January 2024 - 31

MANAGEMENT
tree. We used to get
attendance of over 100
people, which is too many
for our room. So this year
we started charging for
it - I believe, $15 - and
this year we sold out at 70
spots, which was a much
more manageable size
for us. We sold a couple
extra tickets at the door,
and that was a really huge
success for us.
" And because we have
A make-and-take mixed container day at Piedmont Feed and Garden Center draws a crowd.
Photo courtesy of Piedmont Feed and Garden Center.
Luscombe said, " We push all of our team members
to be innovative and come up with their own ideas of
what they think might be good for the nursery or good
for the Butterfly Encounter. We definitely strive to have
everybody do their own thing, and when they do come up
with that great idea, we'll have management see how well
it's going to work. It's definitely a lot of trial and error, but
it is a lot of fun, and I think our team loves to be able to
be part of the nursery, doing their own ideas and seeing
what works and what doesn't. "
Seasonal Events Draw Crowds
Holding seasonal events tends to attract many
customers - and get them to spend more time and
money. Lukas Nursery and Butterfly Encounter hosted its
38th annual fall festival in 2023, which began as a free
event but has evolved into a paid festival.
" We see about 6,000 people on the weekend for
Saturday and Sunday, " Kane said. " We have food trucks and
bounce houses, corn kernel pits, face painting, pumpkin
painting, pot painting. ... It's held in the pumpkin patch
and it's very successful for us. "
Terrell said Wallace's Garden Center also hosts an
annual fall festival. " We have our train, we hire a DJ to
come and DJ out in the nursery, we have the corn pit. We
have a lot of games. We rent a whole bunch of inflatable
games and have a really fun fall atmosphere.
" It's always really well attended, " she said. " This year, our
sales that weekend were significantly higher than any of the
weekends prior or after. So that was definitely successful. "
Terrell said the garden center is ramping up its number
of events - and increasing its staff to support them -
now that COVID is in the rearview mirror.
" We started bringing back our cooking events, which are
really successful for us. We have a local chef we partner
with - Chef Steph - and this year we did a 'Cooking for
Fall' event, where she used apples from our apple orchard
a large kitchen section
where we sell cooking
utensils, gourmet foods,
a lot of kitchen stuff, it
ties in really well with the
cooking events. They're
always really well attended
for us and unique, at least to our area. No one else is doing
anything like that. "
Scott said Piedmont Feed and Garden Center's biggest
event started as an employee's idea - one that he didn't
think would be popular.
" When we first talked about doing wreath workshops, it
all started with an employee who moved down from New
York. She said that in New York, wreath workshops are a
big thing, that people want to make their own wreaths and
decorate them. And I was like, 'No, you can buy them premade,
they're ready to go.' But we tried it, and it took off! "
He said they have customers now who only come in for
the wreath workshops, but " if it gets them in the door one
time a year, that's still better than none. "
He said garden centers should consider looking at
hosting simple events that you might not think would
succeed, but your customers might love. " In the spring,
a make-and-take mixed container day [for us] still blows
it out of the water. It's something that we in the industry
think it's nothing - but customers get excited over the
littlest things and you can make some good money for
doing something so simple on a Saturday. "
Natives Top Green Goods
When it comes to plant material, natives' popularity
remains strong in all the panelists' regions.
Luscombe and Kane said the native plants section at Lukas
Nursery and Butterfly Encounter is a bestseller, as well as
natural and organic.
" We've got a humongous selection of fruit trees, and we
at Lucas really push for organic and natural growing - less
use of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals, insecticides,
and whatnot, " Luscombe said. " I think that's a really big
growing market right now, too. "
Kane said Lukas has one of the largest assortments
of butterfly plants in central Florida, " which is key to
a lot of the butterfly gardens because you can't use
LGRMAG.COM | 31
http://www.LGRMAG.COM

January 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2024

Editor's Letter
Table of Contents
AmericanHort
Headlines
Calendar
Innovative Ideas: Creating a Team culture
Green Goods: New Varieties for 2024
Showcase: Miniature and Indoor Gardening
Garden Gifts: Prepare Now for Market
Garden Gifts: Gift Market Lookbook
Management: Cultivating Innovation in the Garden Center
Showcase: Garden Accents & Décor
Merchandising: Revamp Your Retail Series Merchandising
Merchandising: Give Your Tool Display a Tune-Up
Consumer Trends: 2024 Gardening Outlook Infographic
Showcase: Apparel & Accessories
Marketplace
Ad Index
5 Minutes With ...: Michael Fiore
January 2024 - 1
January 2024 - 2
January 2024 - 3
January 2024 - Editor's Letter
January 2024 - 5
January 2024 - Table of Contents
January 2024 - 7
January 2024 - AmericanHort
January 2024 - 9
January 2024 - Headlines
January 2024 - Calendar
January 2024 - Innovative Ideas: Creating a Team culture
January 2024 - 13
January 2024 - Green Goods: New Varieties for 2024
January 2024 - 15
January 2024 - 16
January 2024 - 17
January 2024 - 18
January 2024 - 19
January 2024 - 20
January 2024 - 21
January 2024 - 22
January 2024 - 23
January 2024 - Showcase: Miniature and Indoor Gardening
January 2024 - 25
January 2024 - Garden Gifts: Prepare Now for Market
January 2024 - Garden Gifts: Gift Market Lookbook
January 2024 - 28
January 2024 - 29
January 2024 - Management: Cultivating Innovation in the Garden Center
January 2024 - 31
January 2024 - 32
January 2024 - 33
January 2024 - 34
January 2024 - 35
January 2024 - Showcase: Garden Accents & Décor
January 2024 - 37
January 2024 - Merchandising: Revamp Your Retail Series Merchandising
January 2024 - 39
January 2024 - 40
January 2024 - 41
January 2024 - Merchandising: Give Your Tool Display a Tune-Up
January 2024 - 43
January 2024 - 44
January 2024 - 45
January 2024 - 46
January 2024 - 47
January 2024 - Consumer Trends: 2024 Gardening Outlook Infographic
January 2024 - 49
January 2024 - Showcase: Apparel & Accessories
January 2024 - 51
January 2024 - Marketplace
January 2024 - 53
January 2024 - 54
January 2024 - 55
January 2024 - 56
January 2024 - 57
January 2024 - 58
January 2024 - 59
January 2024 - 60
January 2024 - 61
January 2024 - 62
January 2024 - 63
January 2024 - Ad Index
January 2024 - 65
January 2024 - 5 Minutes With ...: Michael Fiore
January 2024 - 67
January 2024 - 68
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