I’m Rocky, I’m a horticulturist, some people call me a gardener. I’m 31 and have been working in Horticulture for most of my life. Until resently I thought everything was going well.. On Twitter I mean. Somehow I have to choose if I am a member of younghorts or oldhorts. And now there’s another option allhorts. Can I tell you you can be all or neither. Sometimes I wish I was neither especially of late.
Until recently, there was just younghorts and oldhorts. I’m a keen supporter of all don’t get me wrong. Recently however there has been some awful stuff flying around on Twitter about the suggested change of name of OldHorts to Allhorts. Here I can explain how this occurred without being restricted in characters. If there was a video camera I would prefer to speak as text can be misinterpreted.
Roll back months. Twitter has been amazing for me. I’ve met loads of genuine, amazing, supportive folk. I never had this support when I was a young un. I won the title of Young Horticulturist of The Year in 2002 and afterwards wish I had this support which would of no doubt helped my journey. This year I supported the younghort conference as well as umpteen oldhort meets, raising money for Perennial. It was going swimmingly until it was said oldhorts was to finish by one of its founding partnership members, publicly on Twitter. At this time I was in shock- it had been an amazing year. We were due to have a Christmas meal in London after a meetup at the Natural History Museum (Thanks Jackie and Justin- it was incredible). As you can see the meal and meetup happened. Not many of you are aware of the constant direct messages I was receiving from fellow oldhort members about oldhorts regarding personal blocking of said members. What’s going on with the oldhort moments? etc Offers of help were propositioned re event etc but with no response. It was tweeted publicly about discussing the future of oldhorts at the meal with fellow members as the founded member stated he no longer wanted it to continue and the said name oldhorts to change due to ties etc. The personal account of the above person was then removed and now has been reinstated.
So rightly so, we as members of oldhorts, concerned about our groups future debated this situation over dinner in the pub. I even did an oscar winning speech thanks to gin I’m sure. We debated how old Horts would continue moving forward into 2015. None of us wanted it to end. How would it run and the such was debated. Knowing that we would have to change the name it was decided to call its self Allhorts being an inclusive group as it was suggested younger potential members might be out off including those in the 30/40+ bracket whose demographic was stuck to fit into a category as normally it does. Thank you to Gerald for taking the pictures of the event and for uploading them onto Allhorts page on Facebook. Yes Allhorts because that’s what we decided at the lunch. The founding partnership where unable to attend the above event although organisational information was passed on.
Saturday, the day after had arrived. I was happy. There was a joy around. I knew oldhorts in its new format would continue. Then we had an email. It was from oldhort HQ stating that oldhorts would continue and how. Great. Double great.So what’s the best way forward then? I would say communication is the key. Obviously bitterness has emerged and prevailed or seems so. Firstly the email had arrived after the group Allhorts was set up on facebook. No consideration, or so it seems had been taken into account to liase with members of the group and secondly, a second facebook group oldhorts was set up AFTER Allhorts, after fellow members had allready uploaded personal bios etc. Why did that have to happen? And now why all the nastiness on Twitter? So down to you folks remembering the key facts. But always remember Twitter only gives part of the story and should never be used to bully or mislead. All this bitterness needs to stop.
COMMUNICATION is the key. We need to work together in this industry to build it up to be a great choice of career whether young, old or inbetween. All this is doing is wrecking that ideal and giving our trade a black mark. That is why I’m a fearfully and wonderfully made hort. Not younghort, not oldhort and so an Allhort I suppose but Im happy to be a member of all three.
Merry Christmas to you all and a peasful New Year 2015. God bless and much love. Here’s to a United Horticultural front and more love and less bitterness. May we learn from our mistakes and move forward together.