“Pin”-able Combo Recipes

Jennifer Polanz
We’ve talked before about just how influential Pinterest can be when it comes to DIY projects and inspiring customers to pull the trigger on that landscape project they’ve been dreaming of for so long. It’s the visual aspect of the fast-growing site that’s appealing to its 70+ million users. There are several ways to use Pinterest as a retailer or brand, and here we’re going to explore it in the context of container recipes.

First off, let’s look at the metrics. According to a white paper written by media company Piqora, Pinterest is the fourth largest traffic driver to e-commerce websites. Once at those e-commerce sites, consumers order an average of $169 in product, compared to $95 for Facebook and $71 for Twitter. So if you have an e-commerce site, Pinterest can be a lucrative way to go. Also according to Piqora, a single pin equates to two website visits and six pageviews. So it can be a great traffic driver to your site.

Now, about those smashing combos. We’ve pulled a few samples of highly pinned combos to show a smattering of what consumers are talking about on Pinterest. And by talking about, we mean pinning and repining. (Go to Pinterest and search for the company name.)
  • Malmborg’s Garden Center and Greenhouse outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a great example. Two years ago, folks there pinned a photo of a simple, but beautiful, windowbox in its “Color Combinations” Pinterest boards. The box features red Caliente geraniums, yellow Euryops, blue violas, orange pansies and chartreuse lysimachia. The photo was taken at the garden center and uploaded to Pinterest with a caption describing the flowers used. Simple, right? For that small effort, the windowbox was repined 27 times.

Malmborg’s Garden Center and Greenhouse
Garden Center Pins

  • Now, take Armstrong Garden Centers, a chain of independents in California. Last summer, they pinned a beautiful image from the garden center of a walkway of container gardens on its “Container Gardening” board. That image links to the website, where visitors can find a gallery of multiple container gardening ideas. It’s been repinned 48 times.
Armstrong Garden Centers
Garden Center Pins

  • A lot of times consumers aren’t necessarily looking for difficult combos to replicate. In fact, many times simple ideas get more repins because people can actually feel comfortable replicating them. Anyone seen Pinterest Fail? You don’t want to be part of that crowd!  On its “Container Design Ideas” board, Proven Winners pinned a simple container featuring one Bobo dwarf panicle hydrangea surrounded by Vista Bubblegum Supertunias and voila.

Proven Winners
Breeder and Brand Pins

  • Hort Couture is gaining momentum on its Pinterest page by pinning beautiful images of its branded mixed container line in its “Cities of Fashion Combos” board, including its most popular repin, London (13 repins). This container features petunia Panache Lemonade Stand, lobelia Nautica Superstar and verbena Espadrille Merlot.

Hort Coulture
Breeder and Brand Pins

  • The I’ve Got Rhythm mixed combo is the top repinned item on the Ball Seed Cares Pinterest site and it features Butterfly argyranthemum, Goldilocks lysimachia, Mystic Spires blue salvia, Fantasia Flame zonal geranium and Rhythm and Blues petunia. It’s got 13 repins. 
Ball Seed Company
Breeder and Brand Pins

  • We cannot forget about the importance and influence of garden writers. They can be very active and influential on Pinterest, as can the publications for which they write. One great example is Better Homes & Gardens. This media giant has 144 boards with nearly 8,500 pins and a half a million followers. One board, titled “Handy Garden Plans,” links to an article by venerable garden writer Ruth Clausen called “Easy All-Foliage Container Garden Recipes.” It’s a slideshow and has 692 pins. Some of the plantings are simple—a sample is a container with coleus, pennisetum and a black ipomea. Again, consumers aren’t looking for difficulty, they’re looking for what catches their eye.
Better Homes & Gardens
Publications & Garden Writers

  • Christina Salwitz—who is a frequent contributor of this magazine, as well as many trade and consumer magazines—has a wide variety of mixed container pins on her Pinterest page, which has nearly 2,000 followers. One of her top pins is a beautiful ornamental edibles combo that features kale and Swiss chard, among other plants. It’s been repinned 163 times and links to her blog site, Personal Garden Coach.
Christina Salwitz
Publications & Garden Writers

So the moral of the story is Pinterest can be used in a multitude of ways, whether it’s snapping a photo at the garden center and posting it to drive traffic to your website. You can inspire customers with your photography or pin your suppliers’ photos, as well as garden writers’ content to create boards that will keep your customers dreaming about their gardens through the winter and get them ready to act by spring. GP