My Garden Center
Nov. 6, 2014

Seeking the garden retail customer of the future
Today's Garden Center
Retail garden centers are collectively standing still in the proverbial fork in the road. One path is familiar. It is the same one we’ve been on. It’s been a good trip until recent years, when it turned sharply uphill. The other path is the one less traveled. We can’t see where it is going clearly enough to be confident that it isn’t going over a cliff. The problem we have is that we are paralyzed by fear and uncertainty and just can’t make a decision. If we stay the course, we are certain it will become more difficult. If we take the path less traveled, we are simply uncertain.More

USDA gives $4.6M to fight rose rosette disease
Greenhouse Product News
The United States Department of Agriculture has announced an award of a $4.6 million for a five-year grant to combat rose rosette disease — a mite borne viral disease that is threatening the U.S. landscape rose industry and could potentially eliminate one of the most popular garden plants from American yards. The funds are matched by $4.6 million of in-kind and cash contributions from major industry growers and breeders.More

NOAA's winter weather outlook runs hot and cold
Growing Produce
Below average temperatures are expected in parts of South Central U.S., while above-average temperatures are most likely in the West U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England, according to the U.S. Winter Outlook, issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the U.S., east of the Rockies. More

White House recommends sourcing insecticide-free plants in new landscape guidelines
Greenhouse Grower
The Obama Administration released an addendum to what it calls its pollinator-friendly landscape guidelines at the end of October, recommending that landscapers source only insecticide-free nursery stock. The White House Council on Environmental Quality and the General Service Administration developed a working group to prepare this addendum to the “Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscape” guidance, to provide new information on landscape design and maintenance as part of the National Pollinator Health Strategy.More

365 days of Christmas
Lawn & Garden Retailer
To stay relevant year round, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland has a threefold approach — relevant merchandise, intelligent displays and family pride — to draw in new customers and keep seasoned shoppers coming back. Three million visitors enjoy the 320,000 square-foot "world’s largest christmas store” year-round. But with 50,000 items, making customers purchase decorations long before Dec. 25 has its challenges.More

20 keys to a killer website
By Fred Berns
You don't have to be a techno-wizard, and it doesn't take rocket science to create a killer website for your lawn and landscape company, garden center or nursery. All it takes is 20 steps. The first one is easy: Keep it simple. The average website visit is four seconds and two clicks. Get your message across fast.More

3 easy ways to improve sales
Sales & Marketing Management
What are some quick and easy-to-implement ways to improve sales for you or your organization? Here are three ways to improve the sales process: Prepare, prepare, prepare. While it isn’t sexy, the importance of preparation can’t be overstated. It remains true that those who are best prepared produce the best results. Even Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”More

Infographic: 12 facts about the human brain that will make your marketing more successful
Entrepreneur
Humans will remember something longer if it made them feel rather than think. They gravitate towards provocative images — think food, sex and danger. They’re drawn toward images of faces. The color yellow puts them on edge. Understanding how the human brain works is fascinating, but it’s also good business.More

Creating connections
Green Profit
The National Retail Federation is out with its prediction for year-end holiday spending. The good news is they expect it to go up by about 4.1 percent to about $617 billion. The bad news? Retailers will need to offer some mighty deep discounts to get customers through their doors. That’s because wages aren’t increasing, making it hard for some to justify increased holiday expenditures.More

No more like gates: Rethinking your Facebook marketing plans
By Jessica Taylor
Just as you were on the trend of increasing your "likes," now you have to start all over with your Facebook marketing tactics. Facebook is taking down the "like gate." The social media platform will no longer allow companies to require a user to like a Page to gain access to content, contests, apps or rewards. After an abundance of like gating, Facebook found that the likes were not authentic because the increased number of likes would diminish after a promotion had run its course. What does this mean for your business?More