Many people break down the plant selling biz along these lines: there are nurseries and there are plant stores, plant stores sell the plants the nurseries grow. However when a plant store becomes a destination for both new and experienced gardeners alike, heck even non gardeners, and manages to alter the conversation about plants…well, that plant store might just have become an icon.

Icon

Last month I made my 4th visit to Flora Grubb Gardens. During my first visit in 2009 I was thrilled to see “in real life” those vignettes I’d seen online so many times before. The Edsel…

The Edsel

The framed vertical garden…

The framed succulent wall hanging

The curved lounge chairs…

The curved lounge chairs

On my second visit I was ready for something new. Why were things still the same, I wondered. My retail background told me things must always be evolving, never get stale, change change change! Of course once I looked around I realized there were changes, only the key elements stayed the same, there were changes all around. You can innovate while also not losing sight of what made you a success.

The Fermob wall is a great example. It’s still there, but now there’s the habitat wall sculpture hanging next to it. If the bright colors don’t interest you then perhaps the muted textures will.

The Fermob wall

What the staff at Flora Grubb does so well is to make everything a visual delight. The displays are so gorgeous you want to buy them “as is” and take them home. And that staff! This visit I was surprised by the level of customer service. My visit was early on a Saturday morning and there were a few other customers milling about. I eavesdropped on conversations and had a few of my own. They were helpful, knowledgeable and excited about the possibilities. Excited! In a shop that has certainly seen and heard it all. I loved that.

And the beauty of their success is that it’s inspired other, similar, shops across the country – and thus tempted non gardeners everywhere to become plant lovers.

A few more photos from my visit…

visit 1

visit 2

visit 3

visit 4

visit 5

visit 6

visit 7

Okay, another reason we here at plant lust love Flora Grubb? She feels the lust too, and posts about it. In fact there’s even a series of plant features on their blog tagged as “plant lust” and speaking of (the lust), here’s a trio of things I was lusting after during my visit…