The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is filing for bankruptcy. Another robust garden section in peril. Any garden writers out that way with news, send it our way.
The news also came this week that environmental/eco-lifestyle magazine Plenty, and National Geographic's Green Guide, are no longer. AdAge reports that a new 'green' magazine, Organic Beauty, is set to launch soon. Should a so-called green magazine even exist in print? Discuss.
And now, in the face of all this bad media news, I give you this bright spot: a wonderful piece in Grower Talks magazine about the marketing strategies behind the 'Endless Summer' hydrangea. This is exactly the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff that I find fascinating. It's not an article about how to plant a hydrangea or how to prune a hydrangea or how to feed a hydrangea or what to plant next to a hydrangea. It's about how a nursery in Minnesota found an interesting hydrangea in the backyard of an employee and spent a million dollars marketing it in the first year. They had a million plants for sale, so they spent a dollar marketing each plant–and they still do. The newest release, Twist-n-Shout, will be backed up by $800,000 in cable television advertising and consumer ads of $1.5 million. Advertising a plant on TV? What a concept! Tell me more!
I love it that industry magazines like Grower Talks run these kind of stories, and I wish consumer garden magazines would find a way to follow suit. I mean, it's an interesting, gee-whiz kind of story about what goes into "the making of" a popular plant, and what I like about it is that it gets at this larger idea that gardeners are interested in the world of horticulture, a world that includes science, money, politics, marketing, and international intrigue. It's the kind of story you'd see in any number of other consumer/enthusiast magazines, from Wired to Wine Spectator to Gourmet. So–Grower Talks! Good work!