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Can’t We Just Enjoy Gardening

Lately I have been reading about gardening in the nineteenth century.

By the 1870s the garden Industry witnessed more seed companies and nurseries spreading across the country.

Every homeowner wanted a landscape with a garden.

The seed houses and nurseries, however, had as their goal the ‘selling of the garden.’

They felt it was their job to sell the consumer ways to make money off the garden. Therefore they wrote about ways one could succeed in harvesting a crop, selling flowers, and joining an outside market to peddle your goods.

We are talking about gardening, and love of gardening, or are we?

Garden Writing

Cheryl Lyon-Jenness, author of For Shade and For Comfort, wrote an article called “Planting a Seed: The Nineteenth-Century Horticultural Boom in America.”

She points out the heavy commercializing of gardening in the nineteenth century.

Lyon-Jenness then adds that there was not a surge to profit from gardening from every voice, though.

In 1872 the Pomological Society of Michigan cautioned against the onrush in garden writing about the financial gain found in gardening .

The Society published an article called “Floriculture for the Million.”

It said, “It is time that some improvement should be taking place in our horticultural literature; we have, I think, enough books like some recently published: ‘Money in the Garden,’ ‘Gardening for Profit.’ ‘Practical Floriculture,’ teaching mainly how to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers to sell.

“Let us have something like ‘The delight of Horticulture,’ ‘The moral use of flowers,’ and books of that character, and it will be the commencement of better times in horticulture.”

I never thought of it that way.

We don’t always have to make money from gardening, or see gardening in dollar signs.

Sometimes, can’t we just enjoy gardening?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gardening is not a ‘job’ to be fitted in with all the other jobs that busy people have to fit in their lives. My principle is to take pleasure in the little things that I can achieve in the time I allocate to it–even if that only be on one day deciding to tie back the raspberry canes, or look to see if I can pick a bunch of flowers. Little by little but then in a months time and looking back and seeing the difference–I am now keeping a photo library one month at a time of different patches of the allotment to record the difference one short month makes both from the natural growth pattern on nature and the impact that I have made. Dee on Friday 4 July 2008

    1. That bit of work in the garden, here and there when time allows, seems to work for you. I give you credit for creating that time. If we remember that the work in the garden is really never done, we can pace ourselves as you do. Congratulations.

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