Nearly 200 years on, while the old currency needs updating, incredibly and regretfully the sentiment expressed by the correspondent (recorded by Toby Musgrave) remains apposite in some corners of the industry. It lies, at least in part, behind the thinking of parents who steer their teenagers away from a career in horticulture and the thinking of students who, with a horticulture qualification under their belt, opt for starting their own business rather than a traineeship or entry-level role.
In this context, the RHS's decision to boost pay scales for gardening staff by up to 10 per cent across the board - in addition to its standard two per cent pay increase for 2015 - is a very significant step forward for the professional gardening sector (see news, p3).
The new levels may not, as Professional Gardeners' Guild chairman Tony Arnold notes, bring professional gardeners parity with construction industry employees. But what they will do is help to bolster - internally and most importantly externally - the perception of the value of this highly skilled, highly committed and absolutely core horticulture profession. The RHS has put its money where its mouth is and should be congratulated for that.
KATE LOWE, EDITOR — firstname.lastname@example.org