Monthly Archive for January, 2013

Issues garden centers need to address

In his third annual “Open Letter To Garden Centers And Suppliers” published by Today’s Garden Center, Sid Raisch, founder of Horticultural Advantage, outlines some of the issues garden centers need to address in order to succeed.  Integrating electronic media into marketing communications was the 9th point on his list.

Electronic media is shaping up and is reshaping how marketing will be done. It is not free. It is not cheap, or cheaper. You will just pay for it differently and the investment (yes, it is an investment) will show up in your wage expenses instead of advertising bills.

Electronic media is as effective as the marketer using it. The question, though, is what is your message? What must your customer know about your company and the products you hope they will buy? Surround your present and future customers consistently with relevant information to help them create a want for your products and services. Your messages should be not just heard, but engaged with. To some degree the media is a message itself. If you’re not where your customers are, you are not there at all.

The last sentence really sums up the value of social media and digital marketing – being where your customers are, or more to the point, being where your customers are the 99.99% of the time they are not at your garden center.

You can read the full article here.

Garden Industry Events in Southern, Ontario, 2013

January is certainly not Spring but the Garden industry is already in full bloom here in Southern, Ontario. Industry events are great places to network and keep up with the latest trends and innovations.  We have been attending as many as we can to solicit feedback on the platform and business model from retail garden centers and commercial growers.  It has been well worth the effort.

These are the events on our calendar this year (and probably next, most of them are annual). Let us know other events we should check out in the comments.


Landscape Ontario Congress, Jan. 8th – 10th, Toronto Congress Center, LINK

Galt Horticulture Society’s Dream Garden Conference, Jan 20th, Grand Valley Golf Club, LINK


Guelph and Wellington County Master Gardeners Annual Day In The Garden, Feb. 24th, Victoria East Golf Club, LINK

Stratford Garden Festival, Feb. 28th – Mar. 3rd, Stratford Rotary Complex, LINK


Canada Blooms, Mar. 15th – 24th, Direct Energy Center Exhibition Place, LINK


*Note – we will continue to update the list above.