Where did I leave off ? My last posting California Pack Trials .1 ended with observations of how plants are marketed to the younger generation. I think it was this:
Most of the comments I received from my first Pack Trials posting were amused by the marketing photo, assuring me I was indeed observing a new world, foreign to gardeners. One perceptive commenter, Ely said it looked like she just sat on the barrel cactus. Actually she must have stuck her hand on the pole cactus:
This seems an appropriate moment to re-interate the theme of my postings: The Camera Always Lies. Depending on how one frames the photo, the photographer can influence the way the viewer sees any given subject. This power of photography is assumed in the advertising commercial world but frustrates those who look at books and magazines and want to believe photos are unbiased. Anyway, I have ranted in this before and here want to explore how the intentional “lies” of marketing campaigns push the limits a photo’s message.
The California Pack Trials surprised me in the way the garden industry is trying to catch the attention of the younger generation and sell garden flowers. Many big, corporate flower companies realize gardening per se (the way Gardening Gone Wild readers do it) is a small market and are not targeting we gardeners who are already ‘plugged in’. To make money they must sell to a younger generation who want accessories and need to think of gardening as trendy, modern, even sexy.
I am not at all sure how this sells Osteospermums other than grabbing the attention of those who attend a trade show. Remember, California Pack Trials is not a public event but open to the movers and shakers of the flower industry: breeders, brokers, and wholesale growers. Here Fides, the breeder of ‘Margarita®’ brand of Osteospermum, hopes to convince some big grower that their new flowers are the ones they want to grow.
Like many of you, I am not sure if this works but as a journalist it is fun to observe. If there is continued interest in this line of thought I will post more pictures from Pack Trials, maybe even the nearly soft porn photo of two young women embracing with geranium necklaces. Hmm, maybe not. Maybe I should save those photos, maybe there is a new market for this garden photographer. Forget gardening industry, who has Hugh Hefner’s e-mail?