Millenial Garden Style
New research from National Association of Home Builders shows the housing and yard desires of Millenials (born from 1980 to 2000) are significantly different from their parents. With an increased return to urban areas, large green yards may be decreasing as the evolution of the "outdoor room" lifestyle continues. No real surprises, but it confirms that IGCs will benefit from focusing on patio and balcony gardening and decor solutions for their emerging new consumer base.
'Science Pubs' Spread
It's a trend that started in sometimes whacky Britain that is now spreading across the United States. Think of it as the "thinking man's happy hour." Crowds are flocking to pubs hosting monthly lectures from local college professors and experts on a broad range of topics. It's sort of like the National Geographic Channel with booze. With more garden centers getting "drink" licensing, is there an opportunity to bring this trend to IGCs? Try a "Gardening on Wine" tongue-in-cheek titled event!
Selling More Edibles
OK, most of us now acknowledge the grow-your-own boom is not a fad. Clearly, the sell of the edible landscape is going to play a major role in the future of IGCs. It's time to focus your in-store marketing to maximize your edible potential. Get rid of those uninspired "Fruit" or "Vegetables" department signs, and try something more inspired, such as "Fresh from Your Garden," "Great for Pies!" or "BLTs Under Construction." Sell the benefits, and add some spunk and humor, and watch your sales climb!
Planting Mental Health
Think you've got crazy customers? Maybe you need to tell them to get out in the garden more often. Recent research shows just five minutes of active gardening decreases the risk of mental illness and increases the sense of well being. Until now, nobody knew how much time people had to spend in green spaces to reap these benefits. Really, it was any physical activity in presence of nature that was found to provide these results. This is a great reason to promote gardening. Are you?
Are You Telling the Story?
Industry sage Robert Hendrickson (read his column in Nursery Retailer) likes to remind IGCs that they not to just selling product, they are telling a story. In fact, a number of industry consultants and head honchos have echoed this in recent talks. So, are you just selling a product, or are you telling the story of how that prize-winning annual was developed and brought to market? Are you telling the story of how the superior performance of the plant will bring pride and accomplishment?
Hot Hue! Honeysuckle
It's that time of year again, when the color trend watchers reveal what they identify as the year's hottest hues.
Pantone 18-2120 Honeysuckle, a vibrant, energetic hue, is the color of the year for 2011. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is described as encouraging and uplifting. Look for it in fashion to home decor in the consumer media. Be ready to meet the demand that ensues with a bedding plant that matches, such as this Fame Salmon Pink petunia from our friends at Ball/Selecta.