Garden Centers: Get Your Customers Involved

The recent insolvency of the German hardware store chain Praktiker showed that price dumping doesn’t guarantee success. Customers want to be connected and involved with the products a store wants to sell. This goes especially for garden centers. One possibility of connecting with people is through food. Everything that has to do with cooking, be it shows on TV, cookbooks or kitchen supplies, is more popular than ever nowadays. Why not creating the same enthusiasm for growing your own healthy and fresh food in the garden?

The professional horticulturist and business consultant Leslie Halleck collected some useful ideas on how to accomplish that. In her article for Garden Center Magazine Real foodies grow their own she gives answers on how to get customers involved and excited about gardening through different ways of education.

Crabtree & Evelyn Presents „The Avant Garden“ in London

An oasis in the middle of a metropolis: The installation “The Avant Garden” by Crabtree & Evelyn is blooming in London’s Covent Garden Market. The project at this year’s Chelsea Fringe Festival has been developed by Emma Coleman, a rising star of garden design. “The Avant Garden” is a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Crabtree & Evelyn “Gardener’s Collection” and the 40th anniversary of the company.

The flower pots of the Avant Garden are made of wood and corton steel which develops an old withered look during the time of the installation. The selection of plants is inspired by classic herb gardens. One central topic of the project is water supply. Every pot stands for a certain amount of water consumed in everyday life. This is supposed to raise consciousness about the people’s water use.

Anna Paganelli, project leader of the Fringe Festival commented: “The Chelsea Fringe Festival helps to present new British talents, companies and communities to the public showing their love for gardening. It was fantastic to build this project and I hope that lots of people will enjoy this exhibition at this famous spot in London.”

Crabtree & Evelyn was founded 1973 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company offers lotions, scents, small gifts and gourmet food. The “Gardener’s Collection” is a product line inspired by nature with natural ingredients and extracts from plants like rosemary, lavender and sage.

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Unique Youngstar Contest: The Nominees Have Been Selected

Visitors of the spoga+gafa this year will again have the chance to witness the young designer competition of the garden unique segment at the fair.

62 projects from 24 countries applied for the contest and the expert jury has now nominated 15 ideas for the title “unique Youngstar 2013”. The jury’s decisions are based on the following criteria: overall concept, originality of design, conceptual and visual quality, functionality and the quality of presentation.

The jury ultimately chose the following finalists:

  • “Micro Greenhouse” by Åsa Agerstam (Sweden)
  • “Polyfine” by Markus Bangerter (Switzerland)
  •  “Ter” by Álvaro Fernández-Goula and Pablo Figuera (Spain)
  • “Watercabinet” by Francien Hazen (Netherlands)
  • “PFLIX” by Christian Heufelder (Germany)
  •  “CONTIO” by Matilda Lindblom (Sweden)
  •  “Flask” and “Circle” by Konrad Lohöfener (Germany)
  •  “herbs outdoors” by Inesa Malafej (Denmark)
  •  “AR VAG” by Thibault Penven (Switzerland)
  • “Stakes-outdoor grill” by Roee Magdassi (Israel)
  • “FLEET” by Carolin Thieme (Germany)
  • “Black Dogs” de Yves Verhaegen (Belgium)
  •  “Klemmbrett Bank” by Manuel Welsky (Germany)
  • “Hochbeet” (raised flower bed) by Cosima Geyer, Tim Mackerodt, Simon Frambach, Sandra Spoo and Saskia Drebes (Germany).

The competition once again boasted a prestigious panel of judges in 2013, comprising of the following experts: Tobias Lutz, founder and CEO of Architonic AG; Marcus Fairs, Chief Editor of dezeen; Eric Degenhardt, designer at Studio Eric Degenhardt; Karen Bofinger, Editor of the Architectural Digest, Camila Vega Faba and Harry Paul van Ierssel, both designers and co-founders of Harry&Camila.

The prototypes of the designs of the 15 nominees will be exhibited at the spoga+gafa 2013 in the exclusive “garden unique” sector for the duration of the fair.  The three winners can look forward to prize-money of 3,000 Euros (1st prize), 2,000 Euros (2nd prize) and 1,000 Euros (3rd prize) respectively. Additionally all participants have the chance to win the prize of the public. From May 24th to September 8th, the nominees will be presented on the award’s website and you will have the chance to cast your online vote for your favorite.

The results of the three prizes awarded by the jury and of the prize selected by the public will be announced at 5 pm on September 8th, in Hall 10.2 during the “unique hour”. Details about the nominees can be found here (PDF)

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OASE Presents Eco-Label

OASE, a German supplier for watergarden products, introduced an eco-label for their energy saving products: The OASE Eco-Leaf. According to the company, this label underlines the outstanding energy balance of their products.

The label is supposed to be a unique selling point and a strong sales pitch. Due to increasing energy costs customers ask for goods saving energy, with the new label OASE tries to satisfy this demand.

One example of an eco-labeled product is the OASE AquaMax Eco Premium filter and watercourse pump. According to OASE,  consumers could save up to 2.188 Euro of energy costs within five years by using this pump. This would mean savings of up to 20 per cent compared to the previous model.

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New CEO at Weber-Stephen

On April 1st Tom Koos joined grill manufacturer Weber-Stephen as new Chief Executive Officer. He follows Jim Stephen who will be staying in the company as Executive Chairman.

Koos has been head of the Jacuzzi Brands Corporation for the last six years. He had full strategic and operating responsibility and developed consumer marketing programs. Weber-Stephen chose him due to his worldwide business experience, passion for building brands and deep knowledge of the distribution channels.

“I am honored and excited to join the Weber team, a global barbecue pioneer and one of America’s most recognized and trusted brands,” said Tom Koos. “I am committed to continuing the tradition of delivering high quality products and customer service the world is expecting from Weber.”

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