Review on Hungary’s biggest and most popular garden exhibition
I took part in the Garden Expo exhibition on 23 March 2012. According to leaflets, it was promised ‘the biggest and the most popular gardening lifestyle exhibition’. Garden Exhibition is a three day lasting event, which was organized for the sixth time this year and – as usual – it was held in Papp László Sport Arena.
The area was utilized enough; however, it was dominated by outdoor furniture selling companies. Walking along the rows, people could have a feeling as if they happened to find themselves among the pages of a luxury interior design brochure. The ones who spent 1900 HUF for the entrance fee wished they could choose from different plants, flower-seeds, bulbs, moulds, pots, nutrient, or irrigation plants for cheaper than they are in specialist shops or market gardens. There were – of course – some of these but not this part was emphasised. Thus, if you did not go there searching for a comfortable Jacuzzi, a big pool or a nice garden furniture (for 400 000 HUF and more), then 1 or 2 hours were totally enough to look around. According to my belief, this is the reason why most of the visitors went home with empty hands.
As for the gardening tools, it was nothing to write home about either. All the tools can be found in every DIY store. In spite of my expectations, I did not get to know a new brand; only the two most popular companies’ –Gardena’s and Fiskars’ – products were obtainable.
At one point during the event I had a déjà vu feeling. It was due to both the honey seller’ and the Swiss branded food chopper retailer’s stand, who promoted themselves – even if their products do not connect tightly to the given topic. These are the typical stalls you bump into every time, it does not matter what kind of festival you visit.
To have a look to the reverse side of the coin, the few – whose products were offered to even a hobby gardener – were very kind and helpful businessmen. They gave advice to the costumers just like the presenters did. Namely, there were two prominent experts in agriculture. One of them was a talented horticulturist, who held a very useful and interesting presentation on plants and landscape architecture. The other speaker was an elderly, experienced gardener who gave even a demonstration lesson in order to show us how easy it is to plant herbs. During and after the presentations the speakers were kind enough to provide loads of useful advice for the participants’ problems and answer to every single question that came to the visitors’ minds. Owing to them, I strongly believe that most of us had a sudden desire to do gardening.
Another pleasant surprise was the fact that I found a desk with girlish gardening clothes and other equipments designed for women. I have never seen these lovely dresses and other supplementary before, so this stall definitely raised my interest.
One of the representatives of special flowers was orchids. There was a wide variety of them, they were really nice and even their price were costumer-friendly. At least you could buy one if you wanted to take home a little memory with you.
To be honest, I do regret a bit this year’s Garden Expo. If amateur gardeners had been considered the target audience, it could have been a more joyful exhibition. I do not know who the one is its successfulness depends on but there was not full house and even the exhibitors were less than in the previous years. On the one hand, it might be attributed to economic and financial crisis. On the other hand, the choice of date was not too lucky either because that Saturday was the one after our national holiday when everybody was liable to work. Anyway, I truly hope next year’s expo is going to be far better. I keep my fingers crossed for the organizers.