Gardeners Repent!

At the Maryland Native Plant Society meeting last night there was an open forum discussion of native gardening versus regular home gardening. I kept quiet as ridiculous statements were made such as "home gardeners only do it for themselves, while native gardeners do so for the betterment of the world" and "native gardening is morally better to do than other forms." Yes, that's right folks. By planting roses, apple trees, and garlic, you are going to burn in the fires of Hades. Shame, shame on you for wanting to feed your family, commune with nature, beautify the world, experiment, get some exercise, socialize with others, stop your hills from eroding, or one of the hundreds of other reasons we all garden outside of the natives-only palette.

Judging by the packed house last night, many came to learn about introducing natives to their home gardens as the night's talk was promoted, but many left early as the evening turned into a preachy and strident confab on why natives-only is the righteous way to go.

I have many natives plants in my own garden, but I'm far from native-only and can't say I'll ever go that route. The natives-only advocates and purists actually kind of frighten me in their dictation that their way is the only "right way." Talk like this starts down a road of intolerance that I find dangerous.

IMHO, native-only home gardens are just as artificial a contrivance and imitation of nature as any other form of gardening. If that is your thing, go for it, but don’t dare dictate how others should garden or pass judgment on those who have other gardening passions. Being native-only is a hobby pure and simple. And really, there is nothing wrong with that.


Shibaguyz said…
Really?? There is a controversy over which is better?? Are you kidding me?? I have to say that when I read this to Jason, we both just said "WHAT?!?!?" I guess in any group of people there really is going to be some sort of in-fighting and discrimination. WOW! Gardening is gardening and we all do it for different reasons. Saying native gardening is better than "non-native" is like saying the way I walk down the sidewalk is superior to yours because I wear a different type of shoes. *sheesh* Enough fighting people... not gardeners too!!
MrBrownThumb said…

Great post.

I've wanted to do a post on the lazy locavores who are paying people to plant and maintain their gardens but I think I'm come across as one of those "native" only type gardeners.
LOL - MrBrownthumb - go for it! That same thought crossed my mind - "how lazy!" - on the otherhand, if you have more money than time, why not? Certainly gives ainful employment to others.

Shiba- you would not believe the divisions and levels of snobbery I've seen out there in the gardening world. I plan to write a spoof-blog on "elite gardening" when ever I get a spare hour.
Hi Washington Gardener- I drop in occasionally, but I had to comment this time!

There are some people out there who are trying to change gardening into a political platform. Instead of encouraging others to garden for personal enjoyment, they want us to use our gardens to display our "moral" and "political" decisions.

" No more lawns! Grow your own vegetables to stay local," plant only natives"....yada, yada.

The joy of gardening is out, angst is in. Not for me. I am an "Eden-Maker" I encourage people to create paradise at home and learn to be good stewards of the earth. We don't need "angry seraphim" guarding the gates to our gardens, it does not make it a pleasant place to visit and will ultimately turn people away from gardening.

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