Garden centres deck the halls

I saw a nearly life size baby Jesus with Joseph worshipping at the alter of christmas tree lights, the fluffiest sneeze inducing selection of santas, and reindeers in white mink coats. And the price tags looked pretty too.  Steep that is.    Who buys this stuff?  By the way I am in one of the leading garden nurseries in the UK.  If you look closely, there is a real live plant in amongst the twiggy reindeers and ceramic huskies.

I read Tom Hobyln’s  recent post in the Guardian blog  the crisis in the gardening industry over recruitment.  I’m not surprised about this crisis on the retail front.   Who would want to go into a career that drops all semblance of  taking itself seriously every time Christmas, Easter, Halloween comes along?   I remember trying to buy a waterproof top  on that last date and only finding black witches cloaks in the large emporium just outside our town.

The workers in this shop were making a snow-effect carpet out of swags of fleece.  I suspect they were putting a brave face on it, for this retailer hires staff with horticultural backgrounds.  But why do these outlets pile up these kitsch objects?  Winter is an extremely busy time for gardening.  Can the word not get through that leaf blowers, chain saws and wheelbarrows are a better investment.  And what about seeds, bulbs, greenhouse-ware and bare rooted trees?  There must be a way to get punters to part with their gardening pounds in winter.


  1. Pauline says:

    Unfortunately they all seem to be the same. Our big local garden centre at least has two buildings, one for plants etc. and one for furniture, statues, bird food, books, clothing, kitchen equipment. This second one is the one that goes mad at Christmas time, but at least you know what you will be faced with when you enter, if you want plants and gardening equipment, go to the other building!

  2. Josa Young says:

    All I want is forced hyacinths at this time of year.

  3. Anne Wareham says:

    Some of us get well told off for not liking this stuff and other manifestations of horribleness in the garden world. But how low can it go

    1. Should not be a subject for telling off but rather one to get the public less seasonally lethargic about gardening. The industry needs a big PR campaign to get that one over.

  4. Anne Wareham says:

    (sorry) ? (that went missing)

Comments are closed.