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Very Special Things

Very Special Things

by Danny Summers

When something is very special, you would often describe it as "one of a kind". That is certainly the case with our most special relationships. Our spouse, family and closest friends could easily be in this group. Most of us have very special things our family has passed down through generations that we hold so dear and treasure greatly.

So what about plants, or our garden? You might have a family heirloom plant that has been passed down to you from a parent or grandparent and that plant is so very special to you. Most likely you have favorite plants in your garden. Their blooms or fragrance or just stature earns them a place of high esteem in your garden. They make you feel good.

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Imagine

Imagine

by Danny Summers

Just imagine... No boundaries. No restrictions. No barriers. Nothing but "blue sky" space to think about things you normally don't. It's like those long summer days when you were a kid and had a world of time to dream big things and make stuff up. Let's open the doors and windows of your mind to just... imagine.

In 2015, The Fall Event was in Orlando and we had the opportunity to have Simon T. Bailey present to The Group. His presentation was based on his then most current book, 'Release Your Brilliance'. Simon said, "Up to the age of 4, most children are operating at a genius (or brilliance) level." He went on to say by the time they reach their early 20's only 20% are there and by their early 30's, only 2% are operating at a genius level. He added, by the time the average child is 17 years of age they have heard the word NO 150,000 times and YES only 5,000 times. Simon has continued on his quest to help everyone find their brilliance. Since then, he has authored five additional books to help encourage his audience's brilliance. You can see them HERE.

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A Powerful Story

A Powerful Story

by Danny Summers

When our girls were young, we stumbled upon a magical story crafted in an animated film titled The Man Who Planted Trees. The fictional story paints a simple yet powerful and unforgettable message set in the early 1900s. It introduced us to a shepherd named Elzéard Bouffier who quietly takes on the task of planting 100 acorns a day in an effort to reforest a desolate region in the French Alps. As the story unfolds, you see the shepherd's work transforming the region as life (and hope) returns and the world around is renewed.

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A Bright Future

A Bright Future...

by Danny Summers

That's what I see ahead for Garden Retailing and the Horticulture Industry as a whole. We have several both direct and indirect evidence to support this vision for what's beyond the horizon. First, let's consider what almost every Garden Center has experienced the past 15+ months. Reports of seeing 20-25% new customers and a high percentage of them were young. And by the questions they asked, they are new to gardening. We have wondered if they would return this spring and most indicators point to YES, they have. These new plant and gardening enthusiasts are finding their own joy and passion in their garden activities. If we can continue to help them be successful and build upon this new-found relationship with plants and their garden, this may very well be the much needed bridge of transition between boomers and the next generation. These new young customers are one of the best pieces of evidence to support the vision of "A Bright Future."

Additional evidence to support a vision for "A Bright Future" can be seen in this year's nominees for Green Profit Magazine Young Retailer of the Year Award. In the December 14th edition of GROUPtalk, we announced a new Group effort to co-sponsor and promote Green Profit Magazine Young Retailer of the Year Award for 2021. The Garden Center Group, with support from our Partners for Success, are official sponsors of the 16th annual award, along with AmericanHort.

This past week, Green Profit announced the three finalists for this year's awards. They are:

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Why?

Why?

by Danny Summers

At this time of year, this is an important question - in many ways. I am sure during these extremely busy weeks, such as this one (Mother's Day Week), exhaustion kicks in and you are wondering "Why do I do this?" or "Why do WE do this?"

To maintain a sense of balance during these wild weeks, taking a few minutes each day to take a few deep breaths and remember the "Why" can help.

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Garden Center vs. a JOY Center?

Garden Center vs. a JOY Center?

by Danny Summers

As Garden Retailers, you have so much to share to everyone, even to those who are not aware of it. Have you ever considered your Center being a JOY Center? Here's a few thoughts of alternate names for describing your Center:

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Embracing the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020

Embracing the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020

by Sid Raisch

My “body guy” (body shop, not gym) has not had such a good year this year. With commuting and shopping trips down overall, there are fewer accidents, especially deer hits that tend to happen more during commuting hours. This means his business and his family hasn’t been spending as much locally or otherwise. Same for his employees, suppliers, and their employees.

While this writing is heading down a not-so-positive path, it is for a good purpose, so please hang in here with me. Every cloud has a silver lining, even 2020. Our industry has been the silver lining as compared to many others. There’s a tendency to revel in glory and a good year, no matter how it happens, is certainly to be appreciated and celebrated. From what I’ve seen and heard, you don’t need more encouragement to do that.

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Restless Gardening Syndrome

Restless Gardening Syndrome

by Sid Raisch

Consumers have been flooding into garden centers to soothe their case of RGS - Restless Gardening Syndrome, a craving desire for all things related to plants.

The important thing is not only that people are consuming our industry’s products and services with such vengeance. More important is WHY they are doing this. Pay attention to the reasons people are interested and focus your communications to promote these six major opportunities and you cannot go wrong.

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What's the Right Message?

What's the Right Message?

by Robert Hendrickson

[Danny Summers: I asked Robert Hendrickson, "What's the right message for most of our centers to be considering." Here's his response..."The same words they should always use...Gardening hasn't changed just because a bunch of governors tried to stop it. - Fun, relaxing, personally rewarding and a great family activity. Don't try to overcomplicate things. Once the “all clear” siren sounds the only difference should be come out swinging and keep swinging with a strong marketing plan and the right words that haven't changed." Robert then shared a couple sample radio ads he has recently worked on with clients as examples. Details follow.]

These two radio spots are built around a common theme... connecting Dr. Sacks (mentioned in an earlier GROUPtalk article) and his research on the emotional power of gardening... to local garden centers.

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Trends - an interesting observation.

Trends - an interesting observation.

by Danny Summers

Recently I participated in a webinar covering a collection of "trends" across the globe. It was produced by an international company in the business of collecting a tremendous amount of data and trying to put a sense of order to what they see. At first glance, it appeared to be all over the board. Of course, there were lots of modern, high tech gadgets and activities and some trends you recognize as "way-out-there," but one observation began to appear throughout that we should appreciate and leverage in your business. The first comment that led me into this path of thought was:

"We're the same old humans with the same old human needs."

Wow! That, in the middle of a bunch of high-tech, "way-out-there" trends, grabs you and brings you right back down to earth. As you see so many weird new trends, this type of very basic statement brings a sense of grounding. It's a very organic statement if you think about it.

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