June 20, 2013

Dümmen’s Confetti Garden Streamlines Container Garden Production [Medal Of Excellence For Marketing]

Original ideas abound in the floriculture industry, but not every idea is a success. There are the times, however, when a company hits on a concept that fills a void growers didn’t realize was there, and it’s such a game-changer, they can’t imagine growing without it. The 2013 Medal Of Excellence for Marketing goes to a company that used its game-changing idea to not only sell plants, but to solve container garden production problems and streamline this thriving growth area. Dümmen North America’s (NA) Red Fox Confetti Garden products are innovative, time-saving and profit-increasing products that benefit the supply chain and satisfy consumers’ need for quick, convenient and beautiful color. Filling A VoidSpring annuals are a hot commodity for any breeding program, and most plant breeders feel they need a presence in this area to compete. But when Dümmen entered the vegetative spring annuals market in the mid-2000s, it did […]

Read More

June 17, 2013

Burpee Home Gardens Completes Its National Grow Anywhere Tour

Burpee Home Gardens began touring the U.S. this spring on its Grow Anywhere Tour, visiting 23 cities to deliver more than 30,000 pounds of fresh produce, 13,000 vegetable plants and gardening suppport to areas without easy access to fresh, healthy foods, known as food deserts. We asked Burpee’s Product Manager Scott Mozingo about the outcome of the tour, which was completed in mid-May. GG: Why is the Grow Anywhere Tour something that Burpee Home Gardens wanted to do? Mozingo: With the Grow Anywhere Tour, Burpee Home Gardens has nourished a new generation of gardeners by sharing food, plants and advice nationwide. By demonstrating simple ways to grow food, Burpee Home Gardens demonstrated how easy it is to grow anywhere. After years of inspiring and educating the public about the physical and environmental benefits of gardening through our “I Can Grow” school and community garden program, Burpee Home Gardens took its […]

Read More

June 6, 2013

Pro-Mix Is Now On Social Media

Premier Tech Horticulture, which is among the North American leaders of peat moss-based growing media production and distribution, has recently announced the launch of its social media strategy, including the unveiling of its Pro-Mix Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages for professional and amateur gardeners. Known as a customer-focused and market-driven company, Premier Tech Horticulture strongly believes that today, people are expecting constant interactive communication with brands. As a result, interacting and communicating with external audiences through both new and traditional media remain important elements. Now, with Pro-Mix, this dialogue will also take place online, via new social media platforms that are easy to access for everybody. “These Pro-Mix social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, wikis, YouTube, etc.) present us with unique opportunities to listen to our customers and stakeholders, but also to share with people our 20 years of experience, knowledge and expertise,” says Chantal Duchesneau, marketing and […]

Read More

May 28, 2013

Why Is Fairy Gardening So Popular?

Garden centers have several theories about why miniature or fairy gardening is so popular. Kerry Kelley of Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville, Md., thinks women and men are drawn to the hobby for different reasons. For women, the small scale calls to something instinctual. “It’s related to the biological instinct women have to care for anything small — like babies! The same fascination we have with a baby and all the tiny fingers and toes — it really goes back to that, in my mind,” she says. “I think with men it’s more the fascination with the building and design end of things — that’s why they tend to like the train garden side of it.” Gethsemane Gardens’ Victoria Anderson sees the appeal stemming from a childlike creative energy and way for non plants people to connect with nature. Nature A connection to nature is what personally attracts Anderson. “My biggest […]

Read More

May 7, 2013

Making The Old New Again: Getting Creative With Chrysanthemums

Some categories of plants have been around for a really long time. So long, in fact, that they can become associated with phrases like “old-fashioned,” or “out of date.” That doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent plants — that’s probably one of the reasons they’ve been around so long. But consumers like to buy things that are new, different and trendy. So how do you make something that people take for granted new and interesting again? Sometimes it is with new genetics. And sometimes it is through marketing — creating a story around the plant and a reason to buy it. We talked to Liz Hunt, senior market manager, vegetative, for Syngenta Flowers, about its new Zenia mum collection, which uses both breeding and marketing to revitalize the category. GG: Do you see working with growers and retailers to re-package older categories as a growing trend in the industry? Hunt: Syngenta […]

Read More

May 7, 2013

Spring 2013 Garden Commercials From National Brands: New Gardener Success Is The Message

The new crop of spring gardening and home renovation commercials is out. What messages are national brands like Miracle Gro and box stores like Lowe’s taking out to the public? It’s all about the inexperienced, those consumers who think they have black thumbs, and how these stores and products can introduce gardening to the uninitiated and help them have success. Here’s a look into their 2013 ads.  MiracleGro’s Growing With Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix “The only thing we’d ever grown together was our record collection. No, there was that fuzzy stuff on the gouda.” Those are the first few lines spoken by the two beginner gardeners in this entertaining commercial, reflecting the experience level many new gardeners have. “How much is too much water? Too little?” Sound familiar? MiracleGro’s message is that even new gardeners can have success using its product.  Lowe’s “Neighborhood” Commercial This commercial shows a whole, […]

Read More

April 23, 2013

Costa Farms’ O2 For You Brand Celebrates Earth Day With Kids

Costa Farms‘ O2 For You brand promoted the benefits of indoor houseplants and their place in the environment, targeting kids directly with a Celebrate Earth Day promotion. Through the month of April, consumers can find O2 For You Plant Party houseplants, which are planted in kid-friendly containers. Kids can decorate the pots with a bundled Let’s Have A Party sticker book. More than 10 varieties of plants, including snake plants and ferns, are available in the Plant Party line. Click here to read about how the Plant Party went over with one blogger and her kids.  The O2 For You website encourages gardeners to host a Plant Party for kids. “Say ‘thanks’ to Mother Earth! She’s done a lot for us,” says the Costa Farms’ Earth Day website. “So it’s time to give back. Throw a planting party! Invite the kids in your life to color this page and decorate a cool potted […]

Read More

April 3, 2013

Garden Retail Marketing Plans That Connect With Today’s Consumer

Greenhouse Grower’s sister publication, Today’s Garden Center, gathered a group of retailers, growers and other retail suppliers in the summer of 2012 to discuss where they would like to see the industry in five years and what we need to do to get there. The key issues the group identified became the focus of the 10% Project, a series of research projects and case studies Today’s Garden Center is commissioning to help the retailers grow their sales by 10 percent. One of the greatest challenges the group identified is a shrinking consumer base. Our core customers, Baby Boomers, are aging themselves out of the market. So the first 10% Project of 2013 has a modest goal — identify the likeliest potential customers and lure them into garden centers. Today’s Garden Center Editor Carol Miller recruited Dr. Bridget Behe of Michigan State University and Dr. Susan Hogan of Emory University to […]

Read More

March 26, 2013

Promoting The Benefits Of Plants

Is there any company in the green industry, from liner producers to retailers, suppliers and all points in between, that has experienced expansive growth in the last few years? Not likely. Sure, the recent economic downturn has affected many industries, but ours has suffered more than most. Not only have the primary drivers (commercial landscaping and housing starts) withered, but our customer base has shrunk and our products are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The Baby Boomers, who were our bread and butter, have landscaped their now-empty nests and are not digging many more holes. The younger generations have failed to embrace the joy of creating park-like settings in their yards and are, for the most part, completely ignorant about plants. They see plants every day, but they don’t know their names and can’t distinguish one from another, so they remain strictly in the background. While most recognize beauty in plants, they […]

Read More

March 26, 2013

Lake County Nursery Hosts Educational Sessions For Independent Garden Centers

Want to take an active role in helping your retail customers improve themselves? Take a page from the Lake County Nursery playbook and offer training to garden centers on the topics they need help with. Lake County Nursery’s Joe Zampini says he visits about 100 garden centers a year, which have varying levels of staff education and customer service and sales skills. “We’ve started to build a partnership with our customers,” says Zampini, vice president of sales at Lake County Nursery, which is located in Perry, Ohio. “We’ve seen customers in the last few years talking about the box stores and how they can’t compete with them. They’ve had a hard time selling, so we’ve looked at ways to help them improve.” Lake County’s Peak Performer Series of one-day educational sessions has included speakers Bridget Behe of Michigan State University and garden center designer Judy Sharpton. Zampini’s goal is to […]

Read More

March 4, 2013

Social Media How To: Rocket Farms

Branding and storytelling are a big part of how West Coast Top 100 grower Rocket Farms is using social media. Take a look at how the operation is working with public relations consultant Ashley Beleny of Environmental Relations PR to reach through to the consumer to deliver information about gardening and plants. GG: Why social media? Beleny: Social media isn’t for every company. It is for companies who can present three things: 1. Product differentiation 2. A unique point of view 3. A call to action At Rocket Farms, we are branding ourselves as more than plants; we are part of your life, a lifestyle and a range of fun, modern products that fit into every lifestyle. We use social media to convey these attributes and help us differentiate. We are building customer relations (we find ourselves answering a lot of questions) and tracking consumer response to our products to […]

Read More