June 2024
Planting with purpose By Teresa McPherson

You know the saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes? I can’t be the only one in this industry with a less-than-photo-worthy landscape. The plants surrounding my house are still mostly the legacy plants left from the previous owners, save for a few perennials and shrubs I temporarily parked in the ground with the intention of moving them to a new bed. And, as is often the case, some of them are thriving in their “temporary” locations.

Along with the usual spring gardening tasks of planting the vegetable garden, my husband and I will be adding a pollinator garden to the landscape, with annuals and perennials like salvia, echinacea, milkweed, sunflowers and a number of herbs. Turns out, I’m not alone in that, either.

A recent landscaping and outdoor living survey conducted by G&S Business Communications (gscommunications.com/landscapeoutdoor) looked into American homeowners’ preferences when it came to lawn and landscape. The survey found that 54% of respondents wanted to learn more about the impact their lawn and landscapes had on the environment and climate change. And while online searching was the leading source of information for 74% of consumers, 58% responded that they’d head to their local garden center to learn more — a number that jumped to 71% for those who said they were looking for information about ornamental plants.

Even better, 50% of respondents said they planned to spend $100 or more on ornamental plants this year. Will you be ready for these motivated home gardeners when they come into your store? Now would be a great time to talk to your staff about how to educate consumers on selecting the right plants for their gardens — not to mention make sure they remember to sign customers up for your mailing lists to encourage them to return.

While you’re doing that, I’ll be planning out where the new pollinator paradise will be located in the backyard. I can’t promise it will be photo-worthy, but I’m sure the bees, butterflies and birds it’ll attract won’t mind.

Also In This Issue

While we’re talking about green goods, this issue includes a roundup of perennial and shrub varieties we think will make a statement in your customers’ landscape. Flip to page 28 to see them.

Need some inspiration on how to merchandise those green goods? On page 10, I share some of the most eye-catching vignettes and displays I saw at California Spring Trials.

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].