Question for Master Gardener Organizations
FIRST OF ALL, I DO NOT WANT TO OFFEND ANY NATIVE PLANT PEOPLE OUT THERE. HOWEVER, I FEEL THE FOLLOWING ISSUE SHOULD BE ADDRESSED. I HOPE THAT I DON'T MAKE ANY ENEMIES OVER THIS.
Are any other Master Gardener organizations having the problems that we are having here in Rockport, Texas?
The native plant society is very strong here in Texas, and in Rockport, we are having the native plant people taking over all aspects of gardening down here, including Master Gardeners. They tell gardeners that only natives can be grown, and I happen to disagree with these comments.
It is felt that we Master Gardeners have been dominated by a bunch of Native Plant People that insist on having natives in every demonstration garden at Green Acres, our demonstration gardens. I hate to see us getting to this point. Gardening is supposed to be fun.
But being a Master Gardener means that we are supposed to answer questions about gardening and not dictating what should and should not be planted. Our own personal opinions should not be included when answering questions.
And I feel that it is wrong when I hear a Master Gardener, whom is also a native plant person, specifically tell a gardener "Oh no, definitely not, because it won't grow here." when it CAN be grown here. Well in this particular case, the question was about a magnolia tree, which does and will grow here, but because it was not a native tree, the caller was told that it could not be grown here. And I recently heard one native lady state in a very loud, obnoxious voice that she thought that "grass should be banned because it is a noxious weed."
As a result of this our group has become split, and a lot of us no longer participate because we are always told know, "You can't plant that." New members are coming in, but we are losing lots of the old members.
And don't tell us to go to our Extension Agent, because he has just turned it over to his secretary who happens to belong to the Native Plant Society.
By the way, I have lots of natives in my yard in addition to herbs, orchids, tropicals, trees, citrus trees, palm trees, and all kinds of perennials, and I even have a lawn.
I compare gardening to raising children. My children are married with children of their own and live in different states. However, I still have a very strong maternal instinct, and gardening has become my baby. I enjoy the challenge of gardening and sometimes that includes the extra TLC, but that's what makes it so much fun.