Allan Armitage: Relax, There Are More Plant Enthusiasts Than We Think

plant-sale-with-kidsI have written about people not buying, not interested, and essentially disconnected from the plants we sell. I don’t think that has ever not been the case, but perhaps because of instant messaging, social media, and other such in-your-face-all-the-time gadgets, these issues seem more pressing than before. However, that is simply not so.

I have also written about people I talk to who are crazy about this stuff, and can’t get enough. In between are legions of people who love what plants do, love the feeling of looking for plants and buying a bit of color or selecting evergreens for screening or shrubs for their home. They may not know the difference between a Leyland cypress or a Foster holly, but who cares?

There Are More Plant Enthusiasts Than We Think

To be honest, all my friends and neighbors and even my daughters’ friends (millennials, Generation X) enjoy plants. They don’t obsess over them, but they want them in their landscapes and on their decks. They do their best to care for them or find someone to care for them. As for those people who have no interest whatsoever, that’s just fine. Lots of people don’t like peanut butter either.

As someone who travels to “plant things,” perhaps I only see “plant people” — and my how they vary. However, the common ingredient is their interest in, if not their love of, the plants we grow. I was recently at a large plant sale, and I could not get over the number of people, the number of kids, the number of wagons, and the number of smiles as people loaded up on plants for their homes and gardens. This occurs all over the country, and while some times are leaner than others, you could be selling Kodachrome film.

And how often do we speak of children getting involved in what we do? There are mothers and grandmothers who show kids about nature and gardening. And the proliferation of children’s gardens keeps exploding. However, sometimes kids’ love of plants just happens — out of the blue.

Like when my daughter Heather decided it was time to pull ‘Margarita’ from her front garden. Her eight-year-old daughter Kate got involved; after all, what is more fun than ripping out great chunks of plants. And who needs fall leaves to thrash around in? Kate sure doesn’t, and what a ball she had. Will Kate enjoy plants when she gets older? I don’t know, but if I were a betting man, I’d say rolling around with ‘Margarita’ did not hurt.

How fortunate we are to do what we do and when times get tough, perhaps we can remember an eight-year-old child playing in the leaves in the fall.

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