The gardening industry needs an image change. That much is obvious (see here), but the question, as ever, is how can this be achieved? A question which holds particular significance this week of Chelsea Flower Show.
The Royal Horticultual Society has recently announced that they will be investing over 7 million in horticulture, and while this is fantastic news I agree with Allen Titchmarsh when he states that “it’s not just the salary that attracts a person to a job, nor makes them stay”.
When you look at many of the other industries attracting hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and growing in popularity as career choices they all have one thing in common. They are young, portray their chosen area as sexy and make their lives an object of desire.
When I think of the food industry I think of Deliciously Ella, Madeleine Shaw or Hemsley and Hemsley. For the beauty industry it’s ZoElla, Tanya Burr or PixiWoo. For fashion it’s Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad and Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller. But for horticulture…? For Gardening…?
For course there are many names that come to mind, and I in no way what to do these individuals a disservice, most have dedicated their lives to this industry. I think of, Allen Tichmash, Monty Don, Carol Klein, and Charlie Dimmock. Over the last few years both Alys Fowler and James Wong have come to the fore. But who of these convays an image of the gardening industry like Deliciously Ella portrays the food industry? Or the Man Repeller portrays of the fashion industry? The answer, is none of them do.
When I consider what working in the food industry must really be like I know that for the majority it’s hard graft, it’s not glamorous, and yet I have a smoke screen in my mind of Deliciously Ella’s bright photographs portraying an image of a life style nobody would turn down. I know she is the execption to the rule, but why can’t I be too? This is what gardening is missing. The smoke screen. The dream. The success. Let’s face it, what else attracts the young to anything? It certainly works on me.
So it seems the real question is, who out there is going to generate the smoke screen and inspire a generation? Who out there has that combination of passion, drive, charisma, and social media savy to turn gardening into the most desirable and attractive activity out there?
Sadly this question is a little harder to answer. However, if you are out there…somewhere…I’d love you to get in touch; I will happily join your revolution.