The first time that I saw a rose garden with umbrellas over the plants to protect them from rain, I was in disbelief! “Umbrellas keeping the rain off of rose flowers,” I thought. “That must be a very obsessive gardener.” Since that time, I have learned that it is not an uncommon obsession for rose […]
It probably goes without saying that it has been a long, hot summer and early fall. With record high temperatures and little or no rain, one might have expected customers to stay away from garden centers. However, this was not the case. Customers continued to shop for plants and also relied heavily on garden centers […]
With a column title like What I’m Hearing, I am always listening for new ideas, new plants, trends in garden centers and new plant trials. Recently in a conversation with Ann Murphy, a communications and marketing manager at Oregon State University (OSU), I learned that the OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, […]
Don’t overlook these late bloomers During the busy spring months, when customers are buying nearly everything that is in bloom, they might overlook plants that don’t show off their color until late summer. I have many plants in my garden that are just coming into peak flower in August and September. Whenever we open our […]
Whenever I visit other people’s gardens, particularly at the start of the year, the conversation often turns to two questions. What new plants I am going to buy? And what were my favorite plants of the past season? I do not really have favorite plants for a season, but I might have a favorite plant […]
They would never be called a “garden center.” They would not be a place to go to for buying annuals in the spring. They have very few hard goods; it is unlikely that a customer would find garden chemicals, fertilizers, gloves and other items. Their locations are usually not in a metro area and they […]
Gardening is a constantly changing hobby for many of us. When we visit garden centers, we are often not only buying plants that are familiar to us, but we are on the lookout for something new. Many private gardens have signature plants that might be a tree or shrub, or perhaps it is a plant(s) […]
From produce stands and cafés, to expanded product lines and cooking demonstrations, retail garden centers are trying novel approaches to attract new customers.
Schools and retail garden centers can help nurture a new generation of plant lovers.
After a harsh winter in the Pacific Northwest, retail garden centers better be prepared for a rush of eager gardeners.