The word gardening "might seem inoffensive," Wong says, but "it's actually loaded with cultural baggage" that in today's "woke" world simply does not fly.
A horticulturalist himself, Wong has a fascination with natural beauty and "green spaces," as he calls them, but struggles to figure out why more people – and particularly younger people – are not all that interested in gardening. (Related: Young people are also avoiding the military as well, but probably because it is too woke.)
"I've been sitting on panels for more than a decade as industry bodies, media outlets and charities try to address the increasingly worrying question of how few young people are interested in horticulture," Wong writes.
"With garden societies closing, course places going unfilled and nurseries shutting shop, it's becoming quite urgent."
All over social media, people who like plants post about their at-home endeavors, but rarely, according to Wong, use the word gardening to describe the process.
This, he contends, is because the word gardening is non-inclusive and should probably be abandoned entirely because it connotates that green activities need to be "proper," which he hints at being a privileged concept.
"These younger plant geeks generally don't consume traditional gardening media, rarely visit the major shows and have developed their own horticultural norms and culture in a few short years," Wong says.
"The really encouraging (and yet perplexing) thing is, this is entirely a grassroots movement created not because of, but I'd say almost in spite of, the world of traditional gardening."
Instead of calling it gardening, social media nature acolytes are calling it things like urban farming, or giving themselves crazy names like "plant daddy" and "crazy plant lady."
"The words 'gardener' and 'gardening' feature rarely on these accounts which, ironically, are all about gardening," Wong says, perplexed about the matter.
The only thing he can conclude is that the cultural baggage that comes with the idea of gardening is keeping younger people away from identifying with it – so he wants to scrap it entirely.
"Despite having worked in the horticultural industry for almost two decades as a trained botanist, even I am rarely called a 'proper' gardener when I attend a horticultural event," he further writes.
"The higher the event's perceived status, the less likely it is to happen."
Wong says he worries that the next generation of gardeners who do not want to be called gardeners for cultural baggage reasons will miss out on the sharing of information, skills and plants themselves, leaving a hole in modern horticulture.
"My question to plant lovers is: Do we need to ditch the term 'gardening' to reach new people?" he asks. "Or do we need to reclaim the word by demonstrating it to be more inclusive? I am tempted to say the former, but rather hoping for the latter."
At no point does Wong suggest that gardening is a White thing, but that seems to be the connotation, especially since gardening is a popular pastime in Great Britain, which started out White.
There seems to be a woke crusade taking place against pretty much all things White, which now apparently includes the simple act of gardening. To make it less White, the term itself is now on the chopping block.
More related news about the Leftist quest to redefine words and even language itself to suit the "inclusive" agenda can be found at Wokies.news.
Sources for this article include: