Your Turn

Each month, we ask readers a different question about their retail operations, inviting them to answer via email or social media. You can send your answers to assistant editor Conner Howard at


“Do you host weddings/special events at your garden center?”

Answers to this question will be published in the June 2017 issue of Garden Center.

Multimedia | Video

Direct to growers

The annual California Spring Trials tour is an event that consistently packs an incredible amount of information on new varieties, new breeding techniques, new market trends, new merchandising ideas and much more into a single week. Among the many breeders, experts and other industry figures we talked to during this year’s trials, we caught up with Matthias Redlefsen, managing director of Benary, who explained Benary+, a new initiative by the company to bundle vegetative breeding efforts with German breeder Volmary. Benary+ also expands distribution of Benary varieties to the North American Market. Watch it here.

What’s trending on Facebook

Shopping malls across the country have been in decline in recent years, which formerly thriving commerce centers losing anchor stores to an unforgiving economy and ever-changing consumers. When Petitti Garden Centers, in Cleveland, Ohio, closed its Richmond Heights location, it was an indication of the struggle modern malls find themselves in. The Petitti location was a retail outlet as part of a Sears department store, which closed at the end of March. Garden Center Facebook followers had a passionate response, with the story gaining the most reactions of any news shared on the platform in April. See it here.

5 stories in brief

Top industry news from our website

1. Petitti mall outlet closes

After a Sears department store shuts down, one Petitti Garden Centers location hosted by it follows suit.

2. Store number four

Oregon-based grower-retailer Al’s Garden & Home opens its fourth location in a former garden center property while refreshing its brand.

3. A legend passes on

Jim Zampini, lifelong nurseryman and longtime CEO of Lake County Nursery, Inc., has died at age 85.

4. In with the new

Heritage Farm & Garden, a newly launched IGC, moves into the former property of Martin Viette Nursery in Oyster Bay, N.Y.

5. Herbicide/cancer link

The California Department of Environmental Health has announced that glyphosate, an active weedkiller ingredient, will be listed as a carcinogen.