Harmony, health and recreation in the Chinese garden

Modern China is a huge land of profound changes. Especially the big cities seem to change their face almost overnight. It is no wonder that the Chinese are looking for their own small private islands of harmony and peace.

The Confucian concept of harmony is omnipresent in Chinese gardens. For them the garden is a place to relax with friends, drink tea and practice Tai Chi. Therefore, the Chinese favour the social garden trend, but also kitchen gardening is very popular. According to the Chinese garden philosophy, the garden is not just a place for the soul, but also for the stomach. It is so important for them to grow their own herbs and vegetables that they even grow it indoors or on the balcony, if there is not enough space for it in the garden. As they want to do it properly, Chinese gardeners – above all women – spent almost a fortune on organic gardening books. More than ever before people in China are not only exposed to traditional Chinese influences, but also to those from western cultures. More than anywhere else, this can be seen in the shape of their gardens. Following the western workout trend, the garden has also become a mixture of an outdoor gym and a sort of playground. Those, who do not have a garden of their own, like to do their exercises in community gardens. It has all to do with harmony and health for body and mind. Therefore, it is also very important that the shape of a garden pleases the eyes. Decorations with sculptures or beautiful stones are almost a must. Lawns are considered a luxury, for space is scarce in China. Thus, gardening tools are low-tech. In most cases simple shovels, hand shears and scissors suffice the needs of the average Chinese gardener.

More Information: newsroom.husqvarna.com


Gardening is a very serious matter in Britain

Gardening is supposed to be fun. Yes, but in Britain it is also something that must be carried out with utmost seriousness. Decent gardening requires proper planning and sound knowledge of plants and, of course, gardening tools.

Especially British middle-aged women become restless when spring is near. They spent the whole winter planning the design and plants for the new garden season. For them a plant is not just a plant, it rather is a growing member of the family. Generally speaking, the British seem to treat their gardens as if they were their children. Every change and development of the plant is thoroughly noted and, like the weather, is a popular topic for small talk with neighbours and friends. Pests and other unwanted creatures in the garden are seen as a personal assault and must be fought without compromise. However, synthetic chemicals must not be used, but only natural products such as organic fertilisers, pesticides and composting. For the British gardeners their gardens are a part of their identity. Therefore, garden tools are a popular present for birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other personal occasions. British gardeners prefer the designed and artistic garden and so, lots of beautiful flowers, often roses, zest the gardens. Nowadays the kitchen garden becomes increasingly popular in Britain. However, even in this type of garden, beauty is a must. The vegetables grown have to be attractive or at least raised in fancy pots or containers. Ideally, the grown herbs and vegetables taste good, but it almost seems that stylish appearance is even more important. The average British gardener invests 82 Euros (108 $) per year in his garden.

More Information: newsroom.husqvarna.com


UK garden centres successful with GYO

According to the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Garden Retail Monitor, 2011 was a successful year for garden centres in the UK as overall sales were up six per cent compared with the previous year. This must be largely attributed to the highly popular Grow Your Own (GYO) programme, which grew by 34 per cent.

Top sellers in the GYO sales were tomatoes and herbs with 20 to 25 per cent. Strawberries, apples, lettuce, potatoes, peppers, onions, raspberries and carrots complete the top ten GYO crops. 

HTA also found out that using social media is a suitable tool for raising the turnover of a garden centre. However, owners have to designate someone to run social media and allocate sufficient time to do it, because social media cannot be run successfully just as a sideline. Furthermore, social media channels should be linked from the garden centre’s website. It is also important to closely watch the competitors’ activities in region and sector and to develop ideas to boost sales on special occasions. If it is all done diligently, social media may well contribute to stimulating the sales figures.

More information: the-hta.org.uk


Garden at a stretch
New: Garden isles prefabricated

The Gartenio company from Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) demonstrates what the future of horticulture could possibly look like: The Gartenio-Pearls! With these patent pending pearls, they bring pre-installed garden worlds on the market.

Within a couple of hours, the Gartenio-Pearls can be installed in every garden or roof garden. The choice of garden isles ranges from paved and planted seating areas over a kitchen garden to a little island including a canopied beach chair and even a small beach.

The Gartenio-Pearls fit into almost any garden, as they are available in S, M and L, i.e. from 2.25 x 2.25 metres to 4.5 x 4.5 metres). It took a long time and was a fiddly job until the innovative concept could be realised. The results are wooden boxes with a special mounting, which allows an uncomplicated and safe transport. The garden worlds are being built into these boxes and then forwarded to the client. There they are conveyed to their final destination in the garden by wheel loader or mobile crane. Usually, this does not take any longer than two hours.

Further Information: gartenio.de