This past Sunday two of us from work headed up to Atlantic City for a large trade show, primarily aimed at garden center buyers. I usually go to nursery trade shows where plants are the main attraction, but this was not a plant show; it was everything but. Tools, pottery, soils, fountains, chemicals, furniture, birding supplies and just about any other imagined garden accessory could be bought and sold for the upcoming season. Many of the vendors were large national players, but there were also smaller, specialty companies showing off their products. The convention center floor was a good place to see what trends might be in store for the industry (and yes, it is an industry). So here are a few things I noticed:
- I was very glad to see how prominent organics continue to be, and glad that there are so many companies offering them. Even names synonymous with chemistry, like Scott's and Bayer, are offering their own lines of organics.
- Edible gardening will continue to be a hot topic.
- I was amazed at the assortment of creepy-to-me figurines and statues that are available, but I know that different regions of the country have different tastes in this sort of thing.
- Birding supplies and options appear to be growing.
- Fairy gardening? Really?
- Pottery designs and colors are trending towards Art Deco, perhaps so the Great Recession will mirror the Great Depression.
- I am not a big fan of gadgets and tend to only keep one or two simple tools close at hand, but the gadget fans will not be disappointed.
The show was hard work, but we were fed well, offered a few free drinks and they put us up at Caesar's. The lobby was a little over-the-top, but the room itself was very good and had a nice view of the ocean and the boardwalk. It would be easier for me to grow a third eye than to gamble in a casino, so that part of the Atlantic City experience was lost on me. Besides, all the casinos smelled of stale cigarette smoke and desperation. Outside it smelled like the sea.
(I have more pictures if you are interested. Click here to see the whole set.)