Due to a large extent on our over-reliance on technology and the oversaturation of digital content, experiential activities that force us to step outside the digital web and immerse ourselves in the present and the real have becoming increasingly coveted.
Furthermore, traditional retail experiences often lack a compelling enough value proposition to outweigh the convenience of e-commerce and as a result don’t carry the same appeal as they once did. As a testament to that, retail has slid into its worst recession in the past 50 years despite the national GDP growing steadily over the past 8 years (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/retail-meltdown-of-2017/522384/).
When people go out- even to shop- they are seeking a more interactive, engaging experience that transcends just the benefits of a product. The popularity of engaging theatrical experiences such as Sleep No More and meditation groups like Unplug are testament to our growing need to experience the present in stimulating, cathartic, or enriching way.
Emerging at the apex of the immersive retail trend is the gratifying experience of Do It Yourself Gardening. Capturing both the entertaining, refreshing, and didactic elements of immersive experiences, Do It Yourself gardening enables the consumer to learn the basic fundamentals of gardening and instantly create beautiful plant or floral arrangements that they believed only professionals could make.
Take the charming DIY gardening store Le Petit Garden on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood for instance. Upon walking in, the customer is flanked by parallel walls of vibrantly colored plants from all regions of the world, including both tropical rainforest habitats and desert islands (such as Madagascar).
Not only are exotic gems fresh at hand, but when the consumer goes to purchase their choice of plant, a friendly store associate will guide them through how to plant and pot the species all by themselves.
A typical workshop starts out with picking your choice of pot and then selecting a plant based on your light requirements and what will best complement the pot.
Then the customer will actively un-pot the plant from the wall, learn about the plant’s native habitat and soil conditions, and then replicate that environment by laying the right soil mixture in the new pot and finally replanting the plant in this suitable new home (making future care very low maintenance).
To top it off, the associate ends the workshop by giving you an easy to follow care regimen and the costumer leaves the store feeling both pleasantly surprised at his/her skill in planting (a placebo effect perhaps!) and in real touch with the character and personality of the plant.
If you’re new to immersive experiences, DIY gardening workshops such as those offered by Le Petit Garden stand out as gentle and pleasant ways to transition into this enlivening and enriching mode of living. To see for yourself, stop by to Garden next time you’re in the Melrose Area and get your hands dirty.