How successful is the RHS National Gardening Week?
National Gardening Week is RHS's annual even and the "UK’s biggest annual celebration of gardening and gardeners" - as avid gardeners ourselves we decided to check out what’s occurring this year and whether we think the event could be improved.
How well is National Gardening Week publicised?
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was started in 1804, and organises the world famous Chelsea Flower Show - Which started in 1862!
The RHS started National Gardening Week in 2011 and, whilst not as established as the Chelsea Flower Show, the event has been reportedly growing every year in numbers of participants and events.
This year the event takes place between April 29th to May 5th.
The RHS website states that National Gardening Week is a way for them to further their vision of enriching people’s lives through plants and making the UK a “greener and more beautiful place. - a very worthy mission!
Despite having the almighty RHS behind it, unfortunately National Gardening Week doesn’t have much of a footprint on Social media - it’s smaller cousin National Children’s Gardening Week seems to have much more effectively marketed itself through that medium.
Maybe this is because the RHS feels their demographic doesn’t use social media or they don’t understand the importance and power of it in marketing terms?
Either way, they are possibly missing a trick there, because a cursory search on google doesn’t bring up much information about the event!
How easy is it to get involved in National Gardening Week?
So what events and offers will be happening that avid gardeners can take advantage of, or that might introduce new people to gardening?
This year the Gardening Week’s focus is on food production in the garden which they are calling “Edible Britain”.
They are asking gardeners to come up with events in their community celebrating and encouraging people to grow their own fruit and veg - or if they can’t, find an RHS Gardening Week event near them and get involved that way.
Once again, having quickly searched on the web and RHS’s own events page, they maybe haven’t really effectively got the message out there - there were only 5 events appearing on their calendar nationwide when we looked at it.
That’s a shame because this years topic of “growing your own” seems very worthwhile and potentially of great value to a diverse range of people - but maybe this blog post will help them on their way!
The Children’s Gardening Week seem to be slightly more on their game when it comes to publicising their event.
On their site they report having the involvement of over 300 garden centres including Wyevale Garden Centres, Notcutts, Blue Diamond, Dobbies, Squires, Haskins, Scotsdale and Bents - the event being for children quite possibly being a more attractive angle for these businesses (I’ve noticed some garden centres already effectively have kids educational facilities and creche’s built into them!).
Most people will have one of these brands near them so, assuming the garden centres have got it together to put on some events and/or promotional offers it could well be worth checking your local branch (Children’s Gardening Week takes place 25th May – 2nd June 2019)
What could be done to improve National Gardening Week
It has to be said, having read through a lot of the RHS’s information on the event it is not immediately obvious what the National Gardening Week’s selling point is (or, to be blunt, what the audience stand to gain from being involved in it).
This is where The Childrens version of the event seems to have a clearer angle - parents and grandparents are always on the lookout for cheap ways to occupy their kids/grand-kids (and if it’s educational, all the better) - and this in turn can help attract the interest of businesses (which seems to be lacking with RHS’s event).
It feels like this year’s theme of edible produce is a step in the right direction as it could benefit a wide range of people who aren’t necessarily the RHS’s traditional clientele i.e. young families without the disposable income to invest in flower gardening (or, indeed, the garden!) - but they really have to work on spreading their message more effectively!
Fingers crossed for future National Gardening Weeks!
Do you have any favourite gardening tips or stories?
Horticulture is such a massive subject we always welcome suggestions and experience from visitors.
By Alastair Baker at 3 Apr 2019, 00:00 AM