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Re: Ball gardens...collectors

Jim, I think this is the case with all plants though.  I'm sure David  sells 
a lot more of the hybrid hibiscus than he does the species.  I have  to say, I 
prefer species on most plants, including hibiscus and even  orchids.  They 
last longer, bloom better, and are hardier than  others....in my opinion.   
Species plants are becoming harder to come  by though.  Most are used only for 
hybridizing.  More money in pushing  the hybrids.  
I think that the beginning gardeners are always those that want the instant  
color.  As they grow in the hobby, they tend to expand more into various  
interests.  I don't know about other areas, but I think you still find  
"collectors" around....that prefer certain plants, or such.  However not  like those of 
years back, like Dennis, and many others.  They would pay  dearly for a plant 
that they have been looking for, or travel to great distances  to find a plant 
in the wild and collect seed or cuttings.  They spent the  majority of their 
lives to build the collections they have.
Collecting, of this magnatude, has basically lost it's "appeal" though  since 
everything is so easily obtained.  I've gone to see collections of  
collectors such as Dennis that will show you plants that they got in various  
countries, or waited for a world conference or such to obtain one at a terribly  high 
price.  The plants were not as numerous, and more cherished because of  that. 
They appreciated and treasured their plants (and items) more  than people do 
now.  Now-a-days, especially due to the internet,  competition, and hybridizing, 
one can find just about anything with the click of  a mouse....nothing is 
really rare, if for long.  People tend not to want to  wait for something, or 
have to go through much expense and energy to find  something.  Not to mention 
that it is not as easy to import plants as it  used to be either.   Many plants 
are hybridized for better  color, better shapes, etc. but yet the true appeal 
or even environmental  benefit of the plant is somehow bred out of it many 
times.  The push  is for whatever is quicker, better, and cheaper...but with a 
I personally don't think this just applies to plants.  People used to  
collect things ( plants, etc.) because they were hard to obtain, took  longer to 
find, held value for the future, and thus they only had a few  items.  Today 
there is a mass production of items, so that they truly hold  no value, except to 
someone who might want it.  People go through  collecting, like a fashion or 
fad, rather than a lifetime  commitment, or for preservation.....it's a throw 
away society.   Nothing new lasts forever, and isn't meant to.  Here today, 
gone  tomorrow.  Instant gratification.  If a plant or something looks and  works 
great now, fine, if it is dead in a year...oh well, there is a new one  that 
will be better out by then anyway.  Sad.
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast
In a message dated 10/25/2005 4:27:19 PM Central Standard Time,  
gardenchat-owner@hort.net writes:

Kitty,  when David and I visited Tropiflora, Dennis [Cathcart? the
> owner]  decried the disappearance of plant collectors--people who, in
> his  case, collect bromeliads by genus and species rather than for
>  decorative or other reasons. This is certainly true in the orchid
>  business. Orchids--mostly because of the breeders and their convoluted
>  cross-breeding, tissue culture programs--have become disposable center
>  pieces for festive dining on heat-and-eat entrees and sulfite laden
>  wines

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