A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: I'm not a Garden Snob -- Are you??

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28 March 2012

I'm not a Garden Snob -- Are you??

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Have you ever met a garden snob??

I know I have.

They typically hide out on gardening chatrooms and once in awhile they speak up on garden blogs, and you might find several in your local nursery, but never in your local home improvement store. They are the chatterers that make sure you cross your "t's" and dot your "i's" when it comes to Latin names of plants and cluck cluck at you when you purchase the clearance bag of King Alfred's in the checkout lane (tsk...tsk...so passe...).  Now, I do prefer a new daffodil hybrid to the hass been Alfred and I would like to know all of the proper Latin names, but do I need to?  NOPE.

You see, God gave us plants free of knowledge.  One of the great joys in life is to figure out how things grow.  One of the great lessons of life is learned by digging your hands in the dirt, planting a seed and coddling it until it produces a fruit and flower.  Then we can mess with hybridizing those plants, collecting seeds, splitting perennials, arranging garden designs and creating cut flower arrangements.  We can also make wreaths, create garden pathways, EAT seeds, fruits and nuts and raise animals and children on the plants we have grown.  All of these processes have best practices.  All of these processes can be accomplished in an optimal efficiency.  All of these processes can also be accomplished by amateurs that know little to nothing.  When you first come to gardening, you need to know little more than plants need soil, sun and water.   You will experiment and learn and research and change.  You will probably pick up a Latin name or two.  The point is -- Gardening is for the masses, yet the snobs tend to make it elite.

By now, some of you might be getting all up in arms about what I am saying.  (Beware...you might be a snob).  There is nothing wrong with knowing all 1,700 species of daffodils.  There is something wrong about looking down on someone who does not.  There is nothing wrong with feeling pride in your prize winning collection of hybrid teas.  There is something wrong about expecting everyone to raise roses exactly the way you do.  You are not God and God has given these gardens to us all.

So beginners, be encouraged.  Go ahead and make mistakes.  Buy anvil pruners instead of bypass if you want.  They'll break in a season anyway and you will learn which you prefer.  Go ahead and plant your bulbs at the wrong depth.  You will learn next year.  Go ahead and do what you want in your gardens.  They are your classroom and you get to make the decisions.  The next time a garden snob waves her finger at you at the nursery and advises you against buying that mint (It will spread and take over your garden!), go ahead and buy it and simply plant it in a pot.   

Advice is great, knowledge is grand, 
but experience is the crux of our existence.

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Janel@hatingmartha Wednesday, March 28, 2012  

Waha!! this is great! My H and I own a native plant nursery...we know our stuff. But, I am still astonished at the "language" out there that I am not privileged too...it's like a secret code of gardeners. It makes them feel important I guess.

allenaim photography and design Wednesday, March 28, 2012  

Right?!? So good to hear from you on the subject Janel -- good to know the experts aren't snobby ;) I think you are right...a tiny bit of knowledge promotes snobbiness, but when folks actually become experts, they aren't threatened and use their knowledge without snobbery...that was a LONG sentence...

Beth @ UnskinnyBoppy Wednesday, March 28, 2012  

I could kiss your face for writing this post. So true! I avoid my local Gardenweb forum because of a few of these types of folks. There is nothing more discouraging than hearing that your plants are bound to bite the dust because you didn't do X, Y , Z right. I've been experimentally murdering plants for years, but now I have the first hand knowledge to know what will likely grow where or not, and what will take over if I let it. But all of that, I agree, must be learned from experience.

Aunty Pol Wednesday, March 28, 2012  


Long time reader here..de-cloaking. I love this post and would like permission to post a picture of the wonderful daff and the post itself with proper credit on my blog. Thank you for considering it.

Waving from Houston

allenaim photography and design Wednesday, March 28, 2012  

Aunty Pol - YES!! Please feel free and THANKS for de-cloaking!!! I love when readers say hello!! (and strip...but that's another story...JUST kidding!)

allenaim photography and design Wednesday, March 28, 2012  

Beth - kiss my face - kiss my face PLEASE!!

I hop onto Gardenweb for plant IDs once in awhile, but I never post a question question because those gals can BITE!

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