March 8, 2009

Flower Shows are closing down and younger generation look for gardening tips on Internet not on Shows

New York Times has published an article about flower show sector in crisis. As one of the reasons they point out, that younger generation is seeking gardening tips on Internet rather than of flower shows.

"Younger generation is also less interested in the aesthetics of gardening and more in the environmental benefits, like composting." <-- read the full article by clicking the previous sentence.

Do you agree with that?


vicki archer said...

I don't know about that statement but I do know that we all rely on the internet more and more as a way of gathering information and I suppose gardening is no different. The problem is that nothing can ever replace the sight, feel and scent of real blooms and garden shows allow us to do exactly this. xv

Ewa said...

I agree. if all flower shows will be gone, where to go to see the beauties?
do you go to flower shows for gardening tips? rather not.
maybe organisers need to change the approach? no idea. maybe somebody will have more insight about it.

Victoria Summerley said...

Of course the internet is a wonderful research tool, but flower shows can offer a fantastic opportunity to ask the person who specialises in a particular plant how to get the best from it. The smaller growers are often one or two-person teams, and they've been slow to embrace the web because they don't have much time to set up fancy websites and sit at a computer all day. The shows give them the chance to show off their plants and talk to the public.

Pepper-Hot said...

Maybe then we should campaign for going out to the shows. I can't imagine a world without it!

Ewa said...

I was just logged-in to my another blog about growing capsicum - that I got fascinated with. Decided to make separate blog about it.

Tara Dillard said...

I went to the Southern Nursery Assoc. trade show last month. Each vendor I spoke with I asked about their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blog sites. Not a single plant, mulch or stone vendor had one.

The Atlanta Flower Show died last year, after decades, and was reborn as another entity this year.

It was charming & delightful in a 1950's way. Was that their intention? NOT. I felt sad for the show & frustrated my profession was represented in an outdated dogmatic fashion.

Speaking professionally about putting together a beautiful, low maintenance, eco, organic, sustainable landscape for decades I've noticed something quite odd about landscape 'speakers' chosen for plant venues. Especially nursery symposiums.

The keynote speaker is often a plant expert. A writer of books about plants. It's great to know about plants. But they are only a widget in the process of creating a total landscape.

After a plant expert speaks you know: a few plants.

After a landscape designer speaks you know: which plants to choose, where to place them, how to shape a terrace, where to put paths, where to site focal points, where to place the compost, where to site the vegetable garden, why planting seasonal annuals is not eco friendly, paint colors for the exterior of your home, which pots to buy, how to arrange patio furnishings & etc.

My corner of the horticulture industry is about putting myriad and disparate widgets together to create a beautiful landscape.

Creating, promoting & educating about the entire 'machine' of creating a beautiful landscape vs. isolating the widgets and ignoring the machine.

That is where I see the problem of flower shows. Pandering to widgets. Ignoring the machine made up of the widgets. Forgetting what is relevant to the paying public.

Only a few thoughts.......
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Anonymous said...

I think that the Internet is a mecca for information on any subject. That said, there is nothing like actually being there. Like reading a book vs. visiting. The attendance decline likely has more to do with the economy than anything. The upside: garden touring is still going on as far as I know. It's a bargain to spend 8 or 10 bucks and see 8 or 10 gardens. In fact it's probably more beneficial because you're seeing the read deal, not a manufactured sales pitch. Maybe the flower show producers need to rethink their strategies. I hate to see them close up shop entirely.

Ewa said...

Thanks for your indepth pov - you are absolutely right.
I believe, that those who will adopt to new realities, will survive or be reborn.

Ewa said...

You point out a very interesting subject - that people like more to see real gardens, not a space tightly packed with widgets (as Tara called it in interesting way).

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I disagree with the article. I'm really sad that the Northwest Flower and Garden show will be closing. It was packed with people of all ages. Many families with young children were there.
I agree that seeing, smelling and touching the plants can't be replaced by the computer screen.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I have to disagree based on the number of young families I saw at the Chicago Flower & Garden show over the weekend. The display gardens at this show were the most sustainable, adaptable gardens I've seen in a show. Many of them were chocked with great ideas that could be used in the smallest of gardens. There was even a garden designed for children's play areas & equipment.