A Garden for All: Deciding where to grow
Oh, dear. Much to do and just look at this day! It’s Monday morning and I’m out in the garden in only my shirtsleeves. I think I’m coming down with a severe case of Sunny-day-itis. It hits when you least expect it, and often coincides with that first spring day.
I’m just gearing up for my next show this weekend. Do you think I’ve got things to do? Do you think I want to give up a moment like this, where there is a massive blue sky above me, full of sunshine, while watching a huge wall of clouds quickly coming in from the west? It looks like I have maybe an hour or so, before they take over the blue sky.
I’ve been toying with an important decision as of late. Many people are asking – and have been for years now – where my store is. I don’t have one. I’m only available online, and do the major garden and miniature shows in and around Seattle. As much as I’ve wanted to own a store for a long time now, the decision isn’t an easy one for me.
Taking this mini garden idea on the road to shows and festivals is challenging at best. There are way too many variables to pack and unpack. It takes forever, plus a day, to set up and at least four hours to tear down and pack up. There are so are many aspects to miniature gardening that, invariably, there is that one customer that really wants the item I choose to leave at home that day. Oh, and not to mention, half the inventory is alive and is in need of light, air and water.
I actually had a customer tell me to hire an organizer so I could fly to the East Coast and do the garden shows over there. This New Yorker was feeling a bit frustrated by my show announcements here in Seattle – enough to tell me what to do in typical East-Coast fashion. (I’m originally from Toronto know this attitude all too well – one of the many reasons I’m on this coast.)
One of the most interesting things to happen out of this business is when that odd email that comes in, thanking me for the inspiration to start gardening. I have even inspired non-gardening types to want to try out my ideas for themselves. Some have seen my displays in real life, some just stumbled upon my website full of gallery pictures of my work, and the many images collected from all over the states and the world. “An accidental role model,” as my coach-friend, Barbara Winter calls it.
With a storefront, I could really bring that idea home with workshops, classes and open studios. I could have in-ground gardens set up for more inspiration. I could have gallery openings and club parties along with the regular retail. It would be fun for a while – the overhead wouldn’t be as fun though.
But, I like to change my mind. I like to be flexible, too. I can trade this hour right now, for an hour tonight, if I really need to get work done. If I get bored I can take off and do errands, visit friends or get inspired by one of the many public gardens throughout Seattle. I can take my laptop to the beach. I have many more ideas that I would need to shelve if I did choose to open a retail venue.
And what about my fellow miniature gardeners in Australia, England, Africa, and Iran? How would they benefit from a brick and mortar store in Seattle?
And would I be able to impulsively take an hour, sit down and enjoy the first day of spring with my morning coffee?
I think I’ve just answered my question.