I’ve been trying to explain the complexities of advertising to my two children this week. Like most kids, they tend to believe what they are told, especially if they see it on telly. I try to explain that the main reason for the companies to be advertising is to convince us to buy something that we don’t really need and in turn make them lots of lovely money so they can develop new products that we don’t need either. This explanation fell on deaf ears so I tried to explain things in way that was more easily understood. One ad recently was selling “The Only Cloth You Will Ever Need”, that sounds all right until I thought of the different tasks I perform with a cloth. There’s washing the dishes, wiping grease off work surfaces, dusting the mantelpiece, cleaning the toilet bowl and washing your face! Now if there is such a thing as “The Only Cloth You Will Ever Need”, they can keep it! This probably wasn’t the best example to use as I found myself struggling to change the conversation from one of a toilet nature.
This same sort of mis-information exists in the gardeners’ world too. I have seen the advert on television recently of three twisted spikes sticking out of a long handle and the claim that goes with it is that it takes the strain out of weeding and hoeing the beds and borders. The advert shows this device cutting its way through garden soil that, as it happens is already weed free, and thinking about it, stone free too. The texture of the soil is as crumbly as Shamrock potting compost when it has just been tipped out of the bag. Now I haven’t used one of these labour saving devices so if someone has and they have found it to be an invaluable tool to go along side the fork and spade in the shed then please do let me know.
This week I made a trip to some of the large out of town D.I Y. stores. I usually shop locally for time and convenience, but with the kids having their “tours” I thought I’d have mine and check out the latest gadgets and fashions this year in the gardening world.
There were all sorts of stuff for the keen gardener with a few Euro in their pocket for a bit of garden retail therapy. Garden decorations such as wind chimes and plastic squirrels that stick to the side of the wall may be the very thing to cheer you up this summer.
I particularly liked a spring-loaded bag that could be mine for a measly nine pounds. It was called a Karrington pop up container and it could hold up to 24 gallons of “stuff” from the garden, with just the flick of a switch the flat disk springs up to form the bag with a satisfying swoosh, this is by far a more trendy option than being seen in the back garden with an empty compost bag, which is what I’ve have had to put up with for years.
Yes, I definitely need one of those, maybe even two….
One thing that I did find was that most companies have reduced the cost of their plants and most of the other garden stock as well. Lawnmowers, barbeques, pots, garden chairs, gazebos were all reduced. When I was looking around the plant section with my young lad in tow, we were the only people taking advantage of the umbrellas that are provided by the store to keep the rain off our heads. The amount of annual bedding plants that are as yet unsold is startling. These reductions are a familiar site in most or the larger D.I.Y.outlets.