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