Walters Gardens has created a way for its retail garden center partners to hang on to those new gardeners that picked up the hobby during the pandemic.
New gardeners picked up a houseplant or two or perhaps a shrub last year. If they had success in their first steps of their horticultural journey, they may be feeling ambitious enough to do some basic landscape design. The EZ Scape program was designed to help these gardeners learn the basics and set up their own three or four-plant perennial border.
“We had 20 million new gardeners last year and a lot of them have no idea what they’re doing,” said Karin Walters, vice president of product strategy for Walters Gardens. “Any way to simplify it and make it easy for them to understand is what we’re shooting for to help support this new explosive growth of the industry.”
EZ Scapes are curated perennial recipes, paired by similar growing needs and providing frost to frost garden interest. Each EZ Scape comes with a specifically designed planting guide showing the recommended ratio of plants to put together, and an approximation of how much space they will take at maturity. The EZ Scapes are chosen by collection, so gardeners will have a group of perennials with similar landscape performance and requirements.
The EZ Scape handout can be customizable with the plants the retailer sells. The Walters Gardens team has sample handouts available at the company's Cultivate'21 booth, as well as detailed fact sheets showing the benefits of the program to the retailer and the homeowner.
Walters has illustrations of the plants in the collection, so if a retailer has three of the four, the missing variety can be swapped out. That would be a difficult task with photographs but the illustrations make it possible.
EZ Scapes offers marketing support to the retailer in three ways. First, point-of-purchase materials, including posters and banners designed to explain the program. Second, customized handouts with the planting plan, variety information and care tips.
“The home gardener can come up, look at the sheet, and say ‘I can do this myself, that’s easy,’” Walters said.
Third, EZScapes.com, a mobile-friendly website coming in Spring 2022 with more recipes, a tool to swap varieties and find a desired color combination.
If you're interested in the program, contact a Walters Gardens sales representative at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.