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CAT: Smaller Piece of the Pie

From: "Leroy Kriese" <ambrosia@silk.net>

NOW that I am awake, I would make a comment for discussion (that I have
wanted to say for a while already). Please this is based on my observing the
general status of the local market place but also looking at other markets.
Should make a new topic heading: BPHIL: Business Philosophy or ECON for

With more and more businesses and especailly smaller specialty nurseries
starting up, what is happening is that marketplace pie is being divided up
smaller and smaller.
Too me it seems that there is a glut of Bearded Iris on the market and more
than producers could ever hope to sell or market. That's because the market
or consumers are not expanding at the same rate you can grow the plants. I
see this in the pricing and marketing strategies not just to the expert type
iris gardener but the general gardener as well. This creates its own
problems and lends itself to the usual curves of economical cycles in

I have seen a taking up of the slack so to say especially with Siberians,
Spurias and species. My Siberians easily out sold my Beardeds in '98 and I
think this is a trend that will continue. There is a huge area of interest
to hybridizers to produce very interesting and worthwhile plants in the
Species hybrids. I. setosa namely one, there are many more and inter-species
as well. Eventually it may be a show down between the Bearded and Beardless
but the Beardless won here in '98.

Whether people see the plant or flower or are familiar with it does not
matter so much when you go outside the realm of the educated or experienced
irisarian. If people see a excellent picture or are impressed with its
beauty and ease to grow they will buy it. If a plant has a period in which
it does not look good they will be discouraged. Ability to look good always
is a big thing for the general gardener. They also want something that
blooms all the time. So of course Reblooming Beardeds are going to be a big
push for me. Only problem with that is in the far north rebloom is chancey
at best. Here in our climate we are fortuntate to have great rebloom on

In conclusion I would say that that pie is going to keep getting smaller.
Even the big ones (Schreiners, Cooleys, etc.) have to adjust and change
accordingly. There are so many other excellent hybridizers and growers out
there now. I don't think past reputation will gaurentee your share in the
market any more, you have to continue to earn, and that may be by offering
better and different plants.

What do you think?

Leroy Kriese  Ambrosia Gardens  Vernon, BC  CANADA    Zone 5

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