Thursday, September 17, 2009


Gardening is outdoor decorating.  The newer, younger potential customers wandering through garden centres today, appear to know nothing about traditional and muck raking gardening.  They just want a straightforward weekend project to do some external decorating.

To take advantage of this purchasing opportunity, which apparently the UK garden centres have not yet got anywhere near germinating, according to marketing consultants, the garden centres' management have to start dressing up their presentation like furniture stores.  There is no suggestion that you put your bedroom furniture amongst the pot plants - though that might be a great sales pitch.   The idea is, that you colour scheme and dress up corners and sections of the garden centre to show plant types, products and their colours to the best advantage and presentation, for transplantation to the customer's window sill, roof garden, pots on the doorstep, or a back yard. 

There is just one little problem, a cloud on this decorating horizon, and that is the small matter of rain.  Wet weather is not ideal for external decorating.  If you have a long period of inclement conditions, the new breed of outdoor designers will not be encouraged to seek the wares of garden centres for their external rooms.   Do plants run, do the colours on the foliage fade, does a plant or leaf wither in the rain?  No, none of these things. This leaves me bemused.  What flustering and fluttering in this way with external décor does for plant life, I cannot think.

So what is gardening today, according to the fledgling  'giardinieros'?  Like so many descriptive words in the English language, it seems there is slippage or a re-definition revolution afoot, in the land of 'gardening'. 


Vincent said...

my kind of gardening doesn't earn much money for garden centres. it would never be confused with outdoor decorating, for it's not about appearance. It's about observing the life that miraculously appears on my plot of land, with a minor bit of assistance from me. The result is almost irrelevant. I delight in seeing all the caterpillars, except in the rare situation where a delicate cutting has its very existence threatened by this voracious thing. then it's one part of nature against another and I may take sides!

ZACL said...

That sounds like natural gardening, almost traditional - in the established meaning - what many people living today, would think about as part of gardening. 'Old' gardening was/is a very subjective activity, but it generally meant, you the gardener, cultivating the ground and encouraging mother nature to sprout in some way or another from seedlings or from scratch.

When I was an urbanite, I took a delight in enjoying the fruits of my work. I obtained pleasure in feeding the ground, planting seedlings and seeds, nurturing plant life that was given or swopped. I learned a lot. Where I am now, gardening of that sort won't work, I therefore enjoy other people's labours!

Andhari said...

My grandma and my mom love gardening! I don't know there's a specific definition for it but for me it's when you plant living things and take care of it until it grows? Maybe?

ps. thanks for stopping by my blog :)

ZACL said...

Hi Andhari,

Nice to meet you here.

I'm not sure of a specific definition for gardening, but I don't think of gardening as placing pots that someone else has arranged in a designer fashion as 'it'.

People who don't have gardens or yards can still be gardening on a small scale by developing and cultivating their own plants in the containers that suit their lifestyle. My herb garden is indoors (made up of windowsill pots) because most herbs die outside where I live, with either the wind chill or exposure. I guess a greenhouse or a poly tunnel would help with those.

I like your definition. :)