Thank you Home Depot!

I received a response from Home Depot concerning my post yesterday, "What a mess". Sarah, who works in Atlanta for Home Depot commented at the post. She say's, "I work at The Home Depot in Atlanta and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention. I was alarmed when I read your post and saw your pictures. As a result of your blog we’ve alerted the stores in your area, our local leadership and our merchandising teams. This care and condition is not acceptable for the plants we sell and is not what our customers should find when they visit our garden area.""We have made many improvements in the last couple of years under new leadership in the appearance of our stores and the availability of our associates. Feedback from customers (and competitors) like you helps us understand where more resources are needed. We’ve heard a lot of very positive feedback on the changes we’ve made, and we remain committed to working on other areas that still need improvement" "I would like to ask you and your readers to contact me at anytime if you have a questions or concern for The Home Depot. I am a gardener myself, but work in corporate communications by day. Please, come back soon and let me know if we’ve improved."

Thank you – Sarah Home Depot Communications

Thanks Sarah for the gracious response!

We wanted the Big Boys to listen to us, and they are. This kind of back and forth could have never happened a few years ago. Yes, Scotts- Miracle-Gro, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. are listening, reading blogs, Tweeting, Facebooking, etc.

I have shopped at Home Depot many times in the past. I do try to use my local, smaller hardware stores when I can, but sometimes The Big Orange Box has what I need. The day I went into the local Home Depot I picked up some spray paint for the parking lot lines. Inverted spray paint was only available there. So I picked it up, and some florescent lights, and headed to the garden center where I saw the scene. I always try to check out the garden center since they are my biggest competition in the area, and I want to know what's going on.

The comment from Plant Lover is interesting since she  claims that I am, "contributing to the degradation of this planet by selling your vegetables in a plastic none biodegradable pot. As a plant lover and along with that hopefully an environmentalist you would realize the benefits of Home Depots pots. I personally don’t mind paying the mere 99 cents extra it costs to make this planet a better place for my children and yours." Plant Lover, our pots are continually recycled as much as possible. That plastic pot will hold another plant, or be recycled into something else plastic. In addition I have personally planted or helped plant thousands of trees and shrubs over the last 25 years, hardly degrading the planet. She continues, "As for the undercutting of prices by 'Big Box Stores' on your competition, what do you think is going to happen to you when Home Depot catches word of this? I feel like you are going to suffer the same fate. I hope you are starting to look for a new job." Plant lover, I am confused. Why  should be concerned when Home Depot finds out about this, which apparently they have? Are they are going to run me out of business? I can see it now in Atlanta, "Hey guy's, let's put that Blogging Nurseryman out of business . He's a real thorn in our sides".  I am the last person they should be worried about. As a matter of fact, according to Sarah they are going to try and straighten things up. Oh, oh, maybe I just created a new monster our business will have to deal with. A new and improved garden department at the Placerville Home Depot. According to Sid's comment, you as a gardener should be applauding me for helping The Depot improve their garden department, and thus helping gardeners like you. As for a new job, I am not going anywhere. What am I suppose to do, sell the business, property, and get a job at Chrysler? Besides, it's not a job, it's a lifestyle!

Plant Lover, I am thrilled you wrote. I like it when people disagree with me, and post their thoughts. It makes for a more lively  blog, and gives people who disagree with me something to cheer about. I have to this date posted every comment made at this blog, no matter how much people disagree with me. I do think however that your comment that, "I have been to your Golden Gecko Garden Center in Garden Valley and I have to say that Capital Nursery is a much better garden store then yours", is too open ended. To compare my little 2 acre, foothill located store to them is flattering to say the least.  Can I ask you for another comment? Would you kindly tell me why Capitol Nursery is a better place? What are they doing that I could do that would make for a better experience at my store? Does Capitol Nursery sell vegetables only in bio-degradable pots? Is that why they are better?

What I have learned is a big concern like Home Depot can be a lot more gracious than some individuals.  Sarah at Home Depot should be congratulated for taking the time to respond to customer complaints. I don't like seeing plants in the condition I saw them in. It's poor plant husbandry and needs to be addressed. I hope Home Depot does address this issue at our local store. As Sid said, "Every dollar they get is a financial drain in the short and long term. In the long term consumers who buy inferior and improperly cared for plants have less success and are averse to continuing to spend their time and money on something they are not good at without ever knowing they were destined to fail." According to Sid, a well run, clean Home Depot will create more successful gardeners, that may shop at my store, too. I don't know if I completely agree with Sid, but the point is well taken.