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Re: OT: AIS membership and lifestyle changes today

  • Subject: Re: [iris] OT: AIS membership and lifestyle changes today
  • From: "John Reeds" lamegardener@msn.com
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 12:57:30 -0800
  • List-archive: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris/> (Web Archive)
  • Seal-send-time: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 12:57:30 -0800


You aren't kidding about societal changes, or space limitataions.  With
single-family homes around here around $800,000 for starter homes, many peole
live in condos.  One of the most overpriced cities nearby is Irvine, with new
3000 square-foot homes typically built on 4000 square-foot lots.  I asked one
friend why he bought there; he said "because they have such great amenities
for the kids".  What?  Video-game parlours and fast-food outlets?  The first
thing you can give your kid is a back yard to play in!  How can anyone grow
iris when they have no yard?

It took me 6 months to find a house on a 15,400 square-foot lot, and that was
8 years ago.  Of course, if I want to grow anything, I need to buy the soil.
We have waterproof salty alkaline adobe clay.

John Reeds
San Juan Capistrano, California
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Patricia Wenham
  To: iris@hort.net
  Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 8:32 AM
  Subject: [iris] OT: AIS membership and lifestyle changes today

  Think about other activities and see where interests have shifted.

  In the 1950s most young people were not involved in numerous activities
  and they entertained themselves at home.  4H, Scouting, fraternal
  organizations, swimming in lakes and streams, horse back riding, back
  yard and sandlot ball games, sewing, preparing items for the County
  fairs, going camping and many more outdoor activities were very popular
  through the 1950s.  Mothers were generally home with their families and
  they taught the youngsters to enjoy gardening and the beauty of
  flowers.  Since that time televisions, ideos, computers, organized
  sports which often include competing in other towns or cities, increased
  need for additional family income to purchase boats, knee boards and
  other summer water sports equipment, cars for youngsters, moving from
  the country to the city to be closer to the jobs or long commutes from
  suburbs to city jobs have left little time for teaching children how to
  cook or to become gardeners.  When parents come home they are preparing
  for the next day's needs and little time is spent in flower gardens.
  Someone still mows and edges the lawns but there is little time to just
  sit outside and enjoy the sights and sounds in their yards.  Many
  families have a landscape service come in to spray for weeds and
  diseases, mow and fertilize the lawn and prune shrubs and trees.  Who
  will teach the children to cherish plants?  Values have changed,
  activities have changed and families have changed.  Every town seemed to
  have at least one garden club and members spent countless hours
  preparing for their meetings and the "show and tell" time when they
  shared their flowers, ideas and knowledge with other members.  Now many
  of the towns often have no garden clubs and garden clubs that do exist
  have to reach out farther and farther to gather enough members to
  continue.  As most members get older they find traveling  more difficult
  and many can not afford the expense of purchasing flowers so meetings
  are less well attended and the active workers have to assume more duties
  to keep the clubs going.  In our iris club some members would have to
  travel nearly a hundred miles one way to visit other member's gardens.
  I live in town and we sacrificed a lawn to give us enouth room to raise
  my iris and my husband's vegetables.  There are other members who have
  town lots and one is a hybridizer who does not have time to attend many
  meetings because he is still employed.

  It seems that often beauty has been replaced by functionality and that
  is another reason why raising flowers is growing less popular.  Many
  list members mentioned that they had large crowds who came to flower
  shows but none joined the clubs.  Others enjoy seeing our flowers but
  they just cannot or do not want to assume the responsibility of raising
  their own.  It is a changing world.  It is not the fault of the club
  leaders or members that these things happen.  In fact perhaps we are
  standing still and the world is rushing by.  I have thought and thought
  about the problem and I do not have any solutions for it.  What do you

  >Bill Burleson wrote
  >...Our membership [AIS] has declined from about 12,000
  >in the 70's to below 6,000 now (both these numbers are
  >from memory but are close)...

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