Karen and I spent a most pleasant evening with the American Beauties Native Plant growers at the Black Olive in Baltimore. Some 30 people were there, including American Beauties growers Pride's Corner Farms, North Creek Nurseries, MidWest Groundcovers, Spring Meadow Nursery, Quality Greenhouses, Willoway Nurseries and Fisher Farms.
Karen and Tim Kane, of Pride's Corner, had been working over the holidays on the presentation of the new American Beauties Profit Planner. Based on the success of several garden centers, the down loadable tool helps garden centers "educate, entertain and engage" customers and their community to inspire them to plant more native plants.
Gateway Gardens' natives hero, Nancy Bell, shared lots of secrets on how she drives demand for AB plants. From finding your "native hero" to brochures, banners and event ideas with local non-profits, it is an awesome program filled with great ideas to help everyone be more profitable.
And the folks from the National Wildlife Federation talked about the Certified Wildlife Habitat program, which benefits from the sale of all American Beauties plants, and how they are going to rally their ambassadors to join with local garden centers to stimulate usage for native plants and creating wildlife habitats. For $15, it's one of the best deals going for the environment.
Since "gardening with a purpose" is the major garden trend, planting natives fits right in and makes us all part of the solution.
Suzi, Garden Media Group