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Re: Rather sad

I guess I was thinking more of botanic gardens than the flower shows.
Must admit that although I have visited many botanic gardens, I have
never been to a flower show.

ETN Zone 7 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "james singer" <inlandjim1@q.com> 
To: gardenchat@hort.net 
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 8:44:34 PM 
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Rather sad 

I tend to think that if growing beets will get kids to the botanic 
gardens, then let's grow beets. Most of the BGs that I've been a 
member of or a volunteer at, have focused on attracting old farts, 
like myself, because, in theory, we have the power of endowments. But 
money isn't the problem; relevance is. 

On Jul 29, 2010, at 5:10 PM, Daryl wrote: 

> It may be sad to us, but the gardens are not sustainable as they 
> are, and they risk being closed if they don't get visitors. I think 
> that offering a different approach may bring new visitors who will 
> learn to appreciate the rest of the gardening experience. 
> As a speaker, I've witnessed the decline in audience at flower shows 
> over the years. It's really, really bad (and not due to my 
> appearance , apparently, since nationally known speakers aren't 
> getting the audiences we once had. (I'm only regional, except for 
> the HGTV show I did that garnered bigger audiences for a while ) 
> Our MG local library series used to get SRO crowds - 100+ for the 
> library room. In recent years, we've been lucky to get an average of 
> 20. My talks usually garner more than that, but it's mostly "fans" 
> and there are few new faces. 
> d 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "BONNIE_HOLMES" <bonnie_holmes@comcast.net 
> > 
> To: "Garden Chat" <gardenchat@hort.net> 
> Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:52 PM 
> Subject: [CHAT] Rather sad 
>> uly 26, 2010,NYT 
>> Botanical Gardens Look for New Lures 
>> For the last quarter century, the Cleveland Botanical Garden went 
>> all out for 
>> its biennial Flower Show, the largest outdoor garden show in North 
>> America. 
>> With themed gardens harking back to the Roman empire, or an 18th- 
>> century 
>> English estate, the event would draw 25,000 to 30,000 visitors. 
>> But in 2009, the Flower Show was postponed and then abandoned when 
>> the 
>> botanical garden could not find sponsors. This year, the garden has 
>> different 
>> plans. From Sept. 24 to 26, it is inaugurating the b RIPE ! Food & 
>> Garden 
>> Festival,b which celebrates the trend of locally grown food b and 
>> is 
>> supported in part by the Cleveland Clinic and Heinenbs , a 
>> supermarket 
>> chain. 
>> bThe Flower Show may come back someday, but itbs not where people 
>> are 
>> these days,b says Natalie Ronayne, the gardenbs executive director. 
>> bFood is an easier sell.b 
>> So it is across the country. Botanical gardens are experiencing an 
>> identity 
>> crisis, with chrysanthemum contests, horticultural lectures and 
>> garden-club 
>> ladies, once their main constituency, going the way of manual lawn 
>> mowers. 
>> Among the long-term factors diminishing their traditional appeal 
>> are fewer 
>> women at home and less interest in flower-gardening among younger 
>> fickle, 
>> multitasking generations. 
>> Forced to rethink and rebrand, gardens are appealing to visitorsb 
>> interests 
>> in nature, sustainability, cooking, health, family and the arts. 
>> Some are 
>> emphasizing their social role, erecting model green buildings, 
>> promoting 
>> wellness and staying open at night so people can mingle over 
>> cocktails like 
>> the Pollinator (green tea liqueur, soda water and Sprite). A few 
>> are even 
>> inviting in dogs (and their walkers) free or, as in Cleveland, with 
>> a canine 
>> admission charge ($2). 
>> bWebre not just looking for gardeners anymore,b says Mary Pat 
>> Matheson, 
>> the executive director of the Atlanta Botanical Garden . bWebre 
>> looking 
>> for people who go to art museums and zoos.b 
>> In May, the Atlanta garden opened an attraction that would fit 
>> right in at a 
>> jungle park: a bcanopy walkb that twists and turns for 600 feet 
>> at a 
>> height of up to 45 feet, allowing visitors to trek through the 
>> treetops. Not 
>> far away, food enthusiasts can stop in at a new edible garden, with 
>> an outdoor 
>> kitchen frequently staffed by guest chefs creating dishes with 
>> fresh, healthy 
>> ingredients. Edible gardens are the fastest-growing trend at 
>> botanical 
>> gardens, consistently increasing attendance, experts say, along 
>> with cooking 
>> classes. 
>> Attendance in Atlanta since May is double what it was for the same 
>> period last 
>> year. 
>> Public gardens across the country receive about 70 million visits a 
>> year, 
>> according to the American Public Gardens Association . But experts 
>> say that 
>> because of social trends and changing demographics, attendance is 
>> at risk if 
>> gardens do not change. 
>> They can, however, take advantage of several trends that could 
>> increase garden 
>> attendance, including concern for the environment, interest in 
>> locally grown 
>> food, efforts to reduce childhood obesity, demand for family 
>> activities and 
>> mania for interactive entertainment. Even economic pressures could 
>> help 
>> botanical gardens, as more people try to grow their own food. In 
>> 2009, 35 
>> percent of American households had some kind of food garden, up 
>> from 31 
>> percent in 2008, says Bruce Butterfield, research director of the 
>> National 
>> Gardening Association . Only 31 percent participated in flower 
>> gardening in 
>> 2009, about the same proportion as in the last few years. 
>> bTherebs a generation that will be less interested in gardens,b 
>> says 
>> Daniel J. Stark, executive director of the public gardens 
>> association, bbut 
>> that generation is incredibly interested in whatbs happening with 
>> the 
>> planet. Recently, my own two daughters, and a friend, were reading 
>> me the riot 
>> act about cutting down some trees.b 
>> Mr. Starkbs daughters are 4 and 8. 
>> Some tactics designed to entice nongardening Americans are not new, 
>> of course 
>> b sculpture and concerts have been around for years b but their 
>> popularity 
>> is growing. The New York Botanical Garden , for example, is drawing 
>> big crowds 
>> with its current tribute to the poet Emily Dickinson , who was also a 
>> gardener. 
>> The new exhibition at the United States Botanic Garden in 
>> Washington features 
>> bthe spectacular spud family,b with potato-related artifacts, 
>> music and 
>> bits of pop culture, especially the endurance of Mr. Potato Head. 
>> And childrenbs gardens are growing more whimsical and interactive, 
>> says 
>> Sharilyn Ingram, a former president of the Royal Botanical Gardens 
>> in Canada 
>> who is now a culture professor at Brock University in Ontario. 
>> bYou get to 
>> have a little more fun now,b she said. 
>> When the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, in Boothbay, opened its 
>> $1.7 million, 
>> two-acre childrenbs garden this month, it came with a chicken 
>> coop, where 
>> children can harvest eggs, and a windmill weather station. 
>> In Wyoming, at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens , the new childrenbs 
>> village has 
>> adopted sustainability as its theme. It includes a solar-powered 
>> discovery 
>> laboratory where children can make art from reused materials, a 
>> feature that 
>> helped it win the highest level of Leadership in Energy and 
>> Environmental 
>> Design (LEED) certification. 
>> Teenagers in Cleveland are learning how to grow corn and zucchini 
>> on urban 
>> plots. 
>> Because of environmental concerns, Descanso Gardens , near Los 
>> Angeles, is 
>> doing the once-unthinkable: it plans to uproot its historic b but 
>> nonnative 
>> b collection of camellias, some as tall as 30 feet, which were 
>> planted 
>> decades ago under the shade of natural woodlands. bItbs a fantasy 
>> forest,b says Brian Sullivan, the director of horticulture and 
>> garden 
>> operations. 
>> But the fantasy cannot be sustained. Camellias require so much 
>> water that it 
>> is killing the trees b not to mention being wasteful. Descanso 
>> will relocate 
>> the camellias, even though some will be lost, and allow the 
>> woodlands to 
>> return to their native state. bWe expect opposition and kudos 
>> both,b Mr. 
>> Sullivan said. 
>> But Descanso still must reach out beyond its aging membership 
>> group, he added, 
>> so it is remaining open in the evening; offering cocktails 
>> (including the 
>> Pollinator) at a new Camellia Lounge; breaking ground on a $2.1 
>> million art 
>> gallery whose exterior walls will be hung with vertical plant trays 
>> that will 
>> blend into a turf roof; and maintaining an edible garden dense with 
>> fruits, 
>> vegetables and herbs that are donated to a local food bank. 
>> Food festivals are becoming a large part of the year-round 
>> programming that 
>> gardens view as important to winning repeat visitors. In January, the 
>> Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Fla., drew some 
>> 12,000 
>> people to its fourth International Chocolate Festival with Coffee 
>> and Tea. It 
>> was followed in April with a local food festival, and this month 
>> with a mango 
>> festival. In November comes its annual Ramble, a garden party 
>> featuring 
>> antiques and music. 
>> Yes, Fairchild also has an orchid festival. 
>> But showcasing flowers is clearly shrinking in importance. bMost 
>> gardens,b 
>> Ms. Ingram, the Canadian professor, said, bwould feel that 
>> displaying 
>> flowers is necessary, but not sufficient.b 
>> B 
>> ETN Zone 7 
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Inland Jim 
Willamette Valley 

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