Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at 847.391.1019 or firstname.lastname@example.org
'Tis the Season!
Last Friday, Pete Mihalek and I spent our lunch hour at Pesche's garden center in the northwest Chicago suburb of Des Plaines.
It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the upper 70s so we figured it might be a little bit busy. It wasn't a little bit busy, it was a LOT busy!
As we approached the parking lot there was a police officer directing traffic in and out of the parking lot (on a Friday morning). Once we were in the lot, we actually had to wait for a parking spot to open up.
When we entered the store we hit another traffic jam because there were customers every where, young and old, loading up their carts with all kinds of plants. Annuals, perennials, veggies, trees, shrubs — you name it, they were buying it. And they were buying a lot of it!
I'm still trying to figure out how one woman actually was able to balance 12 10-inch hanging baskets on the outside of her shopping cart while filling the inside of the cart with 4- and 6-inch pots and a bag of potting soil underneath.
Not only was there an officer directing traffic outdoors, there was also an employee skillfully directing customer traffic indoors to the cash registers to keep them flowing smoothly. And even though the lines looked like they were long, the wait was short as the customers were moving through the checkout area.
We had a chance to talk to owner Chris Pesche as he was restocking the benches with annuals and he told us it has been an incredibly good spring for his garden center.
He said Mother's Day weekend was one for the record books and it looks like this past weekend probably would be too. Mother Nature has been really cooperative the past two weekends in Chicagoland.
Chris said he hasn't been getting a lot of sleep, but it was for all of the right reasons — business is good this season!
Pete posted a few photos that we took while we were at Pesche's on the Lawn & Garden Retailer Facebook page. Be sure to chek them out.
Scholarship Deadline is Approaching
There are less than two weeks for students to submit applications for the 2012 Glenn Goldsmith Breeding Excellence Scholarship and the Goldsmith Seeds Floriculture Business Advancement Scholarship being offered by Syngenta.
If you know a student that may be interested in either of these scholarships, please let them know that the deadline is June 1