Thursday, April 23, 2009

Defining the "Next Generation Gardener"

I just started to send out email notifications to friends and colleagues about this new blog and I thought it would be appropriate to define and explain the title of this online journal, "THe Next Generation Gardener"

Seattle Times garden columnist, Val Easton, dubbed me as "a new generation of gardener...this child prodigy has grown into a horticultural omnivore whose keen knowledge and enthusiasms bode well for the future of Northwest gardening."

Pretty spiffy, eh? (Ha, my one opportunity to gloat and revel in the success and notoriety of being a horticultural celebrity. NOT!!)

It's actually A LOT to live up to. While I've enjoyed the praise and the attention, I still feel like I'm behind in some respects and lack certain skills and experiences. What needs more attention is the next generation of GARDENERS (not just me); those that can be exposed to nature and have a growing respect and understanding for the environment.

In my view, the next generation has to understand some, if not all, of the many different issues facing our environment. Whether it's sustaining our natural resources, conserving and preserving rare and endangered species, or improving our own personal health and livelihood by altering our wasteful ways: plants, flowers, and gardens are intrinsically linked to each one of those and now is the time for us to be informed about them because each of us can easily play a small role in making these changes to preserve our planet.

The goal shouldn't immediately be to shape the next avid plant snob. That may/will/should come later; however, the whole subject of plants has to appeal to the masses and from there, the true gardeners emerge.

As one of "the next generation", I would like to see technology playing a more direct and innovative role in relaying CLEAR & ACCURATE INFORMATION while keeping up the traditional "grunt work" that's involved in planting and caring for our landscapes. Gardening is a time honored tradition that will always be preserved. Being able to buy plants, dig and amend soil, plant, water, weed, prune, cut back, propagate, etc. is what makes gardening...GARDENING!! HELLO!!

No one sits on their ass to change the environment around them. Seriously!

I would like to see this up and coming generation of gardeners focus on adventurous, yet appropriate plant selections (both native and exotic), edible landscaping, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing design and public gardens.

It sounds daunting to some, but it really doesn't need to be a difficult and strenuous undertaking. Do a little here and there or make an effort to, at least stop by a local garden center and buy something "green", useful and beautiful.

Also, I think it's going to take a few "big names" to help catalyze this entire movement. More on this later...

So yeah, I'm a "NGG", yo!

Peace out! =P


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