Archive for May, 2010
Woke up this morning feeling like a truck hit me and didn’t come in until noon. I will probably sneak out of here early too. I will try to get some pictures added later this afternoon before I cu out of here.
Here is the new ready list – avail-5.27
I have plans this weekend to attend WordCamp Fayetteville to learn more about the WordPress, the software we use to manage our websites, and hopefully come back with a lot of new ideas and ways to improve our the website . . . if I fee like it.
What a way to spend Memorial Day weekend, huh?
I hope your week is going well where ever you are. We are all trying to stay cool here. The first week of 90 degree weather is always the worst.
I talked to several garden centers this week and they all have said pretty much the same thing: April was fantastic and May is disappointing. Like I said in last week’s post, weather seems to be the culprit in most areas.
This week I’ve been working on finalizing some fall sales numbers and production. We have more #12 mums scheduled this year and about the same amount of everything else. When you decrease what didn’t sell then increase what you sold out of, we usually end up about even. We have also finalized our pricing on our fall and poinsettia programs. Your sales reps should be getting together all of that information and get it sent out to you in a few weeks. If you need it before then, just give your rep a call. As with the fall program, our poinsettia production did not change much from last year over all. We decreased a few items and increased some others.
I have also been working on the Education program for our Arkansas Green Industry Show in January. Have any suggestions for a topic or speaker?
Last item on my desk is research on Smart Barcodes and how we might be able to incorporate them into our tags.
We had a tad bit of excitement this week when one of our greenhouses caught on fire. Thankfully we were able to get the fire out before the fire department even arrived. The fire burned about a 10 foot section along the side wall of our plug production house. All we need is some new plastic and we’ll be good to go.
The weather has reared it’s ugly head again this past week with lots of rain and some severe weather. Some of you in OKC had baseball sized hail last weekend. There was a lot of damage to several garden centers, but clean up is underway and fresh product are on the benches. Nearly everywhere else including here has had 2-4” of rain. I was in town last night and noticed that there are a lot of commercial properties that still have pansies in their landscapes. I assume that the weather has the landscapers a little behind.
Never fear, we still have a good selection of plants for landscapers and garden centers. New availability – avail-5.24
No matter how hard you try, you can never out guess the weather or what the customers will want. I planned for normal 1204 sales in April and heavier sales in May because for the last two years we have had a higher demand for 1204’s in May. This year I needed them in April and the rain in May has us behind on sales. I can never seem to get the sales projections right on them.
In addition to that when we have to plan our production 6-12 months in advance so when a particular item or color becomes the hot item for spring, we can’t increase production because we would have had to sow the seeds or root the cuttings 6 weeks or even 18 weeks prior to selling.
It is all very frustrating at times especially when a customer asks, “Can’t you just order in some more?”
It is this time of year when you can really see the results of the sales versus production struggle when there is a whole planting of product sitting there, looking beautiful but not selling. I predict that there will come a time in the near future when garden centers are going to have to write there orders well in advance of the spring season and commit to product in order to make sure they get it. I don’t see greenhouses being able to produce on spec for very much longer.
Now on to happier topics – THE PICTURES:
This past week was a good week for us despite things slowing down a lot. This is pretty normal for the week after Mother’s Day. The rain and severe weather that hit Oklahoma and part of Arkansas didn’t help much. Thankfully, none of our customers were hit by the tornadoes as far as we’ve been able to determine.
If you saw last weeks post, you may have seen the pictures of the pansies and snapdragons in the landscape of a local high school. Due to the nice weather we’ve had all spring, landscaper customers haven’t let their landscapers pull the pansies until this past week so we are running behind on our sales to them. I think we now have 3 plantings of begonias ready. Luckily for us, begonias can hold for a long time.
I’ve spent a good part of this week finalizing our fall production numbers. Production is going to be pretty close to what we did last year. New pansy introductions were not too impressive this year but we have added a couple of new items which I’ll tell you about soon. For now if you need to book any pansies or mums now is the time to get with your sales rep and let them know what you need.
Availability for May 17 – avail-5.17 (Updated Friday at 3:15 pm)
Here are a few more Swishes and Bricks:
Brick – #4 Impatiens and #10 Impatiens Baskets. Based on last years sales I cut way back on these two items and we missed out on a lot of sales this year because I didn’t have enough of them.
Swish – Just about every other #10 Basket. Our basket sales were stellar last year even on a down year, and this year we have sold every basket we’ve put on the list so far.
After Mother’s Day we hit the down hill slide into summer. As you can see from the pictures below we still have a lot of great looking product. The week after Mother’s Day is usually the week where everyone sits back and takes a breath. But we all still have to gear up for Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer. We have a lot of flowers that are coming on so you don’t have to worry about anything on the availability looking overgrown or tired.
New Ready List – avail-5.07
Here are a couple more Swishes and Bricks (Part 1 is here):
Swish – Vegetables. Our #4 Charley’s Vegetables were awesome this year and we sold more that we every have. Plus we are also up on our #4 Charley’s Herbs and 1204 vegetables.
Swish – Hanging Baskets. hanging baskets have flown out the door this year too. We seemed to just barely have enough to cover what we needed each week with very little carry over on a week to week basis which helps the baskets sell well because they are shipped out on schedule instead of hanging around for an extra week or two.
Brick – Lettuce and Chard. We added in some #4 and 1204 lettuce and chard this year that did not sell at all. Oh well. Can’t swish them all.
Also here are some pictures of a basket fundraiser at a local pre-school that we provided the baskets for. They started out thinking that they could sell 150 baskets but ended up selling 300! But how can you say “No” to these girls?
Last up is some pictures of a landscape project that Tom Perry did last fall at the Alma High School in Alma, AR. The pansies and snaps still look great!