The Boomer Boys of Gardening


Ever notice how many people we write about here are guys from a certain era, that grand old ePauljames_1ra that produced the Baby Boom?  I didn’t think so, but I’ve sure as hell noticed because there are my people.  I give you:

Paul James, HGTV’s "Gardener Guy".  No link for Paul – this isn’t his medium – but that doesn’t stop his many fans from finding him on my blog and leaving little notes to him there.  So Paul, with your hectic schedule, do you still have time to play theGrahamrice guitar? 

Graham Rice, (right) everyone’s favorite transatlantic blogger, award-winning writer, etc.  And still bearded afterDouggreen_1 all these years – yes!

Doug Green, (left) who first came to my attention through his angry post-Katrina rant against stupid environmental policies.  Still protesting after aMcgrath_2ll these years.

Mike McGrath, (right) still dispensing "fiercely organic advice," having pioneered it since his hippie days, which from the looks of him, continue to this day.  Takes home the prize for Most Interesting Resume for his stint as editor of Marvel Comics.

Avent_1Tony Avent, (left) America’s most eccentric nurseryman and plant explorer, ranter extraordinaire.  There’s proof galore on his superb Plant Delights site, including sHinkleycores of worthy articles and even "Meet Our Cats." 

Dan Hinkley, (right) another nurseryman and plant explorer who follows his passion to the ends of the earth.

SwainRoger Swain, TV host , who’s made the Amish hippie-hort-geek look his own.

Brent Heath, (right, with Becky) who rejected everything he was taught inHeath_2 business school and went home to grow bulbs and marry the perfect woman.  Together they created the perfect bulb company.  Staying true to yourself has never looked so good or worked out so well.

Thompson_1 John Peter Thompson, (left) another Boomer raised in the plant business, Behnkes Nurseries, and a close second to Avent for that "most eccentric" title. Lectures on not just horticulture but "The History of England’s
Plantagenet Family" and
"Indo-EEdkids_1uropean Historical Linguistics." 

Ed Bruske, (right) another local-to-me example, is a food writer, caterer, creator of a cool school garden, and Master Gardener provocateur.  (Full report coming soon).

And laRenegade_1st but far from least, Renegade Gardener  Don Engebretson is a long-time fave of the GardenRanters.  So much so that after reading his recent article about us you’ll be saying "Get a room!"

So what DID they put in the water back in the days of that post-war frenzy of unprotected copulation that produced this outstanding bunch?  No matter – just bring it back!


  1. Thanks for this wonderful post. Paul James is my favorite “gardening guy. ” He has such a great sense of humor and his approach to teaching others is an inspiration, especially to beginners.

  2. Great to be in such sparky company…!

    The beard… has come and gone and returned over the years and it’s varied from Irish-folksinger-bushy to designer stubble. The ponytail is long gone. Unless…? No – I’d really rather not be turfed out to sleep in the shed.

  3. Not sure what I did to rate inclusion in such a distinguished group, Susan, but if this means I am becoming more of a hippy radical in my own age, thanks. I think I’m just rediscovering my youth through plants…

Comments are closed.