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Rich

It's a shame that all Wong's enthusiasm seems to be tied up with promoting the trade industry (i.e. promoting garden centres etc) alongside his latest book/tv show. Encouraging people to spend money is not encouraging them to take up gardening in any meaningful way. All it is doing is encouraging 'customers' to boost garden centre profits etc and boost sales his latest product.

Personally I'm sick to death of seeing James Wong plastered all over seed catalogues/gardening magazines. It is cynical and patronising.

Helen

Thank you for commenting, Mike. Do you think there are signs that the tide is turning, as far as studying horticulture is concerned? I was talking to the principal of one of the horticultural colleges recently and he said that their courses were now oversubscribed and that it was no longer regarded as somewhere to send the local schools' more "difficult" pupils.

I think you've pinpointed a problem too, with our celebrity culture. So much seems to hang on personality but being attracted to a certain celebrity seems a shaky foundation on which to start a career. Far better, as you say, to have a wide range of possibilities presented within knowledgeable careers advice.

It would be interesting to hear what your students say about what attracted them to the subject, and what those who aren't interested say about it.

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