OFA President Danny Takao reacts to Associate Editor Kevin Yanik’s September column on how botanical gardens are losing their identity with consumers:
The way our industry is evolving, a lot of our growers don’t fully understand the impact America In Bloom and the botanical gardens will have on our industry if we don’t support them. There is going to be a major disconnect with the next set of gardening consumer if we don’t start thinking about what we need to do, and start doing it now.
I’ve heard the theory: wait ’til they reach the right age and they will start buying our plants. I think that is a pretty risky philosophy on which to base our future.
Think about this: We know how to stick a cutting, put roots on that cutting in 10 days and almost exactly when that cutting will be flowering. But do we really know about a young person’s time constraints and what they need from us before they feel comfortable purchasing our products? Or, better yet, where are the inspirations that will even motivate consumers to include us in their lifestyles?