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Decorating is the New Word for Gardening

Last week I attended an open house and lecture at Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Pleasant View is the home of the plant brand called Proven Winners, whose annuals and shrubs are available in garden centers around the country. Every year Pleasant View grows thousands of plants for the market.

Proven Winners carries out extensive research on its customers.  From that research Proven Winners has learned that today people do not like the word ‘gardening’ because it implies work, sweat, and toil in the garden.  Nobody wants to work in the garden today, but people do want to enjoy the benefit of a garden.

the color brightens up this walkway
At Pleasan View Gardens in Loudon, NH the yellow color of these annuals brightens up this walkway.

Today customers prefer the word ‘decorating’.

Decorating of course implies the use of form, texture, and color to make a statement or to express a feeling or certain look.

So today when people use plants, it is to make a statement.

The color and size of the plant become important to fit in a certain location in order to create that look.

At Pleasant View I saw a border of low yellow plants. The three varieties were ‘Gold Dust’ Mecardonia which grows 5 inches tall. Next was Sundaze ‘Golden Beauty’  Bracteantha which stands 10 inches in height. Finally, the Marguerite Daisy called Butterfly Argyranthemum which can grow to 18 inches.  Together they formed a carpet of yellow that flowed along with the walkway.

To me that could well be an example of gardening as decorating.

Here the gardener chose the color yellow in different forms and textures.

Three yello annuals make a statement on this border
The blooms of these flowers together form a  carpet of yellow.

Plant choice becomes the most important decision when you consider gardening as decorating.

That raises some questions, however. You need to know whether the spot is sunny or shady. You need to know the water needs of the plant. Finally, you need to know what height and width the plant will become.

And so, though maintenance might not be an issue with gardening defined as decorating, a person still has to know what the growth habits of a particular plant are.

People certainly want color, form, and texture in the garden.  So perhaps decorating is not such an awful term

What do you think?

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