Friday, August 04, 2006

GoldenGecko article

I looked last night at my garden blog links list.Trey came up with a cool post about how big home stores reduce gardening to a mass marketing ploy .
He calls it homogenised gardening, every yard would look the same with the same bedding plants, roses, shrubs, and tree's. Generally the choice is limited to what plants they (the consultants) think you want. There is probably not a green thumb between them. They look at demographics, overheads, costs, how to maximise profit...
The article rang true that the choice in these stores (here Focus, Homebase, B&Q etc) do have limited choice. Every year their are the same bedding plants sold in bulk, same roses, same shrubs.
It depressed me walking around as they were the same as the previous two years. I have seen more exciting plants from florists (who buy smaller amounts from nurserys), and my local specialist shop. I wrote before it sells garden furniture, planters, fruit, veg, chocolates, fireworks, and some magic plants.
The smaller independent traders seem more interested in the unique tastes of gardeners. If we buy our flowers and plants from here we all benefit.
Homogenized gardening reduces garden design to paint by numbers. Bedding plants by numbers. I realise that most gardeners can recognise the profiteering by DIY shops, who talk about the garden as an outside room.
Look at David Austin roses they sell, transport, and develop hundreds of roses. The owner (mr Austin Senior)is passionate about his roses. Enough to develop them when the fashion for them was over.
The Catalogue exudes passion, and love. As does the website, and the choice of names with historical and personal reasons. This is the main difference between specialist nurserys and the faceless gardening departments.
They pay a wage where the staff dont care about the plants, so they are left to suffer from heat and lack of water. They wilt, and then get put on a bargain rack.
Where i will feel sorry for the plant and try to florence nightingale it back into health.I am a nurse, and a gardener.
As an example here in the UK the major supermarkets open huge amounts of stores and mark prices down.The poor local business cannot compete with the national business prices, loses customers, and eventually goes bust.
Out of town business parks have moved people from the traditional shops in town centres and to the edges.This is not a good thing i feel.It has happened here the bindweed like stanglehold of corporations killing off local shops.
I guess the moral is support your local smaller businesses that sell plants, and use the specialist nurserys around you. Your garden will be as unique as you and the local business keeps on running. It will not be homogenized gardening.

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