September 30, 2009

SUV Crashes Into Michigan Greenhouse

  A 38-year-old woman drove her SUV into a portion of Christians Greenhouse and Garden Center in Leroy Township, Mich., earlier this week. The SUV was overturned, and greenhouse employees found the woman and the vehicle when they first arrived for work at 7 a.m. According to the Lansing State Journal, which also took the photos to the right, the woman failed to stop where a road ends at a T intersection. Her SUV continued into the greenhouse/garden center parking lot, and it wound up in the greenhouse. Investigators are still rounding up details on the accident, and they were not initially sure exactly when the SUV crashed. Visit LansingStateJournal.com for a few more details about the accident.

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September 29, 2009

SAF Hall Of Fame Welcomes New Enshrinee

Jim Leider, CEO of Leider Horticultural Companies in Buffalo Grove, Ill., was inducted into the Floriculture Hall of Fame during the 125th annual Society of American Florists Convention last week. According to Bob Luthultz, SAF chairman, Leider saw and seized opportunities where others did not. When Leider first entered his family business, a key goal was to increase the marketing of plants. “One of the outlets where Leider saw an opportunity was supermarkets,” Luthultz says. “Forty years later, supermarkets sell more than 30 percent of all plants.” In the 1970s, as the use of indoor plants in businesses and homes grew, Leider and his brother Gerry saw another opportunity–to develop and draw attention to their interior plantscaping business. “Not only did he market and promote the value of having plants in the home and work environment,” Luthultz says, “[Leider] took it one step further and promoted the concept of plant […]

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September 11, 2009

Top 10 Cuttings Producers

Believe it or not, mums are the big story in this year’s report, as a common denominator among the top three cuttings producers in the world. We started our Top 10 Cuttings Producers survey and report four years ago to learn more about companies supplying vegetative propagation material globally. For many of these producers, Europe is the primary market and North America is a secondary but growing market, especially in vegetative annuals and blooming potted plants. One crop I didn’t appreciate enough when we began this survey was chrysanthemums, which are propagated for blooming potted plants, garden plants and mostly fresh cut flowers worldwide. There is trade protection prohibiting chrysanthemum cuttings from coming into the United States from outside sources to prevent diseases like chrysanthemum white rust from becoming established. As a result, Yoder Brothers always had the dominant position here and any competing lines were propagated in the United […]

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September 2, 2009

Perennial Plant Association Honors Young Professional

The winner of the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Young Professional Award for 2009 is Paul Westervelt of Roseland, Va. The Young Professional Award is one of seven special awards granted each year by the PPA. It is given to a member to recognize, honor and encourage participation, achievement and growth of an individual in the industry who is a talented and promising newcomer. The award is given to a PPA member who has shown involvement in the PPA, has contributed to the success of that member’s company, and has portrayed a positive image of the perennial industry to the public. Nominations for the annual Special Awards come from PPA members. The award recipients are then selected by the PPA Board of Directors. Paul is a native of the Winchester area, and he has been an employee of Saunders Brothers, Inc., of Piney River, Va., for nearly five years. He is […]

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August 25, 2009

How’s Home Depot Doing?

The Home Depot reported fiscal second quarter profits fell 7.2 percent, spurred by high unemployment rates and a still-difficult housing market. The drop in profits, however, was less than expected, buoying the company and prompting share prices to rise. Sales in garden products performed better than average. According to a New York Times story, Home Depot reports transactions in the United States increased year-over-year for the first time in five years and same-store sales rates improved in Florida and California. Despite the bright spot in same-store improvement, CEO Frank Blake says he does not expect positive same-store sales to register until the second half of 2010. “Concerns about the housing market, rising unemployment and softness in the overall economy continue to pressure consumers,” Blake says. “Our business performed well in a down market, we captured market share and drove operating productivity. The combination made for a solid quarter relative to […]

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August 17, 2009

OFA Forms Search Committee For CEO

OFA has formed a search committee to make a recommendation on the organization’s next CEO. Those on the committee include:  – Bobby Barnitz, Bob’s Market & Greenhouse, Mason, W.Va.–Chris Bernacchi, Ball Horticultural Company, Marysville, Ohio–Mark Foertmeyer, Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse, Delaware, Ohio–Lisa Graf, Graf Growers, Akron, Ohio–Bob Jones, The Chef’s Garden, Huron, Ohio–Ralph Ostendorf, Ostendorf Greenhouses, Cincinnati, Ohio; and–Kelly Staats, Eason Horticultural Resources; Ft. Wright, Ky. OFA is receiving executive search and transition management services from Association Strategies Inc. (ASI) based in Alexandria, Va. Those interested in the position should contact Jim Zaniello at Association Strategies Inc. at 703-683-0580 or [email protected]

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July 30, 2009

Home Depot Rules As Top E-Commerce Site

For the month of June, Home Depot ranked No. 1 among home and garden e-commerce sites with 20 million unique visitors. This count is up 34 percent from June 2008. Unique visitors count each shopper once, no matter how many times they visit the site. This jump in traffic is remarkably higher than usual, especially compared to previous months: May’s traffic was flat and April only grew by 1 percent compared to 2008’s results, reports Internet Retailer. Here are the top seven online home and garden shopping sites in June (unique visitors and growth from prior year shown respectively): -Home Depot, 20 million, 34 percent -Lowe’s, 12.03 million, 8 percent -The Home Shopping Network, 5.80 million, 45 percent -eBay Home, 4.16 million, -59 percent -Ikea, 2.46 million, 4 percent -Pottery Barn, 1.50 million, -13 percent -Jo-Ann.com, 1.42 million, -13 percent For more on these highly trafficked sites, click here.

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July 29, 2009

Online Only: Industry Pulse Results

Part I: Reaction To Spring Which of the following best describes your business? Grower-retailer: 49.0% (76 respondents) Wholesale grower: 47.1% (73) Young plant grower: 3.9% (6) Where are you located? New York: 7.6% (14) Florida: 7.1% (13) Pennsylvania: 6.5% (12) California: 5.4% (10) Ohio: 3.3% (6) Not in the United States: 5.4% (10) Other states: 64.7% (119) How did your Spring 2009 sales compare to your expectations for the season? Sales exceeded expectations by more than 10 percent: 15.6% (25) Sales exceeded expectations between 5 and 10 percent: 15.6% (25) Sales exceeded expectations by less than 5 percent: 6.9% (11) Sales met my expectations: 27.5% (44) Sales fell short of expectations by less than 5 percent: 6.9% (11) Sales fell short of expectations between 5 and 10 percent: 13.8% (22) Sales fell short of expectations by more than 10 percent: 13.8% (22) How did your Spring 2009 sales compare to […]

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July 29, 2009

Only Online: Spring Opportunities Had & Missed

What did growers think about Spring 2009? Here are some insights, including some thoughts about whether or not our industry is recession proof: – “While I believe the recession is the number one problem for this year, the constant rain is probably going to turn buyers off for next year.” – “As long as growers continue to produce quality greenhouse crops at reasonable prices, customers will continue to purchase plants for their homes regardless of economic conditions.” – “I believe we used to be recession proof, but not today. So much of our business is dependent upon the sale of large, specialty items and people did not buy them as much this spring.” – “I think in this business, we are not recession proof and in order to get through the tough times, we must think smart and be cautious. At the same time we must be very attentive to every customer’s needs. […]

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July 27, 2009

ANLA Board Has New Leadership

The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) elected Bob Lyons of Sunleaf Nursery (Ohio) president-elect of the ANLA board of directors and Tom Demaline of Willoway Nurseries (Ohio) to serve on ANLA’s board of directors. Lyons founded Sunleaf Nursery in 1982, in partnership with his wife, Carol. Sunleaf is a field grower of deciduous, shade and flowering trees. Lyons joined the ANLA board of directors in 2005, having previously served as president of ANLA’s grower division and as chairman of the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) executive committee. Demaline, meanwhile, grew up working in his family’s business, Willoway Nurseries, and joined the company fulltime in 1975 after graduating from high school in Avon, Ohio. Demaline has served as president of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA) and of HRI. He has served ANLA as both a state senator and as a member of ANLA’s Legislative Policy Committee over the past […]

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July 27, 2009

Courtright Assumes ANLA Presidency

Tom Courtright, president of Orchard Nursery and Florist (Calif.), assumed the presidency of the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) at its recent annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Courtright has served as president of the Central Chapter of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC) several times since 1975, and as president of the state association in 1993. He was on the board of Master Nursery Garden Centers for 25 years, was president of the ANLA retail division board in 1993, and served on the board of the Horticultural Research Institute from 2002-2004, just prior to joining the ANLA board of directors. “ANLA has been there for us in the good times and is now there for us in the tough times,” Courtright says. “I look forward to the coming year of working with our dedicated leaders and ANLA’s members across the country. Two heads are better than […]

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July 27, 2009

Health Care Reform’s Effect On You

The Society of American Florists (SAF) is strongly encouraging growers to write their representatives in the U.S. House asking them to oppose health care reform as it currently sits in Congress. SAF wrote the following about legislation in its Washington Week In Review newsletter July 24: On the House side, a proposal called America’s Affordable Health Choices Act (HR 3200) was approved by the Ways and Means Committee and the Education and Labor Committee. It’s still being debated by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Moderate Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including Blue Dog Democrats and New Democrat Coalition Members, sent a letter to Democratic Representative Henry Waxman listing 10 changes they need to see in the bill before they can vote “yes.” Representative Mike Ross, a Blue Dog Democrat from Arkansas who chairs the health care task force, is pushing for more cost control, a greater […]

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