On occasion, wholesale grower Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm in Pennsylvania sends out an engaging and opinionated rant to his garden center customers, along with the most current availability, order forms and pictures of plants in the greenhouse.
Here is Traven’s latest rant following the America In Bloom Symposium last week in Hershey, Pa.
Last week, we had the pleasure of spending a day working for the setup of the America in Bloom Symposium in Hershey, Pa. There was no shortage of chocolate after much careful observation.
We donated the plants for the stage decorations and also the centerpieces for the gala and awards ceremony on Saturday. We were honored to be asked, especially for something that does nothing except put plants and flowers in front of the public and show them how they work to beautify their towns. Not much downside to that!
What was surprising to me, though, was that at the reception, I didn’t really know anyone! No garden center people from Pennsylvania or New Jersey or New York. No retailers except John Story from Meadowbrook–and he was there to work with us to set the program up.
How could this be? In our own backyard and zero local participation? This group is promoting flowers and plants, building opportunities for all of us–and where was everyone?
We wonder why business is difficult, why people find other ways to spend what little extra money they have and yet we totally miss out on a great way to put our product into our own towns.
Sure, there are plenty of areas where it is just “suburban sprawl,” where there is no real town to decorate. But there are plenty of real towns, too, and many of the best garden centers are in, or just on the outskirts of those towns.
So why would the locals support us if we don’t support ourselves?