BenchPress Profile: Raymond Bowdish

BenchPress Profile: Raymond Bowdish

Raymond Bowdish, the sole proprietor of Never Tire Farm in Lisbon, N.Y., is the inventor of the Garden Pallet and president of the startup company that bears the same name. Garden Pallet products are revolutionary prototype gardens that can be installed with no site preparation. They’re designed with built-in irrigation and can be automated to provide the correct amount of water and fertilizer. The Garden Pallet even offers delivery and installation service for consumers in the northeastern United States who don’t necessarily want to plant.

What inspired you on your path to inventing the Garden Pallet? 

“My uncle installs pools and wanted to have garden installation be as efficient and provide the same instant gratification that installing sod currently offers. I worked on the idea beginning in 1995 and had a working prototype by 1998. However, after reading “Will Floriculture Continue to Grow?” (in Greenhouse Grower’s March 2000 issue), I got really excited. Will Carlson had reasoned that people like flower products but they don’t want the work of planting 30, 50 or 100 little plants, and that someone who developed products in containers of flats that could be placed directly into the ground without transplanting would reap the rewards.” 

What should the industry know about your company? 

“Our concept is revolutionary because it unites products, landscaping services and cutting-edge technologies. It represents a paradigm shift resulting in a very efficient installation of landscapes. The industry will realize new opportunities to create markets where they have not existed, and growers or investors interested in establishing a national franchise can team with Garden Pallet to create these opportunities. Maybe the most important point is that this is a ‘green’ product that helps reduce carbon dioxide.”

How will the Garden Pallet change the future course of floriculture? 

“I think it will create another niche. Garden Pallet has a system that augments existing floral installations with greater levels of efficiency and flexibility that growers can adopt to meet the needs of high-end customers. In urban settings, we can install rooftop gardens because our products fit into elevators and can be installed on most modern architectural structures. Add in our automatic watering and monitoring systems and we have a garden for the 21st century. This helps cool urban centers and creates an oasis where there used to be tar.” 

What other markets would you like to target? 

“Garden Pallet floral displays could be put together for a wedding, reunion or party. People will choose designs ahead of time the way they would a cake or dress. Well-planned events, like weddings, allow time to create custom designs. Pre-fabricated landscapes can be produced, and be ready to install, in as little as two weeks. Garden Pallets can also be moved and installed in a client’s landscape after the event.” 

What’s it going to take to reach franchise status? 

“Investors need to fully understand the potential the Garden Pallet represents in the horticultural markets. The driving force that makes our franchise model work comes from serious research and testing of products and technologies. Once the public understands the value we deliver and that it is an environmentally sustainable product, the advantage for customers will be clear. With customers comes the franchise.” 

If the Garden Pallet is a success, how will it affect your small greenhouse operation? 

“I see a pretty bright outlook, because when this thing takes off, then my dream would come true and this farm would be a part of that. It would be almost a research farm. We would be coming up with new designs, we would be the creative part of the engine, and that would be a lot of fun.”

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