Today it has been brought to my attention that Amateur Gardening magazine are about to publish a piece about my previous blog post, #shoutyhalfhour. Although I am pleased that the post is out there in the public eye and that people are obviously reading it and it is a talking point, the piece is possibly the laziest piece of journalism I have seen in a while. Firstly I need to point out that they have done nothing illegal by using quotes from the piece but what they have done is remove it from it's context and so it looks as though all I am doing is criticizing when in fact the point of the post was to explain why and how the #shoutyhalfhour hashtag came about in the first place and why it has carried on.
I am not going to bang on about the piece, but I do wish to make some things clear. Yes I am a self confessed plant nut, but I am also a horticultural professional with many years experience as a nurserywoman, working on many wonderful projects which, I am lucky to say, have involved growing gardens for designers at RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court as well as many large, well known projects, including providing the plants for the Royal Wedding.
Equally yes, I am a Garden Blogger, but one from a professional horticultural background, and with concern for the industry that I am writing from within. An industry that is struggling to survive and to recruit young people into it, and one which deserves recognition and help from the garden media rather than reading sensationalisation of a blog post. I wonder how many Amateur Gardening readers are aware of the struggle of the trade and the fight many nursery people have every year to keep themselves afloat, whilst passionately believing in what they do. Or are aware of the quantity of plants that are bought in every year from abroad by the DIY superstores, who's pile them high and sell them cheap policies are killing anyone who has been a bedding specialist.
And finally, the post is not a scathing attack as Amateur Gardening have said in their piece, but is a well thought out piece of writing and if Amateur Gardening magazine had really done their homework they would have seen that Monty Don has posted a comment on the blog, in which he argues several points but says it is written "elegantly and with perceptive wit". I'm pretty sure the presenter would not have commented if it had just been a rant, or aimed at him.
If Amateur Gardening Magazine have anything further to add to this, my email address is on my website, which is www.thephysicgarden.co.uk, rather than here, my blog, and I look forward to hearing from them. Sadly I assume that is unlikely.
Finally a word to all garden writers out there. Whether a professional or an amateur, writing should be excited, passionate and inspiring, whatever it is you are writing about. Writing should be from the heart and every time you post or publish something you should feel that you are putting yourself out there. Never hold back because it is that kind of passionate writing, be it in blog, book or magazine form, that the horticultural industry in this country needs from you and will inspire new and old gardeners alike to rethink their own passion for gardening and plants and why they feel that way about what they do.