Apparently, I'm obsolete. Not as in outdated; just as in, well, redundant.
It's a shame, really, This was going to be a good career. It seemed to have everything I wanted: the chance to create beauty, inspire people, help the planet, soak in a little sun and learn a little Latin.
Sure, I wasn't going to get rich at it. But affording the mortgage by drawing pretty pictures and tromping through plant nurseries? Priceless.
Unfortunately, my secret got out: any blockhead can do what I do. You don't need a degree (never have), you don't need a license. Used to be, for the price of a stack of books you could know almost as much as the experts; now, it's even cheaper than that.
The Internet, that's what. Now, without ever leaving the comfort of your couch, you can access primo gardening and landscape design information, from some of the best names out there:
OK, so maybe that last one's a little weak. But seriously: how can I compete with Sunset, BH&G, Fine Gardening?! They wrote the book (literally) on what I do. And now, they're offering their decades of experience online, for free. How can I possibly justify charging thousands of dollars for that?
Although… I suppose… there is one thing they're not doing. They can tell you how to build a pergola; but they can't tell you what the ideal orientation of that pergola is for your site, or what dimensions would suit your home's architecture the best, or for that matter whether a pergola is the best choice for you in the first place. Hey, that's something, right?
And, come to think of it, while they can tell you how to find the perfect plants for your yard, they're relying on your interpretations of things like "partial" sun and "moderate" water, not to mention soil texture and fertility, microclimate, or local plant communities. I could help with that!
For that matter, they can tell you about the coolest varieties of the best species; but they can't tell you whether those varieties really are appropriate for your yard, or where to find them if not at the local nursery. Actually, I'm really good at that!
Do you know what this means? This could be good news! Not only am I really well-suited to help someone design a garden that's customized for their own unique lifestyle and their own unique site, I'm also able to hold the big-picture vision of that garden, maximize their design to their budget, and put it all down on paper so it can be installed exactly the way we envisioned it. You can't get that from a website, not even from a book! This is great!
You know, I'm feeling a lot better now. I think there might be a future for me in this business after all.