One of the things I enjoy most about the internet is the ability for like minded people to find one another. I mentioned awhile ago how I was burning out on social sites. Just too many to keep track of. I have finally narrowed it down to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. These three sites seem to offer something just different enough to keep me interested. Between the three I am making lots of great connections with old friends and classmates, as well as a whole world of great new people. One of the things that impresses me is the positive attitude of most of the people I meet. Perhaps its the nature of the medium, attracting outgoing people who enjoy interacting. Or maybe people are a lot more realistic and positive than the main stream media, or our state and national leaders seem to be. With all the negativity out there it provides a perfect opportunity for local leaders to step forward and provide a positive message. This is one area where I feel the local garden center has a place. Rather than just sit back and wonder whether people will return to the center in spring, we need to provide a positive message than compels people to rethink gardening. Gardening, not landscaping or accesorizing the outdoors.
Here is an opportunity to show people how to take back control of their lives. Through gardening we become more in tune with the natural world, which naturally providesÂ a more positive outlook. The local garden center should be a place where enthusiasm and a "you can do it" spirit prevails. Let's not sugar coat what it means to garden. Yes, it sometimes involves sweat, dirt, and precious time, but where else can you connect with nature, and contribute to creating a better world without driving anywhere.
I think we have beenÂ making too much about how different the younger generations view gardening. I think we are going to find out that many of the younger generation are very interested in gardening. Real gardening, not DIFM (do it for me) or other "trends." I think there are a lot of the younger generation who would agree with Katie at Garden Punks. She say's "I started this blog (Garden Punks) back in 2006 because I felt like the only 20-something that was remotely interested in gardening. From there, this blog grew into more than just dirt and plants, namely our efforts to leave a lighter footprint on this earth, mixed with our commitment to cut our consumption and energy use, with a few recipes and failures mixed in."
With the internet we find out that she is not the only "20 something" that is interested in gardening.Â I think there are plenty of 20 somethings out there that are dying to dig up the ornamental trees and plant fruit trees in their yard. Check out what Katie did at her home. I guarantee that other 20 somethings read that post, and are inspired to do it themselves.Â Katie makes a point of shopping locally and with independent, locally owned business. This bodes well for smaller garden centers, that can inspire a whole new generation of gardeners. Yes, there are differences between how the younger generation looks at gardening and gardens, yet I feel we are making way too much about those differences.