Plant Development Services Inc. (PDSI), a garden industry leader behind noted brands like Southern Living Plant Collection and Encore Azalea, has announced a strategic partnership with renowned garden content creator Linda Vater. The collaboration will highlight PDSI’s flagship brands in videos, new digital planting guides, newsletters, web articles, and more. As consumers increasingly turn to social media rather than TV for entertainment, the partnership underscores PDSI’s leadership in embracing the evolving landscape of online garden education and inspiration.
This joint venture aligns with a key year of growth for Vater, author of The Elegant and Edible Garden, as she embarks on a high-visibility landscape renovation. After more than 30 years living and gardening in a Tudor-style residence featured in Southern Living Magazine, Garden Gate Magazine, Victoria Magazine, and other top publications, Vater has moved to the playfully titled “Cottage on the Hill,” in Oklahoma City. This new location, a blank canvas landscape, is being transformed into a fully realized garden masterpiece with plants from Southern Living Plant Collection and Encore Azalea.
“With the launch of her highly anticipated new book, The Garden Journal: A 5-Year Record of Your Home Garden, speaking engagements nationwide, and a significant online presence, Linda Vater is the perfect partner for PDSI during this exciting year of transformation,” says Corrina Murray, Director of Marketing, PDSI.
Using plant lists, design guidance, tips, and techniques, Vater will showcase the PDSI plants at the heart of the project across her popular social channels. Additionally, the partnership will leverage Vater’s boxwood design expertise to highlight PDSI’s new Better Boxwood brand as it hits the consumer market in Spring 2024.
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Together, the partners will produce a range of content spanning gardening guides, commercials, landscape product photos, and featured appearances in videos on Linda’s YouTube channel, which boasts 163,000+ followers and more than 41 million views to date.
As more gardeners seek to grow their skills online, PDSI’s marketing strategies center on meeting the digital shift. A 2022 survey by Simple Spring revealed that 4 in 10 gardeners use online videos as their primary source of garden knowledge. This trend is amplified as gardening interest rises among younger generations. These digitally savvy audiences tend to eschew traditional online marketing, with fewer than 1 in 5 making purchases from banner ads, according to the Marigold 2023 Consumer Trends Index. Instead, they seek brands that they feel a sense of relationship with, and they make key purchasing decisions based on the online outlets and creators they know and trust.
“This partnership will help us foster stronger connections with gardeners of all levels by providing them with free inspiration and learning resources while shining a spotlight on trusted, high-performance plants,” Murray says.
“As each season passes, the reliability of both plants and people in the garden world grows in importance to me,” says Vater. “After years of collaboration with Southern Living Plant Collection, I have absolute confidence in the plants’ performance, even in challenging environments like Oklahoma, and in the unwavering dedication of their team.”
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