I recently saw one of British Columbia’s most well-known gardening experts, Brian Minter, on Global TV’s Sunday morning news. As the owner of Country Garden Store and Minter Gardens, both located near Chilliwack BC, Brian has been actively promoting gardening since I was a child. His genuine enthusiasm and passion for all things horticultural is almost legendary.
I have to say though, that I strongly disagree with what he said on the news! When the reporter, Lynn Colliar, asked him about the “state of gardening in 2012” Brian said that it was a disaster. He opined that the global economic crisis has caused us all to downsize, so we don’t have the space to grow anymore, and then, in the same breath, claimed that our busy lifestyles and tendency to travel more means that we don’t have the time or inclination for gardening. Those two claims don’t exactly jive…
Then he spoke about getting kids interested in gardening, and proceeded to build a planter that would ostensibly be popular with children because it was filled with edibles. I don’t disagree that introducing children to food gardening is a great strategy, but that planter! It looked okay, but you aren’t going to grow two blueberries, a mulberry, an artichoke and various herbs together in what looked like a 14” or 16” wide planter for more than a season! Why give people the impression that this is a viable method to produce food?
I also strongly disagree with his estimation of the “state of gardening”. I think that more people, especially younger people, are getting interested in gardening, especially food gardening. I see examples of this every day that I work at the garden centre. Economic difficulties and high food prices mean that more people are looking to produce some of their own groceries, and instead of moving to that newer, bigger house, many people are finding ways to renovate and improve the appearance of their present homes. Fresh landscaping can certainly help you feel better about your surroundings, as well as increasing the value of your property.
You are very knowledgeable and have been a great advocate for horticulture over the years Brian, but I think you missed the mark this time.