Hi all,I was given the details of this site by a Twitter friend who has been following my fight against elitism and misrepresentation in the media of the horticultural industry. I would love to get your feedback on this.In a nutshell I believe that the media paints a picture that glorifies BIG names, top end designers and the wealthy white middle class hobbiest. Completely misinforming the public, we are either self promoting designers OR rich retirees. Where in lies the representation of the professional? The support industries that give the big designers their materials? In an industry perceived as a hobby of the rich, it is no wonder professionals are considered hobbiests too, that yrs of training, expensive qualifications and hard graft are not appreciated and why Head Gardeber jobs are paid the same as a full time employee of Tesco. Gardener = outdoor cleaner.... The nursery, landscape and arborist professions are completely sidelined.Can I have your views here pls and what, if anything could be changed, many thanks Cx

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  • I'm a landscaper and agree we are totally undervalued.
    Our skill set is huge and if you are a landscaper/gardener like myself, then even bigger with plant names, pruning schedules, pests and diseases to name a few.
    We are akin to builders, but if I put a garden quote in and it's a few thousand it gets baulked at quite often.
    My friends often joke that all I do is cut grass, but unfortunately I think a lot of people actually think this.
    It doesn't help that people like david Cameron makes flippant comments like when he suggested convicted criminals should do things like pick up litter and do gardening!
    Also the mow and go men as we call them who turn up in summer just to earn a few quid devalue the rest of us.
    The only thing that I can think of is to have a necessary legal qualification which is paid for. That may put the cowboys off.
    • Many thanks for reply. Totally agree about the man with van and rusty strimmer. I'm going to bring up the quote from mr Cameron. The whole industry is run by fools in straw hats and big wallets. Many thanks pls follow me on Twitter if you can, I'm on a mission @Bloomblogs
      • Totally agree with above - undervalued not necessarily from a financial view, but from a knowledge and skill set position. I'd like to see Cameron work with me for a day or two but that's another issue entirely. I am a one man operation but (hopefully) retain valued customers with proficiency knowledge and reliability. I can see change of the perception of our industry through writing blogs and for local papers/parish magazines aimed at all people with an outdoor area. I've been writing blogs for a year now, best thing I ever did.  If it can resonate with the single parent with little time, the kid who wants to grow some veg etc. it surely must be a good thing.

        From a pro side, I am not versed in the trade association situation (BALI etc), but I know LJN educates both us in the trade and the wider public audience so again, it can only be a force for good.

        I do not own a straw hat at this point though....

        • Hi Andy can you point me in direction of your blog and I will promote via my Twitter. Good keep away from the straw hats, false teeth and gagtastic sycophants.
          • Haha you must do the same Charlie - your writing is right to the point! I write a periodic blog (usually weather related!) on my site ;

            • I have no interest in impressing the powers that be....brill thank you.
              • I do feel undervalued financially as a tradesman.
                With my skill set, experience, qualifications and awards I would probably earn double if I was a sparky or plumber or joiner.
      • Charlies Twitter handle is @Bloomsblogs  the "s" is missing in the above post.

  • PRO

    I am a gardener by choice and never felt under valued by my customers or stigmatised , I find it a joy to work outdoors and count my blessings , are you suggesting that gardeners should be paid more than people who work at Tesco because working at Tesco is a lowly job ?  this is discrimination against Tesco workers , Its the same language as Cameron saying convicted criminals should become gardeners . ( forgive me if i have misunderstood )

    There has always being a stigma attached to gardeners , I remember kids at school who were disruptive or slow were given rural studies ( i.e digging the school garden ) , There are those on Tv who have also gone on to dispel the myth that gardeners are thick , proving gardeners with the common touch can be quite erudite and knowledgeable . 

    There is still a certain mindset amongst the tradesman use the back door brigade who are stuck in the 18th century , They will advertise for a live in head gardener adding spouse to do cleaning and other domestic duties assuming all gardeners have a spouse who cleans which really windes me up but i try and rise above my feelings . 

    I am sure we all know gardeners who have made a career change from all walks of life escaping from stressful demanding jobs and couldn't be happier . 

    I feel low wages is down to that old chestnut of some employers paying as little as they can get away with , many Gardeners on here are self employed to escape becoming wage slaves and the knowledge people have on here is just fantastic , self employed gardeners are not regulated as to how much we are allowed to earn but most customers will have a ceiling on how much they are prepared to pay for their garden maintaining or re designing , not sure if its based on how they perceive gardeners and have being influenced by misrepresentation by the media . 

    A brilliant thought provoking post though Charlie

    • Tesco workers do not have to pay upto £1000 in qualifications, training and exams, plus tools and transport, as I have done. Large landscapers having to spend many thousands on equipment, insurance etc etc in those terms no a professional Gardeber should NOT be paid equivalent of Tesco worker. That is not description that is Coke hard truth
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