AmericanHort Retail Tour
A Virtual Experience
Is your garden center looking for inspiration? This year, we’re bringing the retail tour to you!
Join AmericanHort as we explore innovative and industry-leading garden centers from around the United States and the world in this special virtual experience.
From Ohio to Florida and California to South Africa, we are going to explore what makes these independent garden centers unique. Discover the key to excelling with events and education, learn tips for getting your garden center involved in the community, explore ways to diversify your business, and take a special look at how other garden centers do business around the world.
Purchase the recorded tour to view video tours of these unique stops and Q&A sessions with some of the owners and business leaders who have brought these garden centers to life.
Join AmericanHort as we explore four innovative and industry-leading garden centers from around the United States and the world in this special virtual experience. Purchase the recorded tour to view video tours of these unique stops and Q&A sessions with some of the owners and business leaders who have brought these garden centers to life.
CORONA DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA
For over 50 years, Roger’s Gardens has been a landmark in Orange County for garden and home design, offering creative solutions and unique products for both indoor and outdoor living. They consider themselves a lifestyle destination, not only a lawn and garden retailer, and since their founding, the business has continued to diversify their products and services.
Roger’s Gardens has grown from the original garden center and nursery, now offering personalized consulting and a floral design department that services everything from holiday bouquets to large events and local installations. They also host educational seminars, workshops, and other special events year-round. One of the most recent additions is the Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens – a seasonally inspired, farm-to-table restaurant.
When you visit, you will also see an ever-evolving collection of home décor products, as well as gourmet foods, outdoor furnishings, and more. Throughout the rooms and galleries, you’ll find stunning and creative displays of plants, cut flowers, furnishings, and home accents. But the store changes as quickly as the seasons, providing curated products and designs meant to inspire shoppers.
Rockledge Gardens has come a long way from the “leave your money in the can” roadside stand it was when it began in 1960. It soon evolved into a full-fledged nursery and landscape business that would make it the largest and most complete garden center in Brevard County, Florida. Today, these beautiful gardens are still owned and managed by members of the Witte family.
When Harry and Mary Witte’s youngest daughter Theresa and her husband Kevin became involved in the business, they were instrumental in the restructuring and redesign of the property. They began installing permanent plantings amongst the displays, giving the garden center a “botanical garden” -like feel, while also showcasing more mature plant specimens. As the plants grow, the gardens gain history and beauty.
No matter the time of year, Rockledge Gardens is always happy to host. The beautiful gardens make the “Harry and Mary Witte Learning Center” a popular outdoor venue for weddings and other large events. Rockledge Gardens also holds a variety of workshops, classes, and tours for both adults and children, although these days most of them are virtual. The garden center is also the host of a weekly farmer’s market, as well as fun yearly events like their Fall Festival and Fairy Garden Festival.
Petitti Garden Centers
Learn how Petitti Garden Centers engage their customers and communities as we take a virtual walk through one of their nine locations in Northeast Ohio. They are uniquely positioned as both a grower and a retailer, allowing their local production facilities to supply over 90% of the plants sold through their stores and ensuring the quality, climate hardiness, and availability of their stock.
The Petitti’s experience looks a little different this year, but they have adapted to provide a unique experience for customers. All locations offer both in-store shopping and a new online store that includes a full selection of plants, sale items, and soon their holiday stock. They are also re-spinning several of their events so customers can continue to participate at home.
This family-owned business understands that community has made them what they are today and are committed to giving back. Throughout the year, the centers run a “round up” campaign at checkout, encouraging customers to round their purchase up to the next dollar to raise funds for several local organizations, including Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and Prayers From Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation. Petitti’s is also excited to be the 18th annual presenting sponsor for the Rainbow Radiothon, benefitting patients and families at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Eckards Garden Pavilion
Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa
Located in the leafy suburb of Bedfordview, Eckards Garden Pavilion is the largest independent garden center on the eastern side of Johannesburg in South Africa. This locally owned and operated center has strong connections to its community, allowing the business to continue to grow since the site was established in the late 60s and after coming to its current ownership in 1993.
Eckards prides itself on providing a high level of customer service and quality plants. The nursery has maintained its traditional feel while integrating modern influences as the business strives to constantly improve.
Dedication and passion from the team at Eckards has allowed them to make the garden center more than just a place to work. In South Africa, youth employment has been a major challenge. With over 80% of the employees under the age of 35, the entire team works to mentor and encourage those young people, who in turn bring passion and enthusiasm back to the store.
This outstanding organizational culture has led to Eckards being consistently featured on the South African Nursery Association’s “GCA Garden Centre of the Year” list for the past 15 years, winning their region for the last 10 years in a row. The team has also won the National GCA Best Garden Centre Staff award more than any other garden center in South Africa.