How Do We Define an Expert?

One of the things that I love is that house plants are back in vogue. Of course, for some of us, they were never “out.”

Some people, like Tovah Martin, have been writing about and growing house plants for decades. She is one of my favorite authors (it doesn’t even matter that she is local) and one of her earliest books,  Well-Clad Windowsills, has formed my thinking about house plants and how to grow them–and even has influenced how I lecture about them. She is a true expert, in my opinion.

While I have been growing house plants for decades as well, I have never written a book. I think of myself as exceptionally well informed about them but I am not necessarily going to lump myself into that “expert” category. I will leave that to the professionals. I have, however, been lecturing about them for over 15 years. And there are very few things that I haven’t tried to grow at least once.

But now that house plants are popular again, I am seeing all sorts of folks popping up on the lecture circuit. I wish them no ill will. There’s room enough out there for us all. But I think it’s cute that suddenly there are folks who are self-proclaimed “experts” and who give themselves catchy names and who suddenly start lecturing about house plants and their benefits in cleaning the air, etc.

I hate to tell them, but this is “old news.” NASA–the space experts–told us about the benefits of house plants in cleaning the air way back in the 70s–back when those of us who were devoted to house plants fell in love with them the first time.

But it’s okay. As I have said recently, not everyone is born with this knowledge. So it’s great to have more folks out there talking about house plants. That way, more people can come to know them and grow them and love them as well!



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