From the Fall 2005 issue of our newsletter, Let’s Grow.  For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE.

New Ways to Connect With Avid Gardeners:
Dave's Garden

If you’ve never been to the web site, it’s time you paid it a visit.  And if you have, you may still have missed multiple areas that can benefit your business.  Here’s a guide to how Dave’s Garden can help you serve more customers better.

What’s Dave’s Garden?  The brainchild of Dave Whitinger, brings together 650,000+ enthusiastic gardeners with information on 4,360 mail order gardening companies and 104,149 plants.  Combine that with some technical magic, and you have one of the most user-friendly, helpful online gardening databases you could ever imagine.

You’ll find links to garden company web sites…customer reviews of their service…photos of thousands of plants…cultural information…mail order sources for specific plants…121 forums on a variety of gardening topics…reviews of gardening books…and a dictionary of botanical terms.  Marketing opportunities abound. 

Plant Scout.  Dave’s Garden members use the Plant Scout search feature to locate mail order sources of specific plants and cultivars, along with links to the appropriate web sites. 

Mail order nurseries can list as many of their plants as they choose.  Current prices range from $100 per year for up to 100 products to $675 for an unlimited number.  You’ll get weekly reports showing the click-throughs that Plant Scout generated for you.

Garden Watchdog. If you want the unvarnished truth about how your customers think you’re doing, check your listing on the Garden Watchdog section of the site.  If you’re not already in the database, you’ll find the “add a new company” link at the bottom of the Garden Watchdog home page.

In addition to contact information and a web link, listings include comments from customers on their good and bad experiences with the company.  80% of the comments are favorable or neutral.  It’s a superb resource for learning what you’re doing well, and how you stack up against the competition.  While you’re at it, you can pick up some testimonials to use on your web site or in your next catalog.

If you provide a company e-mail contact, Dave will let you know when new posts are added.  In the rare case of an unfavorable review, you’ll be able to contact the customer immediately to try to resolve the issue and encourage them post “the rest of the story.”  The Garden Watchdog includes many such retractions.

Garden Forums.  One of the most popular features of Dave’s Garden is the “Forums,” grouped by every imaginable category under the sun.  Forums are only available to subscribers who pay $15 per year for the service.

You are not allowed to promote your company in a Forums posting, however Dave encourages nursery owners to participate in the Forums by lending their expertise.  You’re welcome to identify the company you’re representing, just leave off the sale pitch.

Banner Ads. accepts banner ads, and the best part is that payment is on a cost-per-click basis.  Prices are low, and you can’t reach a more dedicated group of gardeners anywhere.

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Helpful Articles

For helpful how-to articles from past issues of Let’s Grow, our newsletter of marketing insights for the garden industry, click on the links below.