After blogging for over five years certain trends become evident. One is the lack of blog post from me, as well as other garden bloggers. It's hard to fight it, so I don't. As George Ball said of my blog, "...as expected, he blogs depending on time available.â€ Even though physically I have time to blog, mentally I need to take a break. The other reason there are not many posts this time of year is, nothing is happening worth writing about. Blogs like Garden Rant have "guest ranters" who fill in the spaces between ideas. I don't, so time passes between posts. Since I don't have any real agenda, posts are at my leisure. I am not trying to build up my readership. Those who enjoy my writing will wait until I post again. In that sense I feel liberated from my sitemeter. 100 visitors, 500 visitors, it doesn't matter. The quality of the readership is more important than quantity.
The latest post at Garden Rant is titled, "Where is the Julia Child of Gardening?" The answer to that was discussed here back in 2006. A man named Mr. Flowerdew was the imputus for the post. Sorry gang, but a Julia Child of gardening is not forthcomming.
So the big IGC (Independent Garden Show) show was last week. I know a lot of people attended, but I havent heard back on what the show was like. You would never find me flying accross the country to attend another trade show. Just looking at all those ernest vendors ready to show me why their product is the next big thing makes me cringe. This is not just the IGC show, but most nursery trade shows. I am just burned out on them. Besdies, visiting trade shows that are more local centric would be a better choice for most folks. Even the local shows around here, Nor Cal or Far West, don't intrest me much. So inspire me! What did I miss out on?
I think the best places to look for ideas is outside the mainstream horticultural industry. Here is a cool new product, Smart Pots, that I found out about from my customers. Maybe they had a booth at the show, but after walking through an auditorium filled with products, I would have overlooked them. A customer tells me to carry them, and I am all ears. That's what is fueling my buying this year. What do my customers want, not what the industry want's me to carry. I don't know if Foxfarm was there, but we sell a lot of their fertilizers. My color and vegetable growers we're not there, as they are way too small and local to need the large venue.
Be forewarned, we are a small nursery just managing to pay the bills this year, and stay in business. We are not a top 100 retailer, and why anyone would listen to my advice is beyond me. The trade shows are put on by good people who mean well for the "industry". My personal reasons for not attending should not color your decision to attend, or not. Every nursery is different and should chart it's own course.
If you are a garden center, or garden blogger and attended the show, did you find it worth the trip? Come on now, make me jealous. What was the one great new idea you came away with? Maybe a lot of important smaller ideas? Vendors with something new and exciting? Why will you attend again next year? Why not?