Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is there something going on here? Part II

Miniature Garden with Bird Bath
Story # 86, Part II

Is there something going on here?   Part II

     BusinessWeek had an article about the movie version of Les Miserables and the apparent success of a musical.  The speculation is that musicals are what people want and the trend will be to make more of them.  The movie critic is quoted:

          “In the end, it’s all about the individual movie.  Viewers will gravitate toward good works.
    They don’t necessarily care about trends.  Audiences are smarter than people think.”

     The trend may be toward Miniature Gardens.  The speculation is that people want them because it’s the new thing.

     Everybody likes the new and different but they may not know it’s a trend.

     They don’t buy because it’s the fad.  They buy because it has value for their interests.  A lot of good Miniature Gardens are being sold because gardeners are intrigued by them.

     Consumers are always smarter than people (sellers) think. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is there something going on here?

Miniature Garden with arbor

Story # 86,

Is there something going on here?

      Since I have a line of small plants selected for miniature gardens and terrariums, I have been watching for new types to add to production

      From one source in Florida, the grower states that they can not fill every new order for miniature plants due to the high demand.  They caution that you may have to be on a waiting list for product unless you are pre-booked for the Spring.

      Is this marketing hype or an honest appraisal of increased demand for miniature garden plants? 

 Assuming this is true, is there an upturn in the demand curve for small plants?

      So why not make more ---- faster?  The correct selected plants have their own challenges.   Because they are selected to be compact plants, the stock plants yield slowly, also.

      Can the trend be determined from a few clues?

      No.  But information will never be complete, so…

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Miniature Garden umbrella can cover a lot.

Miniature Garden with houseplants
Story # 85,

The Miniature Garden umbrella can cover a lot.

      We have a lot of terms floating around ------ Dish Garden, Table Top Garden, European Garden, Fairy Garden, Gnome Garden, and Miniature Garden— indoor and outdoor.

      My conclusion is that Miniature Garden can include them all.

      Table Top Garden is a better name for Dish Garden and European Garden.  Miniature Garden is more inclusive than Fairy Garden and Gnome Garden.

      Miniature Garden could cover them all.  The only division left is indoor or outdoor.  A small garden display that can tolerate freezing temperatures and wind is very special and difficult.

      The winner of words is Miniature Garden with houseplants.  Of course, house plants can be put outside in summer, but acclimating plants to abrupt change in environment going out (Spring) or in (Fall) has its own set of problems.

      My Miniature Gardens will be indoor with houseplants.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Are Miniature Gardens a fad worth chasing?

Miniature Garden scene
Story # 84,

     Are Miniature Gardens a fad worth chasing?

     At the MANTS trade show last week, there was a lot of interest in the vendors showing miniature garden accessories, miniature plants and clues to this evolving tiny piece of the horticulture market.

      Fads go up and down and this one is still trying to formulate into a workable specialty.  Garden Centers are giving space to the concept with displays of miniature replicas of trellises, wheelbarrows, tables and chairs.  The branded system of Fairy Gardening, Inc has plants selected to be suitable for small scenes, planted in shallow containers for indoor culture.

     It could turn into the equivalent of model trains.  Model trains have survived as a fascinating hobby with public displays, mostly around Christmas.  As a kid, I spent hundreds of hours playing with my train set and would add to it each year.

     With miniature gardens, the problem is where do you start and how do you make one?

     A new venture, Amy Kate Miniature Gardens, in Dallas, Texas has been successful with workshops in friend’s homes showing and selling the plants and accessories for your own Miniature Garden to take home.

     Is it opportunity or uncertainty when there is no established standard plan for creating a miniature garden?  Nobody knows what they should look like.

     Whoever can bring order to this hobby will make the fad a standard.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More better...

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' with 14 flowers grown by Jon Lindstrom
More better…

      New Year’s resolutions are always about improving------ more better!

      More better, of course, should be correctly said as best.  Good, better, best.  It’s worth striving for the best but it’s an elusive goal.  I want to grow plants better than last year. And next year, I will want to grow them better than this year.

      Plant growing is my ‘Art’.  Art as described by Seth Godin in his new book, The Icarus Deception.     What Seth is preaching is that ‘more better’ is not going to get us anywhere.  What we need is ‘Different’------- better ‘Art’.

     He says that  making average products for average people is no longer the best use of our time.

      Sinningia ‘Li’l Georgie’ is my ‘Art’ project.  Jim Steuerlein created it and shared it with the World.  My guess is that every Miniature Garden needs ‘Li’l Georgie’.

      It is the best miniature flowering plant.  If plant lovers agree, then the Art will be complete. 

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' grown by Gary's Specialty Plants
with 14 open flowers and 11 buds