Nepeta flowers on one of the show gardens at RHS Malvern Spring 2015
Nepeta in a garden design at the RHS Malvern Spring Show

Flower Fashion

On Saturday I went to the RHS Malvern Spring Show, or Festival as it now called, and was hoping to take lots of pictures of different varieties on nepeta, our namesake flower. In the event, I only managed to take one shot on one of the show gardens and couldn’t find many for sale either. A few years ago, they were everywhere but now they are obviously out of fashion. I think it’s more to do with the colour schemes now in vogue than anything else. Nepetas are usually blue or mauve and when the soft pink/blue garden was in fashion they were well used. This weekend, most of the gardens were purple and orange, so there wasn’t much call for them.

Web fashion

Web design works exactly the same way. What looks an amazing website this year will look dated by next year and give it a couple of years and it will look as if you are from a different century! Partly it’s due to the better technology we have available now; “looks” that work well on a desktop computer screen (1024×768) don’t work as well on a phone, especially if the website isn’t responsive (see item on responsive themes). Similarly the greater bandwidth available (in the big cities at least) has driven design to use more and larger images. However, in reality, a lot of simply due to the fashion we follow and the marketing market forever driving us onwards to a different place.

Do you have to follow fashion?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, if you put on all the latest gadgetry. This is unlikely to increase your sales and will probably make you site date faster. You’ll end up caught in a cycle of having to keep it up to date just so your gadgets don’t look tired.

No, if you have a simple design that is stylish and classic – a bit like we are told your wardrobe should be.

It depends on your customers

The number one priority is to make sure your website appeals to your customers. If they “need” the latest gadgets, then you’ll have to have them. If they prefer the classic look, then go that way.

As to nepeta, I’ll keep growing them whether they are in fashion or not.