Armstrong Garden Centers, Bachman’s Floral Gift and Garden Centers and Welby Nurseries, three industry-leading growers/retailers, have joined The Flower Fields in offering P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home Collection, bringing the total number of independent garden centers to more than 200. The new partners expand the brand’s retailer base to California, Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico.
The Flower Fields has taken over management of the program in order to expand beyond the regions Novalis could not cover. According to Donna Greenbush, media contact for Flower Fields, "Novalis is now one of our grower retailers, just as Armstrong, Bachman’s and Welby are. Now, we are able to take this nationwide by offering it to other retailer groups. It’s a great network of growers to work with. "
Armstrong will offer the collection in all of its stores and plans to expand the program to additional retailers in California, Arizona and Nevada. Bachman’s is offering that collection in the company’s six stores in Minneapolis, Minn. Welby has picked up the program in more than 10 garden centers in Colorado and New Mexico. Each company grows, merchandises and delivers collection materials to its retailers, assuring premium quality for both plants and displays.
Novalis had charged a royalty rate for the use of benching for several years. Now, new retailers purchase the benching and keep the benching. They have three options under the Flower Fields management. They can choose a full bench, which holds 1,008 plants; they can choose a half bench, which hold 600 plants; or they can choose an end cap if they have nice benching. "We’re not charging any sort of markup on the benches," said Greenbush. "We want to improve on the benching, based on what growers have available to them, so that we can maintain the quality look."
"After meeting with Allen and representatives from The Flower Fields, we saw the tremendous potential the collection offered," said Gary Jones, marketing manager for Armstrong. "The concept of giving gardeners a color-coordinated collections, carefully pre-selected to mix and match with design success was great. Allen has a loyal following, and his extensive media presence allows him to demonstrate the type of success home gardeners will have using the collection plants and design principles. All together, that’s a winning combination."
The collection, offered exclusively to independent garden centers, is named for its designer, gardening authority and media personality, P. Allen Smith. Smith personally selects every plant, designated for sun and shade tolerance. The plants are displayed along with recipe cards with Allen’s personal advice for creating containers, beds and borders. Each plant is marked "tall and spiky," "full and round" or "cascading," making each "recipe" easy to follow.
"We have over 1,500 different varieties, so people could choose what works best for their region. P. Allen Smith has picked a color palette and made sure that with that color palette, there are all three different habits," said Greenbush. "On the recipe card, we list what’s in the collection for tall and spiky, round and full, and cascading, so you could mix and match. All the colors are pre-coordinated, so people can’t go wrong."
"I’m gratified that so many new garden centers have chosen to carry the collection," said P. Allen Smith. "I wanted to provide both plants and recipes to inspire today’s gardeners and boost sales for both retailers and their growers. This program does it all. It’s a wonderful partnership with The Flower Fields, the collection growers and retailers, and the consumer."
Significant enhancements to the program for 2004 under the Flower Fields new management include:
For details on the plants and design principles in the collection, visit www.pallensmith.com . For information on becoming a grower/retailer in the program, visit www.theflowerfields.com  or pallen.sunrisemarketing.com.