My last post "Want Bio-Diversity in the garden? Plant natives" elicited a comment from a nursery woman in St Louis, Ellen Barredo. She say's, "The Horticulture Co-op along with the Missouri Botanical Garden hosted Doug Tallamy. Two weeks ago here in St Louis! Great speaker, great message. Anybody interested in this topic will not go wrong with this engaging speaker. The insect photos were awesome! The sad part was the attendance, 96 people of a possible 200 bought a ticket up to hear his message, attend other lectures, participate in the silent auction, or interact with vendor booths of local nurseries. Economy is improving somewhat here in St. Louis, so I was surprised! The breakdown occurs when you can’t get the media interested in promoting the topic and the speaker. More interested in sensational news." Sensational news like the new Lorax movie by Universal pictures. Many of my friends in the trade are excited about tying promotions to the movie. We're told that it presents an opportunity to take the enthusiasm for planting Truffula trees and turn it into enthusiasm for "Plant Something". As Frank from New York City Garden say's in the comments, "Have you ever seen the ‘plant native’ back lashing given over at garden rant?! And you would think gardeners are the most likely to support such things, but man do some hate the idea. Meanwhile, I've seen invasive plants being planted more and more (like purple loosestrife). Oy."
So what's our message? "Plant Something?" It apparently does not matter what you plant. In the case of The Lorax and IHOP you can plant Blue Spruce or Canadian White Pine, neither which grow well here in California. I know most of my friends in the nursery trade will disagree with me on this. "Trey, how can you not take advantage of this great opportunity to leverage the interest in planting trees from the movie?" I certainly would love to see an uptick in people interested in planting trees, but frankly the message Universal Pictures, Mazda, IHOP, and Hewlett Packard are sending via The Lorax doesn't "speak to me". More sensationalism that wanes away once people realize that "Truffla Approved" is for sale to the highest bidder, like Mazda. My daughter, and some trade friends told me I am over reacting. Commercialism is a part of our culture, and most younger people are use to it. Go with the flow, and jump on the bandwagon. Plant something! It's Truffula Tree approved! I can't, on account of the advice of the Lorax. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”