Archives for category: Fashion & Trends

This is an amazing video – if you aren’t focusing on the indoor plant market, you are giving your competitors a huge advantage with the Millennial consumer:

Why are Millennials Obsessed with Houseplants?

HUFFPO MILLENNIAL

flower-pot-bread

As we pause for a few days of feasting and reflecting, one of our favorite ways to celebrate is by incorporating our flower pots into our holiday plans. While the most straightforward way to do this is to use them as part of a centerpiece or floral decoration, we’ve found that using our simple red clay pots to make flower pot bread is a highlight of the season.

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you’re kneading by hand) add baking mix and yeast and blend with your hands until evenly distributed.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and 4 teaspoons milk. Add in 3/4 cup warm water (straight from the tap is fine) and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix with your hands until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Using the dough hook attachment mix on medium-low for 7 minutes. Dough should be smooth, pliable and soft but not sticky.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Form the dough into a loaf by tucking the back side of the dough into itself and turning clockwise and repeating until you have a  a nice round smooth ball of dough.
  6. Divide the dough evenly into four sections. Repeat the above action of tucking and turning with each of the four balls of dough so you have 4 mini round loafs.
  7. Coat the inside of your seasoned terracotta baking pots thoroughly with vegetable oil. Place one ball of dough in each baking pot. Cover baking pots with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour. After an hour, dough should be about the height of the baking pots.
  8. Preheat oven to 350˚F and continue to let rise until the dough is above the lip of the baking pot. Place baking pots on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 18 minutes.
  9. Let cool. When the bread and baking pots are cool enough to handle turn over and using a knife scrap any dough off the bottom of the pot. Remove each loaf from the baking pots and let both cool for 5-10 minutes. Return bread to terracotta baking pot, serve with homemade lavender butter.
  10. Wash terracotta baking pots with warm water and plan your next flower pot loaf. Elastic doughs work great with a well oiled baking pot. For runnier doughs (like quick breads) line your baking pot with parchment paper.

Original Recipe may be found at https://farmsteady.com/baking-flower-pot-bread/

The houzz.com slideshow below has some tremendous ideas for Fall container plantings. Preparing and selling pre-planted containers such as these can be an especially great way for independent garden centers to separate themselves from the big boxes, as this is a level of service that just can’t be scaled. While most of the pots shown in the slides aren’t ours, we do have very similar items to most of them on hand for quick shipment.

SANDRI 004If you’ve been paying even the slightest amount of attention to your social media accounts over the past few months, you will have noticed that the succulent trend of the past few years has transformed and blossomed into a fully-fledged resurrection of the houseplant craze of the 70’s and 80’s.

As with most trends, the houseplant revolution took root on the coasts, and is making rapid inroads towards the center of the country. Retail consumers (especially young, apartment-dwelling ones) are driven by the health benefits, the portability, and the affordability of houseplants; they are a super-easy way for your customers to make an impact on a living space, and make great gifts.

Even if you cater mostly to more established, home-owning consumers, you can still capitalize on this style shift, although you might also want to carry a selection of larger houseplants – we are seeing a big increase in sales of larger saucers this year, indicating that consumers aren’t just interested in small “starter” houseplants.

That this market shift is occurring is great news for just about everyone involved in the garden industry – houseplant sales aren’t seasonal in nature, and can help drive year-round profitability for your garden center.

Over the past few years, retailers who embraced succulents have seen sales spike in related categories as well, as consumers shopped for specialty soils, watering cans, fertilizers, and most importantly (from our perspective, anyway), pottery. We fully expect that the same thing will happen for garden centers who have the foresight to latch onto the houseplant craze as well.

We recommend that you include a range of planters in your Spring stocking order to ensure that you’re ready for consumer demand – hanging baskets, self-watering planters, pots with attached saucers, bonsai planters, and small pots with matching saucers are all good add-ons to your outdoor pottery offerings.

If you’d like to read more on the impact that houseplants are having on our industry, The December issue of Green Profit Magazine includes several perspectives on the growth in this market, and is worth a read.

Check out this cool post from Houzz.com about potting stations. Of course, we suggest using our pots instead of the ones pictured in the article, but as a general rule, we are fully in favor of home improvement projects that result in more pots being filled with dirt and plants.

pantone-color-of-the-year-2018-ultra-violet-lee-eiseman-quoteIt’s the end of the year, which means that it’s time for the color gurus to start releasing their thoughts on the direction of fashion for the next 12 months. As always with these projections, we recommend that you view them only as general guidance, and to not let them overly influence your pottery buying plans – you are likely much more in tune with what your customers will be shopping for than are these national organizations.

Pantone has just announced that their selection for the color of the year for 2018 is going to be Ultra Violet, a rich purple leaning slightly towards blue. Here are their notes on the selection:

“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.

Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.”

In a related development, Benjamin Moore Paints also projected the big color for 2018, and  their team of style-makers disagreed with Pantone, selecting “Caliente”, a rich ruby red as their winner:

We love the idea of living Christmas trees because they open up a whole new avenue for off season plant and flower pot sales. Will this trend continue to take root and become a driver of seasonal business for garden centers? Houzz.com offers ideas on how your customers can embrace this exciting concept:

Most edibles do well in containers, and in some cases even prefer them. For gardeners with poor soil, or no soil at all, container gardening can be a way to create the edible garden your landscape wouldn’t otherwise allow you — all within steps of your house. But where to start? San Francisco Bay Area gardening consultant and edible-garden designer Steve Masley shares 10 great tips to growing the edibles in containers.

As Lauren Dunec Hoang points out in this terrific idea book from Houzz, “nothing has more immediate impact on the mood of a garden than color”. The principles and palettes that she details can be applied to any garden or landscaping project, from a multi-pot container garden to a large flower garden. No matter the scale of the project, brightly colored flower pots and planters are a great way to highlight specific colors, and to ensure that those colors remain part of your garden palette even after the flowers fade.

For the past year and a half, succulents have been lighting garden sales on fire across the country. While we do carry some pots which we consider to be specialty succulent planters, the reality is that these plants can beautifully occupy just about any container. This article from Houzz offers some great pointers and ideas on how to best pair your succulents with appropriate flower pots. Please note that not all of the pots shown are ours, but we do carry containers which are similar to most of those included in the article.