It should not be surprising that we get pitches and press
releases all the time. The online gardening community understands that blogs
like this have an impact. As they should! But we only pay real attention to
companies whom we feel have real news to share or perhaps a cool giveaway that we
know you’ll love. Or … you gotta appreciate a press release that starts like
I HATE Phlox paniculata, I LOVE Phlox paniculata, I HATE
Phlox paniculata, I LOVE Phlox paniculata, I HATE Phlox paniculata, I LOVE
Phlox paniculata, I HATE Phlox paniculata, I LOVE Phlox paniculata!
Ha. Don’t we all feel that way about every almost every
plant that we grow? This is about the Phlox paniculata “Jeana” and it comes
from Barry of Sunshine Farms. Supposedly this miracle phlox has 100 long
lasting, fragrant, lavender/pink flowers, and (of course) never gets mildew.
And all that may be true. But what I love about this pitch
is the acknowledgement of the vagaries and ambivalence of gardeners. Innocent healthy
plants that are doing just what they ought to be doing, no more and no less,
can evoke hatred and disgust, while sickly, faltering specimens call forth our
most loving attentions. How can we get them to thrive? And then there are
plants that run the gamut. I love, love , love my purple-flowering
hostas in July, but in mid-September I plot against them, hate their yellow,
prematurely-decaying leaves, and plan to pull them all out in the spring.
Right now I HATE phlox paniculata. Last year my three plants ("David's Lavender," top) from Select Seeds did fine; they bloomed about 3 feet high. Now there are about
7 plants, they’re all about 5 feet tall and none have bloomed. It’s been a wet,
chilly summer here; we’re just now getting some heat and sunshine, but still.
They don’t have mildew though, I’ll give them that.
None of this exactly makes me want to try “Jeana.” But I liked the pitch. Now
that almost all the plant vendors have initiated regular enewsletters and other
digital marketing efforts, I am automatically deleting more emails than ever
before. Recently, Brent and Becky’s indicated they may start a newsletter—we'll see what they decide. Hopefully, they'll follow the example of companies like Sunshine, Old House Gardens, and, of course, Plant
Delights for devising pitches that entertain, inform, and amuse.