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Re: Rather sad

Sorry, I'm coming in on this a bit late.....
I totally agree.  Here in Houston there are many different plant  
societies.  For years I heard about the snooty reputation, some more than  others.  I 
attended the shows to see the various plants that I had only  seen in 
books, make a wish list and buy the plants at the sales, since  back then there 
was no internet, so you had to purchase  locally.  Garden club or society 
plant sales were and still are for  the most part, the best place to purchase 
the more unusual and hard to find  plants (at a cheaper price than online) 
that actually do well in the area...and  get first hand info from experienced 
growers.   I was pleasantly  surprised to see that the people were not 
snooty at all.  I found them to  be very eager to share their passion and 
knowledge.  I joined those groups  that I had the most interest in that particular 
plant group.  I avoided  even trying to join the orchid society because I 
had heard they were the  worst.  I have now been a member for 3 years and was 
upset that I hadn't  joined sooner.  
Times have changed, membership to a society is no  longer considered as 
prestigious as it once was 25+ years ago.  From  what I was told, there were 
waiting lists to join the various plant societies,  and one had to have a 
recommendation to join.  Plants were much harder to  obtain and therefore cost 
much more, so membership was pretty limitted to those  that could afford the 
plants to begin with.   But all this has  changed, and those members that 
tried to maintain these standards  are no longer around.   Nowadays, I find 
that the society members are  just extremely generous and passionate about 
their plants, and eager to pass on  excess plants and information to anyone 
that shows a legitimate interest in  learning......not just obtaining free 
plants.   They are especially  accepting of members that participate as well.  
Unfortunately there are  those that are just out for what they can get.  Some 
societies have a  newcomers group  (I laughingly call it a probationary 
period) that is  required before becoming a member.......but in actuality this 
is the best  thing.  Newbies learn the basics by going to members houses 
once a  month to learn about certain genera, growing methods, etc. and given  
starter plants to try.  By the time the two year period is up, they have a  
pretty good collection and knowledge about the plant group and know if they 
want  to join or not.  Many drop out after a couple months finding out that 
they  aren't as into the particular plant as they thought........... but many 
stay and  become active productive members.  These groups are social as 
well  as educational, and highly rewarding, but mostly to those that  show an 
interest or share their passion.
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast
In a message dated 7/29/2010 9:25:30 PM Central Daylight Time,  
Aplfgcnys@aol.com writes:

You  should at least look at their shows.  I admit some clubs are
"snooty,"  though less and less these days, but Federated clubs,
as opposed to Garden  of America clubs, are real meritocracies.
You are appreciated for the work  you do, and status is gained
by achievement. Aside from that, I just feel  that the pleasure you
would get from a well-organized show is something you  should
experience.  I admit I'm a bit nuts, but a flower show is a  special
event.  Everyone involved is trying to make the best effort  possible.
You demonstrate what you have accomplished both  artistically
by flower arrangements, and horticulturally by exhibiting the  very
best specimens you can grow.  It's a real ego trip, I know,  but
I really think you would enjoy a good flower  show.

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