Northumberland Diary Discussion: 13 October 2014
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Northumberland Diary. Entry 285.Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 14 October 2014, 09:17. Go to bottom of this page.
John - it seems to me that heroes are always of their time. You can look back and always recognise them; you can recognise them now; but it would be wrong to think that there are no more to come. Lesley Cox mentioned elsewhere, quoting from Tony Hall, that the Golden Age of Alpine Gardening was over. Surely this can never be true so long as gardeners become captivated by these plants, and a big reason - but not the only reason - this happens is because of the people you mention. But you do also individually have to experience the joy of growing the plants and this will differ depending on your chances and experiences in life. There is a not so subtle difference between the AGS and SRGC, just as there is between both of these and the NARGS, and the CZRGS and other alpine groups. We grow the same plants but we also look for freedom of expression, so heroes may differ for different people. I tend to look to those who make gardens with these plants, and nursery-people, simply because this is what I do. Writing about alpines is surely a very significant part of this? We visited Wisley yesterday on the way to give a talk to the Chichester Group, and looked in at the bookshop. There were just four books on Alpine Gardening (by Richard Wilford, Michael Mitchell, Christopher Grey-Wilson, and John Good & David Millward). Compare this with 10 on 'Green Roofs', 16 on 'Small Gardens', 11 on 'Bonsai', 20 on 'Japanese Gardens', 10 on 'Meadows', even 5 just on 'Lavender', and between 50 and 70 on 'Garden Design'. We do have a low profile regardless of all our heroes. Jim Archibald (a hero if ever there was one) once said to me that he thought of Martyn Rix as his hero, but he was also critical of him with reference to a specific article in 'The Garden' - it's pretty hard to live up to the expectations of others!).