Even though the last few days have seen an extra round of midsummer in Germany, with September, the autumn season is in full swing at the Landgard member companies. “We started delivering the first callunas last week and are, as of today, very satisfied with the season. The production conditions here in the Rhine-Main region were perfect for heather plants this year, so our products are of top quality,” says Steffen Bratfisch. Since 2016, the 42-year-old has been the third generation to run the family business GartenbaubetriebBratfisch GbR in Obertshausen. “The cultivation of heather plants has been part of our family tradition since the 1950s. In addition, we are one of the first nurseries to have cultivated ‘Beauty Ladies®’ under license, which means that we can naturally draw on a wealth of experience.”
On around 3ha, Gartenbau Bratfisch produces a wide range of around 450,000 callunas and ericas of the most diverse varieties. The demand for heather plants at the Bratfisch family business has risen steadily in recent years. According to AMI, in 2022, callunas – together with geraniums – again secured first place among the top 10 bedding and balcony plants in Germany. “In addition to bright colors and multi-colored plants, mixed plantings are now becoming more and more popular,” says Steffen Bratfisch. “For example, a new addition to our range is a combination of Erica carnea and Calluna vulgaris ‘Skyline’ from ‘Beauty Ladies®,’ which we produce exclusively for the Landgard Cash & Carry markets. The combination of high-quality plants, new ideas, and the right marketing is extremely important.”
The combination of different autumn classics into a coherent overall presentation is also the basic idea behind the sales concept “Autumn Art.” In weeks 38 and 39, Landgard will be showing how popular autumn products can become eye-catchers at the point of sale in its cash & carry stores and online. “In view of the current shortage of skilled workers, florists often have too little time for creative work in their stressful everyday working lives. Concepts like ‘Autumn Art’ are a successful basis for staging seasonal products at your own PoS. The practical tips provide valuable suggestions on how the basic theme can be creatively implemented and interpreted with suitable plants. The result is a coherent overall concept that can be a real help to retailers,” says Klaus Wagener, master florist and creative director of BLOOM’s.