January 23, 2012 Newsletter

In This Issue
Get on The Map
All-America Selections
Garden Trends
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Eileen Nelson
UW-Madison Department of Horticulture
Previous Newsletters
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The 2012 Garden Center Symposium is history and it was an excellent program of new ideas, new people and fun.  



Attendees came from 66 different firms vs 50 last year

From those 66 firms 137 people attended indicating that we are broadening our audience, but not going as deep within a firm, which makes sense in a money saving move. . one person goes back and conveys what they learned.

Yet, there were those firms that brought 3 or more - so very much a mix.


Our Garden Center Profile (The Flower Factory in Oregon, WI) was a hit and Tricks of the Trade provided the audience with ideas that individual firms have put to work to attract customers. (will list those soon)


Our Speaker Roundtable was very popular this year and my understanding is that some of the speakers continued to meet with individuals long after the two hours that was set aside.  A great way to get to the heart of one's individual issues!


Over $3500 was raised in the auction to add to the newly named Piala Educational Fund, in honor of long term board member Jim Piala and in memory of his son Roy who was also active in the garden center business.


This year's scholarship recipient from the Piala Educational Fund was Matthew Wied of UW-River Falls who along with his parents attended the Symposium.


Thanks to all that attended -- hopefully we'll see you and many others next year.


Link here for a summary of the symposium from the eyes of first time attendee Walter Cullen.

Get On The Map  - Free Marketing

The Wisconsin Retail Garden Center Map has expanded to invite garden centers from neighboring state locations to also post information about their businesses on the map.  There will be a $25.00 charge for out-of Wisconsin businesses. 


Submit the form found on http://wrgc.horticulture.wisc.edu, send a check for $25.00 made payable to the University of Wisconsin  to Eileen Nelson, Department of Horticulture, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706.  When the check arrives your information will be posted.


If you have forgotten about this opportunity to get information about your garden center out, don't waste time thinking about it while you are getting ready for the new season.  Do it now.  We will be doing publicity about the site in relevant media before the 2012 season begins. 


Need more information?         Brochure #1          Brochure #2

All -America Selections 


DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. - All-America Selections, a non-profit organization known for trialing and promoting superior garden-performing flowers and vegetables, announced this week that it has reconfigured its website with a fresh, modern design to launch the celebration of the organization's 80th anniversary this year.


This new website sports a crisp, clean design to match the recently introduced new logo, while giving consumers, garden writers and other site visitors a complete picture of what the All-America Selections organization encompasses. Along with more AAS Winner images, the new website features line drawings of some past AAS Winners that can be used as coloring pages. These can be found in the "Image Center" under the file format of Coloring Pages.


As with sister-organization National Garden Bureau's website, the AAS site features a "My List" option, where visitors can select their favorite AAS Winners and add them to a printable shopping list.


Especially valuable to garden centers, extension agents, public gardens and others are the downloadable and printable signs, brochures and presentations found in the "Signs and Brochures" section. These tools are there for anyone interested in explaining the AAS Trialing process and/or promoting the AAS Winners to their customers.

2012 Better Homes and Gardens releases 2012 garden trends 

The editors at Better Homes and Gardens predict an even bigger boom in home food gardens; smaller, cozier outdoor rooms; and container gardens using repurposed materials.

Click here to view the publication's slideshow of 2012 garden trends.
 There is strength in partnerships

 OFA and ANLA proceed on new joint venture


FAQ's                                                      OFA Facebook  


The multi-faceted horticulture industry is undergoing dramatic changes. Economic strains, generational differences, and the changing interest in and need for gardening and landscape products are altering the way our products and services are valued by consumers. Governmental activity and inactivity, financial uncertainty, and environmental changes are altering the way plants are being produced, bought, and sold.

 Our volunteer leaders have been considering how to best address these issues. In light of future opportunities and threats in this quickly changing environment, one solution is for trade associations to work together to build the capacity and governance structures to properly serve their members and the industry.
I (Michael McCabe, President of OFA) am pleased to share with you that OFA-The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) are responding to industry challenges head-on together. The two national organizations are expanding on previous collaborations and forming a joint venture that involves sharing resources, including appropriate staff, to expand the capacity of the organizations to better support our members and advocate the horticultural industry's interests before government and the general public.


Recent research conducted by OFA indicates that both OFA and ANLA members want their industry association to be all encompassing-one that touches and links all pieces of the horticulture industry together in a comprehensive manner to assist in the growth of the industry. 

The research also indicates that members feel very strongly that the associations should be attracting the next generation of the horticulture profession; actively pursuing market development and promotion; pursuing advocacy and legislative issues; becoming more involved in regulatory issues; more involvement in business management and technical/product education; and conducting trade shows. It is very clear that the joint venture is the right thing to do.

An Expanded Partnership
The joint venture between our organizations will:

  • Further increase participation in advocacy efforts;
  • Further expand and offer more robust educational programs;
  • Widen the outreach to consumers;
  • Nurture commerce opportunities in order to connect more industry buyers and sellers;
  • Enhance support for research and higher education; and
  • Unite our thousands of member companies to create a stronger voice and vision for the industry.


Interesting Commentary by The Blogging Nurseryman 

I have noticed a shift in how gardening is defined. In the past when one went looking for information on gardening it was almost always categorized under "Home" or "Design". It was assumed if you are a gardener then you would have a house, and be interested in design. The mindset appears to be changing, especially amongst the younger crowd who perhaps don't own, or rent a house with a yard.  These people tend to group their gardening activities under the banner "environmental" or "Eco", as opposed to "home" or "style".

This is important for those for us in retail who in the past have always counted on the "home" crowd for our business.


To read the rest, as well as an excellent response from Sid Raisch, Garden Center Marketer. . . link here 

Please forward this newsletter on to others. 

Eileen Nelson  (eonelson@wisc.edu)