April 7, 2009
Montgomery’s Orlando Retail Report
Introduction It was an ideal day for gardening, as well as shopping with temperatures of 55°F at a.m. rising to 85°F by the p.m. hours. Consumers were out in droves during the a.m. hours, but the traffic subsided dramatically in the afternoon. Bedding plants, perennials and vegetables were moving well with the top selling annual appearing to be the T-18 landscaper tray. In the vegetables category, both seed and plants were selling well along with tremendous volumes of potting soil, top soil and mulches. There was also good movement in foliage plants that double as landscape plants in this market. We visited two independent garden centers, but both were more focused on landscape plants, fountains and containers, so there was little to report about annuals and perennials. Home Depot Home Depot clearly has improved its products, quality and merchandising with better color, plant size and improvements in accuracy of pricing. […]
March 31, 2009
Taking A Message To Times Square
The City That Never Sleeps will be getting a whiff of our industry over the next few months, as Asocolflores has contracted the CBS Super Screen in Times Square as part of its Colombia, Land of Flowers marketing campaign. Anybody who’s been to Times Square has stood and stared up at the gigantic Super Screen, which measures 26 feet wide by 20 feet high. We’ve seen the Super Screen repeatedly on TV shows and in the movies, and Asocolflores now has access to it with several spots over the next few months. Asocolflores is scheduled to run two 15-second spots per hour, running 18 hours per day (6 a.m. to midnight) and seven days per week into June. According to Asocolflores, the screen generates more than 1.5 million consumer impressions per day. For more information, visit www.Asocolflores.org.
March 24, 2009
Award Established In Honor Of John Holmes
America in Bloom (AIB) has established the John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award to recognize an individual who, in the view of the board of directors, best exemplifies community leadership through actions that reflect the mission of the organization. The award recipient will have demonstrated a vision and selfless commitment to moving the community forward. The individual will come from a city that has participated or is currently participating in the AIB program. Nominations for the annual award will be accepted by the board of directors until July 1 each year. The first award will be presented during the 2009 AIB Symposium and Awards Program, October 1-3 in Hershey, Pa. America in Bloom will continue to accept contributions for this award given in memory of Holmes, the late CEO of OFA–an Association of Horticulture Professionals, who died unexpectedly in February. An AIB board member and officer since the organization’s […]
March 24, 2009
AIB Earns Urban Beautification Award
The American Horticultural Society (AHS) will present America in Bloom (AIB) its Urban Beautification Award for 2009. Click here for the full list of AHS award winners. In its first eight years, more than 160 communities have participated in AIB, touching the lives of about 21 million people in the United States.
March 23, 2009
White House Garden Bodes Well For All
Twenty-six elementary schoolchildren helped First Lady Michelle Obama break ground on the produce and herb garden on the White House grounds late last week. Crops to be planted in the coming weeks are spinach, broccoli, lettuces, kale and collard greens, assorted herbs and blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Michelle Obama said her family talked about planning a garden since they moved to the White House in January. Although vegetables will be sprouting in the White House vegetable garden, the news has generated positive national press for gardening of all kinds. One spot on NBC News last weekend highlighted home gardening and the ability to save money while doing it, and another showed Mrs. Obama breaking ground on the new veggie garden. “Tons of consumer data tells us that most people’s first foray into gardening starts with vegetables, and then if they are successful and enjoy it, they then expand into flowers and […]
March 20, 2009
Lowe’s Debuts New Easy Planting Program
Lowe’s and Learn2Grow.com have partnered to create an exclusive “plant by numbers” program called Design By Function, complete with 20 free professionally designed plans. The plans range from a window box display and patio gardens to an entire front yard plan. Visitors to the Learn2Grow website can pick the plan they like and print out a plant list, as well as research basic habit definitions and learn about the elements of a landscape design (i.e. foundation plantings, accents, etc.). Once they have their plant list, they can go to their local Lowe’s store and find the plants, which are labeled to match the Design By Function program. The sections are broken down in the store based on the plant functions listed on the site, like flowering shrubs, foundation, accent and more. Customers also have access to a free plant database on the website where they can type in the plant […]
March 17, 2009
Look For Burpee Home Gardens Online
Check out the new Burpee Home Gardens website devoted to the line of garden-ready plants. The site offers basic gardening tips, variety and growing information, care and maintenance tips and fun facts about vegetables and herbs. You’ll also find recipes for cooking with the Burpee Home Gardens plants. Check the website out at www.BurpeeHomeGardens.com.
March 11, 2009
Proven Winners Launches National Beautification Effort
Proven Winners has launched a national beautification effort through radio stations in California, Massachusetts and Illinois from January until May to promote the benefits of gardening to listeners across the country. The campaign’s objective is to create an emotional connection between listeners and their favorite radio personalities through gardening competitions, contests and hands-on experience. “Our goal is to encourage women of all ages to enjoy the benefits of gardening, utilizing quality products that are easy, fun and deeply rewarding,” says Marshall Dirks, director of marketing for Proven Winners. “We also seek to support the efforts of local garden centers by promoting the gardening experience to a large audience.” For more on Proven Winners’ radio efforts, click here.
March 9, 2009
Walters Gardens Launches Consumer Websites
Designed to inspire and inform home gardeners about perennial gardening, Walters Gardens has launched two new consumer websites: www.perennialresource.com and www.growdesignerplants.com. Both sites feature retailer locators to help consumers find retail stores that sell the plants they see online. They can search by zip code and easily get directions to the businesses. The Perennial Resource website has been rebuilt to include an encyclopedia of more than 1,500 varieties. The encyclopedia is searchable by botanical or common name and more than 40 plant characteristics, including water, sun and soil requirements and more. The site also contains a “Design & Grow” segment: six steps to designing, creating and maintaining your own perennial garden.” The Grow Designer Plants website is dedicated to the Designer Collection of hostas and daylilies from Walters Gardens. Targeted towards younger gardeners who love designer products, the site features glamorous photos of the perennials in the collection. A Grower’s guide […]
February 27, 2009
Study: Houseplants Great For Retirement Communities
A recent study published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology finds an activity as simple as caring for houseplants can have positive effects on residents of assisted-living communities. The four-week study by Claudia C. Collins and Angela M. O’Callaghan involved participation by 18 residents in a weekly, two-hour interactive horticulture class taught by a social horticulturist and a sociologist. Residents were given interactive lessons on the care of houseplants, choices of what plants to bring home and care for and different options in potting containers. The classes offered residents an opportunity for social interaction with peers and instructors. Over the course of the study, teachers were impressed by the transformation of the overall demeanor of the students. They changed from a state of passive, lonely dependence to being more active, socially connected, and responsible for something other than themselves, demonstrating improvement in quality of life and mastery. […]
February 26, 2009
Ball Launches Burpee Plants At Retail
At the upcoming 2009 California Pack Trials, Ball Horticultural Company will launch the Burpee Home Gardens plant program. This line will offer Burpee-branded, garden ready plants at garden centers in select markets this year and nationally in 2010. With the help of Ball’s marketing and distribution capabilities, an assortment of exclusive Burpee plants will be sold at garden centers, many of which have not previously been available in plant form at retail outlets. “The combined efforts of both Burpee and Ball will offer strong products and supports to make this plant program successful at retail,” says Chris Romas, president of W. Altee Burpee Company.