Author Archives: Jennifer Polanz

About Jennifer Polanz

Jennifer Polanz is a freelance writer with Grasshopper Freelance. She can be eMailed at

Dianthus: A New Take

This year’s California Spring Trials highlighted dianthus as an emerging shining star, and for good reason. Breeders have been working hard to ensure the genetics for a new generation of dianthus exceed home gardeners’ expectations. This new generation is versatile, too, promising long-lasting, floriferous performance in the garden as well as clean-looking, scented pot plants

Grasses For The Next Generation

Grasses have been growing in popularity the past two decades thanks to their beauty and functionality in the landscape. A wide variety of grasses emerged as a solution to a multitude of issues, including extreme drought, growing deer populations, poor soil fertility and extreme heat. “I would speculate the more widespread use of ornamental grasses

What You Need To Know About Selling At Auction

There are practical benefits to selling greenhouse equipment and structures at auction: simplicity, speed and a quick payoff. “Usually when people decide to sell equipment, they want to cash out, or it’s time to retire,” says Doug Sheridan, vice president of Sheridan Realty and Auction Co., in Mason, Mich. “The seller needs to make sure

What Growers and Retailers Can Learn From Fashion Trends

Let’s face it: A new outfit can lift your spirits. Likewise, a rough half-hour in the dressing room can ruin your day. Men may not want to admit this, but it’s something most women – a garden retailer’s target audience–know and understand about fashion. At its heart, fashion is all about evoking emotion. “Most of

What Floriculture Can Learn From The Alcoholic Beverage Industry

Never underestimate the power of marketing, or the potential of a product with a great story behind it. These are the two primary elements that launched Grey Goose from an unknown contender in the vodka category in 1996 to a premium brand and a $2 billion (that’s right, billion) pricetag in its sale to Bacardi

Take The Guesswork Out Of Plants

Take a stroll through Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma or even ABC Carpet in New York City, and observe what’s around you. What are you looking for? The answer is a story. It’s that story, told in colors, textures, marketing and promotions material and through customer service, that sells the products in those stores. And, it’s

4 Stores That Get Their Customers

Sephora: Creating Custom Experiences Sephora isn’t all that different from a garden center. The store carries a seemingly endless supply of beauty products, all from a variety of different vendors. So what does Sephora do so well? It educates consumers on how to apply products in store for maximum impact. It also creates an emotional

Social Media 101

What the heck is a Twitter? If you’re not yet schooled, check out this quick summary of the free social media channels available to you: Facebook. With more than 750 million active users, Facebook has a population more than twice as large as the United States. Users “friend” other people and “like” pages for companies

Social Media Isn’t Just For Retailers Anymore

Bell Nursery CEO Gary Mangum received conflicting advice on the merits of social media from the people around him who know it best: his kids. “My then 14-year-old let me know Facebook was no place for an old person,” Mangum says. “And my then 28-year-old daughter told me we ought to be on Facebook to

8 Tips For Getting Started In Social Media

1. Set your goals ahead of time detailing what your operation wants to get out of social media. This will help you focus your message appropriately. 2. Research each channel to find the one that suits your goals the best. 3. Identify the audience you want to reach ahead of time: is it consumers, retailers,