Prize-winning innovative

The “green industry” and “innovation” are not necessarily a contradiction. The Swiss garden centre Meier of Dürnten proves that both can go together very well. The company was recently awarded the “Graines d’Or” prize as the most innovative garden centre in Europe. Even the location of the award presentation was pretty unusual: It took place at the Paris nightclub Lido.

But what is it that makes this company so innovative, so extraordinary? Could it be the many events in the premise, as for instance the family-days, the handicraft courses or the roses-days? Maybe the garden journeys organised by Meier, e.g. to the Netherlands and Great Britain? Is it possibly the child care by three child minders, which is so unusual for a garden centre? Could it be the excellent service and the distinguished advice for all customers? But no, perhaps it is the wide ranging assortment? Or could it even be the highly professional media work done by the 115 years old family business? In fact, it is a bit of all, or as was said in the laudation in Paris: The Meier family has proven that innovation and tradition don’t have to exclude each other. The brave steps the family took in difficult times reflect the way in which this family is able to uncompromisingly realise visions and use their strengths in order to expand their business.

A deeper impression of the most innovative garden centre in Europe can be obtained here: meier-ag.ch

Congratulations!

 

Garden or nature?

People today have a different look at nature than they had one or two decades ago. Nowadays nature is being defined as peace, relaxation and recreation, i.e. it’s meant to be the reverse to our stressful daily routine.

In a current survey carried out by the German Bundesamt für Naturschutz (Federal Office for Environmental Protection) people were asked, what they associate with the term “nature”. It did not really come as a surprise that the majority (47 %) of the interviewed said “forest”. Furthermore, 38 % thought of “meadows”, 33 % said “wildlife animals”, 27 % mentioned “trees” and still some 23 % said “flowers”. The rest of the list contained the terms lakes, mountains, plants, fields and rivers. It was, however, somewhat surprising that “garden” only came as the second last notion (14 %), followed by “sun” completing the list. So, a garden has not much to do with nature? But what is a garden then, if not nature? Interestingly enough, the majority of Germans considers themselves to be very ecoconscious. Even almost half of the German youth between 15 and 21 years of age are prepared to adjust their habits to the needs of the environment and the climate, but at the same time, they regard gardening as being “uncool”. The reasons for the misconception that garden isn’t nature may be manifold. However, it would help to change it, if more relevant information would be provided by the media, the schools and last but not least the parents. If parents showed their kids how much nature there is in every garden, they could come to the right conclusion: Garden is nature and gardening is part of nature protection.

More information: bfn.de

50-plus generation is the big spender

A recent UK-consumer study reveals that the 50-plus generation spends more money on their gardens than younger age groups.

Most money is spent on non-plant garden equipment like garden furniture (£ 940m), lawn mowers (£ 587m) and barbecues (£ 388m). In total more than £ 2,900m was spent in the non-plant garden market last year. Slightly less, i.e. almost £ 1,700m, was the amount that British gardeners expended for plants, above all bedding plants (£ 760m) and other garden plants/trees (£ 564m). Additionally, they spent some £ 373m on seeds, which was more than ever before.

Although British gardeners already spend quite a lot of money on their gardens, they would be willing to spend even more if they knew more about gardening or if their activities showed better results. Therefore, the study recommends that companies working in the gardening sector analyse realistic opportunities, i.e. go for the “lower hanging fruit”, provide high quality products and efficient customer service and, above all, provide information and inspiration.