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A Designer's Tapestry
When you experience an extraordinary garden, its beauty is obvious and often felt deeply, but the dynamics of what makes it beautiful aren't always immediately recognized. How can we intentionally create gorgeous gardens, harmonious spaces and well-designed landscapes? The process begins with mastering the use of color, texture and structure. In this presentation, we’ll learn from talented professional designers and passionate self-taught gardeners alike how to artfully combine plants in mixed borders and curate outdoor spaces you’ll love to live in.
Perennial Gold Standards
With seemingly endless options at garden centers, how do you choose the best perennials for your garden? Susan will help you narrow down your choices to top-rated specific varieties based on her experience observing perennial trials in Michigan over the past decade. As an avid gardener herself, she’ll lend practical advice you can put to use right away so your next trip to the garden center will be a pleasurable experience rather than an overwhelming one.
Building Your Tribe (trade topic)
Building a loyal following doesn’t happen overnight. It is earned through consistent interaction that stems from a true desire to help others. Let’s examine how meaningful bonds are formed with customers through a diverse marketing portfolio including social media, influencers, community events, stellar service, garden coaching and more. You’ll walk away motivated to do better this season, armed with practical tips you can share with your staff today.
Moving Beyond Pretty - Plants with Bonus Points
When the plant catalogs begin to arrive, our eyes are filled with botanical eye candy. The challenge is to look beyond the pretty flowers and actively seek out plants that deliver more color for shade, food for pollinators, greater durability and many other gardening solutions. As you begin to see plants from a new perspective, consider resisting impulse buys and selecting plants in a more intentional way instead. We’re moving beyond pretty and into the realm of more.
Lessons Learned Under the Trees
Shade. Most of us have it, but many of us are unsure what to do with it. Over a decade of experience gardening in every degree of shade near the Lake Michigan shoreline has taught Susan many lessons and ignited her passion for shade gardening, which she will gladly share with you. You’ll learn how to take advantage of the conditions you have, not those you wish you had, and discover life beyond hostas in the shade garden.
An Insider’s Guide to Buying the Best Plants
Avid plant collector and industry veteran Susan Martin shares an insider’s perspective on how the supply chain works, which will help you see the plants you buy in a whole new light. You will leave with a better understanding of how to do good research before you buy, look for or avoid specific traits, decode tag language, pick the best plants off the retail bench, and much more. Attending this talk is the next best thing to having a plant pro come shopping with you.
Susan Martin is a native Michigander who enjoys sharing her passion for plants, gardening and the business of horticulture with fellow plant enthusiasts across North America. She is a freelance horticultural marketer, writer and speaker who has spent over two decades in the horticulture industry in marketing, sales, new plant development and consulting. As someone who works with people at every level of the business, from the breeder to the consumer, it is her mission to connect those producing plants to the people making the final purchase. Susan is an avid gardener who doesn’t just talk the talk—she walks the walk in her own zone 6 garden which has been featured in print and online and has received visitors from around the world. She invites you to take a stroll through her shade garden on Facebook and Instagram @Gardener Sue’s News.
Retail Garden Center Consulting