Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring garden center visits

We had great weather last Thursday, so we went out to visit a few local garden centers. A few thoughts...see all my garden center images here.

Walking around Lowe's Greenhouse (an independent, not the big box) in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, felt much more like I was in someone's backyard than a store. As a shopper, I really liked that. I could see the potential. But it was also the most branded garden center I've ever seen (left). I'd say I saw posters or benchtape for about every plant brand I've ever heard of. Is that a bad thing? Not sure. I think branding is good. I'm a brand girl and I think I trust a product more if there's a name behind it.

I did notice a bench of veggies under a sign that said Lavender. I guess trends are one danger when investing in signage.

No signage. Breezewood Gardens, also in Chagrin Falls, was completely at the other end of the spectrum. There was almost no signage at Breezewood's perennial and tree yard, which is pretty intimidating to a new gardener, I'm sure. Flats were going for $17.99, with a bulk discount (5 trays or more) of $16.99 each.

There was a nice display for Novalis' Nooks and Crannies line (left), including a green roof bird house.

Our last stop was at Eagle Creek Garden Center, Bainbridge, Ohio. They had really nice signage for a cool product called Pop, Drop and Grow (left). It's a biodegradable pot that you rip the bottom off and drop right in the ground or in a container. On the price side, Eagle Creek was selling annual flats for $16.99. As a shopper, it's always a nice place to go. There's a nice gift area and a great selection of plants, lot of Proven Winners. The potting shed is also a nice setup, with lots of examples of fun combos for sale.

Update: Here's what our Assistant Editor Pete Mihalek thought of the trip, from Today's Garden Center's The Revolution blog.

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