He’s “The Man in the Red Suspenders,” former host of “The Victory Garden” television show, and former “Horticulture” magazine editor. His name is Roger Swain, and if there are icons in our “hort world” he must be one of them.
Roger did an advanced education class recently for the URI Master Gardeners, and it always amazes me how much he knows. The talk was about tools – their selection, use and care. You might think the subject is a big yawn, but Roger made it not only interesting but funny, and the time flew by.
So why am I bothering you with this? It’s because I have to get something off my chest. To me, people like Roger Swain represent the true learning side of gardening. I don’t watch “The Victory Garden” anymore, because I don’t find the current host particularly interesting and I don’t learn anything.
And while I’m in rant mode, let me say that I am worried about what’s happening to “Horticulture” magazine, too. Am I the only person who remembers what a class act it was not so long ago? It seems to me that it’s not only thinner, with lesser quality photography, but the information has been diluted, and maybe even dumbed down. I still subscribe, but I don’t look forward to it the way I used to.
I could be way off base here. Maybe things are changing for the better, but the skeptic in me doesn’t think so. It might be a good idea to listen to icons like Roger Swain. They still have a lot to teach us.