August 31, 2010

America in Bloom Program Coming to St. Louis

St. Louis has been selected as the site for the 2010 America in Bloom Symposium & Awards Program. This national conference, to be held at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark September 30-October 2, will draw hundreds of community leaders and active citizens from across the United States.   As a way to give St. Louis-area communities an introduction to the America in Bloom program, a special series of three sessions will be held on Friday morning, September 30. They can be attended at no cost. Sessions include: –”What is America in Bloom”–an overview of AIB and how the program works;–”What AIB Participation Does for My Town”–a panel of mayors and civic leaders discussing the program’s benefits;–”How to Get Started with AIB”–a panel discussion offering advice to first-time participants. To register for these free sessions, call America in Bloom at 614-487-1117. Attendees must pre-register for the complementary sessions. Space […]

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August 9, 2010

Longwood Gardens’ New Online Plant Finder

Longwood Gardens launched a new function on its website called Plant Explorer, which allows users to search for varieties they saw at the famed gardens site in Kennett Square, Pa. Visitors can search for variety descriptions, as well as garden features and take a tour of the 1,000-acre grounds and its 11,000-plus plants. Visitors to the website also can find out what’s in bloom currently at the gardens, or do a plant search to find out when specific varieties bloom. Find out more by going to the Plant Explorer site, or visit LongwoodGardens.org.

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August 3, 2010

Are We Essential?

We spend so much time telling ourselves we are the original green industry that we often fail to consider exactly how green we are to industry outsiders. Yes, our products are oxygen machines. And a number of growers produce their oxygen machines so sustainably that their stories should be shared with the world. The truth, however, is the world doesn’t know our great sustainability story. And, as several of this year’s Seeley Conference speakers pointed out, the world definitely doesn’t consider us the original green industry. A simple Wikipedia search for “green collar worker,” for example, references green building architects, ecology educators and even environmental lawyers as green collar workers. Greenhouses and growers are found nowhere in the search–perhaps because we’re an ornamental industry, and ornamentals are associated with non-essentials. As much as we believe ornamentals are essential, the world’s current perception is that it can do without us. It’s […]

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July 27, 2010

Growing Teams And AIB

The village of Warwick, N.Y., has a vibrant downtown business district. That vibrancy continues to grow and has brought many unique opportunities and even some surprises to the townsfolk and four area garden centers. One of the grower-retailers spearheading this effort is Deborah Sweeton, owner of Generals Garden and TechniGrowers Greenhouses. In 2003, a small group of interested citizens formed a committee and entered the America in Bloom (AIB) competition in 2004 and Warwick won its population category. They have continued their efforts every year since, even without the competition as an impetus to keep going. In fact, this year they are entering the International Communities in Bloom Competition and will compete with Canadian and European towns in their population category. This summer, Warwick will compete against Aylmer, Ontario; Boissevain, Manitoba; Hampton, New Brunswick; Nieuwport, Belgium; Pembroke, Ontario; Pitlochry, United Kingdom; and Quesnel, British Columbia. Awards will be presented in […]

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July 23, 2010

Stepables Changing Up Look For 2011

Under A Foot Plant Company has updated the recognizable Stepables foot shape tag for 2011, and new, colorful signs and bench tape have been added to strengthen the visual impact of the brand on consumers. Redesigned tags have two new features. First, the popular spokesperson for Stepables, the charismatic Happy Guy, is now fully dressed, as he had been naked for the last 10 years. Secondly, a new, easy-to-understand, color-coded identification system has been designed on the tag and on POP signs to help consumers with their landscaping requirements. Match The Dot To Your Spot points out to consumers how to match the colored dots on their tags to the color-coded landscape application for each Stepables plant on the sign. The new system was designed to help consumers identify with the color-coded pictures, which will in turn, make it easier for them to Find The Right Plant For The Right […]

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July 22, 2010

Perspective: Don Blume, The Home Depot

Lawn and garden continues to be a hot growth category for The Home Depot, which has nearly 2,000 stores in the United States and Canada. Divisional Merchandise Manager Don Blume has been at the helm directing live goods sales for the last five years. He works closely with a dozen merchants who are in the trenches with growers and store managers executing programs each season. Prior to coming to Home Depot, Blume worked for another large retailer, Kmart, for 28 years–14 years in the stores and then 14 years in the buying office. Seven of those years were in plant sales. In this exclusive interview, Blume shares the strides growers and the stores have made and what’s next. GG: How have the last five years been a transformation in how growers are working with The Home Depot? DB: Growers are utilizing our point of sale data more today than years […]

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July 22, 2010

Meet AIB In St. Louis

If you’re a grower, you have at least two great reasons to go to St. Louis this fall. One is to brush up on and perfect your plant production skills at the OFA Disease, Insect & Plant Growth Management Conference, Sept. 28-29. The second is to learn how your business can benefit from planting America In Bloom in your market during the ninth annual America In Bloom Symposium and Awards Program, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Both events will be hosted at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in the heart of a beautifully planted downtown. For nine years, growers and garden center retailers have led the way in getting their cities involved in the America In Bloom (AIB) competition. To date, nearly 200 towns and cities from 38 states have participated, touching a population base of more than 20 million people. Cities compete in population categories and a pair of […]

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July 21, 2010

Planting Pride: Wisconsin Governor’s Residence

Portions of the landscaping at the Wisconsin governor’s residence that were in need of rejuvenating presented a great opportunity for Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) members to bring awareness of the impact of a well landscaped yard right to the governor’s front door. The entrance area around the fountain and the foundation landscape of the residence were transformed in May through the efforts and top quality stock of WGIF member companies. The Bruce Company of Wisconsin, on behalf of the Federation (WGIF) and its industry members, designed a new landscape plan, removed the previous landscape and installed the new plantings as a donation. In meetings with members of the Wisconsin Executive Residence Foundation and the residence executive director, WGIF and Bliss Nicholson of The Bruce Company proposed the plan as a gift to the people of Wisconsin and the “people’s house.” Learn more about WGIF at http://www.wislf.org.

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July 15, 2010

Rancho Tissue Honored For Marketing

The U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) honored Rancho Tissue Technologies with the 2010 Best of Rancho Santa Fe Award in the Nurseries category. The USCA Best of Local Business Award recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community. The award focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties. For more information on RTT’s Best of Local Business award, visit RanchoTissue.com.

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July 15, 2010

New Addition To Eco-Industries Program

The Green Business Bureau (GBB) announced the latest addition to its best-in-class green business certification platform. GBB Eco-Industries Program for Horticultural Nurseries (E-IPHN) features initiatives and information to help members gain an edge in the competitive horticultural industry. “The number of households that use organic gardening has more than doubled in the past five years,” says Marcos Cordero, GBB CEO and co-founder. “The National Gardening Industry estimates that today, about 12 million households are currently using all-natural methods, 17 million are planning to switch and another 22 million are considering it.” Cordero says that, when combined with the 27 percent of consumers who say that they are more likely to patronize a company that is mindful of their impact on the environment, these numbers illustrate the demand for green nurseries and plant suppliers. “This is an industry that stands to benefit significantly by incorporating sustainable business practices both in the […]

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July 10, 2010

Social Media Extravaganza: Tips For You To Do Now

New ideas flew around the room at the four-hour Social Media Workshop, hosted by new media marketer Jeff Korhan (@jeffkorhan). Here’s a few interesting thoughts Korhan shared. – One size fits all does not apply. Try things out. Experiment. It’s the only way to see if it will work for you. – Get comfortable with authenticity. Be real and have conversations with people. – Even if you’re not “on” social media, you are. Use Google Alerts to see who’s talking about you and what they’re saying. – Think of the keywords that your customers will search for, and use those words often on your site, on your blog and in your social media. – Sites that are updated more often are indexed more often by Google, bumping them up in the search rankings. Update often. – Hang in there with blogging. Even if you don’t think you have any followers, […]

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June 29, 2010

VIVA!: 2010 Marketer Of The Year Award Winner

Greenhouse Grower will present its Marketer of the Year award to The Home Depot and Floragem for their successful reinvention and repositioning of the VIVA! brand. Together, the companies have worked with the supply chain to develop a model that rewards innovation in breeding and packaging while delighting consumers at retail. This will be the first time we present our marketing award to a large retailer. Past honorees have been breeders, growers and grower consortiums, as well as industry organizations that promote top-performing varieties (All-America Selections) and even causes (Plant For The Cure). VIVA! is a Home Depot brand that is supported by Floragem, a marketing and product development company founded by Ken and Deena Altman of Altman Plants in Vista, Calif. While the VIVA! brand is exclusive to Home Depot, Floragem is focused on creating new live goods products and coordinating the supply chain to ensure offerings are successful […]

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