There are certain things in my life that have always been at the top of ” Robbie’s Pet Peeve List” and at the top is “snobs” + “bullies” because they are hurtful + exclusive! I like the definition of “pet peeves”, something that irritates the heck out of you. Yep, that is what I consider a pet peeve. I can remember in grammar school a girl named Janet (I won’t use her last name in case she reads my blog, but I am sure she does not) and everyone picked on her horribly. I could not believe it, and I remember how angry it made me! I would watch the kids throw worms at her while we stood in line after recess. I was a tom-boy, so I would pick up a worm and throw it back and tell them to stop doing it. While I write this, I can’t imagine ever throwing a worm because to me as a gardener they are my buddies! I get upset if I hurt a worm while I am turning the soil over in my space. Oh well, I digress.
I hate what bullies do to people. To this day, I abhor bullies/snobs. I am not perfect, so this is one of my foibles. I realize that this slogan is not a serious thing, but it is how things start. People start looking down on others + then the cycle begins. Some people when they first dig their hands in the dirt start with annuals. Maybe they don’t have a lot of space, so they have to rotate their crops as I do to maintain the soil fertility. Today I grow all my annuals and some perennials all from seed, but when I first started my garden a decade ago, I had 3 school-age kids, work, and not a lot of time. I found it easier to purchase many of my annuals because I did not have the space or time to start them all from seed each season. I guess the “quote” on a shirt just rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed snobby, and I have noticed over the years that there are too many gardeners that are becoming a know-it-all!
In my opinion, there is no room for snobs in gardening. To me gardening is a hobby that should include everyone and never be a bully hobby by people wearing shirts stating “friends don’t let friends buy annuals”…wow, talk about bullying in a subtle way. To me snobbery is just a form of bullying that is accepted by our society because it is subtle and too easily overlooked!
“For a group of folks with dirt under their fingernails, gardeners have become a bunch of snobs.At least so says cultural anthropologist Jane Nadel-Klein, a Trinity College professor who is making the modern-day garden and its rubber-clogged inhabitants the subjects of her latest research.A hobby as common and universal as gardening might seem an odd province for a social scientist who until now has devoted her life’s work to documenting the demise of fishing in Scottish coastal villages.But to Nadel-Klein, an avid gardener, an examination of the garden-club lady can contribute to our understanding of humankind ….Nadel-Klein’s assessment of gardeners as elitists might sound a bit harsh. But her observation comes not from the ivory tower of academia but from visits to garden shows and garden club meetings and from years of reading garden magazines simply to indulge her own passion.” taken from article in Hartford Courant, July 2006 by Hilary Waldman.
I consider my mother, a wise woman, and one day she came for a visit and brought me a car load of plants that her garden club friends had grown. I was so excited since it was the first year I had a garden of my own. I was so touched how generous her garden friends were to give me these beautiful plants that she grinned from ear to ear and said ” Robbie haven’t you heard garden people are the most giving people, they love to share.” Well, my mother has some amazing friends that all enjoy sharing and gardening. It is not an elitist group that looks down their noses at others that grow annuals in pots!
I start from seed annual vegetables throughout my growing season for fresh eating, flowers + herbs for companion planting, for example, I grow annual marigolds, calendula, basil, nasturtiums, petunias, and borage with tomatoes because this companion planting attracts beneficial insects, protects against predators, enhances flavor, and keeps my soil healthy! I have the time to grow all my annuals now, so I don’ t need to purchase them from the local stores. I always grow extra seedlings to share especially for people I know that don’t have the time or physical ability to grow for themselves.
I prefer to think of gardeners as “giving people” and not elitist. Don’t you?
Here is the original article published in 2006 if you would like to read it