Grown in Wales

Grown in WalesGrown in WalesGrown in Wales




Charles Warner

Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Jamie Oliver. Someone made me a curry once from one of his recipies and it was one of the nicest curries that I have ever had. It must be a strange world that Jamie and other celebrities inhabit but as far as I know the passion that he shows for his food and his various campaigns is heartfelt, However.........

Back in the summer I popped into a Homebase store with my girlfriend to buy some paint. While she was choosing the colour I was having a nose around the garden centre. You can't really expect much from those places. They don't have the time or the in depth knowledge to properly get to grips with plants. They always seem to have an odd assortment and a very haphazard approach to plant care. There was the usual mixture of very basic plant varieties in a variety of states of health with the odd unusual one amongst them. Someone had just finished watering but there were plants that were dry to the point of collapse.

Anyway I had already clocked the bags of Jamie oliver compost which I thought was amusing but there was a shelf full of Jamie oliver herb collections. Now herb collections are a good idea. These were in dinky little pots which is fine as long as the customer realises that they will need to be planted out or potted pretty quickly. The pots were held in a cardboard tray with Jamies face all over it. All fine. If it takes a celebrity chefs face to sell herbs then I'm ok with that as a marketing idea it has wings . However the first problem was the packaging. The cardboard tray was not properly waterproof. They were falling apart. Clearly whoever designed them had neglected the fact that the plants would need to be watered. The varieties of herbs in the pack (six in each) were a good mix but in each pack some had died. Three plants out of the six seemed to be the norm . The whole thing showed no care. The product had no integrity.

Now I would love to picture Jamie sitting there in a glasshouse potting up the plants  himself and sending them off the homebase but in truth he probably has never seen the place that the plants are produced. he may never have seen the actual product. I wonder how he would feel if he did what I did and go through the packs sorting out the living plants from the dead. If it had been my face plastered all over them I would have been very disappointed.

We are bombarded with celebrity endorsements. It's as though we trust Carol Vorderman or Keira Knightly or Iggy Pop to make our choices for us when it's not clear that they are qualified in any way to do so. I think if I was a celebrity I would be sorely tempted to take the advertising dollar but I would want to be certain that the product that I was endorsing lived up to the hype. Come on Jamie, they are selling dead plants with your name on them. Surely you can't be happy with that.


December 23, 2011
10:21 am
I saw the the same plants in my local store and half of those were in pretty poor shape too.
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