3 questions to: John Herbert

John Herbert is the General Secretary of the European Retail Association, EDRA, the international organization representing home improvement retailers across the globe. With contact to almost every home centre worldwide EDRA has its finger on the pulse of current developments, best practices and the latest home improvement trends.

John Herbert, how important is the garden market for home centres worldwide today?
Herbert: The home centres in our EDRA operating in 50 countries represent total sales of more than 120 Billion Euro. The garden market has a share of 22 % including plants. That is no doubt very important.

Why should your members come to Cologne to visit spoga+gafa?
Herbert: Because there is no better place to be to do garden business. There is no other place with such a huge range of merchandize in one lot. You can find the cheapest but also the best products. The fair is absolutely attractive to the industry. It’s definitely a “must go”!

How about plants on spoga+gafa?
Herbert: As a lot of visitors are coming all over Europe to the spoga+gafa trade fair it could be advantageous for plant suppliers to be at the fair and it will give the spoga+gafa more of a feel as a garden trade fair.

Further information: edra-online.com


3 questions to: Jacqueline van der Kloet

Jacqueline van der Kloet is an internationally well-known garden architect with projects e.g. EXPO 2000 in Hanover, Highline and Battery Park New York, World Horticultural Exhibition Floriade 2002 and 2012, Millenniumpark Chicago, River Park Shenyang, Governmental District Kuwait etc. the designer of many private gardens throughout Europe and a successful writer of gardening books.

What is the most striking difference concerning private gardens between now and ten years ago?
van der Kloet:
In my opinion gardens are getting more valuable and important. People spend a lot of money to create their private paradise. They look for quality of plants, trees, but also for sophisticated gardening designs, materials and luxury furniture.

Do you think this is an answer to the rapid changing world?
van der Kloet: As far as my profession is concerned, I cannot feel the crisis. Maybe, beautiful gardens are an answer to a world we can no longer understand and maybe, gardens give a feeling of freedom and peace which we can hardly find somewhere else these days.

You travel a lot around the world, what does your garden mean to you?
van der Kloet: Whenever I come home again, my tea-garden (www.theetuin.nl) welcomes and surprises me and sometimes it even asks me to stay for a while, take a break or work hard to get rid of the weeds and to enjoy life, sun and rain and the miracles of nature around us.