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Are vegetables all we grow?

Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart

March 18, 2013

Yes I KNOW many gardeners just love their productive gardens. But is growing veggies all we care about these days? The latest issue of NZ Gardener’s excellent weekly online ‘Get Growing’ hasn’t got a single story about about growing ornamental plants. Unless you can eat them too. Are we food obsessed, or what?

NZ Gardener 'get growing'


I grow herbs, and I admire those who are prepared to put loads of time, thought and effort into home-grown produce. But I have to admit to getting pretty tired of the one-sidedness of many gardening publications. Surely there’s a place for ornamental plants in our lives?

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Michael McCoy
11 years ago

So with you on that, Catherine. I’ve so far considered it a veggie-lead recovery and that an interest in ornamental gardening will follow, but so far there’s precious-little evidence of this.
There’s also some vestigial moralist streak in many gardeners – “I’m only going to grow local, indigenous natives”, “I’m only going to grow edibles” etc. What IS that?

Peter Nixon
11 years ago
Reply to  Michael McCoy

Well, as we know Michael & Catherine, lifestyle mags are in the biz of selling mags not offering a balanced read ….. Dying, dead or gasping as they are these days to desperately attract the attention of ANY reader & hang on to a vestige of their former advertising $’s in the face of a Digital Tsunami of gardening information on the interweby thingy ….Really, the writing has been on the wall for some time now; that we MUST use the interweby thingy to send interesting content DIRECT to the customer profiles we prefer to do business with ….. no ? With the exception of very few titles (Your Garden when Paul Urquhart drove good content & Paul Plant curretly for Sub-Tropical Gardening …) I haven’t opened one of them for years. Glossy on the stand but I wouldn’t use them as a means to select my clients for me … unless one’s offer comprises sheetcovers of radishes and screen plantings of giant celery… Besides, if you do your own there needn’t be a carrot in sight … As for readers with incidental interest they’d be just as happy with Family Circle & New Idea & the gardening public continue to vote with their feet at dedicated plant-fests Collectors Plant Fair … no ?

Sandi Pullman
11 years ago

What an interesting conversation. Oh gosh I feel conflicted. I am all for ornamentals and many people who only grow vegetables don’t acknowledge that ornamentals bring insects, birds and provide very importantly pleasure and asethetic value to a garden. On the other hand I love growing vegetables too.

11 years ago

As in most things in life, why can’t there be a balance of both the vegies that each household really enjoy and also having a real garden – one that brings the birds and the bees etc.
We have a local vegetable supplier in Warrnambool which sells fantastic old style fully flavoured tomatoes – why bother growing them with all the heartache that ensues? I love rocket – home grown is so much better than anything that I have purchased so always have this on hand – year round. And I like corander for winter. The rest I buy.
Any change is slow to take up, so it will take some time for the publishers to realise that they have gone overboard with the vegie drive, along with televised gardening programs. They have become quite boring in my opinion.