|a high yielding field of wheat, if it weren't for plant breeders, |
our food supply would be very different to what we're used to.
Could it be that we have allowed our passion for highly bred plants and foreign imports to endanger the native species that evolved hand in hand with the pollinating insects that we still need to help produce our food? No, I take that back, maybe it's not highly bred plants that have warped our perceptions, maybe it's just that we value highly profitable plants over our simple native species.
I can see where Professor Hitchmough is coming from. It's my job to encourage folks to use more native species in landscape and garden design and so maybe I'm a little biased but I personally believe that if we tip the scales away from all non-natives, all the way to almost-all-native planting, there will come a time when the balance will redress itself and we'll find that native plants will be valued equally with non-native species and that our outdoor spaces will be all the better for it.
So will horticulturists become extinct? Never. Not while our climate is changing, we're facing more and more challenging growing conditions, and our tastes in fruit, veg and colourful flowers are forever changing. According to astronomers 21.12.2012 will see a worldwide change in attitude...lets hope it leads to a simpler way of life where society places more value on plants and the people that care for them.