Gardens mean different things to different people, and while some want a secluded space to unwind in and relax others want a place to entertain, chill out with family and friends, or simply enjoy pottering around their plot. Spending time outside helps to lower stress and anxiety, improves your mood, and is beneficial to mental health and wellbeing.
This February, the HTA is encouraging you to share this message with your customers with help from its ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.
Help customers to decide what they want from their garden and encourage them to talk through ideas with your expert staff. Should it be inviting and welcoming, vibrant and fun, private and protected, or perhaps a spiritual space to meditate?
Use your tried and tested favourites to produce beautiful inspirational displays with instant impact. Choose plants that are hardy, reliable, easy to maintain and great value for money.
For example, a traditional cottage garden could feature calming soft shades and scent filling the air, a restful garden to sit in and ponder an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
In a a relaxing patio garden, you could using paving, decking or aggregates. Highlight evergreen climbers and shrubs to cover walls and fences and use large tubs and baskets to add drama and seasonal colour. Include furniture, whether a simple bench to perch, table and chairs to dine alfresco, or something soft and comfortable to sink into, de-stress and meditate.
Or try a simple ornamental and productive potager, perhaps mixing crops with flowers. In small spaces your customers could grow crops and culinary herbs in pots within easy reach of their kitchen or barbecue. Could you bring this to life in store?
DO YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW?
Flowers can make you feel calm and relaxed, reducing stress and improving mental health. Fragrant flowers, like lavender, have been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, too, aiding restful sleep.
PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: PLANTING STYLES
Be creative and play with colour themes to create moods or celebrate a season. Choose plants to fit in to selected planting styles, such as those mentioned above eg
* Cottage garden favourites like lavender, roses, lilies and sweet peas.
* Reliable and easy to maintain shrubs and perennials.
* Bold, leafy and evergreen shrubs, bamboos, grasses, etc, to create privacy.
* Any shrubs, hedging, perennials and trees with flowers, fruits and berries of value to wildlife or that can be used to create habitats for nesting and feeding birds and insects, etc.
* Plants to include in this month’s selection could include: Bergenia, Brunnera, Cyclamen coum, Doronicum ‘Little Leo’, Nandina domestica and Photinia ‘Red Robin’.