Putting Some Heat Into It

Putting Some Heat Into It

Since Athens Select’s launch in 1998, the collection has added a host of best-selling new varieties and initiated a partnership with the Southern Living Plant Collection that’s helped take the program to new heights.

Things are really heating up for 2009-10 with a new president and another batch of great varieties from both Athens Select and its alliance with the Southern Living Plant Collection. It’s a great opportunity for the propagators in the program as well as growers and retailers who stock their heat- and humidity-tolerant plants.
 
“Any time you’re part of a program like this, it opens doors and gives opportunities to expand your selection and promote your business in new ways,” says President Leah James of James Greenhouses in Athens, Ga.
 
Operators of a strictly propagation operation specializing in perennials, Leah and her husband Ken immediately saw the program’s potential and signed on as one of the charter propagator partners. With about 2 acres producing 10 million plugs a year, Leah sees endless possibilities for both her operation and the Athens Select program.
 
“I’d like to help bring more patented, protected breeding to the program,” she says. “Breeding at the University of Georgia and others shows a wealth of potential to build on.”

Athens Select Questions

 
What’s the connection with Athens Select and the Southern Living Plant Collection?
The Southern Living Plant Collection provides gardeners with innovative new plants that solve specific landscape challenges. Eleven Athens Select varieties are now offered as part of the collection.
 
Are all Athens Select growers able to participate in the Southern Living Plant Collection?
Yes, all Athens Select licensed propagators can offer Southern Living Plant Collection varieties. For a list of which varieties the propagators carry, visit AthensSelect.com.
 
Can grower-retailers offer Athens Select and the Southern Living Plant Collection?
Any retailer can carry the line. The program also offers a great deal of support for retailers, such as a free listing on both the Southern Living Plant Collection and Athens Select websites and free POP.
 
How do I get Athens Select products?
Licensed propagators are ready to serve you with high-quality liners. Visit AthensSelect.com for a list of propagators by variety.
 
Can Athens Select plants only be grown in the South?
You’ll find Athens Select plants in gardens all over North America. While Athens Select plants don’t require heat to perform, they do thrive in warm temperatures. Many are hardy in Southern climates.
 
Partnering with the Southern Living Plant Collection adds a whole new horizon of opportunity, Leah adds. “It’s such a strong brand with tremendous recognition, not just in the South, but nationwide. That, along with the concept Athens Select has for exceptionally heat- and humidity-tolerant plants, can increase distribution and awareness across the board for our programs and varieties.”

Hot Property

Just two years into Athens Select’s partnership with the Southern Living Plant Collection, the program shines for its unique varieties and its ability to provide sizzling color even in summer heat. With 11 Athens Select varieties now part of the Southern Living Plant Collection, opportunities for growth abound.
 
For Athens Select, the partnership was a no-brainer. After all, Southern Living is a premier lifestyle and entertainment magazine and the sixth largest monthly consumer magazine in the United States. It reaches nearly 16 million readers each month and enjoys a circulation of about 2.8 million.
 
“Having the Southern Living brand behind your product and, for retailers, [having] the pot and tag on their shelves, is such a powerful statement,” Leah says. “This is a partnership that’s truly focused on growth.”
The magazine, with the help of Alabama-based plant innovation company PDSI, designed the collection to provide gardeners with innovative new plants that solve specific landscape challenges. Each plant in the collection is the result of years of plant evaluations, plant trials and consumer research.
 
It’s an exceptional fit for Athens Select plants, which undergo some of the industry’s most rigorous evaluations in Allan Armitage’s trial gardens at the University of Georgia.
 
The latest Athens Select varieties added to the Southern Living Plant Collection are Vogue mandevillas ‘Sophia’ and ‘Vivian,’ verbena ‘Princess Blush,’ verbena ‘Princess Dark Lavender’ and pentas ‘Stars & Stripes.’
These and every plant in the Southern Living Plant Collection are supported by a cohesive promotion campaign, including consumer advertising and public relations. Strong packaging and point-of-purchase elements provide additional pull-through marketing to gardeners.
 
It’s this unique combination of tactical marketing and exceptional plants that’s helped Athens Select heat up sales for growers across the country. As Allan Armitage likes to say: “Put Athens Select in your lineup, and watch your sales rise along with temperatures!”

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...
Hendriks-Half-Open-Roof_GGS

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadlines Approaching

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More
Latest Stories
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadl…

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More

March 23, 2015

UF/IFAS Appoints Joseph Albano As Director Of Mid-Flori…

The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has a new directors for its Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (REC) on Apopka, Fla. The role has been filled by Joseph Albano, a research horticulturist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with more than 25 years of experience.

Read More

March 17, 2015

Pike Nurseries Implements Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Independent garden retailer Pike Nurseries has announced it will become an employee-owned company. Pike Nurseries management has combined with its sister corporation in California, Armstrong Garden Centers, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

March 10, 2015

GrowIt! Mobile App Now Available For Android

The mobile app GrowIt! Garden Socially can now be used by gardeners with Android-based smartphones. Now available on the Google Play Market, GrowIt! helps users find plants to fit their lifestyle and connect them with other local gardeners.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and …

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Maryland Green Industry Associations Unite

The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association recently announced that it is expanding its reach to include the greenhouse industry, meaning it has become The Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA). The change comes as a result of the planned dissolution of the former Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association and the invitation for those members to join the existing and renamed association.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More
american-hort-logo

February 17, 2015

AmericanHort Announces New Board Members

AmericanHort recently announced the election of new officers and members to the board of directors. Each will assume their positions on the board during Cultivate’15, July 11 to 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
All American Selections

February 17, 2015

All-America Selections Elects New Officers, Names New J…

While meeting during the Flower and Vegetable Seed Conference in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the American Seed Trade Association, All-America Selections elected new officers for a two-year term. Read on to learn about the new officers, as well as all of the new judges that were added in 2014.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower.com on your desktop, on your phone, on your tablet

February 11, 2015

GreenhouseGrower.com Relaunches With Responsive Design …

Greenhouse Grower magazine, the nation’s leader in profits, production and education for greenhouse growers, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, GreenhouseGrower.com. The new design is the product of direct user feedback and GreenhouseGrower.com analytics, and includes responsive design for ease of mobile use.

Read More
Andy Higgins

February 3, 2015

MasterTag Names Andy Higgins As Its New President

Former CEO and president of Ecke Ranch, Andy Higgins, joins MasterTag as its new president. He brings more than two decades of industry experience to the position.

Read More
Syngenta Bioline Hires Ronald Valentin For Technical Lead Role

January 28, 2015

Syngenta Bioline Hires Ronald Valentin For Technical Le…

Ronald Valentin has been appointed technical lead for Syngenta Bioline, effective January 2015. He will be responsible for technical support of Bioline biological control agents and will be instrumental in helping growers develop integrated pest management (IPM) solutions.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Give Equal Time To The Number Crunchers

Before investing in a new business opportunity, check in with the financial gurus of your organization to make certain you have the cash flow to back up your efforts.

Read More
Plant Introductions, Inc. partners Mark Griffith, Dr. Michael Dirr and Jeff Beasley and Bailey Nurseries President Terri McEnaney.

January 20, 2015

Bailey Nurseries’ Purchase Of Plant Introductions Inc. …

When Bailey Nurseries purchased its long-time breeding partner, Plant Introductions, Inc. (PII), in early January 2015, it freed the PII team to concentrate on what they do best: develop new plants. Bailey Nurseries will take on the business management side of the partnership, but otherwise the relationship it has enjoyed with PII for years will be largely unchanged.

Read More
Plant Introductions, Inc. partners Mark Griffith, Dr. Michael Dirr and Jeff Beasley and Bailey Nurseries President Terri McEnaney.

January 13, 2015

Bailey Nurseries Acquires Plant Introductions

Bailey Nurseries has acquired Plant Introductions, Inc. (PII), effective January 1, 2015. PII has developed numerous innovative new varieties that have been marketed worldwide, many introduced by Bailey Nurseries.

Read More

January 7, 2015

How Inflation Affects Your Business And Why You Can’t I…

Awareness of the true increase in costs after inflation is a necessary part of good financial management for greenhouse operations.

Read More

December 4, 2014

New Developments In Shipping/Logistics Software

Improved shipping and logistics software from Picas Software and MapMechanics makes it easier for growers to plan loads efficiently and automate day-to-day distribution planning.

Read More