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5: Managing the Team

Crafer, K CABI PDF

5

Managing the Team

The success of many start-up businesses in the early years is due to the entrepreneurial ability of the individual. Growth in the next phase of development is sometimes stunted because even though the founder is good at exploiting new ideas, they are less able to manage a team and help others reach their full potential. Often the skills that enabled the business to become a success in the early phase can be a barrier to future growth.

A study at the University of Cambridge (Hughes, 1998) looked at a real-time comparison of small- and medium-sized enterprises as they developed in international markets over 10 years. It was discovered that those businesses that stalled or faltered in their growth, when compared to those in the study with steady growth, were characterized by:

ill-defined strategic direction with regard to product and market development; poorly specified (or frequently changed) managerial responsibilities; inadequate devolution of managerial tasks and hence over-burdening of directors who may or may not hold the positions they do by design; and inadequately supported or poorly implemented management training programmes and management information systems.

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Medium 9780253219763

Six Summer

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Pronounced:

jer-AY-nee-um

Also known as:

cranesbill, true geranium, hardy or wild geranium

Family:

Geraniaceae

Colors:

magenta, pink, purple, violet-blue, white

Zones:

4–8

Height:

up to 2 feet

Description: These are mostly short-statured, long-lived perennials with mounds of palmate (hand-like) leaves that are often toothed or lobed. Some species have colorful fall foliage. Blooms are simple cups with five petals. Members of the species may be tender or hardy and some may be evergreen in mild areas. Native to Europe, they are sometimes confused with the annual pelargoniums from South Africa which are also referred to as geraniums and are grown in pots during the summer. All are easy-care and pest-free.

Cultivation: They thrive in full sun or partial shade, though in hot summers they enjoy more protection from the sun. After the first flush of bloom (usually spring) is past, cut them back to an inch from the ground, and new leaves will grow and some varieties will re-bloom. Divide them in spring or fall. Useful as ground cover to discourage weeds, they combine well with dicentra, pulmonaria, celandine poppy, and coral bells in light shade. They are staples in cottage gardens and are pass-along plants.

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4: Marketing

Crafer, K CABI PDF

4 

Marketing

4.1  Introduction

Whilst everyone uses the word, trying to define what marketing actually is proves to be more complex. Some will cite ‘advertising’, others ‘promotion’ or ‘display’. In many ways it is all these things and far more. The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers this definition:

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

In other words, by studying and evaluating the market forces and factors affecting a business, the business is able to put itself into a position whereby it may optimize the benefit of its position.

Without good marketing, it is extremely difficult for a business to understand and meet the needs of its customers; with a potential gap between their needs and what the business has to offer, there is the opportunity for another competing business to meet their needs more closely.

While the focus is often on advertising or selling, marketing is a key process that in effect starts with the development and procurement of goods and services to meet the needs or wants of the customer. Interpretation of this may be very important, as the customer is not always aware of these themselves, and often the development of a product meets a need that thus far has not been recognized.

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Medium 9780253009067

One: Shrubs Are Versatile

Moya L. Andrews Quarry Books ePub

No two gardens are the same.
No two days are the same in one garden.

—Hugh Johnson

Shrubs, and for that matter all plants, are characterized by their form, their texture, and their color. Form and color change with time and seasons, and while texture may become more apparent as a plant grows, its defining attributes are usually consistent. The weight or mass of shrubs in a landscape is always greater than that of herbaceous perennials and annuals, but less than that of trees. The outline or silhouette is related to the shrub’s form, but it will change with growth and also will be seen differently depending on the perspective from which it is viewed. The light conditions and the amount of obstruction presented by neighboring hardscape and buildings, as well as other plants, will also contribute to the way a shrub’s silhouette is perceived by a viewer. At different times of day shadows will also be cast by garden shrubbery, and every shrub will, of course, be seen differently in various seasons. In winter when there is snow cover, the silhouette of a deciduous shrub will be quite different from the one the shrub presents with its summer or fall foliage intact.

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Chapter 5. How to Care for Native Landscapes

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Indian paintbrush

One of the main motives for using native plant landscaping in place of traditional landscaping is the idea that the native landscape will require fewer resources and less maintenance but will still look as beautiful as a traditional landscape. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we certainly believe that a well-designed and well-maintained native landscape is far more beautiful than a vast expanse of lawn punctuated only by a row of junipers and a concreterimmed bed of petunias. And it is easy to demonstrate that a native landscape will thrive with much lower resource inputs—less water, less fertilizer, fewer pesticides. But the question of maintenance requires closer examination.

Native landscapes do require less maintenance than traditional landscapes, but more importantly, the maintenance they require is strategic maintenance. Native landscape maintenance is not like the weekly grind of watering, spraying, fertilizing, and then mowing to remove the excess herbage generated by all that watering and spraying and fertilizing. It is not even like the regular and frequent attention that you need to give to a well-watered, well-fertilized vegetable garden. Native landscape maintenance is strongly seasonal and often quite flexible, much more flexible than traditional landscape maintenance. Sometimes weeks will go by with little to do in your landscape but enjoy it. But when the time comes to water, or to weed, or to prune and deadhead, native landscapes, like all landscapes, benefit from some concerted attention. Low maintenance is not “no maintenance,” just as xeriscape is not “zero-scape”—as it is often misstated in real estate ads in drier parts of the country. Basically, the maintenance tasks are watering, weeding, managing plant appearance, maintaining the hardscape and the irrigation system, and managing the mulch. This list is much like the list for any ornamental garden, but in a native landscape, the magnitude of these tasks is usually much reduced and focused over shorter time frames than in traditional landscaping.

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3: Customer Care

Crafer, K CABI PDF

3 

Customer Care

The purpose of a retail organization is to offer goods and services for the customer to use in a manner that is profitable to both parties. Fundamental to this is the understanding of what a customer actually wants. This is often dependent upon knowledge of likely consumer behaviour (Chapter 2) and then presenting the product offer in a way that will be attractive to them. This is commonly known as marketing (Chapter 4).

Between these two stages the manager has to evaluate and identify the method and level at which their organization will provide products and services.

These decisions will affect the way a potential customer will view that garden centre’s ‘offer’ and help shape their view as to its position within the marketplace.

3.1  Customer Motivation

According to consumer behaviourists, a successful transaction will only take place if the garden retailer is able to match a suitable product to the wants or needs of the customer.

Understanding the motivation of the customer is the key to making an effective match. However, this may become muddled in many retailers’ minds as there may be a mixing of needs and solutions. The perception, for example, that

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Chapter Seven. The Plant Palette

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Littlecup penstemon

This chapter contains the specific information you will need to choose the plants that will populate your native landscape. The species we have included in the Plant Palette were chosen from hundreds of native candidate species based on several criteria. First, the plant had to be attractive, if not astonishingly beautiful. This, of course, is somewhat a matter of opinion, and the list adopted here is the result of working and reworking by several knowledgeable people with different tastes. Second, the plant had to be relatively quick and easy to grow in container culture in a nursery setting. We avoided certain favorites, like sego lily, that have proven slow and difficult to produce. Work continues on many of these hard-to-grow plants, and the time may come when they will be commercially available. For now, we concentrated on plants that are either already available or could be brought on line quickly if warranted by demand. And lastly, the plant had to be at least somewhat tolerant of the abuses that are frequently encountered in residential landscapes. Too much water, too much mulch, too much fertility, and too much competition from other plants are some common forms of abuse. Not all of the plants we included are entirely foolproof in this regard, but, by using the information provided for each plant, you should be able to create favorable conditions in your landscape for even the more finicky species. We narrowed down the list of plants covered in the Plant Palette to one hundred species that we consider to be the core species for creating regionally distinctive landscapes in the Intermountain West. Many more species could have been included, and it is perfectly fine to use species not included in this book in your native plant landscapes. Just get the information you need to meet plant cultural requirements (water, soil, light, and cold hardiness) and make sure that the plants you select really are native to the intermountain area. “Native” is a somewhat slippery concept, in that plants can be native to a very restricted area, a state, a region, a country, or a continent, and a few plants are naturally cosmopolitan (worldwide) in distribution. But just because a plant grows wild in a region does not mean that it is native to the region. Many species native to other places have been deliberately or accidentally introduced into the wild plant communities of our region. If you have any questions about whether a particular plant is native to the region, a good Internet resource is: plants.usda.gov.

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8: Stock Management

Crafer, K CABI PDF

8 

Stock Management

Stock or inventory management is a vital part of the success of a business; without close control, a business may suffer significant cash-flow problems even though immensely popular and attaining a high gross margin. Despite being so important to the success of a business, it is not a topic that typically gets the average garden centre manager particularly excited, until of course there is an inability to purchase the stock that is needed for a seasonal opportunity because the business has locked up its financial resources in other items.

In addition to the financial implications of effective stock management, there are many other hidden benefits. While it has been estimated that poor stock control systems may mean a loss on sales of 2–3% due to lines being out of stock, there are also effects on staff morale if they are commonly having to address customer frustrations when in-demand products are out of stock.

However, probably the more far-reaching effect is the impact upon the customer.

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Three Flowers across Three Seasons

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Spring is exuberant
with promise.
Summer is lavish
with abundance.
Autumn is mellow,
yet bittersweet.

It is convenient to categorize the plants according to their seasons of bloom, though of course all herbaceous perennials (but not the bulbs) contribute foliage that creates the tapestry of our gardens in each of the three growing seasons.

So, in this chapter we will be considering flowering perennials that also have diverse growth patterns and attractive foliage. All characteristics of plants are important in garden design as flowering ebbs and flows. It takes some years to have complete continuity of bloom, and even an established perennial garden with a back-up of flowering shrubs, vines, and trees will sometimes have blank spots. Deer may be the culprits, but there are other innumerable possibilities for disasters that can occur. Of course, the larger the garden, the more insurance we have against times without any perennial in bloom. References such as lists of plants help us add more than one type of plant per timeframe to carry the show outside and to fill our vases inside. So there are lists in the appendices to provide a guide for choices of both short and tall growers, according to the times they bloom and the conditions they prefer.

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Three: Bringing Flowers Indoors

Moya L. Andrews Quarry Books ePub

She has taught us that you should be as careful in
choosing a vase for a flower as a dress for yourself,
and she has widened the term “vase” to include
almost anything that is, in itself, beautiful
and capable of holding water.

—Beverly Nichols, foreword to Constance Spry,
How to Do the Flowers

One of the enduring pleasures of having a garden is that we can step out of the door of our house and there it is. The garden gives us a special place to go, a break from the routine, a refuge from anxiety, solace in times of sorrow, and a soothing balm for our stress. It is our creation and yet it nurtures us even more than we nurture it. When we create a garden we create something so personal that it truly is like a part of us. We may even be able to understand why someone once said, “I can imagine leaving my spouse, but I could never abandon my garden.”

No one else knows our garden the way we do. We know where to look for the first crocus each spring. We remember the provenance of our plants, who gave them to us or where we bought them, and the day we planted them. When we can’t sleep we let our mind drift around the garden and visualize what will bloom next, in our mind’s eye. Oh, what lovely gardens we create in our dreams.

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One An Inviting Garden

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Won’t you come into my garden?
I want my roses to see you.

Richard Sheridan

Those of us who love flowers, to an extent that other people might find hard to understand, have an intimate relationship with them. This relationship deepens as we ourselves mature and learn more about their distinctive features and how they impact us. We may start out responding to their colors, shapes, and forms, sensing that we feel something quite special in their presence. Perhaps we then begin to recognize the other attributes that particularly delight us, and yearn for flowers that have special perfumes, or ones that evoke memories of people or of places that were meaningful to us in our childhood or times past. At some point in our evolving understanding of the significant part that flowers play in our existence, we realize that flowers really are an essential aspect of our identity, and they can affect how we actually feel day by day.

We realize that they serve as our symbols of the seasons. We wait to see the first spring flowers each year and we feel a deep need to mark each event by savoring the flowers that are associated with special times. We look for the daffodils in the spring, Easter lilies at Easter, poinsettias at Christmas, and so on. Also, instead of just waiting hopefully for someone to give us flowers, we come to the understanding that they are essential to our well-being. So we become more proactive in seeking out opportunities to have flowers. At this point we usually give ourselves permission to buy flowers for ourselves. Fortunately, nowadays flowers are available year-round, and it is a happy thing for us since we can so easily pick up our favorites and pop them into our grocery carts as we shop for food. Flowers, we have come to understand, are indeed food for our souls.

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Chapter 6. Native Landscape Pioneers Tell Their Stories

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Utah ladyfinger milkvetch

Return of the Natives

Phil and Judy Allen, Orem, Utah—Semi-desert Zone

Personally, my choice to “go native” was as much about reconnecting with favorite childhood plants and memories as it was about art or philosophical ponderings related to environmental stewardship. Still, ripping out what remained of our front lawn in 2004 felt strangely awkward. (Every other front yard on our street had copious quantities of Kentucky bluegrass, and my PhD in horticulture focused on high-maintenance turfgrasses). That said, the journey from a solid carpet of lawn to the creation of a Wasatch Front canyon landscape has been worth it in every way.

We purchased our brick rambler in 1992. At that time, the completely flat landscape was dominated by lawn that reached from the house to all property lines. The trees included exactly one of each of the following, growing as “lollipops” in the grass: Norway maple, sycamore maple, quaking aspen, flowering plum, cherry, apple, and Douglas fir. The only shrubs in the yard included four dwarf Alberta spruces (located in the front yard at the corners of the house and sides of the porch), a single lilac, and a row of pfitzer junipers along the fence in the back yard. We immediately removed the flowering plum, which was located in the center of the back lawn and conflicted with soccer.

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6: Developing Staff

Crafer, K CABI PDF

6 

Developing Staff

People are still the driving force behind any organization. Even if a department does not have direct contact with the purchasing customer, they still have a wide range of ‘internal’ customers within the organization with whom they interact.

The efficiency of all these interactions has a dramatic effect upon the success or failure of the business.

The challenge with any form of staff development within a business is calculating the financial benefits. It is easy to define the costs of staff development, through the collation of invoices and measurement of time spent off the job, whereas the improvements to production are less easy to measure. For organizations where there is a pressure on cash flow, the budget for personal development is an easy target as there are fewer directly measurable gains – the Return on

Investment (ROI; Kaufman and Hotchkiss, 2006).

However, lack of skills can bring a number of inefficiencies into an organization; while these are not easily measured, all combine together to prevent the organization from working at its full effectiveness.

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Two Work in Progress

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Flower gardens are reflections
of their creators.
A garden, as well as the gardener,
is always a work in progress.

Each garden is unique, and it is never the same—day by day, season by season, year by year. Part of the joy of creating a garden is the continual sense of anticipation that comes as a result of partnering with Mother Nature, who is full of surprises. The process of raising flowers is itself instructive. Claude Monet said that perhaps he owed his becoming a painter to flowers. We expand our perceptions of colors, forms, shapes, perfumes, and permutations and combinations. We keep learning about design and elements of style through the medium of gardening. Change is inevitable. Established trees are uprooted by storms and shade gardens are transformed into sun gardens. Small trees mature and sun gardens are engulfed in shade. Water restrictions force us to investigate drought-tolerant plants. A visit to Vita Sackville-West’s garden at Sissinghurst, in England, moves us to create our own white garden. Whatever shifts in motivation and circumstances occur, there are perennials we can find to create the effects we need. We continually augment our collection, redesign beds to combine plants more effectively, use plants in new ways to avoid or compensate for past mistakes. Since perennials are persistent and forgiving plants, we get not only second chances but innumerable chances. The continuity aspect of working with perennials, in terms of both their lifespan and the recurrence of opportunity, is irresistible.

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2: Consumer Behaviour

Crafer, K CABI PDF

2 

Consumer Behaviour

It’s a simple question: ‘What does the person need?’ However, answering it is far more complex. The decisions and priorities that an individual places upon the purchase of specific products has been studied at length and help to form a framework within which a retailer may work, but there is a significant number of situations where human behaviour is not rational, too.

2.1 The Buying Process

Probably most fundamental to retailers is the understanding of the stages that surround the selection and purchasing of a product. These stages are often presented in the format shown in Fig. 2.1, all of which may be influenced by the retailer. Success is required in all these stages in order not only for a successful purchase to be made but also for repeat business to follow. It is easy for the retailer to over-complicate the decisions the consumer has to make.

Many garden retailers will pride themselves on the range of garden-care chemicals they stock (as a specialist retailer). However, if the choice of weedkillers

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