Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.
I think that all gardeners whether novice or expert, take great pride in their gardens. If you were to ask each one individually I’d bet that nearly all who love gardening would say that growing a garden is like raising children. Just think about it… plants are indeed a lot like children. You start them out when they are young, and nurture them all the way up until they are thriving and producing beautiful flowers or fruit. The bottom line is that it’s very fulfilling to watch your children, as well as your plants, grow up to do great things. There is something very special that takes place when you are able to sit back and enjoy a beautiful garden that you took the time and effort to create. If you’ve never gardened before, you will not grasp this concept until you dig in and get your hands dirty!
Recently I was discussing planting beds with a customer that I had seen at our store several times. During our conversation, I had made a comment about how much we care about our plants. I went on to say nonchalantly that “Since we grow most of our own plants…” I was stopped dead in my tracks. “Wait a minute”, the customer replied. “What do you mean that Bluemel’s grows most of their own plants?” I was shocked. I began thinking to myself “How in the world does this customer, who shops here regularly, not know that we plant and grow most of our own plant stock?” I also thought it was very ironic and slightly amusing that both of us were astonished at the remarks that were made to each other that led to this instant confusion. Then it hit me. I realized that we have become so accustomed to growing our own plant material that we had taken for granted that our customers- especially our regular customers, knew this fact. As manager of our garden center, I am sure you can imagine the embarrassment that set in when I realized the complete failure on our part to properly communicate this to our customer base.
Right then and there I decided that we needed to take swift action. I told myself “there is no-way any customer is going to leave our store without knowing who grew the plants they had just purchased.” After all, we should be- and are, very proud to offer our customers plants that we grew ourselves. We have found that growing our own plants gives us a deeper understanding of how each plant performs, as well as what each plant’s maintenance needs are. In essence, the knowledge we gain from growing our own plants gives us much more confidence in our offerings which in turn naturally leads to our customers being confident in their plant purchases. I cannot begin to tell you how many of our customers have told us how well our annuals and perennials perform in their garden in comparison to most of our competitors. And we directly attribute this to the total dedication and delicate care that we give to each plant!
As I had mentioned before, we grow most of our own annuals and perennials. When I say that, I mean about 85% of it. The reason why we don’t grow 100% of our plants is because we simply do not have the space in our greenhouses to accommodate the growing process for that quantity. The other 15% or so of annual and perennial plant stock that we offer comes from very dependable and reputable resources. We choose professional growers who share our philosophy for quality and we have established very solid relationships with these suppliers over the years.
Back to our dilemma of properly communicating that we grow our own plants to our customers. As I had mentioned, we are going to be preaching this to our customers until we lose our voices, but we came to thinking- how cool would it be to come up with a slogan or logo that identifies the plants that we grow? Hence, the ‘Dome Grown’ insignia was born. If you haven’t noticed, this logo has begun to pop up like daffodils in some of our signage, our pots, advertisements, and of course our website. Look for this ‘Dome Grown’ stamp to start showing up even more this season and into the next.
So, when you see this logo, know that it stands for quality, integrity, and pride… after all, these ‘Dome Grown’ plants are our children!
-John Lewandowski, Garden Center Manager