Saturday, January 12, 2019

My Year of orchids: I’m not an expert!

OK. Guilty as charged. I have a PhD in botany from Harvard. I am, or I was an expert in a particular genus of lichens. I do a lot of other things well for example I was great teacher, but I’m not an expert. Lucky thing there are so many other people who are.

When I first moved to Florida and with a garden that is mostly native species I got on to a couple of native species groups on Facebook. They are the true “experts“ reside, in all their glory.

One of their acolytes noted that I had signed on and that I shared the same surname with this particular authority.

What a surprise to see that he was quick to tell her, “he’s a fraud and a fake!” I’m not really sure what this fellow is trying to get across, or what turf he is trying to protect. I retired down here without any intentions besides for enjoying myself and experiencing the wonderful year round gardening opportunities that this climate allows. I certainly did not want to set up shop as an expert on anything. My teaching days in that capacity are over.

So I wonder about people’s ego, about their fears, and about their need to “protect” something that they feel needs protecting.

Personally I came from a large eastern university where, gossip, intimidation, and belittling of one’s peers was the way to maintain control. Putting other people down was the coin of the realm. I came here to get away from that as much as I came to get away from the nasty weather in Boston.

So, just saying. I feel pretty lucky to not have any needs or fears. I spend every day in the company of my amazing garden trying to nurture the wonderful plants there, orchids included. Here’s hoping as they mature and gain self-reliance they don’t have any needs or fears either!

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