Bringing the Outdoors In

December 01, 2010
Written by
It’s a fact of Canadian life. Instead of weeding flower beds or deadheading containers, your customers are stuck inside and they’re living in a world that’s a lot less green. But an increasing interest in indoor gardening could mean more revenue for you during the slow months and a shorter retreat from flowers and foliage for your customers.

A recent article by Dean Fosdick of the Associated Press reports that “container gardening is coming in from the cold, replacing the one-plant-to-a-pot displays that have been decorating staples since the Victorian era.” People are now experimenting with combinations of plants to create more impact rather than going with the standard indoor potted plant.

This trend also plays into the recent demand for edible gardens over the past few years. Those who have found success with vegetables and herbs want to continue picking fresh supplies from their gardens, and growing indoors makes it possible to do this year round.

From a design standpoint, indoor gardens also help make a living space more intimate and inviting. Look at home decorating magazines and you’ll be hard pressed to find a room without a blooming pot. Bringing the outdoors in has been a major trend in home décor for the past few years. Natural tones such as browns and beiges have dominated colour palettes, and materials such as bark, twigs and branches have served as accents throughout the home. Why not encourage your customers to relocate their patio pots to their living rooms? Better yet, suggest they buy a new set to complement their interior. This could be a new way to reach out to young, new homeowners who haven’t started to landscape their outdoors, but are still looking for ways to brighten up the indoors as they renovate and make the space their own.

Of course, gardening indoors can be even more problematic than outdoors. Consumers need to be educated on how to take advantage of the little growing light they will have and will require recommendations for plants that thrive on darker conditions. Here’s where you come in. Think about how you can grow and expand on this area in your garden centre. The first few months of a new calendar year are often dark, cold and much slower paced compared to the jam-packed holiday schedule many face in December. Invite shoppers into your cozy, lush greenhouses for a seminar on container gardening for the indoors. Package these “interior gardens” as a great way to spruce up a home’s décor and add life to a living space. Sell the benefits of indoor plants – they help improve inside air quality, can provide a psychological boost for the post-Christmas blues and decrease stress levels.

By developing new ways to position your product, you can help boost sales when times are slow and provide your customers with a great reason to stop by outside of the busy spring season.

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