Don’t Mind the Gap

Life Magazine May 17, 1968
Life Magazine May 17, 1968

There’s been a lot bluster going on in garden circles since the Garden Writer’s Association presented a breakout session at their annual symposium entitled ‘Gardening with a Generation Y’.   Kelly Norris, the presenter, who at an accomplished 22, tried his level best to convince his audience (mostly older than him) that his generation, the ‘Y’s’ were different than previous generations…just like when I was 22 and I tried to convince anyone significantly older that my generation was different…just like my parents tried to convince their elders that their generation was different…just like my grandparents and their parents and their parent’s parents did.

The cyclical passage of time doesn’t take away from each generation’s unique qualities, causes and lifestyle choices–each is and has to be influenced by their own time.  It also doesn’t take away from the fact that the world does evolve and change and time marches inevitably on–especially in a garden.  Each new generation must and will find their own way–some will find new paths to follow, others well worn ones.   As for Gen Y gardeners, some already have gardens of their own unique style and some don’t–still others are content with a small pot of violets on a window sill just like the ones their grandmas had.

There will be naysayers and skeptics on both sides–some are afraid of the new, some reject and resent the old.  Neither side is certain and both are still learning what it is to be themselves in this particular space and time.  What is certain though is that each next generation will come of age and as part of the process they will decree that they are different from those who came before them.

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9 thoughts on “Don’t Mind the Gap

  1. Susan, that was well thought out. I love Y’ers, but of course, I have two still living in my house. It’s not that they’re so different, but I love the energy and joy they bring to the world. Each generation is like a newly emerging leaf, all bright and shiny green. It will weather, but in the meantime, it is like a fresh breath of spring. It amuses me though that each generation thinks they invented “It” whatever it is.~~Dee

  2. After having the opportunity to observe my 14 year old cousin, I completely agree. She was trying to convince her friend that she was the first one to discover a certain fashion that (1) is recycled from the 80s, and (2) I’ve seen recently for several months before my cousin discovered it.

    It goes both ways though. Every older generation laments how the younger generation acts, forgetting that they acted the same way at that age. I remind myself that when I feel the need to roll my eyes at my cousin. I remember when I was about 14 telling my mom that I had “invented” wearing a tight baby tee with straight leg jeans. Uhm. I seriously doubt that. But I was very convinced of it at the time. If it was new to me, then it didn’t exist before I discovered it. Go ahead, roll your eyes. I roll my eyes at myself now. 😉

  3. Normally I comment back individually. Thanks for reading what I hope is comes from a place of understanding and reason. Oh and, Fern–I still roll my eyes at myself each and every day!

  4. You said it, Susan. Really enjoyed reading your comments.

    Every generation tends to think they’re the most unique. But we all bring something to the table. That’s why I welcome those times when different ages can be brought together for a few minutes. Those are the most enlightening conversations, I think… The different perspectives are very eye opening. Teresa

  5. Yes, well put. I’m just glad that they’re gardening and I think the focus on food and community gardening is fabulous. Younger gardeners around here leading the way on that to a large extent. Or they are reinvigorating projects that other generations have started.

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