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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Garden[ing] Ethics?

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sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 28, 2012
4:51 PM

Post #9185302

I am both a gardener and an academic philosopher, and I think there are any number of 'moral issues' that arise around gardening. I do not want to lecture anyone (!), but to start a thread in which people can raise and discuss the issues they think are important. To get started, I will suggest a somewhat esoteric issue by means of a story.

At the Philly Flower Show, my adult companion pointed out to me and my daughter a number of competition entries by someone I apparently met at some wealthy enclave some summers back (I was a poor-relations guest). I noted that the submitter seemed to be entered into a really wide variety of plant-type competitions. My companion told us that this competitor has a full-time, two-home, gardening staff. In other words, she does not actually garden, herself; she has employees who do it for her. My daughter said, "But that's cheating!" My companion denied this and said that people of means always have taken credit for work done by those they employ.

So here is the question: do people who have private gardeners - their 'own' or on contract - play fair if they compete in garden shows with the products of their employees work?
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

June 28, 2012
6:44 PM

Post #9185465

That's an interesting question. It seems to me it would be awfully hard to figure out how to draw a line in the sand as to what is permissible and what is over the top.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 28, 2012
6:50 PM

Post #9185481

Yes, "lines in the sand" are difficult in most cases. But, might we consider less either/or views/
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 28, 2012
6:52 PM

Post #9185487

sissystars, I have often contemplated just that, and have decided, in my opinion, that if it were not for the benefactor, the exhibit would not exist. I do feel that it would be considerate to acknowledge the staffs work. If it were not for the philanthropy of people like the DuPont s, Pierces, Boks, many of the public gardens we enjoy would not exist. Many of these garden lovers founded and supported many of the horticulture and gardening societies we enjoy today. I do feel the judging should be totally impartial if not anonymous till the awards are decided. Holly's Ric Nice to meet you!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 28, 2012
7:04 PM

Post #9185517

I say no. Seems to me that a garden show with individual entries is meant to be one person's work displayed, not the work one person can hire help to do. Isn't an art show, pieces by the artist? yes. Mr Dupont could sponsor an artist and have Mr Duponts Picasso Exhibition but the artist/ gardener ought to get this/ her name on the piece. How nice if Mrs Richlady let her workers get credit -where credit is due?! VEerybody inbolbed would know she pays for it.

I was never aware this was done.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

June 28, 2012
7:10 PM

Post #9185527

Yes, but each of us has varying resources. Some can buy all the plants, soil amendments, pots, etc. our hearts desire; other only grow the plants we can get from swaps. Some of us work while others have our days free to garden and no kids around our knees. Some have help with housework so we can focus on the yard. Some have an employee help with some yard work, but not the particular flower being exhibited. Some have gardens with great soil and sun, and others fight hardpan and shade. Some of us have acres, and some of us have matchboxes. Some of us have disabilities. Again, no bright lines.

(There was a great scene in Downton Abbey this brings to mind, involving a rose exhibit...)

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 28, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9185539

That's all true. And I can think of other creative endeavors (All creative endeavors?) where these things apply.

But I'm still siding with Gail the Gardener being able to put her name on the rose, not Mrs Richlady. Or at least, woudn't t be nice of Mrs R?
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 28, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9185540

Sissy, You know dog shows aren't much different. There are wealthy owners who have handlers who train and show their dogs for them and I can think of many other competitions that are similar. When Ric and I go to the Phila Show we always enjoy the exhibits and quite often notice the Dupont name attached to many of the blue ribbon winners and we know that they have staff, conservatories and advantages that we would not have to grow and display some of those plants. We do enjoy seeing some of the huge plants that they can grow. One of the members of our Hobby Greenhouse Assoc has a plant that would rival any that I have seen shown at the Phila Flower Show. He is a retired nursery man certainly not wealthy. I might feel a bit different if I was competing against them. Holly

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 29, 2012
12:30 PM

Post #9186385

Good comparison with the dogshows. Horse racing too- Horse has an owner but also trainers and the place to live, I guess though that every racehorse owner must be 'somewhat' affluent. In any case- the dog show trainer is right there in the rink running with the dog, right? At least, isn't there that much recognition?

What if there was an Elite category with a steeper entry fee?
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

June 29, 2012
2:36 PM

Post #9186591

This is a perfect lesson to learn about souls. All must answer to the "The True Judge." I believe that the best answer would be that we, as mere Humans, are not in the position to judge. This incident is not isolated to only gardening, but across the whole Human Race, and has throughout time!

But, I'll throw in a gardening example of my own: I remember a lady (who had allot of money) picking Daffodils along her lane, and taking them to the Garden Show, where the efforts of those who grew and prayed over their Daffys were in the same competition as hers. Did she win because of her stature in life? Or because she was a very old lady? Or because her daffys were truly superior?

Again, we do not know all the facts, only G__ does. So, go on, find peace, and live!
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 29, 2012
7:20 PM

Post #9186879

@HollyAnnS and sallyg:

I get the analogies, but trainers and handlers/jockeys are recognized in the process of such shows. In something like the Flower Show, the only name in evidence is that of the 'submitter,' even if that person did nothing to grow or care for the plant.

And, as Holly [sort of] notes, what if you are not a wealthy person - just a good and avid gardener? Is it fair that your entry is judged against that/those of someone who has professional staff?

P.S. I'm very happy to see the responses. If you have other moral/ethical issues you want to discuss, please post!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 29, 2012
8:07 PM

Post #9186964

Well, I have also been thinking about how much time does the wealthier person spend gardening. Just because you have staff doesn't mean that they don't spend a good bit of time working in their GH maybe caring for the plants that they are showing, choosing which plants will be shown. Many of them are hands on gardeners with support staff. There are many beautiful gardens where the homeowner does the gardening with the help of a laborer. They do the planing, and some of the day to day work with a laborer, to help with the heavy digging, mowing and things that they can't. Does that make their gardens any less note worthy? Since we do not know the extent of each contestants commitment to the gardening process it would be hard to determine fairness. Things may not always be as perceived.

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 29, 2012
9:10 PM

Post #9187026

Credit given - where credit due. If it were a village that raised the 'child' then certainly list them by name.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2012
3:03 AM

Post #9187117

I never knew this practice existed but I agree with Sally.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 30, 2012
10:01 AM

Post #9187473

Kind of reminds me of Science Fair when the projects seemed very adult level LOL.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2012
12:14 PM

Post #9187612

[quote="sallyg"]Kind of reminds me of Science Fair when the projects seemed very adult level LOL.
[/quote]

YES! I recall watching other parents carrying in their obviously kit-made planetary systems while my poor son struggled with the hodgepodge of styrofoam things I had insisted he put together.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2012
12:16 PM

Post #9187615

@HoolyAnnS:

I just noticed your "nice to meet you," and wish to say the same in return. Are you Holly or 'Holly's Ric'?
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2012
12:18 PM

Post #9187617

[quote="Pippi21"]I never knew this practice existed but I agree with Sally. [/quote]

Netiher did I until I (a) met these fabulously wealthy folks and (b) noticed their names on submissions to the Flower Show.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 30, 2012
1:10 PM

Post #9187692

Have any of you all ever entered a flower show or even a county fair? Each show or society has their own set of rules that exhibitors and entries must meet to qualify for entry into 'judging' in multi categories and divisions. The Boston Flower show for instance does not allow any plants not in the possession of the individual exhibitor for at least three months prior to the show.

If the exhibitor follows the rules then they are not 'cheating' whether or not they acknowledge publicly or privately any assistance or assisstants beyond their own two hands. Thomas Jefferson comes to mind as he had lots of unacknowledged help! If I win a blue ribbon with one of the plants I got at the spring swap. would/should the donner be acknowledged?

I'm following with interest the investigations into PHD theses and plagerism as a basis for recall.

Each year or local farmers market has a hot debate on what is considered "grown by the farmer" and each year the vendors who raise and grow some veggies and wholesale buy the rest continue to participate as well as one vendor that digs up "native plants" from her woods raising the ethical question of what happens when demand exceeds sustainable supply.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 30, 2012
1:25 PM

Post #9187709

Well stated coleup.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2012
2:44 PM

Post #9187835

LOL Sissy, You will get comments from both Ric and I under my HollyAnnS name. Ric usually signs his comments. So you know which of us you are talking to.
Coleup I have never entered anything in a flower show. There is one in York each year and I have on occasion thought of entering some plant that I have. I don't know much about the rules or what they judge on. Really how do they judge branches cut from evergreens?
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2012
4:54 PM

Post #9187976

Coleup -- I like what you said!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2012
5:19 PM

Post #9188010

All this made me think of all the Local Produce Stands here that sell all kinds of veggies--
"From our own garden". Really? As I see them packaging up stuff from cardboard boxes into
Their "own" bags.
I am sure this produce is FRESH from somewhere! But NOT from their own farms.
OH! It is displayed and packaged in little boxes or sold in bulk from a bushel basket---BUT!!!!

I have an issue with that...

Still--deep down I believe it is fresher than the grocery Store's. That's what is behind all the
ticks of the trade and how you sell and package things...
Gita
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 30, 2012
5:36 PM

Post #9188036

This is my philosophy. Life is not fair. Life is just life. You will be happier if you accept life the way it is. Then you wont be surprised or pained when circumstances show you that life is not fair. It is our belief that it "should" be fair that causes us the pain. To me there is not a lot of difference between the meaning of "should" and the word "wish".
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 30, 2012
6:11 PM

Post #9188085

Sissy, you ask "Is it fair that your entry is judged against that/those of someone who has professional staff?" My understanding is that each entry is judged on its own merits by a judge accredited by National Garden Clubs, Inc according to previously agreed upon criteria for each category and available to each entrant. So, each entry receives points for each of several or more criteria up to 100. One with highest points wins blue and so on. Before one becomes a judge a high degree of reliability of judging must be demonstrated, ie a plant scoring 77 by one judge would receive a very similar score by any other judge, with little deviation. sallyg will remember that we had to do this "reliability" as part of our training to do food service facility inspections or she would close down a restaurant that I would leave open or vise versa. Back in the day, we never were the inspector of record for establishments we had an interest in or frequented. I suspect this is one of the reasons judges come from as far afield as possible so as to not play favorites! By the time one gets to be the Head Judge at the Westminster Dog Show who selects "Best in Show" your ethics and integrity as a judge has to be substantial and widely acknowledged, ie not a 'celebrity' position! Perhaps the woman exhibitor you use in your opening is on her way to becoming a judge?

http://www.mtfgc.org/judgescouncil.htm


How do you become an Accredited Judge?

* Attend four Flower Show School courses and pass an exam at the end of each school with a score of at least 70. Each school studies several Design types and Horticulture families. Flower Show procedure and Judging ethics are also covered.

* Earn five exhibiting credits, two in design and three in horticulture or three in design and two in horticulture. Each credit is earned by winning a blue ribbon or getting a score of 90+ on the exhibit.

* Earn five judging credits.

* Successfully write a Standard Flower Show schedule.

* Pass the Handbook (Handbook for Flower Shows) examination with a score of at least 70.

Thirty plus years ago when I wanted to join one of four localGarden Clubs, they were a pretty exclusive bunch voting on accepting a new member after a garden tour by the club. Many applied, but few were chosen. Of course those not chosen could apply at a later date or, start their own club, and around this 'historic' area it tended to be the more well off extensive gardens that made the cut...

Here is a little article on the history of Garden Clubs, Note that Sandy Springs Maryland is the 'beginning back in 1860! Lots of history and tradition behind your Phiil Flower Show experience.
http://uberarticles.com/gardening/american-garden-clubs-the-history/!






This message was edited Jun 30, 2012 9:14 PM

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 30, 2012
6:36 PM

Post #9188119

steadycam, I like that.

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2012
8:02 PM

Post #9188235

Ditto
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
11:18 AM

Post #9188760

Hey, if we think we've beaten this one to death, how about Coleup's person who digs up native plants to sell? Or, maybe the selling is not crucial? I know someone who has been raiding the local woods for moss for his moss garden. (He has taken a great deal of it.)

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 1, 2012
11:26 AM

Post #9188765

I do not like the digging of native plants to sell. Often the natives will not live long term. If you own wild land and have natives, I guess you can do what you want. It would probably be enough of a challenge keeping invasives from spoiling it. I guess if I 'owned' natives I might try 'harvesting' plants at some level for sale. But I'd sell things IF I could expect them to survive, and NOT if I thought I'd make a quick buck, and it would die on the customer, and they would blame weather, poor skills, etc.

I WOULD fully encourage somehow the rescue of doomed plants about the be bulldozed.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
11:50 AM

Post #9188789

P.S. to Coleup on the flower competition thing:

No, this woman is not working on becoming a judge. Also, I did not think she was breaking the rules for the competition. My question was about the ethics of it: in effect, claiming credit for work you did not do, even if you are the owner of the product/item.

What 'recalls' based on plagiarized dissertations are going on? (Of course, if you plagiarized, you lose the Ph.D.; or, if you claimed a Ph.D. as a job qualification and are caught out as a plagiairist, you might lose the job as well as the title.)
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
11:54 AM

Post #9188795

@HollyAnn:

You know you could enter the 'Philly' Flower Show. (The woman I was discussing originally belongs to the Mount Desert, Maine, Garden Club; location is not an issue.) It's actually run by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; it just takes place in Philly.
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 1, 2012
12:07 PM

Post #9188808

Do horticultural societies have ethics guidelines for their shows? I dont know if their objective is to get as many entries as possible or if they have some other goals they are trying to satisfy with the show. Perhaps you could research this and maybe write an article for their newsletter proposing such guidelines. Same for the wild flowers. There is probably already a state law against it but you could write an article bringing awareness to the illegal practice for an appropriate media.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

July 1, 2012
7:01 PM

Post #9189238

sissystars - if someone's money, or any influence of theirs (such as having a great idea), caused the product to come into being, then they indeed are due credit. Look at it this way - if withholding of funds prevents the product, then why should someone be "penalized" for paying for it and causing it to happen?

Gita - Caveat Emptor. If people have growing sense, they know when something is in season, realistically, in their area. If they do not know about veggie gardens, and don't ask the sellers where the produce is from, then let them have that "plastic produce." Everyone is responsible for their own ignorance. (I use "ignorance" in the classical sense, not as it is seen today, as a slander.)

In today's world, it seems that money often drives the car...see steadycam's comment about determining the objective. And about people desiring wildflowers at whatever cost.

With this week being the annual celebration of the 236th year of our nationís birth, and in conjunction with this thread, it might be good to remind everyone what the Signers of the Declaration of Independence went through for their stand (objective).

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War.

I hope that all who read this will pause and think about these signers (and all of them!), how they were penalized, what they sacrificed, so that we can be here today.

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 1, 2012
7:12 PM

Post #9189266

Very well put Gracye and not to take away but to add...let us continue to remember the men, women, and their families present and past that continue to show that selfless sacrifice so we can continue to be the Land of the Free.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
10:33 PM

Post #9189411

Grayce:

-" if someone's money, or any influence of theirs (such as having a great idea), caused the product to come into being, then they indeed are due credit. Look at it this way - if withholding of funds prevents the product, then why should someone be "penalized" for paying for it and causing it to happen?"

2 last thoughts (as I think we might have other interesting issues to turn to): I would distinguish between a great (new) idea and asking someone to plant something. And, yes, the particular palnt/display would not exist without X's paying someone to create it. However, (a) plant entries are not all that uniqe that a similar one would not exist, and (b) I think some credit should go to those who do the work.

My LAST (promise!) comment on this first topic: the people I have in mind do NOT plan their own gardens - although they might select certain cultivars for their gardeners to grow and enter into competitions.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
10:39 PM

Post #9189415

@steadycam3 (great handle):

Competitions have rules rather than ethical guidelines. I think that makes sense, as the moral issues might be quite difficult to adjudicate - as we see here in this thread. The idea of a set of ethical guidelines for competitors in such things is an interesting ones. I doubt I am sufficiently informed to develop such a set.

I have not checked, but I would guess that there are some articles on the native-plants question. It's an interesting problem. (I cannot imagine what my colleagues would say if I suddenly announced a new article along those lines: I do legal and political philosophy for the most part.) Thanks for the suggestion; I think I will look into it!
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2012
10:42 PM

Post #9189417

@SallyG:

Your concerns about what the 'buyers' are getting is interesting; I really had not thought of it from that angle. Maybe my moss-harvesting neighbor will find his stolen mosses do not thrive (wishful thinking).

I was thinking more about the stripping of a habitat and, as Coleup suggested, a kind of fraudulent selling of something one has not grown.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2012
6:57 AM

Post #9189710

Special Request

Haven't heard from a number of folks that the major storm that blew through on Friday night may have impacted like ruby, aspenhill, greenthumb and pat, ssgardener, donnerville, Bec, hart, speedy and catbird to name a few...Hope they will check in soon and that they are all ok.

If any of you reading this have a way of checking in with any of the above or other DG neighbors, knowing that they may be out of power and cell phone service, please do so and convey our prayers and wishes for their well being.

You can report any weather and well being reports on our ongoing Chat thread (Your Neck of the Woods) here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1268408/

Thanks,

Judy

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2012
7:07 AM

Post #9189723

sissystars
Just to clarify, though it may not be needed
; ^)
I am concerned with the stripping of a habitat, made even more onerous BY the demise of the stripped plants. If I conveyed concern first for the buyers, I didn't mean to.

However, if I had legal rights to a plot of land, and on that plot had plants that, after research, I could expect to be able to dig and sell, at a sustainable level, I might do so. Example, sensitive fern Onoclea, is a very tough plant . It's native, but very common here and I would think suitable to gather and sell.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 2, 2012
12:59 PM

Post #9190181

I have dug Va Blue Bells from the creek beds around my home. May apples, too. I always harvest from an area with plenty to spare and only a few pots each year.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 2, 2012
7:25 PM

Post #9190651

@Sally:

I understood your post: I just wanted to clarify - a big thing among philosophers :-)

I saw someone a few years back 'harvesting' wild flox at the edge of a public space. She was filling up a small wagon with plants. When she saw me looking at her she said, "They don't belong to anybody." I was tempted to point out that the plants 'belonged to' everyone, but did not.

What grows on one's own property is clearly a different matter. As long as one does not utterly strip a large area (and, let's face it, most natives will recoup), I do not see that as a problem. I certainly have 'relocated' natives in order to spread them out.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2012
9:07 PM

Post #9190743

I often muse about the possibilties of thinning out all the roadside plantings of daffodils and daylilies, those things that we know are huge and thick after a couple years, and could use dividing.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2012
11:29 PM

Post #9190793

Great tie ins here as Garden Clubs were instrumental in what culminated in the Highway Beautification Act, signed in to law in 1965 and spearheaded by LadyBird Johnson. One of the stated missions of Garden Clubs/societies is to beautify the public space. The proceeds of 2012 Philly Flower Show went to planting a million trees and other projects they sponsor in Philly.

There certainly are "ethics" on the books for the Philly Show and Garden Clubs as mentioned in this blog by a multi-timed judge at the Philly show. Interesting behind the scenes look!
http://thegardendiaries.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/aloha-behind-the-scenes-at-the-philadelphia-flower-show/

The above article also states that exhibitors are subsidised for plant materials to level the playing field between MrsRich and Gail Gardener. The main emphasis is to have the best show ever while educating the participants and general public in the process and raising the aestetic bar in what is possible horticulturally (if I'm not totally mistating the three general goals)

Back to the highway plantings. The most successful projects are those sponsored or adopted by a group that volunteers to plant and/ or maintain a section. Many times this care and maintenance is sorely lacking..new trees are not watered until established, wild flower meadows are mowed or sprayed. Generally bulbs and other dividables are just pulled and replaced (or not) when "beautification craze" or funding lapses...Many gardens here depend on volunteer s...Paca, Londontowne, Quiet Waters, and didn't someone here used to volunteer at Longwood? Isn't volunteering part of being a Master Gardener?

In West Virginia and many other states it is illegal to collect any plant material within 100 feet of any road way, state land, etc without express written permission . Many plants and their habitats are protected by federal and state laws from 'collecting' or disturbing (Do Not Pick the Flowers) (Stay On The Trail) (No fire wood allowed). etc.




*

This message was edited Jul 3, 2012 7:48 AM
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
1:06 AM

Post #9190827

[quote="sissystars"]@Sally:

I understood your post: I just wanted to clarify - a big thing among philosophers :-)

I saw someone a few years back 'harvesting' wild flox at the edge of a public space. She was filling up a small wagon with plants. When she saw me looking at her she said, "They don't belong to anybody." I was tempted to point out that the plants 'belonged to' everyone, but did not.

What grows on one's own property is clearly a different matter. As long as one does not utterly strip a large area (and, let's face it, most natives will recoup), I do not see that as a problem. I certainly have 'relocated' natives in order to spread them out. [/quote]

Sissy, I'm going to play devils advocate here with two of your statements above.

First, "(let's face it, most natives will recoup)"
I think this is a common misperception. Yes, 'natives' are well adapted to an areas growing conditions, soils and ecosystem plant communities, but that doesn't mean they will bounce back from interventions or be able to adapt in time to survive let alone thrive. I offer a Quote from the National Arboretum:

"Does digging wildflowers from the wild hurt the environment?
Absolutely! Removing wildflowers from the wild is harmful for three reasons. First, you diminish the natural population and consequently reduce the diversity within that population. With less diversity, a plant population may be less capable of responding to environmental changes; it may perish if suddenly stressed by disease, insects, or sudden extremes in weather. Second, nature is likely to fill the vacuum you create when you dig up a wildflower with a plant of a different species, often an invasive weed. Finally, wild collected plants often perform poorly in the garden. Plants propagated in a nursery or grown from wild collected seed or cuttings, are much more likely to survive transplanting. "
http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/nativefaq2.html

and further from Arboretum site:
"Where can I get native plants?
Buy plants from a reputable nursery or grow them from seed yourself. You may be surprised to learn that some wildflowers are still taken from the wild to be sold at commercial nurseries, particularly the slow growing trilliums, orchids, and lilies. This practice has a negative impact on biodiversity and often the plants don't survive. When buying native plants make sure that the nursery propagates what it sells or buys from wholesalers who propagate plants from nursery grown stock plants. Fortunately, conservation-minded native plant nurseries that specialize in propagating and selling native plants have sprung up all over the country; your local native plant society may be able to recommend one to you. You can also check our Plant Sources Page for tips on finding sources for native plants.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a great resource for all kinds of native plant and wildflower information. The Center's web site at www.wildflower.org lists state wildflower and native plant societies."

To put my own twist on this, we can't ethically keep plantlifting from nature because nature has so many that one or two or all won't be missed, and besides, I want to and I can.

Second, your statement. "I do not see that as a problem"
Whether or not we see something as a problem does not mean that something is or is not a problem, but may influence our future actions. And, if it isn't seen as a problem for me or you,for who or what might it be a problem ?
Perhaps the plants and the critters who depend upon them and upon whom they depend.




HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 3, 2012
5:22 AM

Post #9190948

Very nice article, Thanks for the link Coleup.

coleuslover123

coleuslover123
Mount Laurel, NJ

July 3, 2012
5:52 AM

Post #9190974

I bought a very pretty coleus at a nursery a few years back ("twist n twirl") and it had stated on it that it was trade marked. Later I read that you are not allowed to propagate trade marked plants. Come on! You mean to tell me it's against the law for me to take a stem cutting and propagate this coleus I bought? Isn't that taking things a bit too far?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
6:19 AM

Post #9191023

Here's a lengthy discussion of field collecting natives
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1200822/
~~
Here coleuslover-
http://library.findlaw.com/2002/Dec/11/132431.html

It would take a lot to get them to come after you but- a whole lot of money goes into developing cultivars.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 3, 2012
12:26 PM

Post #9191511

Patented plants for sure can't be propagated to sell. Propagated to share or to multiply it in your own garden? More of a grey area, I think. And what about taking a "backup" cutting in case your original purchased plant dies? That's almost like backing up a program when you've paid for a software license, the idea being what you've paid for is the right to have and use a copy of the program... or in this case, the right to have a particular (patented) plant in your garden, whether or not it's the original one you purchased.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 3, 2012
5:34 PM

Post #9191912

@Coleup:

I had no idea that hatives could be so fragile. And, of course, I was assuming one did not really thin out or remove all the plants from one area. I move wild daylilies around every few years: both to spread them out and to keep any one area from becoming clogged with them.

As for 'problems,' you are quite correct that not seeing a problem is not the same as there not being one.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 5, 2012
5:48 PM

Post #9194569

Ok. I'll throw out two others (I would love it if others raised their own issues):

1) Critters who harm our plants: ok to kill them? does it matter if they are insects or mammals?

2) Chemicals in the garden: are you all orangic, somewhat organic, or not concerned? What should we think about when we use chmeicals that might be harmful to the surrounding environment?

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 6, 2012
10:33 PM

Post #9196079

Excellent responses all...I'm enthralled with the conversations...

Being in a townhouse I don't have much yard...and having the 3 fairly large dogs mammal critters don't seem to have a desire to enter my back yard...LOL. I prefer to deter rather than eradicate. We did have a situation (as did many neighbors) w/skunks out front last year. I found where they where they'd dug under my stoop and place cotton balls dipped in a mix of cayenne/garlic/tea tree oil right outside the opening late one night. They decided to go else where. I even leave most the bugs alone as I figure they're food for something else...of course I don't have much of an issue with buggies destroying what I have growing out there. I will, as stated previously, spray with the neem mixture Sally turned me on to IF something is getting to be too much (read white fly population) LOL I've even taught the little ones that lady bugs are good for many reasons. When they find them - they'll bring them to our front yard asking which plant 'needs' them. My DD (their mommy) just grins and shakes her head. They'll point out toads on the sidewalk at night (so we can 'herd' them into the yard) and are no longer afraid of the bats after we've discussed what wonderful 'skeeter' catchers they are. They know many of the plants are grown out there specifically for the hummers and esp. the honey bees. I use most of the herbs I grow in honeys, oils and even make tinctures etc...so for me - I don't want chemicals sprayed out there. I will never forget years ago - the owner of the townhouse beside me had someone power washing their siding. I got home and my son ran out to me saying "Mom, don't worry - I asked him what he was using to clean with since it was right next to some of your plants." Gotta love kids...even as teenagers...they DO listen despite acting like they don't. My lovely HOA (the same ones that get excited when my vines in the back yard [backs to woods] grow over MY fence) decided they needed to pay the landscape co to 'spray.' Seriously?!? Poor guy - I came out and the smell!! I approached him asking what he was spraying and why. It was a chemical fertilizer and weed killer. So now the clover is gone (poor bunnies and bees) and we have attractive brown patches. I told him to please not spray in close proximately to my yard if he needed to come back - showed him which was my yard (hard to miss LOL) and explained I didn't mind the clover. Sweet guy...he smiled and said no worries, he'd make sure he didn't spray near my yard if they sent him back.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 7, 2012
4:21 AM

Post #9196148

Bunnies out there eating my clover right now. One cheeky devil was up on the deck. Ric planted it to make the grass tougher for the kids to play on. Only problem was how often he needed to mow. Just miss it by a day and the clover flowers and the honey bees come in. We have a lot of weeds growing in the grass and I asked him to treat the yard and the first thing he said was that would kill the clover.
There is the issue that I provide all the things these animals & bugs want in my gardens, The right plants plenty of water and then I'm not happy when they eat my prized plants. If only they were good house guests and eat those things I don't care about but no they have to raid the fridge and get to the good stuff.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 7, 2012
10:39 AM

Post #9196579

Well- I have had battles with critters but the smaller they are the easier it is to stomach killing them. I've trapped voles and squished lots of bugs, but bunnes, squirrels, and groundhogs- its harder to come to grips with. I do not spend a lot of money in the garden so I cannot justify killing them on the basis of cost to me. I take critter damage as an unavoidable variable, like weather., just shrug and move on. I think others have the right to do what they want..
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

July 7, 2012
2:20 PM

Post #9196867

1) I do not tolerate species that are not native, that infest my land. This includes Japanese Beetles and Stink Bugs.
But I am known to LOVE other species, so there is a balance on my land.

As far as furry varmints, Hubby traps them and they go to the family farm. But, Bambi? I use the natural stinky anti-Bambi chemicals (which work), but cars also have their way with them due to our proximity with the busy road, and so does my contractor (who is a "Good 'Ole Boy" and travels with his rifle at all times), when one is hit...(now, THAT's a story!)

2) I am on well water and extremely aware of chemicals. We have a responsibility to the Earth, and that includes (not) allowing plagues of varmints to multiply, by way of eating you literally out of house and home (and successfully ridding us of native species). Have to think beyond yourself and more global.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 7, 2012
8:11 PM

Post #9197281

@Grayce:

We have well water, as ...well (ouch). This is one reason our 'lawn' is mostly gone to weeds: everything I look at for large-scale control is scary.

We have been using the Hav-a-Hart traps for years and are barely keeping ahead of the groundhogs. I use stinky sprays for the deer and rabbits (although that does rather spoil one's enjoyment of the garden beds).

I think your comment about being responsible about invaders is interesting. It can be very difficult to find the right balance: how to control destructive species without poisoning the earth.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 7, 2012
8:23 PM

Post #9197289

Speaking of ethical matters: Am I expected to maintain/orchestrate this thread? I ask this because some other thread-starters seem to take their role as managers very seriously, and I am not sure I am up to it!

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2012
5:39 AM

Post #9197504

I'm not quite sure, Sissy. I have started a thread or 2 in here, but personally, I am very lax about maintenance/orchestration. Then again, I tend to be a chatty person, so as long as there's activity and chatting on a thread I've started, I'm happy. =) I guess it all tends to be a personal preference thing, but that's just a guess.

I'm not sure how much of an "ethical" thing this is, but the discussion of critter control leads me to think of this: Non-natives aside (ie: Japanese beetles which were introduced to this country from elsewhere), how "natural" is it, really, for us to 'control' what eats what, and where, including in our gardens? On one hand, it is nature's cycle of things for some species to temporarily dominate; eat all the prey available to the point of over-running an area. Then, once there is no longer a food source left, that 'dominant' species will eventually starve out and/or move elsewhere, thus allowing the 'prey' species(es) to re-populate the area. Thus is the cycle of nature. When we go out there and repel/spray-to-kill/trap-and-relocate, are we not mucking about with nature's cycles of things? Is that cool? I mean, as a yardener, I TOTALLY understand all the hard work we put into our babies, and we don't want stuff eating them and killing them, on the other hand, just because we're at the top of the food chain, does that **really** mean we have the right to decide what everyone else can or cannot eat? (and, when I say "everyone else", I mean non-human).

Like I said at the start, I'm not sure how much of an "ethical" subject this is, but it does make me wonder. Any thoughts?
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 8, 2012
9:10 AM

Post #9197716

speedy, Our "yardens" are atypical when considering natural habitat, may of us expend a lot of time and money keeping them that way. I would much rather see repelling or relocation of native species used if possible, to keep them as natural as possible, and retain what patience and sanity left.
If we all were striving to be a certified natural habitat there would be not question to the issue, so are we wrong or upsetting the cycle just by interfering by introducing non-native plants. Since humans are the only species to contemplate beauty and express it in our efforts, I'm not going to ask the ground hog eating everything from Asters to Zinnias his opinion. Even the Cro-Magnon enjoyed his art, even if it represented his dinner. Ric

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #9197727

speedie well said !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ric, too. If we were pioneers on the frontier, killing the groundhog would be survival for us, or death by losing our vital crops, not to mention the needed protein.

I think the weighting falls on :
is it a luxury, or a necessity?
and
how much money and labor is invested VS the loss caused by damage?


sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2012
9:23 AM

Post #9197733

@ sissy about "thread-iquette"

I think, since you started it, you may help perpetuate if you wish, or sit back and let it follow whatever course comes along. If the discussion seems lively and continuing on the original topic, then making a continuation thread after about 200 posts is often nice for anyone who has slower loading internet.

I think thread joiners should remember original topic and be sensitive to keeping the thread somewhat on topic.

On topic threads, and efforts to keep them active, and new threads with new topics , encourages new participants.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 8, 2012
9:55 AM

Post #9197764

sallyg, we ended up having 3 of these eating machines here at once doing a lot of damage, and each day showing less fear. The bunnies do very little damage and love trimming the clover in the lawn, we have a truce with them. Deer are infrequent invaders, but even they can run up a pretty good tab in just one night. To go out in the morning and find every tulip in the plantings sans center and bud is to me upsetting. Alfie gets a lot of leash walks (to mark his territory) when they come calling. I've also used hair, and blood meal to deter their visits. Ric

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2012
12:07 PM

Post #9197872

Ric, I hope it didn't sound as if I have no sympathy for the stricken gardener. I guess I forgot to say the extent of damage done is a factor.
Beleive me, I can taste your frustration. A few years ago, I fixed up a small flower bed at Moms yard. I brought Stella D'oros and got her a potted tomato plant for the patio. I really looked forward to her sitting on her swing and seeing the flowers. I was just sick when the buds were all eaten. Deer came through, nothing to fear in her quiet yard. Something ate her tomatos. I could have cried; how unfair to pick on my poor mom.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 8, 2012
12:56 PM

Post #9197927

Grrrrr, No dear deer there! No offense intended, none taken. If I were not free to act against the vandals, I simply wouldn't bother planting. LOL Ric
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

July 8, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9197945

When you come right down to it, aren't WE the critters that need to be controlled? If we destroy natural habitat to build our homes, and to plant non-native species, aren't WE "the beginning of the end?"
All the foxes, squirrels, and other assorted native "varmints" look on as we encroach.

What I am saying is that, as we take the responsibility to step on other's land (meaning native species fuzzy and green), we are OBLIGED to be responsible to our environment. That includes learning how to get along with others, and making rules based on logic and reason. Meaning, wild habitat that "plays nice" should be encouraged to live with us, and what does NOT, well...you get my drift.

In the case of Japanese Beetles, for example, since mankind introduced them into a non-native environment, mankind has the responsibility of protecting the preyed-upon by those Beetles.

(Ric-TOTALLY agree with the non-typical nature of our walk with yards and all...)

Or else we should just get out of their space! (Just call me a true Alpha female.)

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 9, 2012
3:12 AM

Post #9198566

[quote="Gracye"]When you come right down to it, aren't WE the critters that need to be controlled? If we destroy natural habitat to build our homes, and to plant non-native species, aren't WE "the beginning of the end?"
All the foxes, squirrels, and other assorted native "varmints" look on as we encroach.
[/quote]

Well said, that's sorta what I was thinking when I brought it up, (the comment about "being at the top of the food chain"), but I think you worded it better. Just because we **can**, does that necessarily mean that we **should**?

And yes, just how much damage is done is a factor as well... but isn't that subjective? What I consider to be 'too much', another might see as "well, that's just nature doing its thing", or any other shades of variance in between. There are so many little 'micro-environments' to consider, like our own little patch of yard. While we may not be wiping out an entire state's worth of plants, maybe nature would have it that there are 'supposed to be' a certain number of *these* critters eating these certain number of *these* specific plants. Then we come along and say "Well, it's a native, I'm not killing it, I'm just gonna move it over *there* instead; that should be alright". And now we have taken away/relocated the food source for the certain number of *those* critters,... the butterfly effect, ya see? How do we **really** know what effect(s) we are having, long-term?

Now, all this is NOT to say we should stop gardening or let our yards run amok, Heavens to Betsy NO, but.. just stuff to think about.

And I am completely in agreement when it comes to Japanese beetles; they all must go!! Especially when they are eating the BUDS of my Echinacea to the point where I don't even have ONE bloom!! < =P

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 9, 2012
5:43 AM

Post #9198659

Really enjoying everyone's posts.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 15, 2012
9:45 AM

Post #9205891

Ditto to Holly's comment.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 18, 2012
4:23 PM

Post #9210545

Wow, you all are having a great conversation.

I think it is difficult, but important, for individuals to take a part in ensuring that we humans do not just occupy the planet and drive everything else out/into extinction. Sometimes this is a matter of what we do on our own land (chemicals, animal control, providing little habitats for birds, etc.), but there has to be a more 'political' aspect to it. I don't mean partisan politics (good grief, I come to DG partly to escape all that!), but sort of how we see ourselves as citizens.

So, example: If I had been around to attend the meetings at which a huge, dense development was planned right on open space - taking out not only the meadows but also the small forest - I would have been among those who tried to fight it. They lost and now the deer that used to have twice as much space are driving everyone nuts. The folks living in the development complain that they cannot even have containers on their decks, as the deer just jump up and eat everything. And of course, they put in enormous 'security' lights that have driven off the owls and bats... and so on.

sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 18, 2012
4:28 PM

Post #9210549

[quote="sallyg"]@ sissy about "thread-iquette"

I think, since you started it, you may help perpetuate if you wish, or sit back and let it follow whatever course comes along. If the discussion seems lively and continuing on the original topic, then making a continuation thread after about 200 posts is often nice for anyone who has slower loading internet.

I think thread joiners should remember original topic and be sensitive to keeping the thread somewhat on topic.

On topic threads, and efforts to keep them active, and new threads with new topics , encourages new participants.[/quote]

How does one create a continuation thread (thanks for the tip about internet troubles)?

I agree with the 'kind of on-topice' view. I have found some thread starters a bit heavy-handed about keeping everyone on task (so it really does feel like a task). But, an gerneal etiquette of not going off the deep end makes sense, especially as it does not require anyone to play the role of enforcer!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 18, 2012
6:57 PM

Post #9210759

Sissy, The easiest way to do a continuation thread is to copy and paste the address on a new thread with a like title and say we came from here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1268367/#new. Then copy and paste the new thread address on your last posting of the thread being continued saying we continue here.
Hope that is clear. LOL Ric

This message was edited Jul 18, 2012 9:58 PM

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 19, 2012
3:13 AM

Post #9210965

[quote="HollyAnnS"]Sissy, The easiest way to do a continuation thread is to copy and paste the address on a new thread with a like title and say we came from here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1268367/#new. Then copy and paste the new thread address on your last posting of the thread being continued saying we continue here.
Hope that is clear. LOL Ric

This message was edited Jul 18, 2012 9:58 PM[/quote]

Thank God I'm Polish 'cause I understood that perfectly! < =D

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 19, 2012
4:30 AM

Post #9211002

LOL

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 19, 2012
4:51 AM

Post #9211016

@ sissy
I totally agree with being sensitive to wildlife and natural areas. I value that a lot. But I have to question my commitment every time I look at our wasteful suburban development that we chose to live in. If I really cared, wouldn't I find someplace already ruined and wasted, and reclaim that? So much city space is now ruined for nature, and abandoned by people too. There are people in my neighborhood of 1/2 acre lots that seem to have no interest at all in anything besides keeping the grass cut. Am I right to look down on them? (Well yeah.. LOL)

We've created deer problems, and maybe a whole lotta more deer, by the way we make suburban development.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 20, 2012
12:27 PM

Post #9212570

@sallyG:

Have you ever read any of Aldo Leopold's essays. His most famous ones are collected in "A Sand County Almanac." Many are about his reclamation of a ruined old farm. (I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about nature; he was an astonishingly gifted writer.)

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2012
2:32 PM

Post #9212658

Thanks sissy, no, but I'll look him/ it up!
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

July 20, 2012
3:57 PM

Post #9212713

In considering the ethics of mankind living in whatever manner is chosen, I decided, when my dear husband offered for us to move to his rental, that I would go as "retro" as possible.
He kindly offered to bring the little cinderblock cottage up to date, but I really gave thought to this whole question. We did not get central air/heat, nor satellite access to the Net.
We refinished the hardwood floors (they are lovely), bought some wool braided rugs, installed those wide wood blinds on the windows, had a modest vinyl floor placed over the badly cracking original one (the settling had a major effect on the floor), repainted, and bought eco-friendly kitchen/laundry appliances.
We have antennae, well/septic, and propane for cooking and heat. We bought one of those "Vermont Stoves" that looks very Victorian, and it is just great. Cinderblock is great with insulation, it turns out. Our bathroom has the original old ceramic tub, and make-shift updates made by the guys who used to live in the house ('nuf said).
And, all on one small floor (900 square feet). Since we are heading toward our 60's, we are happy to have no stairs inside.
We could redo an old, historic home, but feel that we'd rather live our lives without this hassle. Honestly, suburbia is not for us - guess we old hippies just do not need the typical new home - we love our old house! My next mission? To buy an old clothesline and hang my sheets outside! Remember that?!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2012
6:11 PM

Post #9212837

Remember that ? I do it LOL

That sounds lovely Gracye.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

July 20, 2012
7:00 PM

Post #9212892

Grayce---

You made my heart go--AHHHH! The simple life!!! Not sure I could still manage that...

If I had a "hippie" handyman man in my life--I may try to--and make do. I like the "feedom-life"...

However---I like my AC--and the heat in the winter--and I like my plumbing benefits.
I am spoiled a bit---but i am also the only one that has to pay for it all nowadays.

I live in the house WE bought in a new development in 1969. First house I ever owned...
And--in 1993 when we divorced--this house became MY responsibility. I am still here.
It changed my lifestyle a lot. Now, I had to pay my own bills. I became frugal to a fault!
I like same old---same old. I do not like changes. They cost $$$. I like my "comfort level to be there"...

By now--even though I live in the same development (almost 44 years) --My lifestyle has become so frugal
that I no longer remember the "other" lifestyle--when I relied on my husband to pay all the bills.
It suits me fine now . I am NOT a fancy life-style person.

Practical and resourceful to a fault...Will NEVER set foot in a Macys or a Kohls.
Thrift Shops have a lot more choices...For one--they still have pants that come up to your waist...

I can buy a watch for $2.99--because all i want is the watch band. Don't care if it runs or not.
Watch bands alone wil run you $10-$12. Nice tops--brand names--for $3 to $5 each.
Amazing "finds" in brick-a-brack department. You know--houseplant things...

Went to Kohls two days ago--because they sent me this $10 coupon--off of anything...FREE!
Drove 20 minutes to a Kohls---Spent another 45 minutes walking the store trying to find something I would like. NOPE!
Finally bought a top for $9.99 and, because of the coupon, I got it free. I suppose I can use it...sometimes...
Was this trip worth it????

Just my life style...Simple and Cheap. Does that make ME CHEAP?????? Kapish?

Gracye
Warrenton, VA

July 21, 2012
4:37 AM

Post #9213097

I'm cheering for you, sallyg! And yes, I'm jealous - as a Living Historian, I have a ton of white cotton things that need to be washed after an event, and there's nothing like hanging white cotton clothing outside...

Gita, I have two window A/C units that provide all the the cooling needed (unreal, huh). And, the heat from that Vermont Stove in our Living Room blasts the whole house...LOL! The one concession was that I held out for a "Sand" colored cast iron stove.
I am a regular customer at Consignment Shops. In fact, I had to return a doubtfully-working barometer yesterday, via hubby, and sent a plate of Zucchini Bread to the staff. This is how I was taught, and seems that I am returning quickly to these manners.
I am like you - I believe that Thrift Shops and Consignment Shops are the perfect way to reuse items that have already been made, and just need a new home. You are not cheap, Gita, you are very wise! American Consumerism has blinded many to these commonsense options.

My mother and sister went to Macy's yesterday to buy some towels, as Mom had coupons. Said that the towels were not in sets - what??? I expect this of Tuesday Morning, but NOT Macy's. Ethics? sissy? Where are you on this topic?

Forgot to say that we have no power-eating dishwasher, and for the two of us, this works. Most of what I cook with needs hand washing anyway, and it is simple. I LOVE the few stations we get on our antenna - Andy Griffith is just fine, after a long day at work...

sissystars - our house used to have an outhouse. No joke. That was before my time...it is on historic property - I keep digging Civil War artifacts out of my garden - boy is it hard to quit digging! The soldiers used to camp on our land. So, ethically, we are respecting what we have, and keeping it as true to the history as possible.
Now, if any of you comes across an old cannon...I want to recycle it into our front yard!

Here is a thought for you, sissy - gardeners who have been taught by their elders how to grow automatically have a great respect for the earth and have the gift of lessons learned "the hard way." Those who are new to gardening have many lessons ahead of them, and there are the especially-gifted who are stars...they are very much tasked with learning how to ethically handle their actions with all things green, and must be so careful about advertising and latest fads... Agree? Disagree?
rubyw
Crozet, VA

July 21, 2012
6:05 AM

Post #9213162

Hmmm...very interesting topic. One of my pet peeves with my sons are that neither of them seem to be the least bit interested in recycling or reusing items. We save aluminum cans and crush them and eventually sell for scrap. I shred the heck out of every bit of paper that comes in to the house. As I was going through a weeks worth of (junk) mail earlier this week, I thought for a minute about the extra time it takes for me to go through and separate each piece of mail and make sure that non compostable items don't go in the shredder and wondered if it were worth it. Must be to me, because I am really giving my shredder a run for its money recently. The shredder is working over time since the past week or so I have spent unpacking the many storage totes that I packed up a month or so ago in preparation for having new carpeting laid. I used up loads and loads of newspaper to wrap breakables in.

Since becoming members of Dave's and learning about gardening for some years now, our compost bin has tripled in size. What the first year was about a five by five foot cinderblock area is now three areas that size. I know that my recycling habits bother some folks and they don't understand what the fuss is. I cringe when attending large gatherings and see recyclables trashed rather than going for recycling. I think of the money, time and energy that could be saved if more folks recycled.

I have been known to bring home cardboard food boxes from cereal and such that I have dug out of the trash at my older son's house. I know his wife says there goes the crazy lady when I leave with an arm full of boxes to take home and shred. She doesn't know that I am thinking that they are the crazy ones wasting so many garbage bags when if they took the time and effort to tear these same boxes to shredding size pieces, they wouldn't go through nearly as many costly trash bags.

While on the topic, some years ago I was very involved with the local Freecycle group until the message board became so busy that I didn't have the time to keep up with it. At one point a person made a request for folks to please save the Box Tops for Education in order for her to donate to her children's school. The box tops are little coupons found on many products and after donating to her the first year, I have now started my own collection and also cringe whenever visiting my son' home and the many items they throw in the trash with these coupons on them. I tear off the coupons at their place whenever I can. I want to have a good supply started in order to offer them to the schol where my grand daughter will begin attending kindergarten next month. The actual coupon is worth ten cents to the school, and if enough folks get on board, the school can turn them in to cash and buy computers and other class room items.

I suppose now that I brought the idea up that I hope that no one will mind if I use this forum to ask that those of you in charge of purchasing items for your home, food stuffs as well as paper goods to please take a moment to clip these Box Tops for Education for me and save them until we meet at a swap or enough is collected to make it worth the cost of a stamp to mail them to me. I would really appreciate it if anyone would begin doing this for me. I feel as though there goes a dime in the trash each time these coupons are thrown away. I have one other person currently saving them for me, but if I can present the school with enough for them to want to have the program, I will certainly do my part in helping collect them. Thank each of you for your consideration, and sissystar, I hope I haven't over stepped any boundaries by posting this here. Thanks all.

Okay, enough of my preaching for now. One more pet peeve and I will close. About two years ago I became very involved in reading and posting on some of the Clean and Clutter Free threads here at Dave's. One day it sort of hit me between the eyes, what a spoiled and selfish bunch we Americans are. If all most of us have to complain about is the excess of material possessions, what does it say for us as a nation? All over the world there are people who are hungry and little bitty old me sitting here complaining about how much extra junk I have. This realization didn't prevent me from continuing to discuss the topic or read every thing about it I could get my hands on, but it did open my eyes to just how fortunate I am to be able to say that one of my problems is that I own too much stuff.

With all of this said...hope that every one has an enjoyable and cooler weekend wherever you are.

Ruby

sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2012
9:32 PM

Post #9225600

Wow: I lose Internet for a week and so much has gone on! (Internet loss due to our ancient house having real cables drooping in through the trees.)


"My mother and sister went to Macy's yesterday to buy some towels, as Mom had coupons. Said that the towels were not in sets - what??? I expect this of Tuesday Morning, but NOT Macy's. Ethics? sissy? Where are you on this topic?"

:-) Not entirely sure it's an ethical problem. Maybe they are being sleazy and just trying to up the prices, but perhaps they think people nowadays like to mix and match. I'm style-clueless, so don't ask me. I like Overstock - assuming this does not violate any non-promotion rules. I find the customer reviews very helpful in learning what I would normally learn by seeing the product 'in the flesh.'

Both my kids are inverterate thrift store shoppers ('I'm going thrifting" is their line), no doubt because I always have been. Why not? If it is in good shape and is good quality, why let it go to the HUGE warehouses full of discarded clothing, and why spend $$ on something just to say you got it at Cool-Name store? In fact, one of the most lovely things I own came from a thrift store: a silver necklace of many layers and intricate design. It was horribly tarnished, but I bought it and cleaned it up; I have received effusive compliments form women who buy serious jewelry.

@RubyW: I frequently point out to my students that someday they will find themselves overwhelmed with STUFF. Stuff that has to be repaired; stuff that has to be cleaned/stored/whatever. Most of them probably think I'm an oddball (true, that), but some get it. Usually I bring this up when we are studying views of various ecologists or 'utopists' who stress that less stuff actually makes for a happier life. Capitlaism requires growht, which requires consumerism; yet. it is bad for the planet and not at all obviously good for us who collect all this stuff. How much better, as you suggest, to give some $$ to people who are barely getting by, rather than buying more stuff for ourselves.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2012
9:43 PM

Post #9225604

Grayce:

"Here is a thought for you, sissy - gardeners who have been taught by their elders how to grow automatically have a great respect for the earth and have the gift of lessons learned "the hard way." Those who are new to gardening have many lessons ahead of them, and there are the especially-gifted who are stars...they are very much tasked with learning how to ethically handle their actions with all things green, and must be so careful about advertising and latest fads... Agree? Disagree?"

Hmm. One of my grandmothers had, umm, 'gardeners,' although she was active in her own gardens. The other grew whatever she could in a nasty little plot after growing up in NYC. (The latter taught me a wonderful lesson that I hope to use in a paper/book someday: "A wildflower is just a weed that somebody likes.") My Dad did some landscaping around the property and really knew trees, although I would not call what he did gardening.

So, I came to gardening rather late in life with minimal family instruction. I started trying to reclaim an ugly gravel/weed plot behind the house I lived in during grad school; I got a bit more adventuresome in the house I lived in in TX during my first job. It was only when we moved to our funky farm house that I really started to get into it. I made lots of mistakes. However, because I was already interested in ecology and environmental philosophy, I never was a big user of nasty stuff (beyond my insane efforts to conquer fireants, fleas, and flying roaches in TX). I really appreciate the burgeoning of web sites and products that help us to be more responsible gardeners. You know, if all you hear is that "You gotta use this chemical for that," and you are desperately trying to save something, it's difficult to be responsible.

Soo, longish personal story probably not responsive to Grace's query!
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2012
9:45 PM

Post #9225606

An OT comment:

After our Internet outage, I checked back on some PHIL and political blogs I frequent. While those experiences were not entirely unpleasant, I was reminded tonight how truly lovely it is to come here and just converse with nice people.

I don't know: does gardening make people ... nicer?

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

August 1, 2012
4:27 AM

Post #9225692

"Gardening tills the Soul"...I have a small pillow with that embroidered on it...It was a gift from a friend.

Another favorite quote of mine is: "Bloom where you are planted"...

Saw that once on a poster. The picture was of a woodsy, dark undergrowth--like under a low shrub.
And--in this dark place--there was a single, beautiful flower blooming.

Gita

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 1, 2012
1:46 PM

Post #9226213

[quote="Gitagal"]
Another favorite quote of mine is: "Bloom where you are planted"...


Gita[/quote]

That is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! Gave me chills when I read it, such profound words. Thank you so much for sharing that!! < =D

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

August 1, 2012
7:33 PM

Post #9226580

Speedie---

I just Googled "Bloom Where You Are Planted" and there were many posters that came up.

I believe this is the one I saw many years ago...

http://www.zazzle.com/bloom_where_you_are_planted_poster-228944261526349091

It must have affected me deeply as well--or i would not have remembered it after all these years...
It DOES have a deep meaning...if you are "open" to these kind of meanings...

Gita

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 2, 2012
5:46 AM

Post #9226848

That is a beautiful poster, too bad I'm not "into" posters, but I told DH last night about the quote and that I want a t-shirt with that on it. You're right, it definitely has a very profound meaning, and was a very timely message for me personally. Thank you so much!
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 13, 2012
6:04 AM

Post #9239756

Sissy, seems that you are having the same experience I did when first meeting the great people at Dave's. I guess I started coming around here in 2005. I somehow found Dave's Garden website when reviewing customer comments on vacuums. I did buy and have since bought four more of the Dyson's that so many folks here were speaking of. I too was highly impressed for months would pull out my new vacuum to demonstrate it for guests at our home. Duh!!!! Doesn't take a lot to make me happy. haha

Anyway...not sure if it was the first spring or second spring here that The Mid Atlantic Gardeners forum here decided to have a Plant Swap and all get together and trade or usually just give away the plants that they had extras of. I had already known that there were numerous folks on here who rather ministered to me as I came here during a time when I had several health issues arise that weren't fun to face. It was nothing those first months upon arriving to go to my mail box and have a note, usually accompanied with a small gift of some sort or with plants or seeds in it. I was overwhelmed and had the very same thought as yourself...are gardeners a different and nicer breed of people?

At the first plant swap I attended, I was sort of walking on air at the end of the day. I truly had never seen a more giving group of people congregated at one time anywhere!!! The participants by the end of the swap were basically begging one another to take their lovely plants. Today as I walk around my gardens, I realize that much of the loveliness I see is due to the kindness and giving hearts of other Dave's members. At least half and possibly more of our plants have come from other Dave's members.

I will warn you that even here there will be wolves in sheeps clothing. I have had the great misfortune to run in to thankfully less than a hand full of folks here who seem to have hidden agendas of wanting to spread their misery around and I have fallen victim to them more than once. I finally took off my rose colored glasses and could see that here, like every where there are hurting folks who believe that since they are hurting, they should try to hurt others. BEWARE!!!

I hope that later you will be able to still claim that your experience with nice folks here has been very rewarding for you. Hopefully your garden will be happier for you being here too.

Ruby
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 13, 2012
6:31 AM

Post #9239794

Ruby we are so much richer having you as part of our group. You are such a lovely person.
So my pet peeve and in my opinion un-ethecial is some of the plant tags they have been making.
I have picked up a few plants that state under the Zone marking "All Zones" then in smaller wording it says over 35 degrees. When I see a tag that reads all zones I know that isn't correct but a less experienced buyer could be planting these thinking they will grow in their gardens.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

August 13, 2012
7:09 AM

Post #9239837

Thank you so very much Holly...but I must say I feel the same about you. As for your pet peeve, you are doing your part in warning folks with this message. I wasn't aware of it being done. Is it important enough for you to write the companies and voice your opinion? Can't say that it will change any thing, but at least you will have had your say. I presently have two companies, non plant related that I need to contact and voice some concerns over. One is a product I bought a couple of years ago and never took out of the package until recently and now find out it is defective. Darn!!! The other was a ten dollar coupon I tried to use towards an on line purchase which would never go through and I gave up trying. I just wonder how many others are much like myself and dilly dally back and forth over whether the cause is worth it or not. I was going to let the ten dollar thing go until I received another of the same sort of offer in the mail on Saturday. If these companies can get away with this practice and dupe a large number of people, no wonder some CEO's earn in a week, what some of us work a life time for.

Okay, off the soapbox. I am preaching to myself as I preach to you all. I needed to hear this message to work up my courage to say some thing later today as I compose letters to the two companies...have a good one all.

Ruby
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2012
3:08 PM

Post #9246861

@Ruby:

I loved your comment. Of course, there will always be the lurking wolves, but I really do think that gardeners, especially here, are somehow more committed to community and ... I don't know - gentleness - than nongardeners.

@Holly: You have to be kidding! Who could possibly claim that any plant is "suitable" for all zones? Even Kudzu has its limits.

In addition to being unethical , it is quite possible that those responsible for this practice are committing consumer fraud.

When I first became a serious gardener, I used to buy plants from a small nursery whose owner regularly misrepresented plant profiles. (She would just say any plant I liked could take whatever conditions I had to deal with.) It cost me a huge amount of money over a couple of years, until I educated myself. I still have one of her 'gifts' to deal with: a junipoer she said would grow to about 6' X 6' and is now about 15' X 23'. I'm going to have to have it taken down by a professional, as my furious attempts to reign it in have fialed miserably.

Quite apart from the fact that misleading people is wrong, I don't see how it can be a good business practice. Her nursery went bust, for example. And I never buy any plant with a generic "Y Species" label (e.g., 'Hosta Species') because I learned that one has no idea what one is really getting. Geesh. :-)
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2012
5:45 PM

Post #9246989

The other thing I have seen on the tags are plants in big box stores that say perennial and aren't in our zone. Many of them are perennial in Zone 7 but not our Zone 6. It was one of the things I warned customers about when I worked at Lowes.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 27, 2012
7:54 AM

Post #9255324

I posted this on another thread, but wanted to post it here, too.
In the plant commodities business, filling trays/pots, planting seeds and plugs is all automated. All growing requirements/functions are also fully automated. All is mass produced and many plants arrive at Garden Centers never having been touched by a human hand!

Labeling or identifying a for sale plant is a customization that costs money because it requires human labor more than other operations even with preprinted pots or the slap on labels with bar code that often detatch due to customer roughness/weatheror whatever. Pot size/color/ design are used to distinguish one grower from another, shade/sun, annual/perennial or special brand of plant. Vigrow, for instance prints all plant info on its pots while promoting its brand,

Newest thing in the industry is the QR which is that scanable square now appearing on more generic labels to drive traffic to a website for more info on a plant/shrub.

"If they see it, they will buy it" forget the details seems to be the rule of the day. If it doesn't grow, they will replace it. Plants are 'loss leaders' for big retailers/ impulse purchases, that help drive 'hard goods' sales.
Live goods have high losses (so volume is key) and there as yet is no way to tunr left over plant material into salable product on site like left over rotissary chicken becomes 'salad' ! The perishable problem still remains as well as the waste stream from perished plants and again, the man hours to trash them.

The 'comoditization of plants' continues to dominate the industry.

http://www.greenhousegrower.com/article/30507/its-not-all-about-plants
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

August 27, 2012
1:22 PM

Post #9255838

Didn't know about the automation, coleup. Enjoyed the article.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

August 27, 2012
5:41 PM

Post #9256247

It is sure different from the way we usually think about plants- almost as pets.
More like plants as a piece of produce like apples.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 31, 2012
5:17 PM

Post #9260909

I suppose I thought/hoped less enormous growers were more conscientious about labeling their plants. However, if nearly everyone other than the local tiny nursery is automated, that would explain how the Froelich yarrow I ordered turned out to be ... some other yarrow of a completely different color.
sissystars
Perkasie, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 29, 2012
7:48 PM

Post #9290451

EEKS. I have let this trhread go, and for that I apologize. (I'll try to 'move it' later.)

I do want to fess up to what I have long considered a bad move: I purchased a very powerful pre-emrgent product (Snapshot) and am putting it around the beds that have been most invaded by strange grassy weeds and thistle.

I do not think this is a good thing, but I have gotten older and have multiple forms of arthritis. So, keeping up with my younger ambitions (many beds) is getting more and more difficult. I wonder if I should just have someone come in and plow under the beds with which I cannot keep up?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

September 30, 2012
7:34 AM

Post #9290855

Good intentions have to compete with limitations, in many areas of life if not all.

Plow under- to plant into lawn? Another ethical question in some eyes.
How about- limiting your cultivated area, bordering it with shorter beds and with shrubs, and letting the rest go wild? Or not fully wild but plowed under, planted with some well placed and chosen trees, and a thick layer of would chips over the rest? In my neighborhood, there's not much I could get away with in that way. Having big trees and mulching under them, or leaving them to the moss, is about as low maintenance as you can get here.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

September 30, 2012
7:27 PM

Post #9291509

Hey, Sally. sissy started another thread over here

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1282315/

See you and sissy over there












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