new garden center?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by COUNTRYSCAPE, Feb 7, 2002.


    COUNTRYSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Ok i have a greenhouse out in the country I raise great bedding plants,veg. transplants hanging baskets etc.

    I found a place in town to rent for a 1000.00 a month a outdoor court yard in a strip mall in a very busy area of a good sized town.It has no roof and the area is 30'x100' with gravel base(good drainage after watering the plants). In this strip mall the businesses range from a major sewing and craft shop next door to a block buster video store three or four womens clothes stores two resturants and a subway a dollar store and a appliance store, and alot more. And a big indoor mall two blocks away. Walmart and lowes are about 3 miles as a crow flys acrossed town. The nearest high end garden center is about 10 blocks away. The courtyard has water and electric. I would build a open sided park shelter type building to house the cash register and garden supplies that cant get wet. Security is two fences in front and back.

    To make a long story short i need traffic flow the gravel road where the greenhouse is now im lucky to get 30 cars on mothers day weekend it just isn't working.

    I also do landscaping and outdoor wood projects .

    I have a 30x96 stuppy greenhouse with all the equipment, a cube van for delivery and like retail design. This could also be great for advertising the landscaping business.

    It would be your back to basics garden center with bulk seeds plants shrubs a few nice trees, and fall decorations galore.

    can you guys and gals give me some help
    I have a major garden show coming up in march where i can promote this to 30,000 gardeners so i think i can get the word out.


  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Is this a year around lease or just during the 'warm' months? If you are at that location will you have employees to cover while you run the business end of things and go to the greenhouse and carry out responsibilities for the landscaping portion of your business? Looks as though you will also have to assess whether you will be growing enough to supply the retail location or suppliment with goods bought from another grower. Just trying to help you look at your costs for this to make certain that you can make a go of it. The location sounds promising, if presented well.
  3. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Have a go!You'll never know till you try.Location sounds great,you have to get that foot traffic.Is the lease month by month or a yearly term?The yard sounds fine,you only need cover over the cash register area and where you display the dry goods,Need to keep the packets and bags out of the sun as the labels fade off and people wont buy them.Always have the plants out under the sun or light shade cloth only,they always do best and look best if they are out in the weather,and thats where they get planted when they get taken home by the customer.A small area is good to work with you can keep it well stocked and it always looks full,lots of colour and flowers thats what bring folk in.Impulse selling is the name of the game.Can you grow all your bedding plants?I always found its much easier to buy these in as it almost impossible to tell each week what numbers of which variety you need to sell.Let someone else have the headache of growing and throwing out the unsold plants.I would use the green house to raise plants I couldnt buy from other suppliers and the high profit margin things like the hanging baskets,indoor houseplants etc..Dont try to compete with the discount stores sell good quality potting mixes and dry goods,good gardeners can soon tell the difference.Best advertising I found was giving everyone who spent over say $20 a voucher for a free punnet of bedding plants or a baby houseplant(or something else that costs around a $1 wholesale)redemable the next time they came back,make it valid for the next 2 weeks,this is a very cheap way to get your customers back for repeat business,cheaper than newspaper advertising.Hope to see a photo of your grand opening posted soon!I have 15yrs in Garden Centre trade,drop us a line if theres anything else I can help with.

    COUNTRYSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hey forgot to tell you that the lease is from april 15 to oct. 31.

    Thanks for the comments guys!

    I'm going to be spred pretty thin but i think i can do it. with help from my wife who works 8 to 4:30 somewhere else she can help after that and weekends.

    Idea i bought 4000 seeds of a red white and blue petunia seeds.
    I'm putting them in a white pot with an american flag stuck in the pot. Everyone wants to show their sprit so this is my way of helping them do it. The pot is from a factory 60 miles away they make the insides of crock pots. There ceramic , the factory seconds are only 1.25 I'll drill a hole in the bottom for drainage and have a nice looking pot. In total i have the pot, soil, flag and four plants in each pot total cost about $ 3.00. So if i sell them for 12.95 I have a profit of $10.00 each.If i grow 4000 seeds (i know they won't all grow ) that would be 1000 pots x $ 10.00 = $10,000 so right there is my rent for all six months and a profit of $4000.00 .

    Thats a value added product if i was to sell the petunias in a regular flat i might make $ 6.00 on 48 plants .

    Any other good ideas , guys.
    jarrett morgan
  5. mowing king

    mowing king LawnSite Member
    from ct
    Posts: 85

    Don,t do it!!!! look man you got to pick a business and be in it. The people who make the most money in business are the most focused. Pick one business. Read the book focus. I could give you 10,000 other reason $$$$, you might lose. Plus when do you plan on being a husband? If you can't make enough doing what you already Know what makes you think you can make money in something new?? Just asking some questions. Get a part time job or sell more work or get a hobby if you have to much time on your hands. But think really hard before you do this.

    COUNTRYSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hey just talked to a cop i know he said the mall i want to go to is really big in vandalism. Alot of kids hang around it and cause trouble . So i'm rethinking this whole thing, why put up with this. One of my older customers told me yesturday that she didn't know i had a greenhouse and she was threeled to have one on this end of town .

    So maybe i need to do more advertising direct mail or maybe a billboard on the interstate since it does run right by the greenhouse.

    After all around here people go way out in the country to by pumpkins,apples, christmas trees,strawberries etc, why can't they come out to the country and get their greenhouse products.
    And to top this i can spend money on a nice direct mailer to people in town and still have free rent where the greenhouse sets now.

    as far as keeping to one thing ive done all this for three years know, i dated my wife for five years before we were married last fall, and she loves our business, as a matter of fact she does the lawn care end of it, helps in the greenhouse,farmers markets etc, this is our life who the heck needs a hobby when your happy doing what you do .

    j. morgan
  7. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Time for Plan B then,Its hard work getting folk out of town,but it can be just have to think outside the square a little,you got the greenhouse,I assume you got a little land too?why not grow a few vegetables and have a market stall at the greenhouse as well,if you got other people around you growing stuff why not get together and have a combined stall at your place,you can also sell crafts,what about coffee and homecooking?,have a few pets there for the city kids to see?Got nice gardens around the property?lot of people like to take a drive to look at nice gardens here,Its also a great selling aid if you plant what you grow around the greenhouse,and its a good way to use up those surplus plants.If you have its also good advertising for your lawn/landscape business,then you can do wedding photos etc....the ideas go on and on.Also target Garden clubs,retirement homes,ladies groups etc they often do bus trips around the local area for their members,If we knew they were coming we would put on coffee and a few plates of homecooking for them and often you'd get 30-40 people on a bus spending $10-20 each,thats good money for a hour or so's work.Great to work at home too,Hope thats given you a few ideas.......
  8. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Big Jim has some great ideas. Become an expert on at least one type of plant and have a specimen garden showcasing those. Go ahead and grow what sells, but those garden club ladies (and gentlemen) will remember you for your expertise and trust you more if you exhibit some specialized knowledge. Growing and showing healthy, colorful plants in an inviting atmosphere will make repeat customers of them.
  9. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Just a word of encouragement for you ... Salisbury started as a roadside garden stand (about 30 years ago) out in the country.... there is now million dollar homes all around and that little greenhouse is now 4 acres of greenhouses...a booming landscape construction business as well as exterior and interior maintenance... also sells lots and lots of caliper trees, shrubs and perenials.. hang in there for the long haul.

    COUNTRYSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hey sounds great guys , I do have 3 acres to work with and the place does look really nice we get people saying they love the place. all the time.

    I have in the past raised vegetables on the three acres and takin thoughs to the farmers market alot of price competion there.

    One year we grew three hundred green pepper plants sold the peppers for 5 for a dollar. We made 250.00 on one saturday at the farmers market, now thats not bad considering i planted the peppers cultivated once and picked them. not much labor and we sold for a whole month. so in total we might of made 500.00 to 600.00 dollars on those plants. we had them coming out of our ears.

    The petting zoo thing would work too , i have bantam chickens, that i had at the annual garden show we do here, and the kids do like to see those wierd chickens.

    so in the end maybe we just need to think out of the box a little and make it a distanation instead of just a greenhouse out in the country.

    The one thing that just amaizes me is i'm getting advise from people from all over the world new zealand, alberta canada, virginia etc.

    this is great nice talking to all of you.

    jarrett morgan
    countryscape landscaping and greenhouse

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