Garden retailers don't shout enough about the value of gardening to health and well-being
There’s countless reports, commentary, stories and blogs on the internet about the physical and well-being value of gardening. Therapists and medical professionals say it’s seen as an essential tool in treating children with special needs and learning difficulties; provides a stress free- environment and natural motivation for the depressed and fresh air and gentle exercise for the aged.
Gardening is more interesting than conventional exercise routines and of greater benefit because it uses muscle groups all over the body and provides a good general workout for anyone.
Colin Crosbie, curator of RHS Wisley Garden in the UK summed it up “Gardening is the perfect way to stay healthy. It can be both energetic and relaxing at the same time. It is an all year round activity – even in winter you can be raking the leaves, working in the greenhouse or doing some pruning. And there is nothing better than being able to stand back and admire the fruits of your labour”
Strangely, this type of message is seldom seen anywhere in garden retail yet it is one of the most important messages we should be shouting.
Too many people in our industry spend their creative energy worrying about the dumbing down of horticulture and how gardeners should know our technical words and plant nomenclature.
There is a much bigger picture we should be fostering and talking about in our stores ….. the benefits of gardening to every human occupant of the world and to the global environment.
Gardening …….as good for you as jogging or swimming
Plant your own veggies for a healthy option.
Plant a tree to benefit the next generation
Gardening feeds not just the body but the soul
Positive messages help to motivate people to get back to gardening and to motivate the uninitiated to try gardening; not least to grow some of their own food.
Blogs, newsletters, practical demonstrations, store events, signage and inspirational merchandising will show them how.
A small effort associating your garden centre business with charities, community groups and schools within your neighbourhood and providing practical support will bring reward too.
Garden retailers are natural influencers of healthy lifestyles and well-being and we have a legitimate reason to promote gardening.
It helps to bring more customers through your doors but it makes your neighbourhood a better place to live too.
Let’s do it!
- Joy Lamb