March 2015
Bigger Isn’t Better

It’s no secret there is an abundance of options when you turn on the TV. And it’s common conversation among my friends (and even coworkers) that my TV diet is almost exclusively news and reality shows.

Whether it’s the latest season of MasterChef Junior, a little bit of TLC or anything on HGTV, I can’t get enough. Last weekend I was flipping through the channels and stopped on Tiny House Nation on the FYI network. I watched as a couple (with nine birds!) built a 192-square-foot house for their primary residence, and I was hooked.

I quickly discovered three similar shows, did a little binge watching and had to research more about the “Tiny House Movement,” where people are choosing to live in less than 500 square feet.

Miniature houses got me thinking about miniature gardening, but even more than that, about a new group of people who no longer view bigger as better. I’m not talking about just Milliennials either.

A site dedicated to this extreme downsizing trend,, found about 40 percent of tiny home owners are over 50 years old. Shows I watched profiled everyone from newlyweds to retired couples in everywhere from urban environments to country escapes; there appears to be no “typical customer” for a tiny house.

Flip to page 14 where Gerry Giorgio and John Martens tackle the changing marketplace. They don’t talk about tiny dwellers specifically, but they address the increasing number of people choosing apartments, condos and rental properties. It’s evident that your garden center can appeal to these different types of customers in similar ways (spoiler: containers, packaged plant collections and mixed combinations).

up not out

On Tiny House Nation, homeowners got creative when space was tight. One couple nailed pockets to their kitchen wall to hold silverware and another couple had a ladder in their house to reach storage near the ceiling.

I couldn’t help but think that this is exactly what people want to do with vertical gardens. HGTV host and landscape designer Jamie Durie stepped out of the TV and sat down with us to talk about taking gardening up the wall (see page 34).

Vertical gardening isn’t always about creating something extravagant; it’s about people wanting to do more with less square footage. Are your customers interested in vertical gardening? Do you have a vertical display in your store that gets a lot of buzz? Reach out to me at [email protected]

calling all students

If you know any college students studying horticulture, be sure to tell them to apply for Syngenta Flowers’ 2015 Goldsmith Scholarship program.

The company will award two $7,500 scholarships to college students who have shown high potential in the fields of plant breeding and ornamental horticulture through scholastic excellence and experience.

Spread the word! Students have until March 13 to submit a cover letter, recommendation letter and essay to [email protected]

Abby Kleckler is managing editor at Lawn & Garden Retailer magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]


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