We all love to enjoy our gardens in the sun at this time of year and as the sun is starting to shine and things are starting to happen in the garden we all feel inspired! This week is National Gardening Week - nicely timed with the onset of spring when we all look at giving our gardens some TLC, but what is the value of this retail sector?
It's traditionally a growth sector in times of recession and economic downturn as people look to finding pleasures at home rather than expensive holidays abroad. There has also been a bit of a 'Good Life' style renaissance lately as people are starting to grow their own vegetables again. Many boroughs now have massively long waiting lists for allotments as they have come back in demand again, with both young and old. There are initiatives such as Landshare, started by Channel 4 off the back of the ever popular grow and cook style programmes, which connects growers with people who have land spare to offer...it's a concept that has really taken off as they currently have over 68,000 members.
There are even groups of gardening guerrilla's which overnight go and plant vegetables in public spaces in cities like London and Glasgow. Urban growing is becoming popular as people utilise roof tops and grow plants on buildings, making for some pretty spectacular looking urban greenery.
We have done quite a lot of installations in this sector, it's big business said to be worth around £4.6 billion for the UK economy according to the annual HTA Garden Retail Market Analysis report, and is becoming more popular year on year with 'Grow your Own' vege's being the biggest growth area (pardon the pun).
I know I spend a fair bit every year with the idea I'll turn into a fabulous gardener, and every year all that money is wasted on my not so fabulous garden...it takes more than splashing some cash it seems! Big DIY stores with Garden Centres are really selling the whole dream, where you can get everything under one roof from your garden furniture to your BBQ, as well as the plants and flowers. These huge warehouse style DIY stores take some merchandising with seasonal displays and promotional items all summer long from small seed display stands to huge promotional banners and signs, indoors and out.
The drought we have on this year may dampen our appetite for buying in to the dream of a luscious beautiful garden but I doubt it. More likely we will all wander round imaging what gorgeous gardens we could have if we just bought this....and that..!
To learn more about how to put on an event or to attend one of the many events taking place over National Gardening Week visit: www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk