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Guiding Customers Toward Natural Lawns & Gardens

As people head back into offices and spend more time away from home, consumers will look for low-maintenance outdoor spaces that save them time and effort. One solution you can recommend are native plants.

Reems Creek Nursery in Weaverville, North Carolina, was started in 1979 by Bill and Wilma Penland. They recognized a need for a nursery in the area and began selling plants from the front yard of their home. Hardware Retailing spoke with Reems Creek employees Tanya LaCorte, perennial buyer, and Ruth Gonzalez, marketing director, about the benefits of native plants and tips on selling them.

3 Tips for Merchandising Native Plants

  1. Set It Up
    LaCorte has set up two displays for native plants in the perennial area of the store and estimates the store has seen a 30 percent increase in sales since. Not only does this practice bring attention to native plants as a whole, but it also serves as a silent sales associate, especially when paired with take-home native plant lists.
  2. Show Not Tell
    Reems Creek Nursery has a certified pollinator, wildlife habitat and a monarch butterfly waystation on the property. Every plant in the habitat and waystation is labeled, with the tag stating the name of the plant and whether it is native or not. This allows customers to see what a plant looks like throughout the season, says Gonzalez.
  3. Host Classes
    LaCorte, Gonzalez and other staff members host informational sessions for customers, explaining and showing the benefits of native plants. They also invite speakers from the community who are experts on the subject. The classes are usually free, occur every week or two and attendees often range in age.

About Carly Froderman

Carly joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor. Born and raised in Indiana, Carly earned a B.A. in English from Indiana University Bloomington. She enjoys reading, hiking, and cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers.

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