Saturday, June 22, 2013

Look Out 2014... Here We Come!

Hort Coutue continues to gain momentum in the market with IGC's that realize the value of exclusive genetics, cool merchandising and fun ideas. The search for new and exciting plants is a very rewarding part of what I do. For 2014, we have some amazing things coming your way but one product is special. We are proud to introduce our new VIOLA HIP HOP.

As big box retailers and growers continue to over produce, underprice and devalue our industry, it gets harder and harder for small businesses to compete. A classic example of this is the Easter Lily... old fashion, sold at every grocery, pharmacy, hardware and big box retailer... over the years it has become a product that the IGC depended on for early spring sales to something that many now do not even offer. Hort Couture has an amazing new plant that we hope will be THE NEW plant for the garden center for Easter... VIOLA HIP HOP. Fun, easy to grow and very unique. We hope it will give the IGC something great to talk about, attract customers to their stores in early Spring and bring back profits to their bottom line. Beyond the excitement of finding new plants, the opportunity to acts as an advocate for the small garden retailer and constantly searching for way to help them is a priviledge.

I hope this Easter that you will find Viola HIP HOP at your local garden center and make it a new tradition for your family and keep your money in your local community!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Primula Blue Zebra

Jump start your Hort Couture sales in 2013 with one of the most talked about new unique plants. Primula Blue Zebra is exclusive to Hort Couture for the Independent Garden Center and is a remarkable impulse item with its unique look. This Primula has been the talk among the industry. 

We have put this together with many of our other best early Spring items such as our Nemesia PARFUM, Diascia DIVA, Lobularia SNOW GLOBE and other great genetics to offer your SPRING BLING™

Get your benches ready early with appropriate color for an early start to the container gardening season. We have made this easy for the grower and the grower/retailer with our BRANDING MADE SIMPLE approach to shipping your pots, plants and tags to you for easy execution. If you are a retailer, just call on your favorite grower and make sure they know that you want to have BLUE ZEBRA in your store this Spring.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stacking Up Profits

Historically, shipping Tropicals north of the Mason Dixon line can be questionable. Plants damaged, crushed, broken and bruised is more the rule than the exception.
Hort Couture Plants has developed a shipping system that corrects the problems normally associated with shipping Tropicals from Florida.

We call this packaging system: STACKABLES.
96" Tall Pallet
(3) 32" Layers

The Stackables™ System is a truly revolutionary method to move Tropicals from Florida to your store, regardless of where you are located in the United States. Traditional shipments require 2-3 weeks after delivery to prepare the Tropicals to be retail-ready. With the Stackables System you essentially unpack the Tropicals, price them, and display them in your store the same day.

The Stackables System uses intelligent packaging techniques and reinforced cardboard to safely and effectively ship your Tropicals directly from Florida.

STACKABLE being loaded with Hort Couture product

In addition to improving our system, Hort Couture Plants also reduced our minimum order size to one pallet. Shipping costs are based on a full 96” tall, “stacked” pallet. There are no hidden costs or fees associated with the Stackables System. Plant cost includes all packaging and order assembly.

Contact your Eason, Gloeckner or McHutchinson reps for details and ordering information.

Visit Hort Couture Plants for online ordering and to see our full Tres Chic Tropicals collection.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Color Trends... Two Colors of the Year Better Than One

Colors trends are for real. You see a new color being touted and all of the sudden it shows up everywhere. For 2012, we first heard that Atomic Tangerine was the Color of the Year. According to Pantone it was! I love the color- bright, happy and attention grabbing. It is great for container gardens as it lights up the area and looks good with lots of colors in combination. We have several plants that border on some shade of Atomic Tangerine but none quite like our new Petunia PANACHE 'Hells Bells'. It screems "atomic tangerine" and is easy to grow, easy to use and a breakthrough in breeding as the FIRST truly orange petunia. We love it and promise that you will too.

A few week later we see the unveiling of another Color of the Year. This time its Boys N Berry. I am not such a big fan of the spelling but I love the color. We also have many plants that have flowers that fit the description of this color. Our Scaevola TOP MODEL is hard to beat for this color and loves the heat and sun. Amazingly the two colors are pretty hot looking together. Was this all part of some grand scheme? Regardless, we have two great color to focus on in merchandising, container design and all facets of our lives for 2012. Enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Coleus Under the Sea Wins Garden Idol

Friday night was an exciting moment in the history of Hort Couture. It was a watershed moment when the big guys in Horticulture saw us in a new light. When the announcement was made that we had won, the IGC's in the room erupted in applause that the plant from the little guy had won. They realized that we can get great plants that will stay with the independents and that we do not have to sell the same thing as the big box and try to survive on low margins.

It was a great night for Hort Couture, but more importantly, it was a great night for the Independent Garden Centers!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2012

There are so many great new plants in our offering for 2012, We have put together the very best assortment of new plants in the industry. No other company comes close in 2012! Here are our picks for the "MUST HAVE" varieties from Hort Couture for this Spring.

1. Coleus UNDER THE SEA 'Langostino'- the leaves are big and amazing on this variety, the whole series is really fun... very cool stuff!

2. Bacopa BOUTIQUE 'Tie Dye White'- there has never been a new bacopa that spices things up like this one. The flowers are big with an outlandish eyezone that makes them pop. Excellent grower!

3. Petunia PANACHE 'Hells Bells'- get out the sunglasses for this new orange petunia. In comparison, there has never been an orange petunia before.

4. Cordyline CENTERPIECE 'Flamingo Road'- a new Ti Plant from our Tres Chic Tropical collection. A thriller beyond compare for the container garden.

5. Lobularia SNOW GLOBE- a most diminutive form of vegetative Alyssum. Won't devour the other plants in baskets in the Spring. This variety is great in the landscape all Summer!

6. Coleus UNDER THE SEA 'Molten Coral'- a standout in trials this past year. The neon orange color comes to life in combinations and the compact habit is perfect for the grower. Wow!

7. Alocasia 'Nile High'- imagine the combination of a giant Elephant Ear with an African Mask type Alocasia... this is Nile High! Every IGC needs to have this in stock next Spring!

8. Petunia PANACHE' Pink Provocateur'- very sophisticated new petunia that lights up a garden. Superb performance in many applications. Electric Pink!

9. Lantana SOUTH BEACH 'Compact Bullion'- our Lantana are simply the best in the world. The addition of this very bright and tight variety takes the series to a new level!

10. Calibrachoa KIMONO 'Hot Pink'- we had very limited production last year but plenty this year of the genetic breakthrough in Calibrachoa... a standout variety!

It is hard to stop at just ten with other great new plants like Petunia PERFECTUNIA 'Peachy Keen' and Coleus UNDER THE SEA 'Hermit Crab' not listed here. We are working hard to keep the best new plants at the local garden center. If you are an IGC, it is so important that we differentiate our plants so we have something better and different than the big box. If you are a consumer reading this, please support small business!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

IGC Trends 2012

Trends sometimes slow when the economy is retracting but the world of gardening has seen the changing times lead to lots of opportunities for 2012. Finding new, fun ways to make up dollars that we are losing on items such as traditional chemicals and more expensive nursery stock are important.

Many of the newest and hottest ideas for the Independent Garden Center revolve around the idea of growing our own foods. Canning, backyard chickens, seed sowing and buying organic are all opportunities for the IGC to capitalize on in 2o12. This phenomenon also gives way to sales in catagories such as hydroponics, drip irrigation and organic controls.

Here goes our list of the Top Ten Trends to be prepared for in 2012 at your IGC-

1. Locavores- The demand for local vegetable and herb plants will continue to grow in 2012. With the local IGC leading the way as the experts in "grow your own" we can continue to grow this catagory for years to come. At Hort Couture we are partnering with companies such as Peace Tree Farm in Pennsylvania to produce our Culinary Couture Collection to bring not only the finest varieties and quality to the market but also from repuatable companies that are going the extra mile to not only use sustainable processes but are working to pioneer them. Promote your local grown plants!

2. Worm Castings- This is a fast growing catagory in soil conditioners. We particularly like Worm Power that is a company working to produce a very high quality product. Visit to learn more. This is a high margin item that gardeners will be looking for in 2012.

3. Backyard Chicks- Many gardeners are looking to add a few beautiful poultry to their gardens in 2012. Insect control, free fertilizer and fresh eggs are part of the allure. There are tons of exotic varieties that can be offered. Find out what your local laws are for selling and also for raising chickens in your town. Imagine a fun event with a truck of baby chicks arriving on a Saturday morning. Kids will never forget your store!

4. Miniature Gardening- Talk about a fun trend! Both miniature and fairy gardening continues to be a hot catagory for the IGC. From miniature plants to very cool accessories to even fairy potting soil... get this catagory going early at your store with an early Spring seminar or two to get some interest started. Companies such as Georgetown Home & Garden and Jeremie both have great accessories such as furniture, fairies, fencing and more.

5. On Line Gardening- Wow! This is such a different world to garden in. Many gardeners now spend endless nights discussing gardening on Twitter at events such as the popular #gardenchat, reading through the endless array of gardening blogs and websites or joining Facebook Groups with names such as Garden Geeks and Plant Porn. There is even a new on line gardening game called GARDEN QUEST that will help lead customers to our stores. The IGC can really learn and gain new customers through social media. How can your company meet new customers on line?

6. Outdoor Orchids- Orchids are gorgeous in the house but have never been part of the container gardening and landscaping discussion. The new PATIO & GARDEN Orchids from Hort Couture are game changers. After excellent results in trials in such hot spots as the Dallas Arboretum and at our trialing facilities in Homestead, Florida... these orchids can take the heat and keep blooming all summer. Think of this as the new "Geranium" for the mixed container!

7. Canning- Becoming the local expert on vegetable and herb gardening is a great opportunity for the IGC... offering some seminars on canning can be a fun event that can attract new customers to your business. Consider carrying canning supplies at your store this Spring to let people know they can use your staff expertise to learn how to grow and store fresh veggies.

8. Salad Mania- There are so many ways we can sell lettuce to our customers. Decorative containers, growing crops in our empty greenhouses in slower times to service local restaurants, offering endless mixes to keep customers coming back for more. Look at our Culinary Couture Seed Collection for unique mixes such as our Soul Food Salad and Urban Jungle. Fun ideas that are so easy and delicious!

9. Bright Colors- The 2012 Pantone Color of the Year is Atomic Tangerine. Bright colors in flowers are going to be hot for the next few years. People are going to want to get the maximum bang for their buck so why not make it Atomic Tangerine! Take a look at our new Petunia PANACHE 'Hells Bells' for something totally new in the catagory, and yes it is Atomic Tangerine in color! Pottery is moving the same way. Check out the new bright colors from Jackson Pottery in larger containers. Make gardening fun with bright colors.

10. The Smart Horticulturist- The trend of local shopping is for real. People are tired of the fight to purchase at the big boxes. We have an amazing secret weapon that will make the IGC a great experience for the consumer. WE ARE SMART! There are so many amazingly creative and articulate horticulturists out there. The big chains can not replicate this and we have to leverage this to the max. Be confident and make your store the source for great information and conversation about gardening in your community.

We hope you will take the time to plan properly to make your 2012 your best year yet. The key for the Independent Garden Retailer is to find ways to differentiate your store from the others. Maybe some small part of this blog will help!

Happy New Year from Hort Couture