Friday, October 31, 2008

Garden Gold

So, what gives with all the doom and gloom about garden retail sinking?
Over at Rant, Allan Armitage has posted his first contributing article - about the state of the retail plant industry.

Back in March, I blogged about (Gardening Decline) an article by Bonnie Blodgett: "This may come as news to you, but gardening is on the decline nationally. Quite a surprise to the soothsayers who were predicting just the opposite only five years ago."

Seriously, everywhere you look there are huge vibes of doom-n-gloom.
It's fear mongering, I say! (wow, that doesn't work as well without tone of voice)

Plants, and the people that buy them, aren't going anywhere. They'll simply change their buying tactics and habits.
It'll be seeds instead of transplants, the big box instead of the local nursery (unfortunately), waiting for those sales to hit, practicing patience by buying smaller sized perennials instead of the larger, more expensive, already blooming sizes and passing over annuals they would normally buy as well as replacing them with veg instead.

Personally, I think gardening is going to take a swing upwards. In a big way.
Here's a case in point: Swayed By A Shopping Trip?
And another (ABC news video): Back (And Front) Yard Gardeners

People are simply sick of it all.

Unless you're shopping at the big box, or find a freaky-deaky sale at the local nursery, most of these newer plants are out of reach for the ordinary gardener.
Times have turned from drooling over a plant pic and pushing the buy button because it's 'wanted', to thinking 'can I really afford it' before pushing that button. The times of people wandering the aisles of the local nursery and throwing plants in the cart willy-nilly, without a thought for the cost, are just about gone.

Maybe impulse buying is dying, but that urge to grow things will never go away - it will just get finagled into better and cheaper ways to get what they want.
And there will be more of them. Much more. Think 'Victory Garden'.

I think nurseries are going to have to start ramping up on the veg side and down on the inventory of those silly plants. (Silly is my interpretation of those fussy, trussy, frilly, expensive, water-hog, good for nothing but being eye-candy plants. Of which there are many even I love!)

Seriously, who wants to fill a backyard full of plants that look great but serve no useful purpose if they have a limited budget? They'll be ripping up lawns and buying vegetable transplants. Really.

It's not so much that the buyers are going away, but that the plant business needs to change their tactics around to suit the new ways buyers are thinking. It's not the instant gratification that will get the business anymore, but will be much more about 'what can this plant do for me'.

I see new gardeners popping up everywhere that wonder how they can get what they want on a very tight budget. They've been fed this useless dream of a Martha Stewart vision, or that instant 30 minute makeover TV, that just doesn't work.

That's right - these aren't reality, people! They may be some warped version of reality TV, but ninety-nine percent of what you're seeing in magazines and on TV are no more than an unattainable dream for people with ordinary incomes (I wonder if Joe six-pack gardens? lol). Seriously, they should name these shows and articles "How deep are your pockets?".
In times like these, you can't demand prices that the market won't bear.

So, put your seat belts on, it's definitely going to be a bumpy ride. But the car? - it ain't gonna crash! Who's going to survive this ride? The sellers and nurseries that 'Get It'. They need to make people fall in love all over again with doing it themselves, and helping them do it. There's garden gold in them-thar hills, the retailers just need to find it.
Good luck with that . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Big Dudes Make A Visit

Wow, the Weather Channel people are in town. I'm impressed!
Kind of gives a clue as to how bad our weather has been.
Power lines are down, schools are closed. (not my daughter's - she's not happy. lol)
The snow amounts only ranged from 5 to 12 inches, but it was that heavy, sticky stuff. That wind was the killer!
I don't want to see what's outside the window when the sun comes up.
This type of weather in October isn't totally unheard of, but it sure does suck!
We'll get to start all over again next week as it's suppose to hit 50 F on Friday, plummet for the weekend and back up to almost 60 F on Tuesday.
Back to our old CNY saying: If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, it'll change.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Seeds Saved Today

Since they are predicting the first lake-effect (can't believe it!!) storm of the year for tomorrow, I decided to stop procrastinating and go collect the rest of the seeds...

Nigella (more - I'm smitten)
Straw flower
Double Zins
Reg Zins
Cosmos (white)
Cosmos (purple)
Cinnamon Sun/Vanilla Ice mix Sunflowers (they were so cool looking!)
Mammoth Sunflower (roasted a gallon containers worth - kids ate them all already!)
Bush Marigold (those suckers were almost 3 foot tall!)
Crystal Palace Lobelia
Cleome (purple - bush!)
Some cool tangerine Snaps
Celosia (they were over 3 foot this year!)
Double Rust Gloriosa Daisy
Balsam Imps
Black Seeded Simpson
Cali Wonder Pepper

Plants And Pets

Ever wondered if a plant you really want to buy would be safe to have around your pet? Here's some help:

Plants that are TOXIC to pets --> Toxic plant list
Plants that are NON-TOXIC to pets -->Non-toxic plant list

The lists are printer friendly and might be nice to keep on hand.