Yesterday I went to the NorCal Trade Show in San Mateo. This is the trade show for the nursery industry and it not only offers an opportunity to preview the items you're likely to see filling the shelves of your local nurseries and garden centers, it also provides some insight into how those products are going to be marketed to you.
At the end of one of the exhibit hall were four presentations (like the one shown here) that were supposed to appeal to four different demographics: Generation X, Generation Y, the Baby Boomers, and the generation that I fall into, the unfortunately named Jones Generation. How was each presentation supposed to appeal to each group? You got me. All four of them looked interesting but staged and styled beyond any semblance of reality, and none of the individual elements seemed to me particularly suited to any special demographic. Plants, a place to sit and relax, and some decorative chachkas--each presentation seemed to be some variation of those elements and whether you were drawn to one or another probably would depend more on your taste and your pocketbook than what year you were born in.
I did, however, enjoy wandering through all the booths, picking up information on this or that, as well as a few samples of various fertilizers. Of all the nursery booths, by far the most appealing one belonged to Succulent Gardens from Carmel, who had row after row of gorgeous, plump succulents. I also liked the display of The Original Living Wreath, with an array of wreaths and topiaries, like the succulent scottie shown here.
Another booth I liked was Neustone Products, which has a line of faux stone garden planters that looked and felt pretty realistic but are lighter weight than stone. They would look great planted with succulents or a bonsai tree.
The worst thing about the NorCal Trade Show? Because it's intended for retailers, I couldn't buy anything! It was, however, a fun preview of the goodies that are sure to be at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show (March 21-25), which gives me two months to save up for a shopping spree.