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City Gardening: The focus is on fun

24 Jun 2019

Theme world at the POS - Photo: Oliver Mathys

Theme world at the POS - Photo: Oliver Mathys

A few years ago only a few people planted flowers and plants on tree slices or wasteland in urban districts. Today, more and more city dwellers are turning their immediate living environments into green spaces. This new trend towards City Gardening is a new opportunity for garden centres.

At this year's garden fair, spoga+gafa, the focus is particularly being placed on the City Gardening trend. For example, one of the five POS islands planned it to be dedicated to this theme. In the scope of these theme islands, the trade fair offers the trade visitors inspiration and examples of implementation for POS campaign areas in garden centres and DIY stores. Oliver Mathys, a marketing and sales consultant from the Netherlands has been won over again this year for the realisation of the POS islands.

"The new city gardeners are a group of customers that await a special assortment of products and who expect to be individually addressed by the retail trade," said Mathys.

"Whether on the balcony, in the back yard, in front of the house or in the garden, it is normally the case that they only have a relatively limited amount of space for their new hobby. The campaign area that are normally designed in garden centres or DIY stores are often of a similar size. So, the theme City Gardening can be presented in a particularly realistic way there."

Oliver Mathys - marketing and sales consultant

The campaign areas aim to combine commodity groups from different departments of the store in a thematically meaningful way and thus provide the customer with an idea of everything that is possible for a small city garden or balcony and what one needs for the implementation thereof. "Above all growing fruit, vegetables and herbs is very popular among the new hobby gardeners," according to Mathys. "This is why the retail trade should stock a corresponding assortment - for instance mini apple trees or berry bushes that even flourish well in plant pots on the balcony. But also salad and tomato plants, herb pots and sachets with seeds... One must always remember: People who grow vegetables today don't primarily do so as a means of feeding themselves. The focus lies on the fun factor! People want to occupy themselves using their hands, experience and discover something new. This is why the garden centres should also offer types of vegetables that one can't buy in every supermarket."

Theme world at the POS - Photo: Oliver Mathys

Theme world at the POS - Photo: Oliver Mathys

Raised or table flower beds are ideal for the design of a City Gardening campaign area. These can be used to impressively demonstrate how one can achieve good harvest results with a mixed cultivation on a limited amount of space. Plant sacks or vertical plant systems also go down well in such a presentation. These can be combined with small garden appliances, space-saving compost boxes or also practical irrigation systems. Since most hobby gardeners want their own harvests to be of organic quality, the fertilisers and substrates offered should be selected accordingly. Here, small packing units, which can be easily transported in the city, make sense.

Above all, the cultivation of fruit, vegetables and herbs is very popular with the new city gardeners. - Photo: mobi99 / pixabay

Above all, the cultivation of fruit, vegetables and herbs is very popular with the new city gardeners. - Photo: mobi99 / pixabay

Such a theme world at the POS should however not purely be seen as an exhibition surface where the customers aren't allowed to touch anything. Accessibility is especially important here," explained Mathys. The city gardeners should be allowed to pack the products that are the focal point of the presentation straight into their shopping trolleys on the spot. So, ample quantities of them must be available so they can be constantly replaced. Signs should be attached to the other products, where this is not possible – i.e. the raised flower beds or the irrigation systems – indicating clearly where these can be found in the store."

Many of the new city gardeners have had little experience with gardening and the sequences of the gardening year so far. Hence, Mathys recommends that the garden centres and DIY shops offer workshops especially for this target group. There are plenty of themes: From the right type of composting to building a raised flower bed... Of course, one can look everything up on the web nowadays and there are also corresponding YouTube films on almost every topic, but in spite of this many of the city gardeners are happy if they are also provided with information and are given the feeling that they are being well advised," the expert stated.

Plant trend themes are the focal point of the POS Green Solution Islands at spoga+gafa. They are both sources of inspiration and examples of implementation for the home, garden and activity areas.

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Author: Roland Moers