Editorial - Growing Gardening (Part One)
We all know there are many ways to help plants grow. However, the practice and status of gardening needs cultivation too if we - as individuals and as a society - are to enjoy the many benefits of gardening and landscaping into the future.
If you're reading this newsletter, you've probably already experienced the pleasure of nurturing a plant to flower and fruit, enjoyed more than one day out at a garden show (and "stimulated" the economy in the process) and you are probably aware of the many social and environmental benefits of gardening/landscaping in private and public spaces.
Unfortunately, gardening (which here will be used as shorthand for private gardening as well as cultivated public parks, street trees, commercial landscaping etc) seems to be in a downward spiral at the moment, for a variety of reasons. For example:
- rising cost of living and household indebtedness
- stretched public budgets
- high house prices deterring potential homeowners
- shrinking yards for those who do buy
- lack of spare time
- water restrictions
- plethora of competing recreational activities
- loss of a gardening culture and the passing on of practical knowledge with social isolation and fragmentation of families.
- suburban garden centres closing, high barriers to entry for new garden centres
- move away from flowering plants toward more utilitarian landscaping lines in the retail market place
Gardening also seems to be increasingly side-lined in the broadcast media lately, although without knowing what is going on behind the scenes, it is difficult to say whether this is just a response to a decrease in listeners/viewers rather than a cause. It is part of a vicious circle, however, as the new generation of gardeners are less likely to become interested without such easy access to information and inspiration.
Do we just shrug and accept these trends or can we fight back? If you're working in the garden industry, your livelihood may depend on it.
In the next newsletter, some ideas for "growing gardening" will be discussed.
A note to subscribers
Apologies for the rather primitive nature of the subscription setup at present. The focus at this stage is to bring high-quality horticultural news and information to the public, especially in Queensland, and to promote gardening generally. As time and funds allow, it is hoped to be able to implement more and better features over time.
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