The arranging of things

rosemary flower

I've had time to think about what my Horticulture course and work experience means to me. I got into it for the love of gardening, and from feeling disenchanted about working with technology. Particularly in web and marketing areas, you deal in the 'unreal'. You sell concepts, ideas. At times, it feels dishonest, like selling an air sandwich.

Dealing in plants seems wholesome in comparison, but you don't just 'deal in plants'. Like in technology, the plant industry has different flavours and practices.

My favourite part about all this has been arranging plants. Presentation, putting stuff in order, working with harmony and juxtaposition, getting quiet time to learn botanical names and plant characteristics. It’s certainly shown me how I’m inclined, and what led me to web design in the first place. I wonder, if I worked in a café or cat hotel, would I still love most the arranging of things?

My least favourite part is the customer service, because I still don’t know enough to help most people. My team are nice about it, and remind me often that no one expects that much from a beginner, but I still feel disappointed when lack of knowledge stops me from being able to help, especially when the answer could be so simple.

I decided for my last couple shifts that if I don’t know an answer, I’d not think twice about pulling out my phone and looking it up. It’s not orthodox, but if an organisation has a problem with it, given the age we live in, they may not get to have a problem with it for long. Luckily, the staff at my Bunnings store will use iDevices soon to look stuff up on the spot. That made it seem like whipping out my phone in a retail situation would be an okay thing to do. I do wonder what this changes about the customer service frontier. These are interesting times.

One day, I think I’d like to find a way to combine 'plants stuff' with technology and craft. These are the three major pursuits in my life. If something in me didn’t believe in the validity of this combination, I wouldn’t feel so naturally drawn to it. I do see a place for it in our future. I feel as though modern society moves towards a closer connection with nature.

It probably always has done, and it’s only being exposed to it now that leads me to think I see it as an emergent movement, but... also maybe not? We are right in the middle of the Information Revolution, and we won’t always be. Just as the age of agriculture gave way to the Industrial Revolution, which has dovetailed into the present technological era, change is as it always has been: imminent.

If biotech is the next epoch for the developed world, and something Kurzweil this way comes, why wouldn’t mankind and its civilisation converge with systems that have survived for longer and more persistently? Why wouldn’t we intermingle our lives with the sustainable lives of plants?

So, I see a place for my aspirations in our world. Even something as small as creating, say, a bedside clock that doubles as a planter. That’s a start. Who knows where that could lead? Maybe one day, we’ll have bioengineered plants that will allow the clock to be powered by photosynthetic energy. Maybe the whole clock is itself a plant. This is a hare-brained, far-fetched idea, but you know, even the largest tree began as a seed.

This gives me hope.

Hours completed: 64 of 70