Well this has been kicking around in my head for a while, there’s some brilliant groups out there in the world of horticulture, from alpines to cacti but there’s none bringing together like minded gardeners (both professional and keen amateurs) who just love pruning and want to talk to others about it, share ideas and maybe ask about changing old ways of thinking.
Just how to do it? My thoughts are rather mixed; I have no idea if many others going to be interested so my gut feeling is to start small and see where it takes us. In the world of modern technology, the easiest way would be to set up a website with a forum area. the website would just explain about the network and its aims while the forum would allow members to talk and discuss ideas and thoughts behind those ideas with other likeminded people. The forum could be divided up into different areas like fruit, non-fruiting plants and then into their sp groups like apples, with other sections on things like topiary, Niwaki, Espalier types of pruning, with then all the advice being under one heading, easy to search and find the right information. Personally I would like the forum to be private. This would allow a certain amount of freedom while discussing ideas and also stop the site being spammed, another thing i feel is pretty important. I am also not sure if platforms like twitter or facebook could work for this either, really down to the lack of its ability to divide up the areas so well and save the information as well. I have thought about forming a society but maybe would like to see how things go before forming something like that. The need for voted in posts, agm, accountants maybe too much for a small group to start with.
With this, meetings could be arranged at gardens that have outstanding areas of pruning, maybe with speakers maybe not. There could be a newsletter, monthly or yearly, just online or a nice paper copy even over time a book published giving the best advice on pruning ever published or not…..
Then there’s the cost of it, even setting up a simple website and forum costs money, I am willing to sponsor the site to start with but if it grows and gets bigger, it may require better software and someone with a good idea how to service it!, so long term there might be a small yearly fee to cover costs, with any money made given to a Horticulture based charity like Perennial maybe? Again something else to think about. If as a non-profit, maybe some of the extra money could go to a charity?? Or we could on the public page of the forum sell space to private businesses that either carry out skilled pruning works or sell items that would be of interest to those who prune? That money could be used to fund the running of the site and maybe the group? If moderators are needed, maybe they can also have this space FOC as a thank you for a thankless task?
But all this are my ideas and if anyone else has some, I would love to hear from them. It would be really great to get this up and running and hopefully build a network that will bring all us ‘pruners’ together! So please send me your thoughts, ideas and whether you would like to become a member to firstname.lastname@example.org