19 messages
08/03/2013 at 23:29

One of the things I wanted to do when I retired was to join a gardening club but I found that the local ones had closed down. Reading the seed and plant swap threads on this forum made me realise that people love and need contact with other gardeners. I began to wonder whether the network here, which involves far more people than usually contribute publicly, could lead to the formation of new clubs, even if they met only once a month or once every two months. There could then be local seed and plant swaps and the chance to get local gardening gurus to speak on topics of relevance,as well as the opportunity to visit each other's gardens. It could also be an extension of the GW 'empire' and create renewed interest in the programme and magazine. 

Lyn
08/03/2013 at 23:46
Sounds nice but I think we are all so far apart to meet up, maybe not though.
There s not much going on like this where I live, but I know there are some people in Cornwall.
My other half says if he ever meets Monty Don he may just throttle him,!!!!
08/03/2013 at 23:54

The usual suspects who contribute are too far apart. It depends on those who use this forum and never actually contribute publicly, and also who they know who might be interested. (Some threads have had several thousand visits and far fewer contributors.) I'd love to see a resurgence of local gardening networks.

Lyn
08/03/2013 at 23:59
We had one in the village where we used to live but it folded due to lack of interest. I wasn't gardening then.
09/03/2013 at 00:14
I think it was the RHS last year who stated that gardening had effectively skipped two generations. David Cameron then likened gardening to litter-picking and labelled it unskilled labour. Gardening at the moment, when people are working harder than ever to pay the bills, is at a really low ebb. It's such a shame as we all know the benefits we ourselves derive from our hobby, the childhood Christmas Day feeling you experience seeing the first sweet pea flower of the year, the taste of the first ripe tomato picked and seeing the bees return in the spring like an old friend.

Gardening has lost it's way a bit, in an age where society wants instant satisfaction (garden centres selling tomato plants with already fully ripe tommies on) we are facing a struggle. Things like local gardening clubs would do the world of good, allotment sites should invite local schools for visits and grow extra plants for the children to take home and we should all encourage our friends and family to take it up. Not because we know how to do things properly (or not most of the time in my case) but because we know the happiness sitting in the midst of summer garden brings, that hard work pays off and that really it's ok to be proud of something you've created.

I really hope this idea takes off, it's up to us though to try to make sure our enjoyment isn't wasted for another generation.
09/03/2013 at 00:15

Many have folded, I think. So in this day of easier travel, they would have to cover a somewhat larger area, but could then still be viable. They'd need publicity and relevant activities, though traditional things could still be done.

P.S. In case you think I never sleep, I've been off-colour today and have spent the day alternately dozing and following this forum. So, now, I'm not tired! Must be better!

Lyn
09/03/2013 at 00:37
Hope you feel fit in the morning, gg. I am here because I don't sleep anyway.
I have just finished reading Dracula on my tablet, must find another to read now
Nite all.
09/03/2013 at 07:58

Hi Lyn. hope you enjoyed Drac, though it doesn't sound like a book to lead you into peaceful sleep! I'm reading at the other end of the spectrum, 'The Hawk and the Dove.' Now there's a gentle, relaxing book.

I'd love to hear from other gardeners who follow this forum, maybe those who don't usually contribute publicly, to learn whether or not there is any interest in this idea. (The clubs, not the bedtime books!!)

09/03/2013 at 09:59
Leggi wrote (see)
I think it was the RHS last year who stated that gardening had effectively skipped two generations. David Cameron then likened gardening to litter-picking and labelled it unskilled labour. Gardening at the moment, when people are working harder than ever to pay the bills, is at a really low ebb. It's such a shame as we all know the benefits we ourselves derive from our hobby, the childhood Christmas Day feeling you experience seeing the first sweet pea flower of the year, the taste of the first ripe tomato picked and seeing the bees return in the spring like an old friend.

Gardening has lost it's way a bit, in an age where society wants instant satisfaction (garden centres selling tomato plants with already fully ripe tommies on) we are facing a struggle. Things like local gardening clubs would do the world of good, allotment sites should invite local schools for visits and grow extra plants for the children to take home and we should all encourage our friends and family to take it up. Not because we know how to do things properly (or not most of the time in my case) but because we know the happiness sitting in the midst of summer garden brings, that hard work pays off and that really it's ok to be proud of something you've created.

I really hope this idea takes off, it's up to us though to try to make sure our enjoyment isn't wasted for another generation.

I don't agree with you on this, I'm 38 yrs old, and have become interested in gardening for about 6 or 7 years now. My friends also have become interested. I think most of us became interested due to having kids, and wanting to grow organic veg and fruit. Also to create places our kids can enjoy, as well as where the adults can relax. The driving force behind 'organic' gardening is price. I have 2 kids and a third of our grocery bill was fruit and veg. When my friends came around for BBQ's etc at first they were sceptical, but now a good few have a go at growing their own, mainly as I showed it wasn't hard, and most rewarding.

Statistics currently support this, in the 25-40 age group, interest in growing your own and also gardening in general has exploded in the last 5 years. This is bourne out by the length of waiting lists for allotments also. I think gardening is enjoying a resurgance, and this is likely to continue for the forseeable future. Most parents of any intelligence are encouraging their kids to grow produce and flowers, and this is also being encouraged by primary schools also.

I can't see the prices of organic fruit and veg going down anytime soon, I also doubt I'll find anything from a supermarket shelf will taste as good as homegrown.

Gardening clubs have declined, like many clubs, quite possibly due to the constant bombardment of 'selfishness' and 'looking after number one' advertising that is being rammed down everyone's throats. Consequently many people are suspicious of others, whereas before they would have socialised more freely.

Another rant for you GG, hope you liked it!

09/03/2013 at 10:10

GG, I think it needs someone in an area to  take the initiative and put on a little event - say plant swap - and see what interest there is.
I'm on my local Parish Council and in our recent survey we had a good number of suggestions for 'things to do' like Lunch Club, car share etc, and even offers of help but no-one hopping up and down to organise and run it themselves! We communicate with the residents as much as possible by email and that helps to spread the word quickly and cheaply but laminated posters on noticeboards, telegraph poles etc. are a great help too.

09/03/2013 at 10:20

Surely forums have replaced Gardening clubs, I can get good advice 24 hours a day, I can share photos of my successes and get a variety of opinions on my failures.

The main advantages are that I can do this whenever I want, whilst eating my breakfast and without the expense of putting petrol in my car or trying to find somewhere to park. I do not have to leave the house on a icy night and worry about getting home safely.

I fully appreciate that gardening clubs have their place in some communities but for many of us forums have replaced them.

09/03/2013 at 10:28

I have also found since I moved into my house 2 and a bit years ago, people have watched with a great deal of interest as to the raised beds and projects I have planned. I'm always happy to share any bonanzas on veg or fuit I have, and most have remarked on how good the stuff tastes. Lots have asked me on advice about growing simple veg etc (and me being a relative novice!) I also swop plants and cuttings with most in my street, afterall, if someone stops on the street and congratulates you on a wonderful plant and could they swop some cuttings for something they have, why not? I have found most people very willing to share and actually enjoy chatting with their neighbours. The breakdown of community, particularly in cities is all too evident, most come out of the house, get in their car and that is their whole contact with their neighbourhood, sad really. However given the chance, most are very willing to be part of a community, which enriches life for everyone.

Through my passion, I have hopefully planted the seeds of inspiration for a good few folk on the street. This year I will only germinate one variety of courgette, as a few have said they will grow a diff variety and we'll swop. So wheels are in motion, it's not to say that communities and clubs aren't hard work, but with some effort things can be changed for the better.

09/03/2013 at 10:44
BrummieBen wrote (see)
Leggi wrote (see)
I think it was the RHS last year who stated that gardening had effectively skipped two generations. David Cameron then likened gardening to litter-picking and labelled it unskilled labour. Gardening at the moment, when people are working harder than ever to pay the bills, is at a really low ebb. It's such a shame as we all know the benefits we ourselves derive from our hobby, the childhood Christmas Day feeling you experience seeing the first sweet pea flower of the year, the taste of the first ripe tomato picked and seeing the bees return in the spring like an old friend.

Gardening has lost it's way a bit, in an age where society wants instant satisfaction (garden centres selling tomato plants with already fully ripe tommies on) we are facing a struggle. Things like local gardening clubs would do the world of good, allotment sites should invite local schools for visits and grow extra plants for the children to take home and we should all encourage our friends and family to take it up. Not because we know how to do things properly (or not most of the time in my case) but because we know the happiness sitting in the midst of summer garden brings, that hard work pays off and that really it's ok to be proud of something you've created.

I really hope this idea takes off, it's up to us though to try to make sure our enjoyment isn't wasted for another generation.

I don't agree with you on this, I'm 38 yrs old, and have become interested in gardening for about 6 or 7 years now. My friends also have become interested. I think most of us became interested due to having kids, and wanting to grow organic veg and fruit. Also to create places our kids can enjoy, as well as where the adults can relax. The driving force behind 'organic' gardening is price. I have 2 kids and a third of our grocery bill was fruit and veg. When my friends came around for BBQ's etc at first they were sceptical, but now a good few have a go at growing their own, mainly as I showed it wasn't hard, and most rewarding.

Statistics currently support this, in the 25-40 age group, interest in growing your own and also gardening in general has exploded in the last 5 years. This is bourne out by the length of waiting lists for allotments also. I think gardening is enjoying a resurgance, and this is likely to continue for the forseeable future. Most parents of any intelligence are encouraging their kids to grow produce and flowers, and this is also being encouraged by primary schools also.

I can't see the prices of organic fruit and veg going down anytime soon, I also doubt I'll find anything from a supermarket shelf will taste as good as homegrown.

Gardening clubs have declined, like many clubs, quite possibly due to the constant bombardment of 'selfishness' and 'looking after number one' advertising that is being rammed down everyone's throats. Consequently many people are suspicious of others, whereas before they would have socialised more freely.

Another rant for you GG, hope you liked it!

You can disagree if you like but I was using the RHS quote as a basis for my post. Whilst I accept that might not be true of your experience, they will have done a lot of research before stating it at Chelsea last year.

09/03/2013 at 11:25

I have just a couple of weeks ago found that Newhaven, East Sussex where I live has a gardening club which meets once a month. The next town on Seaford also has one. So if there does happen to be anyone on here who lives nearby then I can give you address to join.

09/03/2013 at 11:31

There is a club within my reach. Also a hardy Plant Society group and (for oldies like me) the u3a gardeniing group.

09/03/2013 at 12:18
Leggi wrote (see)

You can disagree if you like but I was using the RHS quote as a basis for my post. Whilst I accept that might not be true of your experience, they will have done a lot of research before stating it at Chelsea last year.

I'm at a loss to find the RHS saying this at chelsea (an article would be a help), as regards to Cameron, what would he know? Much like what would he know about the average joe-blogs life in the Real World. Politicians are all thieves who look after their own, always been this way, and usually spout a load of rubbish which is later retracted if it suits.In fact he has claimed expenses for 'gardening' before, had to pay them back though, and currently has a veg plot at number 10 tended by someone else, guess you wouldn't understand the value of gardening if you don't actually do it yourself.

More positive news:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/8443835/Grow-your-own-reaches-record-levels.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/sep/02/garden-sharing-growing-vegetables

http://www.landshare.net/news/allotment-crisis-hits-poor-hardest/

This is what I base my views on, not just my current situation. The last 5 years or so have seen a huge rise in people getting into gardening. I believe there IS a generation of people between the ages of 40 and 50 who really don't have a clue about gardening, mainly because as they were growing up, they were part of the 'modern' lifestyle, where you could buy produce cheaply in the new supermarkets, and they also wanted to show their parents they weren't 'old-fashioned'. So had minimal effort gardens, patios and decking, and didn't bother with produce. These people in turn had kids who equally never bothered with gardening.

The prices now are turning the wheel full circle, and with vast amounts of videos and info on the net, and great forums, people are returning to growing again. Yes you start with easy veg crops, but you soon get the bug and start experimenting with all sorts.

09/03/2013 at 12:46
I don't have a link as it was said live on the show, there is an article on the RHS site about them losing a generation though. We are however arguing the same point, that when people are introduced to gardening they find great enjoyment. I agree with what you say about politicians completely.

The links you provide are refreshing. I am in my early thirties and fall in to the category of those whose parents who never engaged with gardening, and from a generation that didn't bring plants home from school or get taught about them. I fell in to gardening accidentally when I wanted to start growing strawberries and rhubarb. My first post was just to encourage more of us to get youngsters and friends involved with what we do, we already know how beneficial it is to us as individuals.
09/03/2013 at 12:59
Leggi wrote (see)
I don't have a link as it was said live on the show, there is an article on the RHS site about them losing a generation though. We are however arguing the same point, that when people are introduced to gardening they find great enjoyment. I agree with what you say about politicians completely.

The links you provide are refreshing. I am in my early thirties and fall in to the category of those whose parents who never engaged with gardening, and from a generation that didn't bring plants home from school or get taught about them. I fell in to gardening accidentally when I wanted to start growing strawberries and rhubarb. My first post was just to encourage more of us to get youngsters and friends involved with what we do, we already know how beneficial it is to us as individuals.

I agree whole-heartedly with you my friend, it really is 'down to us' (well our age group), to educate and encourage, but also spread some of our enthusiasm wherever we can. People are realising about self-sufficiency and carbon-footprints more and more, and also taking an interest in where and how the food they eat is grown. I think the government could do a lot more to help in this respect. That's not to say the older people who grow aren't important, they have experience which is something books and videos can't always convey. Always learning, that's my mantra, one I hope to keep until I die!

09/03/2013 at 19:37
kate1123 wrote (see)

Surely forums have replaced Gardening clubs, I can get good advice 24 hours a day, I can share photos of my successes and get a variety of opinions on my failures.

The main advantages are that I can do this whenever I want, whilst eating my breakfast and without the expense of putting petrol in my car or trying to find somewhere to park. I do not have to leave the house on a icy night and worry about getting home safely.

I fully appreciate that gardening clubs have their place in some communities but for many of us forums have replaced them.

it is true that people are busy and the internet has replaced face to face contact for many, many people. I enjoy it myself and of course it is very easy and convenient. It is sad, though, if people are so self-sufficient sitting in their houses (when they get the chance) with their laptops and ipads that social networks of the face to face kind are destroyed. Cyber communities are not the same as real human contact.

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