My name is Kenny. I am a just a gardener.

Sounds like a confession doesn’t it? Well it is…. well it isn’t…. well….

I guess what I am trying to say is that despite what the skinny jeaned funny haircutted clickity shoed trendies* would have you believe…… it’s ok to be just a gardener. Not a Landscape Architect, not a Soil Scientist, not a Floral Display Technician (all very noble and necessary professions – except the last one which I made up, as examples are best in threes). Just a gardener.I think the future of horticulture is very bright, especially with the organisations new and old all pushing in the right direction, but I do worry that no one wants to be just a gardener. One can make an extremely good living from being a gardener, and it’s a blissful, relatively stress free life.
Read more…If you are finishing college soon, or thinking of coming into the world of horticulture, then consider this: yes we need brilliant designers and surveyors and landscapers and scientists and growers…… BUT we also need people to be just a gardener. People who don’t mind getting the bindweed and thistles out of the Eryngiums 6 months after the designer has cleared off and it’s raining and you’ve left your gloves at home (ok this MIGHT have happened to me).

There is a danger that newly qualified hortics are being led down a road that no one has built yet. I like pie, but not the type in the sky. Put simply, I fear our industry is going to end up heavily weighted towards great thinkers rather than great doers – we need both. I love to see new innovations, and I’m constantly amazed by the ingenuity and skill of our top designers, but our country is bulging with important historic gardens that also need care and attention. New and old both important to our heritage**

I’m lucky, I have outlets and opportunities to display my creativity, but for the most part I am just a gardener. An extremely well qualified one. A bloody good one. Probably the best in Europe (it was the world but they’ve found someone better in Bolivia – the bugger).

Just a bloody blissfully happy gardener.

(Did I mention that I’m just a gardener enough? Sure? I can go back and add some more in?)

Talk to me.

*I’m jealous.
**sorry – was trying to avoid the ‘H’ word.

Go follow Kenny on twitter! NOW! @thehappyG

  • Gosh, never said that I’m ‘just a gardener’. I just get on and do it 😉.

    November 28, 2014
  • Kenny Higgs

    It’s not my term. It’s sometimes used by people in the industry when we gardeners don’t fall into any of the trendy new job descriptions!

    November 30, 2014
  • Gareth Manning

    I’ve got to say that I agree entirely with Kenny on this (though I’m past being jealous of the skinny jeans brigade – too old). I can state quite proudly here that I AM JUST A GARDENER. A qualified designer, plantsman, soil scientist, arboriculturist, meteorologist, geologist, biologist, botanist and, on occasion, general dogsbody. They all add up to one generic title – Gardener.

    It’s time to reclaim our title. Gardeners used to have a high position in society with the landed elite vying to secure the services of the best. Now you hear people saying they’re a horticulturist (acceptable) or a ‘land technician’ (not) or even a ‘Garden Designer’ (god forbid).

    If you’re a gardener – say it loud and say it proud. It’s the best profession in the world.

    December 1, 2014
    • Kenny Higgs

      Yes Gareth! That’ss exactly what I was trying to get across but you articulate it much better than me!

      December 1, 2014

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