This post from Garden Rant shows how little we in the horticultural trades have learned over the last couple of years. Elizabeth relates her adventures at The IGC (independent garden centers) show in Chicago. She say's, "I was talking to some PR guys about plant marketing. Never mind what specific instance of plant marketing. OK, it was Hort Couture.Â But that doesnâ€™t matter. What matters is that theyâ€”and so many companiesâ€”are starting out by assuming that most homeowners would rather be stabbed through the heart with a dull spade than create a bed with plants in it. The conviction is so entrenched that it has spawned a new vocabulary. Those of us who attend events like the IGC are inundated with terms like 'lifestyle,' 'outdoor rooms,' and 'outdoor living.'Â Anything but gardening. Thus, the come-on of companies like HCâ€”homeowners need to be tricked into liking perennials through savvy marketing techniques. (Cute silhouettes of women with purses and so on.)" Ouch!
We are still peddling "outdoor rooms"? "Lifestyle"? Yikes! We had a workshop over the weekend that was well attended by poeple quite interested in growing a fall and winter vegetable garden. We talked fertilizer, mycorrhizal fungi, pH, timing of planting, etc. We sold lot's of pH meters, mycorrhizal fungi, and organic fertilizer.These people wanted an honest presentation of what it would take to be successful at growing safe, tasty food.
Elizabeth finishes her post by saying, "After looking at the conversation in comments, I'd like to add to it here (because I can). I honestly believe that raising the level of education and offering prospective gardeners a challengeâ€”rather than coming down to some perceived levelâ€”is the way to get and keep dedicated IGC customers."Â
Bravo! We have been talking about this for years, and it seems that some in our industry still don't get it.