June 2019
Appreciation & Gratitude By Abby Kleckler

A whopping 73% of Americans have a high appreciation for flowers. This statistic came from the Generations of Flowers Study a few years ago — by the Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment — and it has stuck in my head ever since.

No matter the generation, nearly two-thirds of consumers have a strong sensory and emotional connection with flowers, including outdoor bedding plants, fresh flowers and houseplants.

I think back to my time before joining the industry seven years ago. Growing up, plants were planted one day during the spring season, and once in a while a bouquet was delivered for a special celebration.

I always found plants to be pretty, but I never realized their impact on mental health and wellbeing, their importance to the environment, their role in a healthy lifestyle and simply their ability to bring a lot of joy to a lot of people, me included.

A video from BBC News titled “Are plants a necessity or a luxury?” followed a young woman who started bringing succulents, tropicals and other houseplants into her home. Her last line in the video talked about the impact for her: “It’s been quite life changing actually. In a small way, but also in a really, really big way.”

This is the last issue of Lawn & Garden Retailer in which you’ll see my face when you open up this page as I have taken another opportunity in the publishing industry. I, however, am so grateful to all of the horticulture industry — it has been quite life changing actually, in a small way, but also in a really big way.

I will truly miss working closely with all of you, especially independent garden centers, as you are some of the nicest people around. Thank you for all you have done and for instilling in me a love of plants that will never cease.

spread your message

Let’s continue to get people like me seven years ago excited about gardening. This month, you’ll find a great article from Linda Adams on “Adding the Heat of Tropicals.” We all know these have become gateway-to-gardening plants, but here are some specifics you’ll want to read for maximizing your department.

In Christina Salwitz’s column, she’s introducing you to Earl Lieske, a container designer with Chalet Nursery in Wilmette, Ill., whose design prowess and pizazz jumps off the page and right into customers’ yards.

At California Spring Trials this year, I noticed that bedding plants, fresh flowers and houseplants were not as distinct segments of the industry as they once were. Traditional bedding plants were being used in tablescapes, houseplants were moving to outdoor arrangements, fresh flowers were mixed with ornamental edibles and much more. Read my 2019 California Spring Trials article to see this and many other highlights from the trip down the coast.

The Spring Trials article can also get your wheels turning for your entry to Lawn & Garden Retailer’s Merchandiser of the Year competition. Let’s say you’re reading this issue on June 1; that means you have two weeks to get your photos in for your chance to win. This is your last call … wait no more! Find out all the details for the Merchandiser of the Year here, and reach out to [email protected] with any questions. We know it’s my favorite time of the year, so maybe I can be asked back as a judge.

As we all together continue to spread our industry’s message, I say we can get even more than 73% of people to have a high appreciation of flowers!


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