How Grower-Retailers Are Advancing Consumer Education With Events, Memories, and Butterflies

Little-girl-with-monarch-featureDriving consumer success begins at the breeding level and filters down to the retail level before plants head out the door with their new owners. Each link in the supply chain has its role to play, and grower-retailers are oftentimes the first and last face consumers see, so their role in consumer education is invaluable. Greenhouse Grower reached out to a few retailers to ask what they are doing to drive consumer success, in the hopes that their ideas might provide inspiration for your business.

Greenscape Gardens Fuels Customer Curiosity With Butterflies


A favorite consumer education event at Greenscape Gardens in Manchester, MO, is its annual butterfly display. During the southern migration period of the Monarch butterfly, the staff collects larvae from different types of butterflies (mostly Monarchs, black swallowtails, spicebush swallowtails, and pipevine swallowtails) and displays them in aquariums near the cash registers. Consumers can watch their progress all the way to chrysalis formation. Once the butterflies emerge, the staff enlists the help of customers’ kids to release them into the wild.

“People love looking at the butterflies. They tend to ask lots of questions and come back later to show their kids or grandkids,” says Jennifer Schamber of Greenscape Gardens. “This has been a great way to engage with customers, and it often leads them buying host plants and nectar sources to provide for their favorite types of butterflies!”

Hillermann Nursery & Florist Makes Garden Memories

Hillermann Nursery & Florist, located in Washington, MO, seeks to make every class, event, or tour it does a memorable learning experience for its customers, and that includes catering to its smallest customers.

School groups are welcome to tour Hillermann’s grounds and facilities. Their visit usually involves participating in a planting project, and the kids can enjoy the garden center’s turtle pond, goats, dogs, and rabbits. Hillermann’s also educates through a just-for-kids enewsletter and a monthly workshop for ages 4 to 12.

Adults can tour the garden center, too, or attend one of its many classes or events. This year Hillermann plans to add a new Lunch in the Garden event. During the month of June, the focus of the educational topics for the event will be on pollinators and perennials.

“We are always looking for ways to get people into our store and to get multi-generational customers in,” says Sandi Hillermann McDonald. “We love social media posting and word of mouth advertising. But it doesn’t stop there.”

Dayton Nursery is Getting the Word Out

Dayton Nursery in Norton, OH, provides various ways for its customers to get the information they need regarding plant species and care. It does this by way of its knowledgeable staff, detailed plant signage, in-store tip sheets, classes, and events, or through the information it provides on its website, which includes a new plant, bug, and weed-finder module by The Perfect Plant.

This year, Dayton Nursery will include a new custom folder with care information for various plant groups, as well as watering tips upon delivery or installation of material. The nursery also plans to create a watering video to educate customers on the correct ways to water plants in their landscapes.

“We hope all of the hard work that goes into these segments at the nursery will assure our customers’ success in their own landscapes,” says Amy Draiss of Dayton Nursery.