Protect Your Love For Your Garden Work By Taking Time Off

Carol Miller resized for onlineAlmost no one gets into the green industry because they want to be rich. There are many other careers where making a lot of money is more likely, and with a whole lot less effort.

No, most get into growing and selling plants because they have a passion. A passion for plants, a passion for the open and nurturing community they discover within the industry, or a passion for contributing in a substantial way to the local economy and culture.

Yet we have an annual work rhythm that I think threatens to steal the joy we find in our industry.

Spring is an exciting, fast-paced endurance test. Summer is the equivalent of the slow jog after a run, a time to slow down but not give up. Those with a year-round business gear back up in fall with festivals and holiday events and sales.

Only in the coldest months of January to March is there an opportunity to step back, detach from the business for a while, and then come back with renewed energy.

More and more people, however, are looking at the dismal finances from those months, and are doing what they can to make those months more profitable.

The most successful stories I’ve heard so far have been those who have winter farmers’ markets or who launched some other type of food-related business.

That’s a smart business move. But I don’t think adding more work, even profitable work, to the only time of year when you can recharge is wise. Unless, that is, you shift how you work the rest of the year, as well.

Frankly, I’ve always thought working seven days a week, 12 hours a day throughout the spring undermined the future of our industry. Who can sustain that pace? And why would their children ever want to be part of that kind of crazy life?

I get it. I’ve got workoholic tendencies, myself. But I also know that if I force myself to leave work at a reasonable time, if I resist doing work on my days off, I love my work a lot more.

Sure, there are unavoidable times when I have to work 14 hour days (OK, sometimes longer). But if I let myself slip into an unreasonable work pattern, I begin flirting with burnout. And once you reach that point, it’s a long road back to loving what you do, if you ever come back.

So take the time to share ideas with your peers, to plan strategies where you work less for a bigger payoff, sell more plants, and ultimately, keep your passion for growing and selling plants burning for years to come.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Protect Your Love For Your Garden Work By Taking Time Off

  1. I understand your points, but the rest of the “real” world doesn’t take the winter off. They keep working 60+ hours a week, 50 weeks a year. That is the pace of modern society. Again, I understand that may not be everyone’s goal in life, but the reality is that those are the people that you are competing against.

  2. I agree, and look forward to a slower pace during the coldest months. I plan for the year, do some non plant hobbies, and catch up on sleep!

More From Retailing...
Bundle Pricing sign at Farmington Gardens

December 23, 2016

It’s Official: Growers Stink At Pricing Plants

The industry’s first pricing survey exposes serious problems in how plants are priced. It’s past time for us to change that.

Read More
Greenhouse Retail Center

December 20, 2016

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From The Garden Retail Industry

After covering this industry for close to 20 years, I've picked up a few life lessons along the way.

Read More

December 19, 2016

Smart Retail Tech All Garden Retailers Can Use

Your store may be dark for the winter, but it’s never too early to think about the light of spring and opportunities to improve within your store. Take note of how many national retailers are making capital improvements, altering product assortments and brands, employing more part-time staff, trying new promotional tactics, and modifying services including store hours. Are you thinking of making changes to retain your best customers? Are you considering taking control of some operational costs? Is there a dark side to your retail environment? Retail shopping survives today because it has evolved. Retail has morphed into a blend of displays, services, events, category-specific brands, exclusivity, location and, most importantly, customer satisfaction! It’s more than the thrill of the hunt for a great bargain; it’s an experience. Are you striving to offer a “good to great” retail environment that entices today’s consumer to shop your store? Who will spread […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Bundle Pricing sign at Farmington Gardens

December 23, 2016

It’s Official: Growers Stink At Pricing Plants

The industry’s first pricing survey exposes serious problems in how plants are priced. It’s past time for us to change that.

Read More
Greenhouse Retail Center

December 20, 2016

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From The Garden Retail…

After covering this industry for close to 20 years, I've picked up a few life lessons along the way.

Read More

December 19, 2016

Smart Retail Tech All Garden Retailers Can Use

Your store may be dark for the winter, but it’s never too early to think about the light of spring and opportunities to improve within your store. Take note of how many national retailers are making capital improvements, altering product assortments and brands, employing more part-time staff, trying new promotional tactics, and modifying services including store hours. Are you thinking of making changes to retain your best customers? Are you considering taking control of some operational costs? Is there a dark side to your retail environment? Retail shopping survives today because it has evolved. Retail has morphed into a blend of displays, services, events, category-specific brands, exclusivity, location and, most importantly, customer satisfaction! It’s more than the thrill of the hunt for a great bargain; it’s an experience. Are you striving to offer a “good to great” retail environment that entices today’s consumer to shop your store? Who will spread […]

Read More

December 13, 2016

The Industry’s Take: How We Can Win More Customer…

Check out these customer winning ideas, which range from smaller, European-type garden to boosting the decorative side of plants to just waiting for Millennials to start buying homes.

Read More

December 12, 2016

How To Merchandise Plants With Pantone’s 2017 Col…

It's great that "Greenery" is Color Of The Year, but how can plant retailers take advantage of a color that most of their products already have? Pantone has an answer for that!

Read More

December 5, 2016

Benary’s Jennifer Calhoun: How We Can Make Plants…

I see one main issue facing our industry in getting more people to buy plants — we assume that the way we used to sell plants is the way millennials will want to buy them. Nothing could be further from the truth. We sell plants in small packs that you plant in a hole in your garden, with a generic label that says “blooms all season.” Millennials don’t have gardens, so they want a plant they can put on their fourth floor apartment balcony, or better yet on a shelf in their living room near a window.  We give them too little information to help them be successful under those circumstances. But what we don’t realize is that if the plant dies, they feel personally responsible for killing another living thing which is so painful that they would prefer not to take the chance a second time. If we sold […]

Read More

December 5, 2016

A Visual Guide To Garden Retail Merchandising

Antje Verstl, a German visual merchandiser who has worked with many high level garden retailers in Europe, has a lot of practical, and inspirational advice on how to transform your plant yard into an exciting place to shop. Take a look at this gallery, and enjoy a visual guide from Verstl. Her book, “Eagle & Frog!,” is now available for purchase by an American market through her website.

Read More

November 29, 2016

How The Industry Is Ensuring Consumer Success With Plan…

Greenhouse Grower RETAILING reached out to growers and suppliers for their ideas on how to attract and keep new plant customers. Here's what they had to say about ensuring gardening success.

Read More

November 29, 2016

Heroes To Hives Seeks Veterans For Beekeeping Training

Michigan State University is bringing together two great causes of our times — supporting vets and boosting pollinators — in its new program aimed at teaching professional beekeeping to former soldiers.

Read More

November 28, 2016

Help Nature-Loving, Gardening-Skeptic Consumers Fall In…

Learn sales and merchandising techniques that will help you bring in new customers in part three of our The Missing Gardener series.

Read More

November 21, 2016

How Graf Growers Uses Bridal Fairs And Food Festivals T…

If garden retailers want to attract customers who don't think local garden stores relate to their lives, they must meet these consumers where they congregate and prove their store's relevance to their lives.

Read More

November 19, 2016

Woman Power! Cater To Your Most Important Plant Retail …

With a whopping 84% of lawn and garden sales being made by female shoppers, it's a woman's world when it comes to plant retailing. Here are some pragmatic tips on how your merchandising can cater to this important demographic.

Read More

November 18, 2016

Customers Expect A Lot From Plants — And From You

In this second article in the Missing Gardener: How To Rebuild Our Customer Base series, learn techniques to show new customers how much they can get out of plants.

Read More

November 15, 2016

Brian Bauman Shares Ideas And Successes From Bauman Far…

Take a visual tour through Bauman Farm & Gardens in Gervais, OR, with input from its general manager.

Read More

November 14, 2016

The Missing Gardener: How To Rebuild Our Customer Base

Today's consumers feel they have no control over the outcome of their gardens, so buying plants is a gamble. Here are some ideas of what you can do about that.

Read More

November 14, 2016

BrazelBerries Brand Gets A New Name: Bushel And Berry

  A few months after Star Roses And Plants bought the berry plants brand from Fall Creek Nursery, it is giving the line a name more likely to appeal to consumers: Bushel and Berry. “Following the purchase of the BrazelBerries program this past May, we asked our Network Growers, garden centers, and consumers for feedback,” says Layci Gragnani, Program Manager of Bushel and Berry. “Enthusiasm was very strong for what Fall Creek had done creating and building the program, but there were naming and packaging improvements we identified. After much discussion and thought, we decided to rename and rebrand the program to Bushel and Berry.” The rebrand includes a new logo, tags, and containers, which will be available at retail in 2017. Star Roses and Plants will also build a new website for the collection, BushelandBerry.com, which will launch in January 2017. Gragnani says one of the goals of the rebrand […]

Read More
countryside-gardens-facebook-post-feature

November 8, 2016

Filing A Claim On Your Business Insurance Can Hurt Your…

Last week, Countryside Gardens, was vandalized. The crime was preceded by a robbery a few months ago. In addition to her concern about the crimes, Countryside's owner, Tish Llaneza, worried about keeping her insurance coverage and possible rate hikes.

Read More

November 8, 2016

Several Plant-Research Breakthroughs Made

Calling all plant geeks! A slew of recent science journal stories are tracking breakthroughs in plant research, from learning plants have temperature sensors similar to their light sensors, to refining our understanding of flower timing, to identifying a gene related to hybrid vigor.

Read More