Cheap Tricks: Revisting The Home & Garden Show

Jennifer Polanz
Revisting The Home & Garden Show
Picture this: it’s February in Cleveland, Ohio. The snow is about 8 in. to a foot deep and temperatures have hovered in the single digits and teens for what seems like eternity. Where do Clevelanders go for a respite and to dream about their gardens? The Great Big Home & Garden Show, of course. I was one of them, too, walking into the massive I-X center zombie-style, worn to the bone by winter. I was awoken with flowers—real, live flowers—and promises of a beautiful landscape and outdoor areas to entertain when, someday, winter ends and spring renews all.

So my question is why aren’t more garden centers at the Home & Garden Shows? There were crowds of people there in all age demographics and many families. Because guess what you typically have if you go to the home and garden show? You have either a home or a garden or both. Right?

Petitti Garden Centers rocked it this year with a huge area and a beautifully done miniature gardening section, which many of these pictures highlight. It was a great way to get people of all ages (boys, too!) excited about plants. Petitti’s also had an actual store set up and were ringing up purchases right there. This isn’t your grandma’s garden show anymore—these shows are all over the country and are educating our consumers about their landscapes. Here are just a few images of the miniature gardens, which—as this month’s Garden Dispatch columnist Katie Elzer-Peters points out—can add up quicker than a trip to Target.

Not Just for the Girls
Think of all those classic toys out there for boys (of all ages)—dump trucks, fire engines and racecars. Any and all of them can be a great addition to a miniature garden.

Enjoy Yourself
I thought the saying on this door was appropriate, as is the fairy, since fairy gardening is what started this miniature craze. You must remember to have fun with your display. Whimsy is vital, so find someone on your staff who’s passionate about miniature gardening and let them run with it.

Textures & Colors

The first miniature gardens appeared rather monotone, but this display from Petitti’s uses blue recycled rubber as a great way to mimic water, giving it a great pop of color. Notice the wood staircase to the right—a simple, yet really effective, way to create height and texture.

Repurposing for a Purpose

Just take a look at all the material that’s repurposed in this shot: old terracotta pots, rocks and, of course, the aged wheelbarrow. Look around the greenhouse to find some great stuff to use in your miniature garden display (and you need a display—this stuff doesn’t sell itself unless consumers have an idea of how to use it).

Inspiration is Key
This tagline is great: “Small in size, huge in possibilities.” It’s true for the garden and for your potential profit!

More Repurposing
I’ve always loved these Burley Clay birdfeeders and now Petitti’s has given it a second purpose: as a miniature garden. What a great way to include some height and take miniature gardening to a new level. Notice the little boy in the picture—miniature gardens aren’t just for women or girls! GP