Thursday, October 15, 2009

Announcing the 2009 Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 6th Annual Renee's Garden Photo Contest. We received so many beautiful entries and enjoyed seeing them all. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest -- we are sending out your complimentary seed packets this week.
1st Place Winner: "Super Bush Tomatoes"
-Katie Neumann, Woodland, CA
super bush tomatoes

"I took this photo of one of my Super Bush Tomatoes (GREAT for small space gardening!!). I had just finished watering my garden and was struck by the beauty of this particular tomato. The contrast of colors between the red tomato and green leaves in the early evening light really caught my eye.

katie, gardener and photographerThe past few years I have enjoyed starting my plants from seed. There is a huge difference in the quality of your plants when you start them from great seeds—my friends, family and even our chickies can attest to that! I always give away my extra plants to friends and family and it has been fun to see them have great success in their own gardens."

Asclepias Bright WingsSecond Place Winner - Asclepias Bright Wings
- Liane Doxey, Brookfield, IL

Liane puts it simply: "This one is a family favorite."

Second Place Runner-Up - The Joy of Sweet Peas
Shirley Ward, Big Sur, CAf

 "Wonderful sweet peas! Chiffon Elegance, Royal Wedding, Regal Robe,Queen of the night, Watermelon, April in Paris, Painted lady, Mary Lou Heald, Zinfandel, and Cupanis Original.
"This is a 60 foot row of fragrant and delicious blossoms."
Shirley is from
Esalen Farm and Garden

Kids Contest Winners
Trombetta di Albenga italian summer squash
JoAnne Wallace, Hershey, PA
These kids know how to cool off: popsicles and the shade provided by an enormous "Trombetta di Albenga" Italian summer squash plant.

Saniya with Trombetta Squash
"We love your seeds and your company.
We have a half acre of edible garden for our restaurant and just ripped out our lawn in our new house to plant the garden where these photos come from. Saniya loves the garden and I love that she eats anything from it.   She spends the day chewing up basil leaves, green coriander seeds and picking cherry tomatoes.  She also loves freshly pulled beets and radishes (I have to remind her that they taste better with the dirt washed off!)."  
-Kelly Majid, Berkeley, CA,
(Their restaurant is Zatar Restaurant in Berkeley, CA)

Click below to view and download the desktop wallpapers made from our winners' pictures.

To add as your desktop wallpaper, click on the image below to get the full-size, right click on the full-sized image and click "set as desktop background."
Desktop Wallpaper - Asclepias Bright Wings  and Super Bush Tomato

 Asclepias Bright Wings flower desktop wallpaper
super bush tomatoes garden desktop wallpaper

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Renee's Seeds "do the show" in Chicago

independent garden center show
-by Nellie Boonman, RGS Marketing Assistant

A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to venture back to my hometown, Chicago, to work at the Independent Garden Center show at Navy Pier Exposition Center. Renee and I met up with our East Coast sales manager Jay (who also works as our Vermont trial gardener), to set up our booth. The empty, carpeted space would transform into the home for Renee’s Garden Seeds for three busy days.

the enormous gardening trade showIf you’ve never been to a trade show, just imagine a space the size of 2 or 3 football fields filled with enormous cardboard boxes, tubing, wire and forklifts. Within a matter of hours, the entire place transformed into a wonderland for gardeners, filled with fire-breathing pots, enormous gushing fountains, and all sorts of plants, trees and every kind of garden tool. It's the place to see the latest and greatest in products for the garden, and we saw a lot of people looking like kids in a candy store.

2009 Independent Garden Center showCompanies exhibited at the 2009 Independent Garden Center show for several reasons: to talk to their current wholesale customers, to introduce new products, and to find prospective new independent garden center customers. Attending the wholesale-only show were buyers and owners from garden centers and nurseries from all across the country. Because the IGC is specifically targeted to independent garden centers; no discount or "big box stores" enter in the picture. These independent garden center buyers look hard for products (like Renee's Garden seeds) that help differentiate them from their "big-box" competition. Many retailers also brought their families – after all, many independently run garden centers are family-owned so it’s only natural to bring the kids along!

2009 Independent Garden Center show seed displayRenee’s Garden showcased several of our handsome Garden Trellis and Garden Gate displays filled with our watercolor seed packets. For seed companies, well-designed and attractive displays are absolutely crucial. Seed packets aren’t like garden hoses – you can’t just stack them on a shelf or expect people to rummage through a bin to find what they want. Buyers, bloggers (like Mr. Brown Thumb and Linda from Garden Girl) and press people stopped at our booth to “shop” our displays and to look at Renee’s new varieties for 2010. They asked questions about our seeds and talked with Renee, who is a wealth of information and suggestions for encouraging and supporting home gardeners.

Being in Chicago also gave us an opportunity to enjoy some great restaurants and the wonderful atmosphere of this exciting city. We also attend several other major garden trade shows across the country during the year - an excellent opportunity to meet our customers and keep abreast of innovations and trends in the garden world.
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