Fantastic Seminar Programme
The seminar area, sponsored by Barclaycard, at the HTA National Plant Show, hosted three diverse talks which were all well attended and provided plenty of talking points.
Tuesday 25 June, 10.00 - 10.30
Best-selling author, Kew trained botantis, BBC science presenter and obsessive foodie grower, James Wong (right), kicked of the seminar programme with his impassioned talk, sponsored by Suttons Seeds. James highlighted his thoughts on how to inspire a younger audience to get excited about gardening. It's not about 'making gardening cool - because it already is!' James urged garden retailers not to take themselves too seriously and experiment with playful, cheeky, unusual ideas as sometimes these are the things that create a hook to draw people in and want to know more. He encouraged retailers to embrace experimentation and spark curiosity by creating theatre and excitement in store to inspire customers.
Tuesday 25 June, 15.00 - 15.30
Michael Marriott, Technical Manager at David Austin Roses (right), gave a facinating insight into the versatility of roses and how David Austin has built itself into one of the most well-known global brands. He highlighted and encouraged retailers to try both informal and formal styles of planting to ensure roses are looking their best. English roses are great mixers and when planted with other blooms create a fantastic effect. He emphasised the importance of having attractive displays and good photography in store and to make sure staff are fully trained in how versatile they are and able to advise how easy they are to look after.
Wednesday 26 June, 10.00 - 10.30am
Gardening consultant and journalist, Adam Pasco (right), called for the industry to make more noise in order to keep gardening on the agenda and encouraged garden retailers to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly complex marketplace. 'We are no longer a nation of gardeners but more of a nation of people who love gardens - we like the result but not always the hard work that it takes to achieve it,' he said. He acknowledged the way in which the weather is playing a bigger role in the way that we garden with the seasons becoming much more blurred making it difficult to know what to sell to consumers at what time.
The HTA National Plant Show team would like to thank all speakers and sponsors who helped to make the programme such a success.