Forum home The potting shed

Gardening is a middle-class pursuit.......

hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,970
Just catching up on some of the Chelsea coverage and I was aghast at that photographer chap saying 'gardening is a middle-class pursuit' and only middle-class people visit Chelsea. I almost punched the tv I was that incensed! 
Did anyone else pick up on that? or was it only me? 
'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,775
    Gosh, how very decent of the middle classes to allow me to infiltrate for so long.
  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 435
    Hostafan1 said:
    Gosh, how very decent of the middle classes to allow me to infiltrate for so long.
    Yeah, plebs like us can breach the defences every so often.

    It’s not so much middle class as frightfully ‘white’. To me it feels like the same crowd as Wimbledon. Perhaps they buy a season ticket that gets them into Chelsea, Wimbledon, Last Night of the Proms, Queens Annual Garden and Aintree.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,238
    More a reflection on those who commission and produce television programmes, I think. The Tristrams and Christabels can’t understand a word those funny little people say. Much easier to do business with people one went to school with.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,825
    edited May 2018
    It probably represents the larger proportion of the RHS membership pretty accurately ... middle aged and over, predominantly White British and financially comfortable enough to be able to spend a fair amount on their hobbies ... and probably home owners with gardens too ... 
    Despite attempts by GW to be more inclusive the 'face' of Chelsea isn't very diverse and I really don't see why it's wrong for Martin Parr, a photographer well known for tackling controversial social and anthropological subjects, to say so.
    It's recognising a fact, just as there probably aren't that many white middle class middle aged people at a reggae dub fusion night in Brixton. 
    Gardening isn't a middle class activity but Chelsea is ... if you can afford a return train ticket to London and the entrance ticket to Chelsea and the refreshments while you're there then you're probably pretty comfortably off ... and that excludes a lot of people. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 7,650
    Totally agree @Dovefromabove.
    Same with fashion shows, but not clothes wearing in general. :)
    Time is never time at all
    You can never ever leave
    Without leaving a piece of youth
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,768
    I agree with Dove. Every aspect of the Chelsea Flower Show is about money and, generally, property because you have to have a bit of ground to garden in. However, in the real world I believe most of us have a chance at some time in our lives. Allotments were always the preserve of the working class in my youth and local flower shows in the country featured ordinary people with modest gardens. I do worry that in modern housing, gardens have become tiny, but the issue has more to do with wealth than class. Age is important, too. There are a few who garden from childhood but I think the majority come to it after the clubbing and baby-rearing stage.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,942
    Chatsworth flower show was very similar.  Ironic, that as a child, it was one of our favourite places to go as it was free to park in the car park  up by the garden centre(not by the house), and free to picnic by the Derwent and gaze at the house from a couple of hundred yards away. My dad was the expert on days out that didn't cost very much. He must have known every beach in Cornwall that had free parking and no facilities other than the odd smelly toilet block.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 1,454
    I agree with Dove and Posy.  
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,785
    To me it feels like the same crowd as Wimbledon. Perhaps they buy a season ticket that gets them into Chelsea, Wimbledon, Last Night of the Proms, Queens Annual Garden and Aintree.
    Historically that's basically true, isn't it? It was part of 'The Season' - The Boat Race, Chelsea Flower Show, Henley Regatta, Wimbledon, Ascot and The Proms. If you were 'anyone', you'd need to be seen at each of these in order to find your marriage partner and make your political career. Our society has changed and it's less obvious now, but the hangover of the traditions still permeate.

    I don't mind it particularly - Chelsea doesn't have much to do with gardening really and that's probably the guy's mistake, as Dove says. But lately the Chelsea crowd have begun to seem outrageously patronising. Perhaps they always were and I've only just noticed. But I am still reeling from the whole 'importing a cowpat from Yorkshire' thing. I'm still not sure if it's a joke or if they really did it. And the fact that I would even half believe it possible is enough to make me really quite irritable. Even at this hour on a Bank Holiday Monday.

    More tea required I think  :)
    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,267
    Gardening is for everyone, you can even do something on a windowsill. Going to Chelsea is probably for the better off, but most can watch it on TV and get a much better view. I watch it for the plants and gardens and I don't think plants are aware of class.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
Sign In or Register to comment.