Breeders Deliver Convenience

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Ecke's regional displays help growers narrow choices down just to what works in their own area.

There’s always so much to see at Spring Trials, it can be a little overwhelming. But much of what was on display at some of the breeders we’ve visited the last two days had to do more with simplifying things.

Two breeders, in particular put a great deal of effort into regionality in some of their Trial displays. Local is hot trend with consumers at retail these days, and both Benary and Ecke seem to be trying to bring that same focus to the grower. Representatives from both companies spoke about how, more and more, growers are asking them to sort through their catalog and  help focus just on the plants that will work well in a specific region.    

Benary built a large display focusing on plants that thrive in different parts of the country from the West and Southwest to the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. Ecke has a similar concept in its displays, stocking benches with 10 great selections for each of a number of different U.S. regions.

“We have so many options available, we know it can sometimes be difficult to process and find the right plants for your own growing conditions,” says Ecke’s CherylAnn Crysler. “We’re trying to make it as simple as possible.”

Both breeders took the simplification concept a couple of steps further, creating displays to help retailers and also landscapers and designers. Ecke’s displays included a row of mailboxes with a mix of great plantings surrounding them, designed to offer ideas for retailers and landscapers. The Benary Trial used large photo facades as backdrops for great bed and planter ideas for yards, parking lots and businesses. Benary’s Jennifer Calhoun also showed a series of displays designed to help garden retailers select a simple mix of plants that changes gradually throughout the spring season, from very early through late spring.

Richard Jones is the group editor for Greenhouse Grower and Today's Garden Center magazines.
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