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Re: Old vs. New
  • Subject: Re: Old vs. New
  • From: TeichFauna@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 10:11:20 -0500 (EST)

I'm posting this to Gardenchat since it might become an interesting  
discussion point suitable for gardenchat ....no?
I found the article very interesting.....unlike Kitty, I didn't get that  
strong vibe of younger men vs. middle age women type thing.  Yes there was  
that between the writer and the guy that posted the tweet, however,  gender  
and age differences aside.......what I found interesting was how  gardeners 
have taken up "camps".   This is something that I have found  here in 
Texas....and was surprised to read was happening in other regions as  well.   
Perhaps this has always been the case, I don't know.  I'm  sure since the 60's 
there have been those that use chemicals, those that are  totally organic, 
and those in the middle.  Unlike was stated, I don't find  that the young are 
more organic than the older gardeners.  I do wonder if,  as the article 
questioned, if it is along political lines.......with the  organics and natives 
anyway.   Are those on the right less  concerned about environment, using 
more chemicals, having lawns, etc. and those  on the left more organic, 
native, etc.???  And as Kitty says, as we get  older, less energetic......go with 
whatever works best and is easiest?  I  do remember in my earlier gardening 
years trying very hard to only  garden one way or the other (totally 
organic, totally native), less  compromising, and found that it was far too much 
I don't see sparks fly between the organic and non-organic groups as much  
as I do between the native purists and the rest of the gardening population, 
 including commercial, govt, etc.   I did find it very interesting that  
there was mention of areas in the subdivisions being natural and native,  and 
others that were more manicured and tailored.  One thing that I've  found 
here is that the Home Owners Associations frown heavily on native or  
natural....especially when it is not what they would consider  maintained.   Neither 
of which will even consider a compromise, thus  never resolving anything.   
The native folks can't fathom that a  native could be considered an 
invasive, simply because it is native......and the  HOA's can't fathom the thought 
that not all natives are weedy.    Again, I stand somewhere in the 
middle.....and successfully have a mixture of  both native and non-native  (all 
non-invasive)  with no complaints  from the HOA, but plenty from my purist 
Among gardening clubs, MG's, societies, etc. here, for a time being (in the 
 80s, I was told) many of the groups were dying out due to the fact that 
all the  members were older, and no new blood (so to speak) was coming in.  
The  majority of the members were those that had been members for many many  
years.  This is still true for one or two.  Gardening groups in  general were 
considered social, rather than interest groups.   However, it seems that 
since the Internet, there has been a renewed  interest, dismissing the stigma 
that plants and gardening are only for the  old, and a change in societies 
(anyway) toward being interest groups with  furthering education rather than 
social.   Most groups  (especially the individual plant societies)  have 
seen more young  members in their late teens and twenties (apartment dwellers) 
become  interested and joining.   I do notice that the younger generation  
tends to specialize more, I did too, having a cactus collection as  early as 
I can remember,  thinking that vegetable and flower gardening  was boring, 
done by the "older generation".   Still no  increase in members in the child 
rearing age group, unless they  are childless.   The greatest numbers are 
those in ages 40 and up,  with many new members. I find that among the 
Societes that men tend to  specialize more than women.  Women tend to enjoy 
different types of  gardening (plants) more or less equally.  Men on the other 
hand, tend  to pick one or two, and stick with that almost exclusively.   Also I 
 find that in garden clubs most members are female, however among  the 
specific plant societies, roughly half of the members are  men.  In the local 
chapters of the Cactus & Succulent Society  and the Bonsai Society the 
majority are men. 
 I have noticed the resurgence of vegetable  and edible gardening in recent 
years.....especially among the  survivalists groups, could be along 
political lines or economics there too,  perhaps.   I don't think it is gender or 
age specific to garden for  food, beauty, etc. however it tends to be those 
with homes that do so  more.  Except that there are trends, and that the 
trend (here anyway)  to plant rows and rows of annuals every season vs. a more 
natural look (with  perennials instead) to be outdated, and seldom seen 
anymore. Economics and  climate has had a lot to do with that, and the increase 
in rain gardens and  sustainable gardening as well, in Texas.    Not everyone 
has  the same amount of space, time, interest level, addiction, or passion  
regardless of gender/age.....but among the die hard  gardeners....... 
although one might become less energetic, I find that  the passion is the last to 
fade away. 
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast 
In a message dated 2/28/2012 8:02:08 PM Central Standard Time,  
lindsey@mallorn.com writes:


Basically,  it talks about 'old' vs. 'new' gardeners and their  differing

In a message dated 2/28/2012 8:56:28 PM Central Standard Time,  
kmrsy@comcast.net writes:

Oh wow,  what a can of worm castings!
I see several attitudes in this  controversy.  A lot of middle-aged woman 
were the ones growing  organic veggies in communes in the 60s.  It's more a 
matter of been  there, done that.  When I began gardening in my very late 
I was  all into the organic attitude.  I was also into every free the  
dolphins sort of thing too.  OK, I still am, but I'm just less  energetic 
about it.  My garden is my calm spot, not my demonstration  place.  Organic 
is nice, but I just don't want to dedicate my life to  it so I do take 
cuts.   Ask one of today's 25 yr old  gardeners 30 years from now how THEY 
feel about it. Some will stick with  it, but the vast majority will make 

And did anyone  pick up on the specificity of the genders depicted for the 
age  groups?  In this particular article the older gardeners were women and 
the younger were men. They didn't touch on differences between younger vs  
older female gardeners.  I've noticed similar attitudes in men in my  age 
group as were depicted in the younger men.  Most men are more  practical, 
there needs to be a productive outcome, hence, food.  When  it comes to 
ornamentals most men seem more comfortable in the realm of  trees, shrubs, 
and lawns (present company excepted)

The young guy  wrote, "A lot of what's out there is about growing 
ornamentals. It was  targeted to people with a lot of land and a lot of 
money."  Well, I  have to agree with him and I'm a middle aged woman.  Fine 
Gardening  annoyed the heck outa me with several articles, declaring that 
their  featured gardens were DIY.  They said this woman converted a blank 2 
acre landscape in 18 months all on her own.  All on her own  checkbook, 
maybe!  SHE didn't put in those 30 foot trees with those  manicured hands.

But I digress.  I do think we need to think  outside the compost bin. Make 
the site desirable to all kinds of  gardeners.

neIN, Zone  5

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