The Pacific North(b)est Part II

I logged visits to 12 garden centers in three days in the Pacific Northwest. The following photos are just a few things that caught my eye. Part two: the Greater Portland area. I hope you... more »

Four Season Sales

No longer just a spring thing, the owners of CopperTree Outdoor Lifestyles, Springfield, Ill., have transformed their custom containers into the talk of the town for all four seasons. In the last two to three... more »

The Pacific North(b)est

This past fall, I hopped on a plane west, picked up two hours in the process, rented a car and jockeyed time between two standout cities in the Pacific Northwest — Seattle, WA and Portland,... more »

What Smart Small Businesses Overlook

Never underestimate the power of continual application of the fundamentals. Forget the rudiments and forego the revenue. Small business people are smart, but occasionally we forget basic elements that make us successful. And to ignore... more »

Garden State(ments)

From garden markets to a fourth generation family-owned garden center, the 2011 Garden Centers of America (GCA) Summer Tour in New Jersey offered tour attendees plenty of variety and industry history. What follows are useful... more »

Creating & Feeding The Passion

Looking back on your first gardening successes can go a long way when it comes to helping your customers with theirs.During my 40 years in the gardening industry, some of my most enjoyable memories come... more »

Adapting Your Independent Brand

Taking assertive and measurable action on a refreshed brand identity and assessing every touchpoint at which your customer experiences your garden center services will send a clear message that you are stepping squarely in the... more »

The Future of Gardening

Connecting is key when it comes to reaching a new generation of gardeners.The garden is an excellent teaching tool. From a single flower many subjects can be taught including geography, science, art and literature. I... more »

Let Me Explain…

...the unique signage at Baker's Acres Greenhouse and how it helps create a memorable shopping experience.From our diverse and unusual plant selection right down to our signs, we try to be as original as possible... more »

Start Your Wine-ing

From a dizzying array of product selection to upscale clientele, wine shops and garden centers have a lot in common — and even more to learn from each other.Independent, locally-owned business. Big-chain competition. Multiple pricepoints.... more »

Let me explain…

... why a bank from the Pacific Northwest can teach you how to make your business more memorable.Like leaders and owners in any industry, those of you running garden centers are in a constant battle... more »

Time For A Change? Who Says?

After recently tweaking their logos, mega chains Starbucks and Gap learned that their customers' input is a necessary part of the process. Do you agree?The barista asks me, "Grande Americano with room?" Yes, they know... more »