The International Home Garden Conference, hosted Sept. 28-29 by Fleuroselect in The Netherlands, attracted 78 participants from 53 companies in 15 countries.
An initiative to develop a new platform for the home garden sector came from representatives within the industry: Holland’s Pieterpikzonen and the Dutch-based Sahin, France’s Tézier Home Garden, Japan’s Takii, Germany’s GÃ¤rtner PÃ¶tschke and Burpee Home Gardens of the United States.
A key theme emerging from the conference was the importance of communication between garden center retailers and consumers. Jisk Koopmans and Robert Wacker of Floramedia, for example, predict the use of QR codes on seed packets within 12 months in order to link consumers with smart phones to informational websites supplying details on the culture and use of the varieties on sale.
Other comments and suggestions made:
–Rolf Pohlen of GÃ¤rtner PÃ¶tschke’ suggests more gardeners are expected to not only make purchases via websites, but also use the internet as a source of information for choosing and growing plants.
–Renee Shepherd of Renee’s Garden in the U.S. explained the advantages of communicating with her customers and creating a blog on her website to help home gardeners with questions. The Renee’s Garden website has created a virtual gardening community with more than 1,000 members providing advice and information for home gardeners across the U.S. Shepherd also explained the importance of trials in generating reliable information to pass on to her customers and to ensure the best varieties are selected for a range of climatic conditions.