Trouble in paradise: public gardens struggle to draw
Visitors at the spring flower show at Baltimore's Rawlings Conservatory
Photo credit: Kim Hairston
In the New York Times today, Judith Dobrzynski reports that public gardens have had to expand their menus to include food, cooking classes and fancy cocktails to attract visitors.
The reason? Although the country is fascinated by healthy eating, locally grown produce and home vegetable gardening, not enough people are interested in plain old flower gardening.
"Among the long-term factors diminishing their traditional appeal are fewer women at home and less interest in flower-gardening among younger fickle, multitasking generations. Forced to rethink and rebrand, gardens are appealing to visitors’ interests in nature, sustainability, cooking, health, family and the arts."
The irony? Her story was the most emailed story in the Times today.