ARE GARDEN SHOWS RELEVANT?

Are garden shows relevant? This is one question that we had to answer when a new acquaintance asked this question upon learning that very soon, Florikltura 2017, the annual garden show of the Philippine Horticultural Society, will be staged at the Quezon Memorial Circle from February 3-15.

YUYUNG LaO and his prize-winning foliage anthurium that was bought by a business tycoon for an undisclosed big amount.
YUYUNG LaO and his prize-winning foliage anthurium that was bought by a business tycoon for an undisclosed big amount.

We had an inkling that the fellow was trying to question why people should be growing non-edible ornamental plants instead of food plants that will contribute to the food supply in the country. Why do they have to put up garden shows that will only promote the growing of non-food plants?

Well, most likely the fellow does not realize that, growing ornamental plants can also contribute to the production of economic crops like vegetables, rice and so on.

An exhibit at the garden show of the Philippine Orchid Society.
An exhibit at the garden show of the Philippine Orchid Society.

How? Well, many people grow ornamental plants because they can make more money by producing certain flowers than growing pechay, for instance. One square meter used for growing 12 pots of flowering orchids can produce more than a thousand pesos worth of orchids in bloom. On the other hand, one square meter planted to pechay may only produce P100 worth of the vegetable or even less, especially if there is excess production.

Pitcher Plant at the show.
Pitcher Plant at the show.

The orchid grower will use his or her income to buy food products that include vegetables, eggs and meat. By so doing he is actually stimulating production of more food crops. More farmers will produce more vegetables and meat because they have a market that includes the ornamental plant growers.

Anyway, are garden shows relevant? The answer is a resounding yes! Staging garden shows is one way of promoting the plant business. During garden shows, micro, medium as well as the bigger entrepreneurs are able to sell what they produce. That adds to the purchasing power of more people.

Garden shows showcase the latest developments in the plant business that can enable the players to adopt the improved technologies so that they can make their operations more profitable.

A prize-winning Grammatophyullum orchid.
A prize-winning Grammatophyullum orchid.

During garden shows, thereโ€™s usually a competition in showcasing the landscapersโ€™ creativity. And usually the winners become in-demand to do landscaping projects for homeowners as well as property developers.

Garden shows also open opportunities to neophytes who may be looking for appropriate sources of livelihood. This means projects that they can undertake considering their resources and skills.

A landscape booth at a previous Hortikultura show.
A landscape booth at a previous Hortikultura show.

Garden shows also encourage growers to produce perfectly growing specimens. That is one way of gaining the attention of special plant collectors who donโ€™t mind paying a high price for special plants.

Garden shows also can open the eyes of people in the government regarding the economic potential of the horticulture industry. That way, the government can allocate some money to promote the industry.

Garden shows are regularly staged by horticultural groups not only in Metro Manila but also in other places like Davao, Baguio and elsewhere. That is because garden shows stimulate the healthy development of the industry.

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