Men and women who enjoy ornamental horticulture and have the ability to write, speak, photograph, or prepare instructional materials are in short supply. The demand far exceeds the number of people entering the profession.
Most newspapers carry a garden column, either prepared locally or syndicated. Papers in large urban areas often have a garden editor who reports on topics of interest to area gardeners. Texts, such as this one, serve students and other professionals in training whereas other books are written for home gardeners and hobbyists. Some are children’s books for beginning gardeners and some are highly detailed for the most experienced horticulturists. All have a service to provide (Figure 18-6).
Magazines for the home gardener and the horticulture industry publish thousands of articles annually. Some are prepared by full-time staff writers and others are free-lance writers. Equipment and supply manufacturers need technical writers with knowledge of horticulture to prepare instruction manuals and promotional materials for their products. Persons who can write usable technical material are needed throughout the professions of ornamental horticulture.
figure 18-6. Technical texts and journals are one means of staying abreast of new developments in the industry. (Delmar/Cengage Learning)
Photographers and technical illustrators are also needed to provide the graphics for books, magazine articles, and promotional and technical publications. Despite the many commercial artists being graduated each year, it is rare to discover someone who has the biological and horticultural training necessary to illustrate a complex article or text. Effective horticulture photography also necessitates training and interest in the natural world. Understanding the mechanics of picture-taking is necessary, but it is not enough without the interest and insight of a horticulturist.
Another affiliated career is the educational media specialist. He or she is responsible for much of the software that is used in classrooms nationwide. The educational media specialist is also responsible for selecting visual and audio learning aids for teachers, Cooperative Extension agents, and garden club speakers. Some of these learning aids include slide series, overhead transparencies, plastic models, educational games, charts, computer software, motion pictures, filmstrips, microfiche, and cassettes.
Preparation in addition to university training in ornamental horticulture should include courses in journalism, technical writing, public speaking, audiovisual materials, graphic arts, data processing, and/or photography.