous scenes I spotted OUTDOORS in the very same garden on my recent visit, like those below. At the risk of infuriating flower-show devotees everywhere, can I meekly postulate that plants are more beautiful IN the garden? Flower shows just don't do it for me and never have. (Though I hasten to add that I admire the passion on display here, even if the display itself is lame to my eyes. In fact, the more obscure the plant group, the more I admire the passion it inspires in its fans. Carnivorous plants, anyone?)
Plant Societies Today
So, how ARE flower shows and the plant societies that put them on faring lately? Except for native-plant societies, which don't have shows at all, you don't hear much about them. These days, the spotlight is mainly on the growing of edibles, and it's hard for the even the latest and greatest in daffodils, hostas, or roses to get much attention.
I've tried researching the state of plant societies today and couldn't find a thing. So readers, help us out here. Are they dying off with the decline of older gardeners and rise of the young urban farmer, or holding their own? Do YOU belong to any plant societies, and if you do, why?