THE GARDENING DECLINE

It has been said that, “If an activity doesn’t come with a remote control or a keyboard, then we are not interested”. But is the joy of gardening really declining? The answer is yes, but gardening has always been only less than 1% of a person’s annual income. So a person with an income of $50,000 spends around $450 on his or her landscaping, flower gardens or vegetable gardens. With statistics showing that in the last 2 years, spending has decreased by 48%, while the housing boom is the highest in a very long time. One would think that if more houses were being purchased, then more garden related products such as plants and equipment would be needed.

People have always spent more on gas for their cars and sadly, even on chicken wings, pizza and beer. It seems that with the economy now heading in a more upward direction, folks are more willing to hire to have the yard work done than benefiting from the joys and the healthiness of simply doing it themselves. I look forward to the time when I can retire and actually do a little gardening for myself. I can enjoy the relaxation of gardening at my own speed and not in the “hurry-up and get it done all at one time” mode. Gardening is supposed to be a healthy hobby that is restful and helps us to forget all of the worries of the day, both from work and from home and even from ourselves.

Ok so let’s start all over…let’s start thinking about what we can do next spring. We need to get online, buy gardening books, talk to other gardeners, read catalogs on flowers, vegetables, perennials and landscaping and work on a plan to get some of these things accomplished next spring…and do the tasks ourselves.

If you really get a jump on the planning for next year, you may even be able to do some of the jobs yet this fall. For example, you could take advantage of many of the fall clearance sales and get some shrubs or trees planted now. Mulching can always come later (you don’t have to do everything all at one time). Plan on fall garden mums. They become available late August and all of September. Plant them early in order to get the roots established deep-don’t wait until they are in full bloom. And remember that all of the beautiful tulips and daffodils that are in bloom during the early spring months are only there because someone thought ahead and planted them in the ground in October/November.

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Doug Hackbarth

Doug's is the former owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer