Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Obituary for Small Garden Stores

Another small garden supply store bit the dust, closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy.  That makes four in the last couple years and there might be one or two left.  The last one to close was in business over 40 years and it was where I got my start.  I created arbors, trellises and garden art for these shops.
Other artists made benches and the dragonflies and butterflies, other creatures that were popular with a lot of gardeners.  They were nice stores to visit.  I could talk directly with the owners and all the staff, discuss what might sell, what I could make and their needs.  Artists are always hunting for venues and for what I do these were great.
What went wrong?  These shops will be sorely missed.  You could bring your soil to them to be tested and you could bring them damaged leaves of plants to discuss a particular disease and find the cure.
I think there were two problems.  The first is us, their customers.  It just became too easy to shop at the big box stores and we were too happy to trade personal service, garden knowledge and local artisans for convenience and cheaper pricing.
The second reason for these shops closing their doors is their own fault.  Seeing that they were losing customers to the big box stores they tried to compete.  They went to the same buyers emporiums and began selling the same crap (no other word for it) that the bigger stores sold.  They replaced their knowledgeable employees with less skilled and less costly store help.
It is funny how things change.  If you want some really serious soil amendments, really good micronutrients and soil additives where you should go is to a shop that specializes in marijuana!


Optimistic Existentialist said...

It's really really sad to see the death of the small store. I love seeing them and visiting them whenever I can.

Patrick Maher said...

but in retrospect there are becoming more and more stores for marijuana....

Clipped Wings said...

Guess I should have read this post sooner. You always know how to put a little bite onto the end of your writing. So pessimistically satirical. You're right about the quality changing. I've finally resorted to searching online for most things. I still like quality even though I can't always afford it and sometimes do without. Makes a world of difference on the lasting beauty it brings. Few posts. Are you doing okay?