Gardening is outdoor decorating. The newer, younger potential customers wandering through garden centres today, appear to know nothing about traditional and muck raking gardening. They just want a straightforward weekend project to do some external decorating.

To take advantage of this purchasing opportunity, which apparently the UK garden centres have not yet got anywhere near germinating, according to marketing consultants, the garden centres’ management have to start dressing up their presentation like furniture stores. There is no suggestion that you put your bedroom furniture amongst the pot plants – though that might be a great sales pitch. The idea is, that you colour scheme and dress up corners and sections of the garden centre to show plant types, products and their colours to the best advantage and presentation, for transplantation to the customer’s window sill, roof garden, pots on the doorstep, or a back yard.

There is just one little problem, a cloud on this decorating horizon, and that is the small matter of rain. Wet weather is not ideal for external decorating. If you have a long period of inclement conditions, the new breed of outdoor designers will not be encouraged to seek the wares of garden centres for their external rooms. Do plants run in the rain, do the colours on the foliage fade, does a plant or leaf wither in the rain? No, none of these things. This leaves me bemused. What flustering and fluttering in this way with external décor does for plant life, I cannot think.

So what is gardening today, according to the fledgling ‘giardinieros’? Like so many descriptive words in the English language, it seems there is slippage or a re-definition revolution afoot, in the land of ‘gardening’.



  1. The other problem is that a garden – as you and I would understand it – also involves the passage of time for one’s horticultural vision to take shape.

    But going and buying it ready-made is just so much more convenient, saves having to think, and can be done in a few hours. And no horrid plants, birds or insects to mess up the decking and furniture, dahling.

  2. You have it superbly portrayed Lois: what on earth is happening that programme time can be spent on such shallow events, such as ‘horticultural’ outdoor decorating. It’s obviously for a particular social milieu of our time.

    It’s cheap programming I suppose.

    I Like the avatar…very glam!

  3. Thanks – I don’t always look like an old boot, and thought a little experiment with one of the few photos of myself taken recently and not utterly hideous would be good. (I went on a jolly with my Mum and sister, and this was a chance snap where I was smiling and had my eyes open. Unusually for me.)

  4. Ooh, you under-rate yourself Lois; your first avatar was gorgeous as well. Mr in-between has been interesting. You do have photogenic features and its great to see!

  5. That’s a thought, just like all ‘rooms’ some clearing up is likely to be needed. Although, from what I heard, suggestions of course, some of the costs meant that the people who were cosseted within these decorated dreams, had a certain disposable income. It wouldn’t in the least surprise me if they just didn’t do a major clear out, binning etc, and redecorated anew the following year.

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