Despite the fact that it was only 18 degrees this morning when I left my house in the Chicago suburbs, spring really did arrive last Thursday.
And on Friday, Wal-Mart really got into the swing of spring by launching its first-ever Black Friday-like March sales for the lawn and garden category.
The Home Depot and Lowe's have been offering Black Friday spring sales for the past couple of years but this is the first year the mega retailer has gotten into the March madness.
Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of home at Wal-Mart, told the New York Times , “After this tough of a winter, we’re really excited to bring spring to our customers with great brands and great prices.”
For Lowe's and the Home Depot, their spring Black Friday events have always been a gradual rollout during March and April based on geography. But not for Wal-Mart. Starting last Friday, the 4,200-store chain was kicking off a nationwide nine-day sales event with aggressive discounts on lawn and garden products. However, the mass merchandiser will vary its product offerings by region to accommodate for the different weather conditions.
Are you experiencing spring yet in your neighborhood? What are the garden centers and retailers in your backyard doing to entice gardeners into their stores this year? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org  and let me know.
Headed to Spring Trials?
If you are going to California Spring Trials next month, be sure to bookmark the digital edition of GPN's California Spring Trials Companion .
It contains all of the exhibitor addresses you will need to enter into your GPS to guide you through California and all of the phone numbers for those locations just in case you get lost.
And stay tuned to www.CaliforniaSpringTrials.com  during Spring Trials Week (April 5-10) where we will be posting pictures, blogging and tweeting our thoughts about the different things we see.
— Tim