Last week we returned from a 10 day, 1,600 miles and 30 hours of diving trip out to the East Coast for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) conference in Boston. We decided to drive out and tack a few days on the front and back to visit family, take the kids to New York City and visit Niagara Falls with the flexibility to make additional stops as we wished. We included in our itinerary a stop at Terrain in Westport, Ct. I have visited the Pennsylvania location during the fall when the store was between fall and holiday, but was excited to see their merchandising prowess during the summer’s abundance of plants. We visited on a Tuesday when the store opened, so had the ability to explore and photograph with little disruption.
You get the sense the store is set up more for the “do it for me” clientele than the home gardener, but there are great ideas for any gardening retailer for merchandising techniques. Throughout all areas there completed grab and go containers or examples for shoppers to request the same combo to take home.
CREATE COLLECTIONS. Terrain took advantage of “end-cap” displays similar to grocery stores in the rows of plants. They used it as an area to highlight different planting combinations, not just related to a specific species.
GOING VERTICAL. The play on height was used throughout the outdoor area. Very few products were placed on the ground, with most placed on tiered displays. The height brought plants closer to eye level and allowed more variety to be seen at one time. It also helped create gardening rooms and intimacy to the shopping experience.
CROSS-MERCHANDISE. Another key element was the cross-merchandising of containers with plant material and furniture. There were specific areas dedicated to containers, but in almost all plant areas, empty and planted containers were also merchandised.
VINTAGE & FOUND ITEMS: The display antiques synonymous with Anthropologie stores are also included through out the space. I was hoping for a bit more selection of the one-off items. They are still mainly used as visual props, however the best store for merchandising and selling antique items is Detroit Garden Works.
As promised in my previous post of great conferences and events to attend in 2017, here my heavy pictorial recap of the 2016 Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) International Landscape Design Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This has taken longer than expected to post with image uploading issues, sorry for the delay. The conference was titled “The Art of Adaptive Design,” which Santa Fe was the perfect backdrop to manifest the theme. With an region that gets 14 inches of yearly landfall, dry rocky soils and strict architecture guidelines, landscapes in the area all follow the hand of mother nature first in their design. I was very naive about Santa Fe’s culture and artist community and was blown away by the artistry was incorporated into all the landscapes around the city and gardens we toured.
THE HOST CITY, SANTA FE
I am not an expect on Santa Fe, but what I experienced on my walking tours before, during and after the conference was filled with inspiration. The city is easy walk around around, meandering through parks and art studios.
THE CONFERENCE IN CLASS SESSIONS:
Here is a link to the conference attendee brochure, providing details on all the events, speakers and tours associated with the conference. I recommend reading to give you a better idea of the structure of the conference and more specific details on the sessions offered. There were breakout sessions for Design, Water and Plants offering all the attendees a variety to topics and like minded to network. In the pre-conference activities I wish I attended was a Design Charette, where teams toured a site and worked on a sustainable design solutions to present back to the group. This is a great opportunity to work with peers and learn from other designers creative and problem solving processes.
Another great opportunity I had was to host a round table dinner to talk about social media in the landscape profession. These round table sessions allow designers to meet with board members and talk about different issues relating to our profession in a small, intimate and social setting. Our group had lively conversation and an amazing meal at Radish & Rye.
Ok, now on to the photos. I will not bother with words for each image and let them speak for themselves, but over all the gardens we toured in Santa Fe were all so innovative. They each incorporated the transition between indoors and outdoors, used diverse materials outside of plants and 100% focused on a designs that are sustainable. Featured below are images form private gardens, the Santa Fe Railyard, and the newly establish Santa Fe Botanical Garden.