By John Fitzsimmons
A recent visit to the greenlife centre of a German ‘big box’ retail chain yielded some innovative ideas and longstanding classics for Aussie greenlife retailers to consider.
A simple clip-on handle made fruit trees in pots so easy and inviting to simply ‘pick up and take away’ without manually wrangling heavy pots onto trolleys.
While water has historically not been at the forefront of considerations in northern Europe, this centre made extensive use of flood & drain trays, and wicking mats kept greenlife stock hydrated and looking fresh and appealing.
With Germany’s higher density living, greenlife and accessories for small gardens, balconies and window boxes are widely popular. Whereas in Australia Gingko is usually more available as a shrub or small tree, a standard pruned version will enhance smaller spaces. Potted compact heaths, available in a wide range of hues and used in window boxes and on doorsteps, are almost universal in all retail settings from the garden centre to cut flower sellers.
Strong colours, textural contrasts and smaller scale structural elements are also at the centre of many greenlife ranges.
Where a balcony or terrace might be your only outdoor space, then the idea of a combination of shelving for plants and a fold-out table for refreshments or a laptop, complete with a matching chair, would also have a practical appeal. While all markets adapt to local needs and preferences, keeping an eye out on what