The Watch List: Unique Garden Center Marketing Ideas

The Watch List: Garden Centers On The Air; What Kind Of Gardener Are You?

1. Looking for a unique gift that still goes with the gardening theme? Check out these plantable comic books and 45 records from Noted* Wholesale Distributors. The Gardener and April Showers only fight crime for two pages, but those pages are filled with herb or wildflower seeds, ready to be sown. Suggested retail of $9.95 each.

2. Have you seen Grossmans Garden & Home’s videos yet?

Owner Larry Grossman stars in close to 50 videos on the retailer’s YouTube channel and puts a personal, folksy touch on how-to information for gardening projects and the products that will make them a success. If you’re thinking about trying video, check out and see how it’s done.

3. We at TGC have long preached the benefits of having a bathroom in the garden center. Now, Garden Centers of America (GCA) is taking it to the next level with the Bathroom Awards. That’s right, you could win an award for a lovely bathroom (and if you have a lovely one, you should win an award, in our opinion). Don’t delay; take pictures and write a paragraph about the design and send it to The deadline is July 15, 2011 at 5 p.m.

4. Recently ScottsMiracle-Gro teamed up with Ipsos to study consumer sentiment about “natural products.” Via an online survey of more than 3,000 adults, they found natural product users to be more likely to have small children and/or pets. They enjoy activities like hiking and exercise, along with birding and DIY projects.

Also, about 1 in 3 of those surveyed were either very or extremely interested in using natural products for the lawn, garden or insect control. And though Home Depot, Walmart and Lowe’s were the top choices for all products, those who wanted to buy natural products were more likely to look elsewhere, like the local garden center.

5. There are a lot of silly quizzes and surveys on Facebook, but Altum’s Horticultural Center & Landscape has figured out a way to make the idea work for their garden center. Their solution: a “What Type of Gardener Are You?” quiz. Customers register (of course) and then take a fun five-question quiz to ID their gardening skill level.

“We thought it would be a great way to find out who our customers really are and what messages speak to them,” says Altum’s Karen Thacker. “Our intention is to market to each of the six garden types with specific products and information as we gather data. We will also send out segmented emails with special offers to the individual types.” They’ve had a great response so far. Check it out at

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