Here I am in Chicago at the big trade show for garden centers. A trade show floor filled with pots, tools, gloves, shoes, and–of course–plants. And a surprising number of GardenRant readers. Don’t you people have anything else do to?
Some of the cool stuff I’ve seen:
Biodegradable pots. Mostly made with rice hulls, although there are
some other ingredients in the works, too. They’re pretty, they’re long-lasting, but they will break down eventually in a compost pile.
Very pretty copper-clad fiberglass pots from Copperglass Planters. Really lovely and very lightweight, but could I bring myself to pay close to $300 for them? Hmmmmm…
Little succulents packaged in a box like chocolates from our friends at Hort Couture. They tell me that they followed all the GardenRant comments on their plants with great interest. They do have some pretty
wild-looking plants coming out soon, so keep an eye on them.
A nifty and easy-to-assemble cold frame from Maine Made. Even in California, it would be nice to have one of these to keep some basil going in inclement weather. Now,this is something I would totally pay 300 bucks for.
And finally, I met Friend of Rant Patti Moreno, who is in Chicago promoting a line of seeds, DVDs, T-shirts, and other products,which she has put together in a –what do they call it in retail–point of sale shelving unit or some such thing–and wow, was her booth busy!
The thing is, everybody in the garden center industry is trying to read the tea leaves about how to appeal to two mysterious groups: women and Gen X/Y. As a woman and member of Gen X, all I can do is grumble about how all this speculation makes me feel like a zoo animal ("Women! People under 40! How strange! What do they eat? Do they mate for life?") But Patti is all too happy to speak up on behalf of both groups and tell retailers exactly what to do, and as a result there has been
a little flock of garden center owners around her booth all day. I had to shoo them away to get this photo.
That’s all the news for now. Will report more later.