Sunday, August 1, 2010

Catching Up...

Ok, so it's been a crazy past few weeks. I've tried to post random photos and stuff just to say that I'm alive and still at it. Man, blogs are a lot of work!

Here's sort of a lil' timeline of my activities, where each one could be a potential blog subject/entry!

1) With severe reductions in state and departmental budgets, a prominent and critical position from UW Botanic Gardens was cut. It was so unfortunate to hear of the news and it basically resonated with what's going on with Botanic Gardens across the nation.

I'll try and elaborate on my thoughts about this New York Times article, but it basically states that many botanical institutions are taking on a new direction that isn't really so plant focused, but instead, they're catering to the gardens as simply places to be for non-horticultural events.

Even with this transition, you'd think that they'd keep up a position that produces the plant collections as well as provide outreach programs to instill in youth the importance of our native plants and environments. Ugh, it got me quite down and really unmotivated to work.

2) I prepared for and attended for the first time the Perennial Plant Association annual symposium held in Portland, OR this year. I spoke on "Perennials for Tough Situations" and aside from a supposed disappointing review from a very well known and respected individual in horticulture who attended my presentation, the feedback from everyone else afterward was most encouraging. I took the time down there to spend with friends, colleagues, and visit gardens and nurseries I've never seen before and so thrilled to finally have now! Definitely more soon!

3) It's time to scale back a bit. Each gardening season brings forth with it new challenges and this year, I've come to realize that my constantly full and unstable plate will continue to be occasionally unpleasant and intolerable if I don't make some pretty tough decisions in the next couple of months. Basically, a significant someone reminded me that I have a lot of life left to accomplish all that I aspire to do in horticulture. It's time to explore the country and the rest of the world more; gain experience that will help better shape me as a person and as a professional and realize that I have a whole arsenal of other skills and talents I must continue to nurture.

4) I've been thinking a lot about my "audience". Being somewhat of an outlier in the industry because of my age, I've worked diligently to appeal to an older generation of experienced gardeners, but now that I feel like I've got many of them on my side, I need to start collaborating more with my up and coming colleagues who are doing big and wonderful things to ensure that plants and gardening become not just a luxury for people, but a wonderful and fulfilling way of life! It's hard to bridge the generational gap at times, but I think it can be done with hard work, lots of patience, and a genuine respect and understanding between everyone.

There's lots to ramble about, but I promised myself that I'd try to really get more sleep than I've been getting.

Please stay tuned and thank you all for reading!


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