Editors’ Letter: Being the Consumer By Heather Machovina

Have you ever wandered through a garden center looking for plants that will look great in your space and put a smile on your face? Then, when you find options, the labeling is sparse and you’re not sure it’s the right choice or if you can keep it alive?

As a consumer, I’ve had this experience more than once when shopping for plants to put in my full sun, very hot Florida gardens. Despite knowing a lot about plant care, labeling and tags are important to me when making buying decisions. Chances are if the plant doesn’t come with growing and care tips, I will pass on purchasing it for a product that does.

According to the National Gardening Association’s plant trends survey, American gardeners spend around $50 billion on lawn and garden goods, so make sure your initial point of engagement with consumers (i.e., plant tags) is getting them to spend on your products. Check out page 34 for more details on drawing purchasers in with labels and signage.


Internships provide valuable opportunities for students to learn through real-world experiences and build relationships within the horticulture industry.
GPN and Prospiant have been recognizing outstanding college students in horticulture every fall for the past 23 years, and we are pleased to announce number 24!

Seth Benjamin, a student at Michigan State University, grew up listening to his family’s farm history from his father (sixth-generation owner), who can trace their family farming heritage back to arriving in Boston in 1632. While Seth doesn’t plan to take over the farm, he will continue his work with plants through horticulture, making his internship at Mast Young Plants an important step along the way in his career.

Learn all about Seth on page 30.


You’ll likely notice that GPN has gotten an exciting new look. We heard your feedback for a more reader-friendly sized magazine and wanted to deliver. You’ll also find a return of GPN’s award-winning Chat Room (on page 66), where you can get to know your peers. A new Product Marketplace (on page 58) will make it easier for you to research the products you need for your operation.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Share your thoughts with me at hmachovina@

For an enhanced reading experience, view this article in our digital edition by clicking here.

Latest Photos see all »

GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.