May 22, 2012

Four Young Growers Win Big At Garvinea School Garden Olympics

A competition that began with more than 4,400 students across four countries culminated in a final competition on May 5, 2012. After three months of intensive effort, the young growers of the Garvinea School Garden Olympics travelled to Venlo in the Netherlands to compete for the Best International Garvinea Grower title at Floriade 2012 World Horticultural Expo. Each student took the plant he had grown to the theater in Villa Flora, where an international jury of experts subjected the plants to a critical examination. The jury consisted of Peter Seabrook (Gardening editor for The Sun, United Kingdom), Lodewijk Hoekstra (TV presenter of gardening programs, the Netherlands), Ivo Pauwels (author and editor of gardening TV and radio programs, Belgium) and Peter Ambrosius (gerbera expert, Germany). It was the job of the jury to select one finalist per country and one over-all winner. Stefan Schaab from the Netherlands won the international competition […]

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May 16, 2012

Schools Use Greenhouses To Cultivate New Customers

From a financially troubled school district in Oregon to a Massachusetts college, educational programs around the country are realizing the benefits of having their own greenhouses. For those in the Myrtle Point school district in Oregon, the new greenhouse will be used to teach children the benefits of healthy eating by teaching them to grow their own edibles. According to an article from The World, Dr. Mike Lanza, a Coos Bay pediatrician, donated the $3,400 greenhouse to Myrtle Crest Elementary School on May 11. Both Lanza and a fifth grade teacher at Myrtle Crest Elementary, Irene Logan, wanted to use the greenhouse to instill healthy habits in the students. ‘It’s amazing how many kids end up loving tomatoes if they get to grow them,” Logan told The World. Lanza’s hope is that each year a different school within the district will receive a greenhouse. Although the focus of the initiative […]

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May 15, 2012

It’s #GrowSomething Week!

Did you know that the smell of soil acts as a natural antidepressant? The Atlantic posted a story about how gardening can boost your mood, and it was one of the many articles shared during the first two days of #GrowSomething week. #GrowSomething participants shared Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos, all on why plants and flowers are great. Here’s a sample of what retailers, growers and gardeners have shared about why plants and flowers are great: @sidraisch You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. And you might just #growsomething in the process. @KelleeMagee Planting & watering in my first containers of the spring season is great ‘thinking time,’ it makes me happy to #GrowSomething @Proven_Winners This is 1 of the very many reasons u should #growsomething–smell of dirt acts as a natural antidepressant in humans Haven’t participated in #GrowSomething yet? No problem! The #GrowSomething […]

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May 4, 2012

The Keys To Long-Term Profitability

If I’d known, I might have done something else. We’ve all said it. If I’d known the stock market would tank, I’d have bought gold. If I’d known summer would come in March, I’d have planted earlier. If I’d known spring would bring perfect weather, I’d have produced more.None of us can know what will happen in the future, but we do know  something about today’s consumers: They’re looking for instant gratification. They want mature plants, vibrant colors, unique varieties and low maintenance. Today’s consumers are looking for sustainably grown herbs, edible ornamentals and native plants. Will future consumers have the same demands? We can’t know, but we do know that the growers most likely to be successful are differentiated by three essential factors: They listen to the retailer and consumer, they have a flexible and efficient infrastructure and they have a top team to “grow” with. A grower’s business […]

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April 25, 2012

Store Displays, Customer Service & Pricing In Atlanta Retailer Locations

The weather was perfect for gardening and shopping, with nights in the mid-50s and days in the mid to upper 70s. The consumer traffic was heavy and most garden centers were crowded especially on Sunday, April 15. The stores were well-stocked.  Some had outside corrals in order to have enough merchandise to satisfy the demand. The outside areas were set up with carts and the carts were often spaced too close together, allowing only one consumer to shop in an aisle at a time. The carts can be evenly spaced if one cart is centered on each parking paint line. Also, be sure not to water plants during peak business hours; complete watering before 9am and don’t start again until 4pm to avoid driving consumers out of your stores. Home Depot Clearly the leader in perennials supplied by Stacy’s Greenhouses, this store had more flowering merchandise than one usually sees. […]

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March 28, 2012

HGTV Collection Looks Like A Home Run

We’ve been hearing about the HGTV Home Plant Collection for months, dating back to late 2011 when select breeders were chosen to make their pitch to HGTV. Ultimately, Dümmen USA won the exclusive rights to produce the first annuals for the collection. For the first time Tuesday at the California Spring Trials, we saw which Dümmen genetics are featured in it and how the Agricola Management Group is positioning it. Coming from Southern California where we started our Spring Trials run four days earlier, the HGTV launch is one of the greatest stories of the week. By now, everyone knows the HGTV brand is heavily skewed to the “Home” and not so much the “Garden.” So the launch of this plant collection should help refocus the brand and elevate the concept of gardening to those who may not know much about plants but at least know HGTV. “The good thing […]

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March 27, 2012

BioWorks Offers Floriculture Scholarship

BioWorks is offering the “BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship” scholarship. Sponsored through the American Floral Endowment (AFE), a non-for-profit organization that works to fund floriculture and environmental horticulture research and educational programs in the United States, the scholarship is designed to assist students pursuing a career in floriculture. Preference will be given to students interested in furthering the use of integrated pest management (IPM) or sustainable practices in the industry. “This is the fifth year BioWorks has offered this scholarship in conjunction with AFE,” says Joe Gionta, BioWorks’ director of sales and marketing. “We strongly support furthering education in the floriculture and horticulture industries and make it a top priority to assist students working toward that goal.” Selection will be based on sound academic performance and a grade point average of 3.0 (where 4.0 is equivalent to an A) or better. Applications for this scholarship can be found on the AFE […]

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March 26, 2012

My Garden Designer Makes Choosing Plants Simple

A lot has been said about the need to find ways to create new customers. One of the best ways to do that is to make it easier for them to be successful and have fun both during and after their purchase. Burpee Home Gardens is doing both of those things with its My Garden Designer program this spring. My Garden Designer goes a long way toward encouraging the younger, less-experienced gardener in two different ways. One, it takes advantage of smart phone technology so many in this demographic use almost 24 hours a day (or so it seems). Second, it takes all the uncertainty out of making a plant purchase, and at the same time, makes the process simple and enjoyable. How does it work? All plants in the Burpee Home Gardens program have a QR code on the tag. When the customer scans the tag with her cell […]

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March 24, 2012

Ecke Ranch Alleviating Marketing Stresses By Doing Work For You

There’s no doubting Paul Ecke Ranch is a breeder and grower first above all things. But a changing floriculture industry means a changing business model for the longtime poinsettia and geranium breeder. So in addition to introducing about 30 new varieties Friday as a prelude to the California Spring Trials, Ecke Ranch showed off its new Design Center that was created to help growers put seasonal plant programs together. “Some growers are still in the mindset of grow the plant and push out the door,” says CherylAnn Crysler, an Ecke Ranch marketing specialist. “Having to figure out how to package plants for the retailer is a big task.” To ease its grower customers’ troubles, Ecke Ranch has partnered with about a dozen packaging suppliers across the globe to build custom programs for particular seasons. Novelty Manufacturing, Scheurich and Wald Imports are among the packaging suppliers Ecke is teaming with. In […]

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March 14, 2012

Danny Summers Named Executive Vice President Of The Sydney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment

The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund board of directors announced that Danny Summers of Summers & Associates was recently appointed executive vice president for the fund on March 8, 2012. Summers will be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the fund, donor development, scholarship announcements, applications, evaluations and awards, as well as implementing the board’s strategic vision and direction. Summers, who helped develop the fund during his tenure as executive vice president of the Southern Nursery Association from 1988 to 2006, brings nearly two decades of previous fund and association management experience. “I am pleased that Danny will once again be involved in the management of the fund. His previous experience and leadership will be a valuable asset as we actively promote the fund and prepare to award scholarships later this year,” says newly-elected president Dr. Doug Bailey, professor and head of the department of horticulture at the University […]

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March 6, 2012

Plant Availability: Bridging The Grower-Retailer Gap

Availability of live goods is a moving target. It means growers have to know what retailers will request at any point though the short gardening season and be able to deliver while consumer demand is still strong. Of course, growers would like all live goods orders to be booked well in advance, while many retailers are moving to a lean inventory model ooking to buy on a just-in-time basis. When it comes down to it, serving the consumer is what will make both growers and retailers successful. So how are growers and retailers working together to make the right inventory available at the right time? The Consumer Is A Step Ahead Of You Between the internet and consumer gardening magazines, it’s easier than ever for consumers to get a peek up the supply chain, into the plant breeders’ gameplan for the future. Many times, customers come looking for plants that […]

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