Friday, June 21, 2013

The Backyard Environmentalist!

Osteospermum Serenity Dark Purple
Please click on the image to view a quick video of next week's spec load.

Hi Peter,
Thankyou for your very interesting newsletter . I agree with everything you have said and do hope that independent garden centres are able to keep going. I really dislike the Big Boxes but do occasionally find myself shopping in one however   I much prefer the few local nurseries that are left.
I was very pleased to see that Trevor Cochrane has done this research and may have redeemed himself  a little in my eyes – a few months ago I watched a segment of the Garden Gurus in which he stated that garden clubs are in decline  and that Facebook is a better way of learning how to garden . I have never heard anything so ridiculous – I belong to Waverley Garden Club which is not only thriving but we attract new members every month. There is at least one guest speaker at every meeting so we continue to learn a lot about gardening.

This message about the death of Garden Clubs was repeated at the meeting I attended and I was troubled by the idea.  This response to last week's newsletter has actually encouraged me.  On reflection I decided that while "clubs" of an earlier generation (Golf clubs, RSLs, Garden Clubs, etc) are finding it more and more difficult to attract the level of membership they once did they are not necessarily on the road to oblivion. Just like the independent retailer (garden or otherwise) Garden Clubs have to accept the significant changes in society and find ways to adapt. There will be fewer Garden Clubs just as there are fewer Garden Centres but those that survive will be stronger having found a new way to engage and entertain enthusiastic gardeners.

The 2 key drivers for Garden Clubs are the same as those of the independent garden centre: 1. Personal, friendly contact. No doubt some people prefer the anonymity of asking questions on line, but plenty of others want to make personal contacts. What would you prefer a garden tour with a group of friends or a computer slide show? 2. The gardener who joins a club has (almost invariably) a passion for growing their own and strong environmental convictions. It is the back yard environmentalist that will support their local business and happily pay a fair premium.

By the way, look after your local garden club. Garden Clubbers may enjoy stealing cuttings from a neighbours garden but they are the soul of our industry.

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