Talkin ‘Bout My Generation


Telling lies to them will create a tremendous amount of hostility and you don’t need that.  (naturally, other customers love to be lied to, so keep it up when the kids aren’t around.)

Whatever your policies, keep them flexible.  (yes, the Baby Boomer generation cherishes rules and rigid thinking, as demonstrated by that whole sexual and cultural revolution thing way back when.  But somehow these kids just aren’t going for it.)

Here’s the nuttiest little bit of advice in this nutty little story:

"Generation X and Y go around all day long with their iPods listening to music–much of which is sad, at least that’s what us Baby Boomers would say about it.  Research has shows that happy music creates happy people but sad music raises the level of purchasing attention…When you see the younger generation walk into your store with their iPod playing, let it play. Don’t judge what they’re doing.  Pray they’re listening to some sad songs."

Got it?  iPod + sad music = young, depressed customer eager to splurge on bedding annuals.

The Gen X staffers here at GardenRant got together to compose a response to this vapid story.  It took us all day, and boy, did we get to know each other better, but eventually we nominated one smart boy to write it up for us, and here’s what he said:

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basketcase, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?


  1. Thanks. That was hilarious and made my Gen-X garden disabled day. This is the first time I have visited, but I subscribed and I will be back!

  2. As a baby boomer, I apologize that someone of my generation wrote this article. Wait, I forgot, we boomers are self-absorbed, and it is all about us, the largest generation ever. we are the Me-Generation, baby! But, thank goodness you Gen-X and Gen-Y buyers are entering the garden centers now, so there will be less lying, more up to date websites, and more flexible policies. But, let’s forget the sad music!

  3. As a fully-fledged X’er I choose to rebel against this stereotypical pigeon-holing and rather than protest by tying myself to ships, trees, pigeons and whales, like my Boomer parents, I will consult my emo-iPod iTunes and possibly the Dalai Lama for ways to integrate with nature and be as one with the cosmic universe on a purely platonic pretense.

  4. This is along the same vein as my post of July 23rd.

    The stuff about not lying to these generations, because they have this superhuman ability to sniff out a lie, is just unbelievable. I too have read about this amazing ability in the industry magazines.

    I’ll tell you what these nursery consultants are afraid of, the internet, bloggers, and the ability of garden center owners like me to talk to the real consultants that matter. Who needs a paid consultant when I can get my info for the low price of just becoming engaged, and startring a diologue with the customer and garden blogger?

  5. It is insulting but what I smell is FEAR from these marketers towards us Gen-Xers. They are struggling to answer the question of WHY “we” don’t garden. Well, surprise – many of us do! We just may not going to the traditional information sources or plant providers.

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