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PERENNIAL SOURCE

The Thriving Garden Centre Survivor Spotlight NEW Perennials for 2012 Plant Profile: Heuchera What’s New at Valleybrook

Your Perennial Source for the Best Brands™


PS Perennial Publisher: Editorial Director: Contributors: Design:

Source 2012 Valleybrook International Ventures Inc. John Schroeder John Valleau, Tony Post 180 Marketing Printed in Canada

4 The Thriving Garden Centre Getting creative with your inventory

6 Perennial Source Survivor Spotlight: Meadow Acres Garden Centre

& Phoenix Perennials & Specialty Plants Dianthus Sherbet

8 New Perennials for 2012 An introduction to a few new exciting varieties in 2012

12 Plant Profile: Heuchera 14 What’s New at Valleybrook 15 Mighty Mato Grafted Tomatoes Aquilegia ‘Cameo White’

ing... y a s e r a stomers u C r u o t Wha istent cons .” s been reat product a h k o o g r h b it y e w ll “Va ears h the y Centre throug Garden r e d n n t a o e H s Terry nhou ’s Gree Hotner ough, ON r Peterbo

“Tony Post gave a great lecture for us. Our customers enjoyed it and we would like to have him back for another topic.“ Teresa Buchanan Lockwood’s Greenhouses Hamburg. NY

great for the product s k n a h at “T and gre e ic v r e “ s r. his yea again t ps  li il d Ph Rozalin of Gardens, A World le, ON il Brockv

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Viola Sorbet ‘Purple Duet’


Perennial Value The old adage, “It’s easy to forget the objective is

to drain the swamp when you are up to your neck in alligators” could certainly apply to our industry over the last few years. Some, including long established operators, have gone out of business. Others discovered they needed to dramatically change their business model to survive. For many, simple survival has become the prime objective. I suggest that successful operators must focus on thriving in 2012. Focusing on survival can lead to fear, paralysis and lack of innovation. In his article, Tony Post from our Ontario sales office highlights what some of his thriving garden centres are doing to ensure their success. A consistent theme for all of these and other successful garden centres is a relentless focus on creating a welcoming, attractive and well merchandised look all year long. Your customers come to your store to be invigorated and inspired. Don’t send them away disappointed! Cutting back on the very thing that makes customers want to shop at your place won’t help you thrive, and it likely won’t help you survive for the long term either. As always, Valleybrook stands ready to help. Attractive pots and labels and of course quality plants are key ingredients to create well merchandised displays. Unique brands add an extra level of value and exclusiveness that the chains can’t match. Our exceptional staff are committed to helping our customers succeed by providing exceptional service. We’ve even looked long and hard for opportunities to reduce prices on a number of items for next year. Don’t forget to try some new things in 2012. Heck, look at us, who would ever have thought that Valleybrook would be growing grafted tomatoes! Finally, don’t forget to have a little fun. I know, it’s hard to have fun when you are battling the weather, the economy, pests and diseases, the bottom line, pessimism and everything else. I invite you to consider joining our tour to South Africa in October 2012. It’s going to be fun, while at the same time inspiring and educational as we visit some of the best garden centres anywhere. Here’s to draining the swamp and thriving together in 2012! John Schroeder President

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It has become something of a cliché to state that this was a challenging year for independent garden centres. Some owners wondered aloud how they can survive in this competitive marketplace, let alone thrive. Yet thriving is key to success, but this does not apply simply to the balance sheet. Thriving is a mindset.

By Tony Post

Think about visits you make to retail outlets. The stores that make the greatest impression often carry the greatest range of products, merchandised with eye-catching and ever-changing displays. That is not to say you should double your inventory, but on the other hand half-empty benches and lack-lustre displays do nothing to foster consumer interest. Think about your own garden centre. Where do your customers place their focus? It’s often on that rack of new plants you’ve just pulled off the truck. Getting creative with your inventory can make every plant feel like a new plant. Seneca Greenhouses in New York State keeps their plants in tip-top shape and their benches looking full to discourage the “what’s on sale” attitude that often kicks in with IGC customers around mid-June. If the first thing a customer sees is a tray of old plants, it will create an impression for everything to follow. Customers asking for sales are directed to the “sale section” containing past their prime plants at the back of the nursery. Most end up buying the better looking, full price plants instead. The spectacular merchandising at New North Greenhouses in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is proof of what can be accomplished with some great ideas and meticulous execution. At many garden centres so often the ideas are there, but then before you know it the season has arrived and it’s back to business as usual. Not so here. Expertly merchandised displays at once fascinate and foster the urge to re-create. All their product lines are showcased in displays that run the entire length of two sides of the main greenhouse. Outdoor furniture, water features, plants and lifestyle accessories are combined in groupings that

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offer endless ideas. The oohs and ahs from several customers on a hot July afternoon attested to its success. The 2011 edition of PS Magazine featured Vermeers Garden Centre in Welland. They decided to look at their perennial section and focus more on color displays. “We consciously bought more color this summer and as a result our sales were strong,” said Jeff Bokma, store manager. Lowe’s Greenhouse in Ohio has used this method for four years. Jeff, the owner, agrees the trend is towards selling plants in bloom and consequently merchandising by color has been successful for them. The average customer loves it, while real plant nerds still like the A-Z displays. Considering plant nerds account for about 5% of purchases Lowe’s will continue with more focused merchandising for 2012.  Likewise, the staff at Cudmores Garden Centre in Oakville, Ontario, have completely changed how they sell perennials. Where the focus used to be on a comprehensive A-Z section, perennials are now displayed in color modules. These are carefully put together to showcase striking combinations of color and texture. The visual impact is immediate when you enter the garden centre, and works well to entice today’s hurried impulse shopper. The displays are changed all season. But while customers love the new displays, there is one drawback: staff sometimes can’t remember where a particular plant is displayed that week. What all these garden centres have in common is that they create an aura of “thriving.” They look successful and so they are successful.


Spectacular Merchandise

Of course, great merchandising is only possible with great merchandise. Valleybrook’s weekly availability of retail ready perennials ensures that only the best plants are shipped. Ruth at Town and Country Gardens in Owen Sound, Ontario likes that Valleybrook perennials arrive in good condition and free of weeds. Menne Nurseries in Amherst, NY agrees that Valleybrook product arrives clean and ready to sell. As well for them pre-pricing is key, as the plants can be sold right off the rack the minute they are unloaded. Perhaps Mike at Caledonia Garden Centre speaks for many busy owners: “When the Valleybrook truck arrives I don’t worry about seeing what is unloaded, I know it will be up to standard.”

Drawing a Crowd

Fantastic displays and nice tidy aisles are of course pointless without consumers. What is drawing a crowd to your garden centre? Dwight Gardens is located in a small town near Huntsville, Ontario. They have an annual perennial seminar and fundraiser for a local cause. The event features several speakers, followed by food and wine. Tickets are sold ahead of time and attendees are offered discounts on plants bought that evening. A record 125 people attended this year. Folmers Gardens, near Walkerton, Ontario has a unique draw at its location. The owner has taken display gardens to a whole new level. The gardens are intended to show retail as well as landscape customers the possibilities of design. But they have the added punch of being popular with tour bus loads of garden enthusiasts.

Keep Them Coming Back

Your greatest asset in the customer experience is your sales team. Are they capable of making the customer’s day? With the proliferation of smart phones it’s easier than ever to share experiences. Customers, large spending or not, have the power to convince others to shop at your business… or not. The simple fact that disgruntled customers are more likely to spread negative word of mouth than happy customers are to spread positive word of mouth, should necessitate that every customer experience be a positive one. Potters Nursery in Kingston is a family run garden centre whose resident plant expert comes from a retail background in big box stores. Tana believes customer service is more important than ever. Many big box stores have a mandate that if a customer comes within 12 feet you stop what you’re doing and acknowledge them. Do your customers get acknowledged?

We can all agree that 2011 was not the same season as 2010. But while our customers are unanimous on that point, the difference lies in the outlook. Do your customers see a thriving business, or a business that is winding down? Where would you shop?

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Meadow Acres is one of those garden centres you could lose yourself in for hours. A fantastic selection of plants and gardening accessories are beautifully merchandised, while benches and water features placed throughout encourage you to linger. In short, shopping here is an experience. And market research strongly suggests that for garden centres to thrive in the future, they must get the customer experience right. Located in Petersburg, Ontario, Meadow Acres serves Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding rural areas. The family owned business is run by second generation siblings Charles Schachinger and Ellen Moore. After 26 years Charles still learns new things all the time but one of the enduring lessons is that “presentation matters.” How you sell is as important as what you sell. That is particularly true in merchandising perennials to keep sales strong. “What we have learned over time is it’s all about color,” says Charles. “Perennials are competing more now with annuals because of the incredible range that’s available. ”To round out the color crops, Meadow Acres still carries a good selection of “common perennials,” that aren’t necessarily in bloom. There are still avid plants people who come in for a particular perennial, but the majority of sales are color driven. Heritage perennials factor strongly into the mix. Charles notes “consistent quality,

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high level of presentation and retail friendly packaging” as hallmarks of the Heritage brand that help turn sales at this independent garden centre. Another key focus is on staff. Charles recognizes staff as being central to the success of the operation. “Imagine yourself walking in,” he says. “How would you expect to be treated?” An old adage perhaps, but is it any less true now? The success of this approach is evident from the customer feedback he receives. Most often when there is positive feedback from a customer it relates to an employee, a fact that instils obvious pride in the owner. Optimism like this from his customers inspires confidence in the future. “People are becoming wiser as to what value means, it has a lot more to it than just price.” This lesson is obviously not lost here, as all aspects of the customer experience are taken into consideration. So his customers are happy, but what about the staff? Well, if high turnover is a sign of discontent, the opposite is evident at Meadow Acres. Some employees have been with the company since the very beginning. Confidence in the future drives this business forward. A new state of the art, 9,200 square foot heated greenhouse was completed in early May of 2011, just in time to move the annual and perennial section here for the start of the busy season. For 2012 new floors and waterlines are planned to improve the facility. Social media marketing is being considered, but a customer e-mailing list that was started about a year and a half ago and Meadow Acres Magazine which was launched in 2011 are the main marketing tools. Ellen points out that to be successful in this business it’s all about getting the 35 year old woman (our target customer) to take notice.


Gary Lewis’ plans to build a career balancing consulting with running a small retail nursery were quickly highjacked by the success of his Phoenix Perennials nursery operation. Begun in 2004 while he was still completing his Masters degree in Plant Ecology, Phoenix has grown rapidly and steadily. Lucky the opportunity to purchase a small nursery operating in Richmond, BC, came near the end of his education, or it likely would have hijacked that too. That’s because Gary has combined his passion for plants with entrepreneurial zeal to create a well known plant lover’s nursery. Reminiscent of the finest such nurseries in England or Europe, Gary’s collection of 4000 taxa includes something for every plant nerd or gardener. Not for him is the current garden centre consultant’s advice to pare down your perennial selection to a few hundred items! Unlike your typical plant nerd nursery owner, Gary understands the value of marketing. Gary seems to have adopted almost every leading technique; an enewsletter with over 6000 subscribers, multiple Youtube videos, Facebook, seven or eight major special events each year including the outstanding Hellebore Hurrah, about 30 workshops annually, even some successful Groupon-like promotions. Interestingly enough, the social media coupon promotions have succeeded in attracting a disproportionate number of young shoppers. Attracting this youthful demographic seems to be the Holy Grail in our industry right now, so we need to pay attention. Gary recognizes that to make these promotions successful it is essential to have a strategy for converting these young shoppers from bargain hunters to returning customers. One way is by ensuring they sign up for his newsletter, which he considers his most important marketing initiative. He’s also identified a key difference between the older and younger generations. The younger folks are primarily shopping for a look, not for plant interest. That’s one more reason why he’s planning to greatly increase an

already successful initiative, Fabulous Pot Recipes. Outstanding and creative containers, displayed beautifully and surrounded with their ‘ingredients’ capture the interest of everyone wanting a great look for a patio, party or garden feature. At the same time, they encourage higher sales, sometimes even of items that might otherwise not be moving well. Gary has successfully blended a number of ingredients; incredible variety selection, outstanding in-store customer experience and extensive customer contact through social media. With a thriving nursery business, how does Gary view the future? Not surprisingly, he is confident and plans to continue improving on what he’s already doing well. One change he’s noted is a move away from new plants simply because they are new. Shoppers are now more concerned about value, so a new plant had better deliver more than a cool new look. He also sees greater focus on plants for a purpose or a solution. When asked what he likes about Valleybrook, he credits our selection, service, brands and quality. Thanks Gary! Plan now to visit to Phoenix Perennials during the PPA symposium in Vancouver in 2013. In the meantime, may we suggest you check out their website at phoenixperennials.com and sign up for their newsletter

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Yes, we know that not all new perennials last the test of time, and some don’t even survive their first winter. Still, it’s unlikely there are many garden centres with a thriving perennial department that don’t introduce and feature new perennials each year. We would like to introduce you to just a few of the new varieties we are excited about for 2012. Anemone ‘Pretty Lady Susan’ Bred in Japan, this A. hupehensis variety from Blooms of Bressingham exhibits a compact growth habit. At half the height of traditional varieties, this is ideal for today’s smaller gardens. Single pink flowers over 5 cm (2 inches) wide are produced throughout autumn. These long-lived garden plants are great for mixing with hardy mums and other fall-flowering perennials. Great in gardens or even in containers.

Astilbe ‘Younique Lilac’

Clematis Bijou™

From the renowned Raymond Evison of Guernsey, comes this very exciting departure from traditional clematis. While this plant exhibits typically large, striking clematis flowers, it only grows 30 cm (12 inches) high! But that’s not all… it also blooms for months on end. It’s incredibly versatile in the garden and even makes a great hanging basket. On top of everything else, it thrives equally well indoors in bright, indirect light as well as in the garden. Hardy to Zone 4, this up and comer is prepared to take the gardening world by storm.

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Astilbes have thrived in gardens for a long time, but new breeding has brought us the improved Younique™series. What makes them special? Not only do they have up to twice the number of flower scapes as older varieties, but colours are more vibrant and flower scapes are bunched closer together for maximum impact. The foliage is more compact and rounded in habit.

Delosperma Fire Spinner™

From South Africa via the Plant Select™ program in Colorado, comes this outstanding new variety with startling orange and purple bicoloured flowers. According to Panayoti Kaleidis, who has introduced many hardy ice plants over the years, this selection appears to be the most vigorous of all, with mats spreading over 60 cm (24 inches) in just two years. Flowering is concentrated in late spring and early summer and is truly show-stopping.


Echinacea ‘Piccolino’ From Marco Van Noort in the Netherlands comes what is described as the first compact floriferous dwarf double Echinacea. Compact it certainly is, with a height of only 20-30 cm (8-12 inches). The plant is also described as reblooming, and the flowers are lightly fragrant. New coneflower varieties arising out of European breeding have had noticeably better survivability than some recent North American introductions, so we look for E. ‘Piccolino’ to be a real thriver.

Echinacea ‘Secret Desire’ Part of Terra Nova’s Secret™ Series of mid-size, double flowered Echinacea, this features very large multicolored flowers of pink and orange. Grows vigorously and forms a full plant quickly. As we all know, without a large, healthy crown most Echinacea varieties never make it through their first winter so we’ve got high hopes for this one. Time will tell if it is a survivor, thriver or just a flash in the pan!

Gaillardia Commotion™ ‘Moxie’ There has been no shortage of new varieties of Gaillardia introduced during the last few years. Some exhibit excellent pot habit yet don’t last too long in the garden. This strong growing variety, a recent Best New Perennial award winner at the Farwest Tradeshow is an excellent garden variety with a striking appearance. Moderately sized, it blooms from June to October. Flowers exhibit fluted petals of golden yellow around a vivid orange centre.

Helleborus nigercors ‘Honeyhill Joy’ This hybrid from Honeyhill Farms has recently been introduced by Terra Nova Nurseries. It is exceptional for its quantities of large, outfacing, cream-centered, white flowers over vigorous, shiny, blue tinged foliage. In our trials at Valleybrook, ‘Honeyhill Joy’ has exhibited exceptionally strong, clean and weather resistant foliage. Enjoy the two month long show of marvelous attractive blooms, from late winter through early spring.

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Helleborus Winter Thriller™ ‘Red Racer’ The Winter Thriller™strain of Helleborus is hand-bred by hybridizer Chris Hansen to ensure superbly vigorous and colorful plants. Perhaps the most striking color of all the Winter Thrillers™ hellebores, ‘Red Racer’ produces very large 8 cm (3½ inch), dramatic flowers in velvety deep red to burgundy red tones. 

Heuchera ‘Marvelous Marble’ As a nice foil to expensive tissue culture varieties, here is an economically priced seed selection which offers good vigor in containers and in the landscape. It is one of the first Heuchera from seed that offers a change of color through the seasons. In spring the new foliage emerges purple.  Through the year the foliage matures to deep green with prominent reddish purple veining and a light silver overlay. 

Iberis ‘Masterpiece’ Just introduced to North America in 2012, we’ve trialed this plant in our garden for several years now. Forget the usual small flowered candytufts, Masterpiece blows them out of the water! Unlike others, this variety blooms from spring through autumn. Not only that, but the flowers are enormous, huge flat clusters of pure white 7cm (3 inch) flowers with a lightly pink centre. Foliage is evergreen and bushy. Attractive to butterflies, drought tolerant and deer resistant. Prefers well drained soil in sun or part shade. This perennial may be hardier than the zone 6 we are rating it, and it also happily reseeds itself. Great in gardens or containers.

Heuchera ‘Spellbound’

We’ve all seen more varieties of coral bells than we ever thought we needed or wanted. Just when we resolve we won’t even look at another new variety, we find one that is so striking and beautiful that our resolve crumbles and we succumb again. Spellbound looks so great, and grows so vigorously, that yes, we fell under its spell. Spring brings marvelous ruffled foliage of rose purple with silver highlights which eventually overtake the purple in summer, especially in the shade. It forms a big plant with a dense, multicrown habit. Great in containers or in the landscape.

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ It’s hard not to use superlatives when describing this monster Hosta. Named in honor of the only lady emperor of China, it creates a stunning garden specimen in time. One of the most sought after hostas this year, we can only offer this in limited quantities. This variety will grow over a metre (four feet) tall and even wider.

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Paeonia ‘Lollipop’ Roger Anderson introduced this intersectional hybrid (commonly known as an Itoh hybrid) in 1999, but this is the first time this outstanding plant is available at a price that everyone can afford. Along with all the other similar hybrids, this has enormous flowers that hold up to wind and rain, are lightly fragrant, and contain magnificent colours not previously seen in garden peonies. With an expected lifespan lasting decades, here is a survivor with style.

Primula capitata ‘Noverna Deep Blue’ ‘Noverna Deep Blue’ is a fascinating alpine primula with intense, deep blue-violet flowers. The beautiful flared bell-shaped blooms emerge in summer in tight clusters at the top of 20 – 25cm (8 to 10 inch) stems. Native to Nepal and Tibet, this is the last in the primula family to flower, lasting into autumn. The leaves are serrated and form a basal rosette while the blooms are held aloft on powdery silver-white stems. The buds and stems are covered in whitish powder called ‘farina’. Perfect for woodland gardens and partially shaded borders, the brightly coloured flowers will also add an eye-catching display to containers.

Rudbeckia ‘Little Goldstar’

Destined to become a new industry standard, this new Jelitto introduction is a terrific improvement over ‘Goldsturm’.  While ‘Goldsturm’ stands waist-high, ‘Little Goldstar’ is a much more compact, proportional plant. Just knee high, this forms a bushy, short clump of rich green foliage covered with a dome of typical golden yellow blossoms from midsummer through early fall. Even more floriferous than ‘Goldsturm’, this plant looks fantastic in containers and in the garden. Since this variety is produced by tissue culture, the plants will be much more uniform than the seed grown ‘Goldsturm’, resulting in fewer losses for growers and retailers.

Rudbeckia ‘Little Henry’

‘Little Henry’ displays the same charming blooms of ‘Henry Eilers’, but it is one third shorter! Still suitable for use as a cut flower, this shorter version fits well into the average landscape. It is a narrow, upright grower which makes a great specimen in the border. The quilled, gold flowers bloom summer until frost.

Veronica Atomic™ Series These are improved cultivars of the very popular and floriferous hybrid speedwells. Heavy bloomers. these make an explosive garden display. Shorter and thicker flower spikes than older varieties make these new varieties look great in the garden, in containers, or as cut flowers. Available in several colours.

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‘Shanghai’

Plant Profile: by John Valleau

Remember when Coral-bells had only solid green, rather unremarkable leaves and we grew them for the flowers? If you’re under 25 years old or have gardened for less than about that time, it’s unlikely you will remember those days. It was in the mid to late 1980s that it all began to change, with the introduction of the seed strain ‘Palace Purple’. This was launched as a real novelty at the time, perhaps even an oddity but it didn’t take long to make a big splash on the market, landing the title of Perennial Plant of the Year in 1991.

giving up on them. Dan continues to bring us new and distinctive introductions each year.

‘Palace Purple’ was the genetic breakthrough that allowed for the breeding and introduction of hundreds of new selections, in fact an entirely new look that I’ve come to refer to as Fancy-leaved Coral-bells – in an effort to differentiate them from the old-fashioned flowering types. Among the first breeders to utilize the new genetics was Dan Heims of TerraNova Nursery in Oregon. We owe this man credit for truly running with the potential that he saw in Coral-bells, and for never

I think that Thierry’s use of H. villosa paved the way for an entirely new direction in the breeding of Coral-bells. We had been seeing some great colour breakthroughs starting around ten years ago when mustard, orange, ginger and peach tones appeared for the first time, but looking back we realize in many cases the tradeoff was lack of vigour in both nursery production and garden performance. But the vigour and heat-tolerance of H. villosa has turned this around for breeders.

Other breeders have tinkered and played around with Heuchera and notable among the newcomers is Thierry Delabroye of France, who started incorporating Heuchera villosa genes into his lines. This hairy-leaved species is native to eastern North America and exhibits excellent heat and humidity tolerance, with large foliage and a blooming time quite a bit later than many other species.

‘Delta Dawn’

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‘Berry Smoothie’

‘Ginger Ale’


‘Midnight Rose’

‘Kassandra’ So what characteristics are we seeing with this new generation of Coral-bells? Some of the H. villosa hybrids form substantial mounds, though this can lead to a rangy look in the pots. Foliage tends to be large and gently lobed with a matte finish because of the velvety hairs on the upper surface. Flowers appear in late summer or autumn but thus far the creamy blooms are a bonus rather than the main attraction. Heuchera villosa seems to cross well with other species cultivars, since the colour range in the selections so far is pretty spectacular. Overall performance of these hybrids is a mixed bag and we’re finding each individual cultivar must be assessed for everything from looks to nursery and garden performance. Some varieties seem to perform better at our Ontario nursery than in British Columbia, with no apparent pattern as to why.

‘Lime Marmalade’

prove to be dogs. Some of the introductions are truly unique and well worth embracing while others have been a disappointment. Each must be assessed individually. Some of the newer introductions that include Heuchera villosa in their bloodlines include: ‘Autumn Leaves, ‘Berry Marmalade’, ‘Berry Smoothie’, ‘Brownies’, ‘Caramel’ ‘Delta Dawn’, ‘Electra’, ‘Georgia Peach’, ‘Southern Comfort’, ‘Vienna’ and numerous others. To view the breeding work of Dan Heims, visit www.terranovanurseries.com.

As growers we strive to produce the best offerings we can find and at the same time drop the ones that

‘Autumn Leaves’

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What our Customers are saying... “Every year I look forward to seeing what’s new in the perennials world and Valleybrook always delivers. Selection and quality are second to none and the plants look amazing in the blue pots!” Cara Pagnucco Sunnyside Greenhouses Ltd. Calgary ____ “2011 was with out question the most challenging season to date I have ever experienced in garden center retail. Having such a reliable grower on our side this season was so important. Valleybrook continued to supply our stores with high quality perennials, annuals, and consistently great customer service when we needed it the most. We value the relationship we have with Valleybrook, and as a key supplier we consider you a partner in our success and look forward to growing our relationship for 2012.” Cam Martin Potters Nursery, Surrey, BC

We’ve been implementing ‘Lean’ principles at Valleybrook Gardens these last few years. You may wonder what that’s all about and why you should care? Well, we think this management philosophy is essential to ensure we continue to thrive as a company. We also think it’s good for our customers. Here’s what a few of our managers have to say about this. Paula Baxter, our BC Shipping Manager says: “I am passionate about lean at Valleybrook Gardens. Our staff has embraced the lean philosophy and we were able to speed up the shipping process this year and dedicate more time to focus on plant quality and customer service.” Jason Rekker, Nursery Manager in Ontario was first to implement Lean at Valleybrook. According to Jason, “While we’ve just barely started our Lean journey here in Ontario, our first attempts have resulted in notable productivity gains, changes to the way we grow our product, and a clearer picture of the path for improvement.   We think you’ll start to see the results manifesting as improved quality, more competitive pricing, and products that more closely match what you need to grow your business.”   At Valleybrook, we believe that Lean is a tool that can help us and all others in our industry thrive. By doing things right, we can do a better job of delivering what our customers really want and need.

Join John & Kelly Schroeder on a horticultural tour to beautiful South Africa in October 2012.

Perennials.com

Check out our new website!

Stunning photos, faster searching, new content.

• • • •

Be inspired by world class garden centres and beautiful gardens Visit world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden on the slopes of Table Mountain in Capetown Explore the Cape floral kingdom where 70% of its 9600 species are endemic to this region Experience an African safari and discover why this should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’

And much, much more…this will be a trip will be a lifetime highlight. Visit www.valleybrook.com for more details.

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Free Posters! Designed to help you merchandise perennials‌. these attractive and fun posters make a great end cap display! Check with your sales rep for details.

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1 888 Blue Pot (1 888 258 3768) • www.valleybrook.com


Survive..or Thrive? PS Magazine 2012