Kate Spirgen
kspirgen@gie.net

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for spring. February was gray, dark and damp but a couple of days of sunshine and some warmer weather has got me ready to get out and get planting.

So many of us had a gray, dark, damp February, and following a rough 2020, we could use some cheering up. From Pantone’s bright yellow color of the year, ‘Illuminating,’ to the National Garden Bureau’s declaration that 2021 is the Year of the Sunflower (one of the happiest plants in my opinion), marketing seems to be bringing home the point that gardens are a happy place.

Garden centers are also happy spaces. Full of beautiful sights, sounds and smells, nothing screams spring like a garden center. I can’t wait to meander through the aisles of annuals and pick new perennials for my yard, which is in desperate need of new landscaping. I’ve got to say I’m usually not much for shopping, but I consider garden centers an exception.

But in addition to making us happy, responsible plantings can make our pollinator friends and the larger ecosystem happy as well. This month, we take a look at ornamental grasses and what they can do for your customers, your IGC and the environment. You can read all about it on page 20.

If you’re looking for more ways to show that garden centers are happy spaces, check out some of the tips to showcase your passion for plants in your brand on page 12 and beautiful gift ideas full of nature sounds on page 40. And for more good news, look no farther than page 46 for insights into the increased plant demand coming out of 2020 and creeping into 2021. It’s no surprise that sales predictions for this year are looking strong yet again.

I hope your spring is off to a great start and that your garden center continues to be a happy space for you, your employees and your customers.