A few weeks before Christmas, I visited a local garden center, looking for a little something to spruce up my desk here at the office. Something different. While I drifted in a sea of red, white and pink poinsettias, I came across a small assortment of potted plants–cyclamen, African violets and a few bromeliads. In two long rows of benches, there was only one product gussied up in holiday decor. It was a line of ferns decorated with bunches of cranberries and a few pine cones, as well as snowmen and glittery stars on picks tucked in amongst the green. I immediately gravitated towards the collection and snatched one up. Am I a fern person? Not particularly, but this one is growing on me.
There was also a mini-Christmas-tree-looking woody ornamental in a 4-inch pot. I bought it, although I have no idea what it is. In fact, I know more about the pot. It was manufactured by ITML and made in Canada. All I knew about the plant was it was cute and $5.99. And now I know it fits perfectly in the cupholder in my car. And I waffled on the purchase.
When I got to the register, the cashier asked me if the tree was from the store’s perennial section. “You know, one that comes back every year,” she prodded me on. Yes, I do know what a perennial is. But that’s what I get for being a member of Generation X.
Assuming retailers can sell your product effectively without at least a little help from you, or even know what your product is, shouldn’t be commonplace. Labels and tags, please! And please, if you recognize this plant, shoot me an e-mail at the address above. Everyone at the office is wondering what it is.
Chock Full Of Information
This issue of Greenhouse Grower is huge! And if you can’t make it to TPIE this year, this issue will give you a little sample of what you’ll miss. Cover story subject Kevin Kraft of Kraft Gardens, big exhibitor at TPIE, tells me that his company makes its own tags, not only to control minimum runs, but also because he can’t find good, quality tags for his products.
Check out our foliage coverage, including an account of what more and better marketing has done for Initial Tropical Plants and a profile of Robrick Nursery, which won the Operation of the Year award from our sister magazine Ornamental Outlook. Enjoy!