Interview With Writer, Planthunter Editor & AIH Award Winner, Georgina Reid

How did the Planthunter evolve?

GR: I launched The Planthunter in 2013 after a decade of working as a landscape designer in Sydney. Prior to studying landscape design, I completed a degree in journalism at university. The publication arose as a result of many years of working with and thinking about ideas of connection between people and plants, I realised I had a lot of questions and thoughts around the importance of this relationship.

I was keen to write more about people and plants. but the ideas I wanted to explore didn’t fit into existing publications. So I decided to start my own. The focus of The Planthunter has always been about highlighting the importance and value of the natural world, using the subject of plants and the setting of the garden as a framework, as an entry point to larger conversations.

The Planthunter is a purposefully small operation. I am the editor, and I write around half of the content on the site, whilst being supported by various talented writers and photographers. Each month we explore different content themes. These help to frame the stories and provoke new and interesting perspectives.

Can you make some suggestions to horticulture students/younger AIH members for when they go into the workforce?

GR: Horticulture is a wonderful industry. It’s the best. There’s a real passion to be found within people working with plants. It’s incredibly nourishing work.

One of the biggest issues in getting younger people involved in the industry is money. Whilst it’s very rewarding work, it’s not easy to make a living, particularly when just starting out. I was speaking with a manager from a large wholesale nursery recently and he told me they have a very hard time recruiting young apprentices because of competition with other trades that are paid better. Money is an indicator of how much something is valued, and it’s fairly clear that our society doesn’t value plant people enough, though in my eyes, there are few more important things to be doing than stewarding our natural environment.

What are your burning issues for horticulture and the field in general?

GR: Horticulture provides an infrastructure for caring for the world around us. I think that in the future landscape architects and horticulturists will be increasingly valued as people who can help heal, grow and sustain landscapes in the face of increasing challenges relating to climate change and environmental degradation. I would love to see the horticulture industry positioning itself as a valuable and important solution to the challenges ahead.

 

Can you tell us about your new book?

GR: The Planthunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos and Plants is a combination of the five years I’ve spent exploring ideas and connections between people, places and plants in The Planthunter. I guess the book is a refinement of my ideas around the importance of the garden as a place of dialogue between humans and nature. It, too, was important to capture the immersive nature of The Planthunter website and imagery, and for it to be a stand-alone object.

 

 

The book is essentially about what it means to garden. It comes down to two words: care and action. The gardener not only cares but commits to act, on behalf of the natural world. The gardener cares in a way that is really important. Overall, the book is a re-imagining of gardening – to me, it’s not simply as a set of tasks but a framework for engaging with the world, grounded in care and action.

 

 

The Planthunter digital platform is too a garden. It’s about growth and care and integrity. Nothing I do is about anything other than this. The Planthunter is driven by message, not ego.

 

 

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