Report From PIA – January 28
Today I received a flyer for a local landscape association’s spring trade show and educational seminars. Of the eleven classes listed, only one was about plants. This could, I decided, make sense if the attendees thought that the plant stuff (the center and purpose of their business) could be faked…their customers won’t know the difference, right? If the plants get too large for the location, don’t tolerate the irrigation, or out and out die, well, the job is already done and paid for. Or, it might be that the landscapers attending the conference were so accomplished at the horticultural end of things that they don’t need to attend seminars that focus on plants. Somehow, I doubt it is the latter.
Seeing this flyer, I’m tempted to a full-fledged rant…an op-ed piece for the local newspaper, perhaps, and certainly an outraged blog post.
Happily, my better selves chimed in. First, Ms. Rational reminded me that I don’t know the whole story here. Maybe the attendees have had little experience with speakers who could get them excited about plants. Perhaps they have never learned how choosing the right plants for each client can help their business, because a beautiful, successful garden means a happy, satisfied client.
My coming of-age-in-the-1960’s self then reminds me that, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” How could complaining improve the situation?
I remind myself that it’s easy to grumble and criticize, but before that becomes necessary, perhaps more thought should be given to the problem. How could I help here? Perhaps I could develop a talk for landscapers that speaks about plants and the bottom line?
It occurs to me that yes, merely blogging about this could be construed as an angry outburst. But I also think that raising the issue, and admitting that I struggle about how best to address it, is closer to helping than any pure tirade would be.
Help me out here…how can we all – gardeners, landscapers, plant lovers, and clients – help to move landscapers, those people who’re “in the trenches,” toward a greater knowledge of and appreciation for plants?