Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fast Food Gardening?

About a year ago, I signed up to receive a trade industry publication called GARDENCHIC inspired retailing for independents. I did so in order to have another tool I could use that might provide me with a few ideas for future columns and blog posts. This is one of those times.

On Page 3 ("You Can Be GARDENCHIC") of the March, 2009 issue, I read the following ("Solutions, Solutions"): "Today's young gardener wants ready-made solutions, and it's your job to deliver them." An image of fast food joint drive-thru gardening immediately came to mind. That rather odd image (picture a McGarden's center with large green vining arches on the roof) was made even more bold when I continued reading: "Think of it as the Rachael Ray style of gardening. Ingredients 1-2-3, here's the sheet of directions. Get out your credit card, and pow - you're out of here!"

At the McGarden's drive-thru, there's a large menu where you can order Double Deluxe Dahlias, Zany Zesty Zinnias, and there'd be things besides plants: Six-Pax-Pots, GroMaculous MilkShake, you get the idea. What are we coming to folks? Or perhaps the question is what have we bred into our kids?

In one section of the trade publication - "Garden Chic Life: Adventures in IGC Entrepreneurial Retailing," Dave Bosco, Vice President of Bosco's Garden Center in Vermont, is profiled. Mr. Bosco said in the piece, "If you're not on the ball and coming up with new ideas and new products, customers get bored. They want something new." If new means fast food gardening at McGarden's, then I'm opting out.

The author goes on to say, "They [Generation X and Y homeowners] come in with their iPhones loaded with photos of their yards, along with measurements, and the staff lays it all out, suggesting what to plant where." Mr. Bosco reiterates this when he says, "They don't want to trim it, they don't really want to take care of it - they just want to be able to enjoy it."

I suppose all of this ties in with the declining do-it-yourself crowd - what's emerging now is a you-do-it-for-me populace. Which, when you come to think about it, is conducive to capitalism. I wonder if I can get a small business loan for my McGarden's idea?

Lastly, and in a slight nod of approval for GARDENCHIC, they have good writers that offer advice to regular gardeners like you and me. Amy Stewart did a very informative article about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which is what Penn State Master Gardeners are required to suggest to consumers when asked about pesticide use. Maureen Gilmore wrote a piece on using native plants that is worthy of any major gardening publication (and we all should use more native plants). So, even though GARDENCHIC is geared toward young, sexy, independent retail garden center owners and seems to ignore those owned by my generation, their staff would be welcome at my McGarden's.

And now for your listening pleasure, a recent practice session at Phil's Woodshed, featuring The Doghouse Three.

12 comments:

tina said...

Anyplace to learn more about gardening and get ideas to write about is a pretty good thing. Glad it works for you TC. Spring is near..

Dave said...

Sounds great! Reminds me of being back in East TN. All kinds of festivals there with bluegrass. It's fun to listen to.

Those young people who just want it to look great right off the bat don't want to garden. Gardening is the process not the just the result.

Jennifer Suarez said...

Sounds AWESOME! I love it. Makes me wanna dance, and I NEVER dance since I have 2 left feet.

Weeping Sore said...

I applaud your concern about fast food gardening. I recently posted a similar concern about what I called Shopping Mall Gardening: http://growthis.blogspot.com/2009/02/shopping-mall-gardening.html
Great minds...

Frances said...

Hi TC, very enjoyable session. Yes, I listened to the whole thing, even the camera turning sideways at the end. About the so called fast food generation, you know it is wrong to make sweeping generalization about them, just like doing the same to the boomers. We are all not like that, and neither are they. My own kids all garden, and cook and they are attracted to the old way of doing both. Seeing joy in the journey, rather than the end result is what it is all about. All is not lost with them, but I liked your vine covered arches idea!
Frances

Terri said...

Great video! I'm afraid that at the moment I'm very much a fast-food gardener. No time, no time! Thank heaven for raised beds and forgiving plants, is all I can say! :)

Susie said...

Oh I love me some foot stomping music! Can I come and sing with y'all? With my southern drawl I figure I'll fit right in!!!

TC said...

Ms. Tina: March 20th!!

Dave: Thanks. I'd love to attend one or two of those festivals with ya!

Ms. Jennifer: 2 left feet are perfect for cloggin!

WS: ...think alike. ;~)

Ms. Frances: Thanks for sittin thru our performance. We have a good time. I didn't mean to make generalizations, but lookin back on it, I suppose I might have done just that. I apologize. I realize with a two wage earner family some folks just don't have time to get both hands dirty. And there are myriad other time constraints people have.

Ms Terri: I appreciate your openness and hopefully you can find time in the future to get your hands a little dirtier. ;~)

lola said...

Great session. Loved every minute of it. I lean towards stringed music. The old limey foot stomping kind. Can't dance, got 2 left feet but sure like to watch other folks. That clogging is something else.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I tend to disagree with Mr Bosco. Garden centers and home improvement centers are doing well. True there has been a decline in the past year because of the economy but compare the decline to that of landscapers and contractors and you realize a lot of people are actively working on their own homes and yards.

I agree people want variety and new ideas. For those who do want a plant it and forget it garden, I wish garden centers would sell them just that. Instead they send the customer home with impatiens, begonias, and a lot of plants that require maintenance.

At my local garden boutiques, everyone is high school student who doesn't know which end of the plant to put in the ground--but they work cheap.
Marnie

Cindy said...

Hi TC - Sorry it's taken me a while to stop by. I love the new look of the blog. Great music too!

TC said...

Ms Lola: Sometimes I break into cloggin on stage whilst I'm pickin. Folks love it. And I ain't all that great.

Ms. Marnie: Excellent points.

Ms. Cindy: There's no need to apologize. Just stop by whenever you have time, don't feel obligated just because we almost next door neighbors. ;~)