I was asked today, does this blog help my business? I don't know. It has morphed far beyond what I might have originally envisioned. We have a web page that we like to think of as our virtual store front. This is where you go to sign up for our e-news, learn about plants, or just check things out, like our hours or location. The blog is something else. If the web page is about the store then the blog is like sitting down on the old pickle barrels with me. We might not talk about what sale is coming up, or which workshops are scheduled, that's at the web page. Generally we talk about whats going on in the business or the larger world of horticulture, as seen through the eyes of a small business owner, me. Sometimes its interesting, and sometimes its not.
This is where I think the future of advertising is leading the better businesses. More and more we want to know what the companies we do business are really all about. Blogs are an excellent way to allow anyone with an interest to learn more about your business, and who you are. â€œWhats your storyâ€ will matter to more people when choosing a business to patronize. Small garden centers depend on a loyal â€œfan baseâ€ to survive. People who choose to shop at your store not just because you have the best, rarest, cleanest, or whatever, but also because they have had a chance to get to know you, weather its in person or via the blog. They understand that all your pots may not be perfectly uniform, but are being recycled to grow new plants. You have chosen to re-use those plastic pots rather than buy new. These are also the same people who might be more understanding of a few munched leaves on an ornamental plant, because you have chosen to use organic pest controls in your nursery. As long as your plants and everything else about the business is the â€œbestâ€ it can be, they will support you because they are â€œinvestedâ€ in your story.
Sometimes price is the deciding factor when it comes to a purchase. I have bought things from places that don't have the best stories, but had the best price. More and more though, I find myself gravitating towards places that may have something that â€œcosts moreâ€, but tells a better story. I want to support the business so it can continue to tell a great story. The more you look at what you buy as a part of a story the more you realize its not just bout the end product.
The pictures you see here are a result of Annie the Transplantable Rose request for pictures of me blogging from my gardens. I have been a bit lax on picture posting so I will include a few here, though since I was taking the pictures none include me. We are just coming out of dormancy here with the native alders, oaks, and willows just starting to send out new growth.
The picture on top is of the picnic area with the lawn and its second cut of the season. It's sooooooooo lush! We use it for picnics and Frisbee tossing. The second is the willow which we have managed to keep from falling over. Monica has just cut off the willow shoots from last year and sells them in the store. We also added a second stake to help hold it up. The third is our portion of Empire Creek, spring water fed from the mountains.The fountain just above is behind "The Guacamole Shed, hence the color of the wall. The fountain has gotten nice and mossy.The next is the yet un-planted new raised bed we built at our workshop of a few weeks ago. Finally the frog prince hangs out amongst the cut back pennisetum grass. By summer he will be well hidden again, left to doze in peace.