Just received a note from a garden supplier addressed it to a fellow "farmer." I am a nurseryman, but O.K., I get it. We're all farmers now. I think it's our way of describing why we would work hard, get dirty, and end up with sore muscles. Seems we need to call ourselves "farmers" so as to justify the hard work. After all, we are not just making things "pretty", we're feeding the world!
Seems as more people become involved in gardening the desire to justify the work takes hold. You cannot "just garden" anymore, or describe yourself as a "gardener". We are now "guerrilla gardeners", "guerrilla grafters", "farmers", "urban farmers", "garden ranters", "pothole gardeners", "hydroponic farmer", etc.
When you hear that "gardening" is on the "way out" you'll know different. In the past we we're all happy to follow the rules set forth by the "gardening powers to be". Now many want to make it our own. As a garden trade professional, who are you focused on? The "gardening public", or the people who will help keep the business humming? Find a market, and build your biz around that. Don't chase the masses, as you'll end up at the local box store. That's where the "gardening public" goes, and that's the last bastion of "the gardening powers to be". It's there where they will make their final stand, and that's great. Having all that conventional garden stuff in one place helps us smaller operations find the smaller, and more interesting niches left.