Seabrook on ... distributing reliable information

National newspaper gardening columns do influence readers and can have an immediate effect: the Gardman polycarbonate greenhouse sold by the hundreds last year in January after a tabloid feature appeared.

One of the multiples increased Christmas tree sales at top-end prices in a week following an editorial write-up. Hundreds of Prunus trees were sold over the weekend between Christmas and New Year, giving yet another example of paper power.

Similarly, television shopping channels are steadily increasing their influence on the gardening market, now accounting for considerable sales of plants. While all this is going on, dialogue between our trade and the communicators declines.

Not enough gardening journalists read trade journals and keep up to date with developments, if my monitoring of their columns and broadcasts is any measure. Last week's Horticulture Week gave me eight leads to follow up for potential gardening stories, plus a reminder of four forthcoming trade events to attend.

It's costly in time and money to buy magazines, browse the net and travel to events, but how else can journalists keep up to date in a fast-changing world? Out-of-touch communicators can do great damage peddling at best poor, if not downright misleading, advice.

Old wives' remedies proffered for pest and disease control get what few hairs I have left standing on end. Is it sensible, let alone legal, to recommend a witch's brew of rotten eggs, garlic and chilli peppers to deter rabbits and proprietary mouthwashes as fungicides? Whose job is it to educate the educators?

Richard Jackson is doing sterling work as champion of the Garden Media Day on 5 February at the RHS Lawrence Hall in London. That event, at least, will bring the trade into direct contact with an expected 200 gardening communicators. Jackson deserves full support and our trade needs to develop better channels of communication.

Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.

What products are available to help ensure success this planting season?

What products are available to help ensure success this planting season?

Young trees face a tough challenge to get established. Sally Drury looks at some of the best products available to help ensure successful planting projects.

Horticulture Week Business Award - Arboriculture Consultant of the Year

Horticulture Week Business Award - Arboriculture Consultant of the Year

Winner - Barrell Tree Consultancy


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

HW Top UK Arboriculture Businesses

See our exclusive RANKING of arboriculture businesses by annual turnover. 

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources