The ability to take a step back and see the situation from someone else’s perspective is incredibly valuable, as the understanding you gain often allows you to improve both yourself and your relationship with that person. The proverbial “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” can be a great catalyst to shifting your thinking and evolving your modus operandi in a positive direction.

This month, we’re exploring a part of the green industry you may or may not already be involved in — the landscape market. However, our focus isn’t only on the landscaping itself, because you’re in the business of growing, not landscaping.

First, we’re looking at the actions other respected growers are taking to keep their landscaper customers happy. Lisa Ambrosio, owner of Wenke Greenhouses in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and on our cover this month, says that selling into this market can be tough, but the benefits make it worthwhile — an expanded customer base, diversified revenue stream and additional sales volume. Ambrosio and her team rely on strong communication, useful technology and detailed planning to ensure their landscape customers get what they want, when they need it. Read more about how Wenke Greenhouses, Ruibal’s Plants of Texas and Baucom’s Nursery manage and improve their grower/landscaper relationships, starting here.

Then we flip the script and hear from the landscaper clients themselves. Landscape professionals from across the country weighed in on what their grower suppliers do well, what they wish their growers would do, and what’s trending. Click here to learn eight strategies for improving your grower/landscaper relationships.

To gain a more overarching view of the landscape market, we bring you some of the results of sister publication Lawn & Landscape’s most recent State of the Industry Report. We look at the overall health and outlook for the market; trends landscape contractors are seeing; and what they’re planting, starting here. Don’t miss three landscape-ready varieties here. Finally, check out our Q&A here with Freyja Kendrick, a senior landscape designer in Chicago, who gives an insider’s perspective on trends, native plants and how she manages her relationships with growers.

Karen E. Varga, Editor

kvarga@gie.net

216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE