41 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
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7: Managing Safety and Security

Crafer, K CABI PDF

7 

Managing Safety and Security

7.1  Introduction

Reading most garden centre-related articles in trade magazines, visiting trade shows or interactions with supplier representatives, the focus is primarily on the development of profit. For any business this is indeed a primary consideration as without this the business will fail.

The business owner does have other social and ethical responsibilities which are implicit within the running of the business. These are not divorced from the focus upon profit but are intertwined with it. Indeed the success of the retailer will have a significant effect on the local community in terms of employment as well as the beneficial effect on manufacturing and service and service sectors that support it and help it to develop. From this standpoint, the owner or manager has a mandate to ensure the business is as successful as possible, albeit balanced with appropriate care and consideration for other partners and colleagues.

Each business will work within the context of the legal constraints of the country within which they are based, but in addition will be pressured by acceptable cultural norms; examples being the hours of opening, observance of cultural events such as a minute’s silence on Armistice Day (11 November), or the way it advertises products. In this latter case there may be a community backlash if the attempt to be clever and noticeable is deemed to be insensitive or vulgar.

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2: Consumer Behaviour

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2 

Consumer Behaviour

It’s a simple question: ‘What does the person need?’ However, answering it is far more complex. The decisions and priorities that an individual places upon the purchase of specific products has been studied at length and help to form a framework within which a retailer may work, but there is a significant number of situations where human behaviour is not rational, too.

2.1 The Buying Process

Probably most fundamental to retailers is the understanding of the stages that surround the selection and purchasing of a product. These stages are often presented in the format shown in Fig. 2.1, all of which may be influenced by the retailer. Success is required in all these stages in order not only for a successful purchase to be made but also for repeat business to follow. It is easy for the retailer to over-complicate the decisions the consumer has to make.

Many garden retailers will pride themselves on the range of garden-care chemicals they stock (as a specialist retailer). However, if the choice of weedkillers

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1. Got Sun? Choose Natives For Your Garden

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

The more natives you incorporate into your garden, the happier the little creatures in your neighborhood will be.

—Douglas W. Tallamy

Butterfly Weed with Monarch butterfly

As I opened my front door, I looked down at two anxious little faces. Our eight-year-old neighbor girl and her blonde friend asked, “Can we catch butterflies in your yard?” “Of course,” I replied, “but you probably have some in your yard too.” “Oh no,” they both said solemnly, “you have the only yard with lots of butterflies.”

Not long after our 2003 move from Indiana to Minnesota, I attended a Wild Ones native plant conference. A landscape design professor from the University of Michigan was the keynote speaker. She had recently done a study on how people wanted their yard to look. The majority of those surveyed replied that they aspired for it to look like their neighbors’. And that is true of most people. Unfortunately, their omnipresent turfgrass lawns are sterile, neither attracting nor keeping birds, butterflies, and other wildlife content enough to stick around. Few yards include many native plants.

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Appendix: Native Plant And Botanical Societies

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Nature is a good teacher. We can learn many valuable lessons about gardening by observing plants growing in the wild.

—C. Colston Burrell

NATIVE PLANT SOCIETIES

Alabama

Alabama Wildflower Society

271 County Rd. 68

Killen, AL 35645

www.alwildflowers.org

Alaska

Alaska Native Plant Society

P.O. Box 141613

Anchorage, AK 99514-1613

http://AKNPS.org

Arizona

Arizona Native Plant Society

Sun Station, P.O. Box 41206

Tucson, AZ 85717-1206

www.aznps.org

Arkansas

Arkansas Native Plant Society

10145 Dogwood Lane

Dardanelle, AR 72834

www.anps.org

California

California Botanical Society

Jepson Herbarium, University of California

1101 Valley Life Science Building

Berkeley, CA 94720-2465

www.calbotsoc.org

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5: Managing the Team

Crafer, K CABI PDF

5

Managing the Team

The success of many start-up businesses in the early years is due to the entrepreneurial ability of the individual. Growth in the next phase of development is sometimes stunted because even though the founder is good at exploiting new ideas, they are less able to manage a team and help others reach their full potential. Often the skills that enabled the business to become a success in the early phase can be a barrier to future growth.

A study at the University of Cambridge (Hughes, 1998) looked at a real-time comparison of small- and medium-sized enterprises as they developed in international markets over 10 years. It was discovered that those businesses that stalled or faltered in their growth, when compared to those in the study with steady growth, were characterized by:

ill-defined strategic direction with regard to product and market development; poorly specified (or frequently changed) managerial responsibilities; inadequate devolution of managerial tasks and hence over-burdening of directors who may or may not hold the positions they do by design; and inadequately supported or poorly implemented management training programmes and management information systems.

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Medium 9780253219763

Two Work in Progress

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Flower gardens are reflections
of their creators.
A garden, as well as the gardener,
is always a work in progress.

Each garden is unique, and it is never the same—day by day, season by season, year by year. Part of the joy of creating a garden is the continual sense of anticipation that comes as a result of partnering with Mother Nature, who is full of surprises. The process of raising flowers is itself instructive. Claude Monet said that perhaps he owed his becoming a painter to flowers. We expand our perceptions of colors, forms, shapes, perfumes, and permutations and combinations. We keep learning about design and elements of style through the medium of gardening. Change is inevitable. Established trees are uprooted by storms and shade gardens are transformed into sun gardens. Small trees mature and sun gardens are engulfed in shade. Water restrictions force us to investigate drought-tolerant plants. A visit to Vita Sackville-West’s garden at Sissinghurst, in England, moves us to create our own white garden. Whatever shifts in motivation and circumstances occur, there are perennials we can find to create the effects we need. We continually augment our collection, redesign beds to combine plants more effectively, use plants in new ways to avoid or compensate for past mistakes. Since perennials are persistent and forgiving plants, we get not only second chances but innumerable chances. The continuity aspect of working with perennials, in terms of both their lifespan and the recurrence of opportunity, is irresistible.

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Three: Bringing Flowers Indoors

Moya L. Andrews Quarry Books ePub

She has taught us that you should be as careful in
choosing a vase for a flower as a dress for yourself,
and she has widened the term “vase” to include
almost anything that is, in itself, beautiful
and capable of holding water.

—Beverly Nichols, foreword to Constance Spry,
How to Do the Flowers

One of the enduring pleasures of having a garden is that we can step out of the door of our house and there it is. The garden gives us a special place to go, a break from the routine, a refuge from anxiety, solace in times of sorrow, and a soothing balm for our stress. It is our creation and yet it nurtures us even more than we nurture it. When we create a garden we create something so personal that it truly is like a part of us. We may even be able to understand why someone once said, “I can imagine leaving my spouse, but I could never abandon my garden.”

No one else knows our garden the way we do. We know where to look for the first crocus each spring. We remember the provenance of our plants, who gave them to us or where we bought them, and the day we planted them. When we can’t sleep we let our mind drift around the garden and visualize what will bloom next, in our mind’s eye. Oh, what lovely gardens we create in our dreams.

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9: Productivity

Crafer, K CABI PDF

9 

Productivity

Productivity management, in essence the optimal use of resources in meeting the needs of the customer, is a preoccupation of all managers. The outcomes of this optimization should result in a surplus or profit for the business. In whatever sphere, although a loss may be sustainable in the short term, a continuing reduction in capital will put the whole business or initiative in jeopardy.

However, the obvious challenge for many garden centres is to understand how well they are doing. Clearly turnover can be measured against projections, but as these were defined by the business itself, this becomes an exercise in identifying how well the retailer is performing against their own estimates.

Other sources monitoring the retailer’s performance, such as the bank, are again only measuring against the business’s own projections, potentially against a business case that was presented in order to secure the loan or overdraft.

What would be more useful, therefore, would be to evaluate performance against others in the sector, thus giving a better understanding of where the business has the potential to improve significantly – changing the focus of management time and effort.

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6. Great Ground Covers Take Care Of Problem Areas

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Ground covers are Nature’s carpets that clothe soil in a variety of green array and make this flowering world all the brighter and more beautiful.

—Daniel Foley

Dwarf Crested Iris

Ground covers are special friends. Most of us have a variety of friends. Each has a distinct personality with character traits and idiosyncrasies that we may like or dislike depending on the timing or our frame of mind. Some are always there, others may move in and out of our circle. But whatever the characteristics, each friend is important to us.

In many ways, the plants in our gardens resemble our human friends. Consider the perennials. These are the bold, colorful friends that brighten your day and can always bring a smile. Shrubs may not be quite as outgoing but are steady and will not disappear when the going gets tough. They lack the innate flashiness of those happy-go-lucky perennials but are probably your “classy friends.” Trees are those incredible friends you realize are above you in so many ways, yet stand tall and firm, ready to protect you in any crisis. Ferns calm and soothe your troubled spirit, bringing softness and serenity. Vines scramble to the heights to please, happily shielding you from unpleasantness as they climb. Grasses change through the seasons, sometimes small and inconspicuous, at other times waving wildly, demanding attention. Sometimes they are just plain, usually unobtrusive green; some of them, given time, become bright and colorful. They may be changeable, but are pleasant to have around. It is good to have variety in our circle of friends. But one friend is missing in this analogy: the one who is never demanding, never asks for extra attention, yet is “always there for you.” In the gardening world, that friend is a ground cover.

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Chapter 5. How to Care for Native Landscapes

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Indian paintbrush

One of the main motives for using native plant landscaping in place of traditional landscaping is the idea that the native landscape will require fewer resources and less maintenance but will still look as beautiful as a traditional landscape. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we certainly believe that a well-designed and well-maintained native landscape is far more beautiful than a vast expanse of lawn punctuated only by a row of junipers and a concreterimmed bed of petunias. And it is easy to demonstrate that a native landscape will thrive with much lower resource inputs—less water, less fertilizer, fewer pesticides. But the question of maintenance requires closer examination.

Native landscapes do require less maintenance than traditional landscapes, but more importantly, the maintenance they require is strategic maintenance. Native landscape maintenance is not like the weekly grind of watering, spraying, fertilizing, and then mowing to remove the excess herbage generated by all that watering and spraying and fertilizing. It is not even like the regular and frequent attention that you need to give to a well-watered, well-fertilized vegetable garden. Native landscape maintenance is strongly seasonal and often quite flexible, much more flexible than traditional landscape maintenance. Sometimes weeks will go by with little to do in your landscape but enjoy it. But when the time comes to water, or to weed, or to prune and deadhead, native landscapes, like all landscapes, benefit from some concerted attention. Low maintenance is not “no maintenance,” just as xeriscape is not “zero-scape”—as it is often misstated in real estate ads in drier parts of the country. Basically, the maintenance tasks are watering, weeding, managing plant appearance, maintaining the hardscape and the irrigation system, and managing the mulch. This list is much like the list for any ornamental garden, but in a native landscape, the magnitude of these tasks is usually much reduced and focused over shorter time frames than in traditional landscaping.

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9. Graceful Grasses Listen To Them Sing

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Of all the world’s flowering plants, the grasses are undoubtedly the most important to man.

—R. W. Pohl

Prairie Cordgrass

Grasses are the mainstay of our native tallgrass prairies, which once covered 170 million acres beginning at the Indiana/Illinois border where natural woodlands gradually melded into vast native grasslands. They stretched from eastern Illinois to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and covered land from the northern border of our country just below Saskatchewan all the way south to Texas. Iowa had the largest unbroken stretch of prairie, covering over 30 million acres. Only small remnants of this incredible ecosystem have survived. Yet rich deep soil still exists in testament to the deep roots and humus of those incredible grasses.

Early travelers referred to the prairies as “a sea of grass” where myriads of flowers in all colors of the rainbow bloomed. Pioneer diarists crossing the plains in their covered wagons extolled the glories of the seasons. Now only about 4 percent of our industrialized nation consists of native prairies, most of those restored remnants here and there. Yet recent sources still list over 800 species of non-woody flowering plants existing in these areas. Imagine how many more have been lost through development.

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Five Spring

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Pronounced:

er-AN-this

Also known as:

winter aconite

Family:

Renunculaceae

Colors:

yellow, white

Zones:

3–7

Description: There are about seven species of these low-growing perennials native to Europe and Asia. The leaves are palmate and dissected and look like a frill of green beneath the flowers, which are made up of five to eight sepals. The actual petals are modified into small nectaries. Though the small tubers are sold in bulb catalogs, aconites are best propagated by division.

Cultivation: E. hiemalis (hi-MAL-is) has sessile 2- to 6-inch-high yellow flowers in early spring, when it blooms with the snowdrops. It can be grown in zones 3–7 but likes cold and thrives in shaded moist sites. Since it is an ephemeral, it should be planted where it won’t be disturbed when it dies down later in the season. It increases over time into colonies, and its acid-yellow blooms light up the landscape even amid patches of late snow during early spring thaws. Put a few little blooms in tiny bottles indoors so that you can admire them up close.

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8: Stock Management

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8 

Stock Management

Stock or inventory management is a vital part of the success of a business; without close control, a business may suffer significant cash-flow problems even though immensely popular and attaining a high gross margin. Despite being so important to the success of a business, it is not a topic that typically gets the average garden centre manager particularly excited, until of course there is an inability to purchase the stock that is needed for a seasonal opportunity because the business has locked up its financial resources in other items.

In addition to the financial implications of effective stock management, there are many other hidden benefits. While it has been estimated that poor stock control systems may mean a loss on sales of 2–3% due to lines being out of stock, there are also effects on staff morale if they are commonly having to address customer frustrations when in-demand products are out of stock.

However, probably the more far-reaching effect is the impact upon the customer.

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Three Flowers across Three Seasons

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Spring is exuberant
with promise.
Summer is lavish
with abundance.
Autumn is mellow,
yet bittersweet.

It is convenient to categorize the plants according to their seasons of bloom, though of course all herbaceous perennials (but not the bulbs) contribute foliage that creates the tapestry of our gardens in each of the three growing seasons.

So, in this chapter we will be considering flowering perennials that also have diverse growth patterns and attractive foliage. All characteristics of plants are important in garden design as flowering ebbs and flows. It takes some years to have complete continuity of bloom, and even an established perennial garden with a back-up of flowering shrubs, vines, and trees will sometimes have blank spots. Deer may be the culprits, but there are other innumerable possibilities for disasters that can occur. Of course, the larger the garden, the more insurance we have against times without any perennial in bloom. References such as lists of plants help us add more than one type of plant per timeframe to carry the show outside and to fill our vases inside. So there are lists in the appendices to provide a guide for choices of both short and tall growers, according to the times they bloom and the conditions they prefer.

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1: Position

Crafer, K CABI PDF

1 

Position

1.1  The Evolution of the Garden Centre

Plants have been an essential component of life throughout human history,

­initially as a food source, but increasingly for their ornamental and aesthetic values. The development of home ownership and single household occupancy dwellings helped create the ornamental horticulture market that is seen today.

While plant nurseries are a long established concept, the use of the term

‘garden centre’ is far more recent and ill defined. Stewarts garden centres in

Dorset are amongst a number of businesses who claim to be the first in the UK, having seen the concept of growing hardy plants in containers for sale in Toronto,

Canada, in the mid-1950s (Stewarts Garden Centres, 2014). An embryonic industry using similar techniques was developing in the USA at this time. Regardless of the precise date, the sector has developed rapidly and has changed in all recognition from the earliest examples.

What have been these drivers for change?

1.1.1  Development of technologies for container plant production

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