Little did I imagine as an art critic, then museum curator,
then magazine editor that I’d ever be attending anything called the Independent
Garden Center Show, much less speaking at it. Yet, I am getting on a plane to
do just that today; All the Ranters are giving a panel presentation
Thursday—as you’ve already heard.
You never know what you’re going to end up doing in life—and
that’s fine by me. I have been
gardening for a couple decades and writing about gardening for a bit less than
half that time. By this time, I do have something to say to those who run
garden centers, and why not—I spend many hours and many, many more dollars at
my three or four local igcs every gardening season.
Here are some of the most important issues I have with
I am a total sucker. I am your dream customer and I’ll spend
every last cent of my expendable income at your business, but if you must buy
novelty items, let them be novelty plants. Not Christmas tree ornaments. I came
intending to leave with a carload of plants, and healthy, interesting plants
will keep me coming back. I don’t care about the other stuff.
Novelty can get old. It’s so sad that the tried and true
varieties of—say, hydrangeas, for example—are never available anymore. Half the
plants in my garden that people admire have vanished from the marketplace and I
either have to divide a perennial then and there or tell them they’re just out
of luck. I’d rather have them supporting a local business.
Please stop selling useless crap in spray bottles. The
bottles are getting prettier, but that doesn’t make the stuff inside any more
beneficial It all takes up too much space and it’s time for someone to stop the
And I don’t care what hysterical list comes out from
whatever agency. Please don’t take my buddleia away. (See the comments to Susan’s post on porcelain vine, below.)
Is there anything you didn’t get a chance to tell Amy,
Michele and Susan about your igc pet peeves and fave raves? Throw it into
comments. I hope I will see some of you in Chicago.