Exhibitor Showcase / Resource Center

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Production Tour Schedule

Learn best practices and find inspiration

There is nothing like a production tour to show you what’s possible and inspire you – no matter how large or small your business—to try new things. AmericanHort is pleased to offer production tours at Cultivate’21 to let you see some of the industry’s best practices up close and personal. We visit facilities that are stand-outs in the industry. Wherever you go, you can rest assured we have done our homework and chosen tours that are always pertinent to you. 

Landscape Zoo Tour


Full-day, bus departs from Greater Columbus Convention Center 

$165, lunch included 

The world-renowned Columbus Zoo and Aquarium spans 588 acres, more than 200 of which have been developed as animal habitats and public spaces. Come see how every aspect of the zoo’s landscape design, down to the instillation and care, is one wild ride for this horticultural team! A Columbus Zoo and Aquarium horticulture staff member will take you on a behind-the-scenes tour to investigate the complexities of planning a landscape that is not only beautiful, but also sustainable in the feeding of animals. 

You will learn what it takes to handle the intricacies of, plant selection, plant care, and more for one of the United States greatest zoos. Whether you are a seasoned green thumb or gardening greenhorn, there will be something to learn and apply to your team and landscapes back home.  

Garden Center Retail Tour


Full-day, bus departs from Greater Columbus Convention Center 

$165, lunch included 

Garden center retailers from all over the world will gather to network and get energized with new ideas from the Cultivate Garden Center Retail Tour featured destinations. This year we will be going on an adventure as we tour central Ohio’s top garden retailers Oakland Nursery, and Wilsons Garden Center to name just two. From quirky and fun to downright stunning, you are sure to drain your camera battery and fill up your notepads as you capture new ideas to take back to your team.  

Oakland Nursery has been bringing high quality plant material to Central Ohio homes and businesses since 1940, growing from one small store to today’s four retail operations, a wholesale farm, and a comprehensive design/build firm. Oakland prides itself on not only having the third-generation family working in the business, but on being a total horticultural entity by offering retail delivery, plant installation, landscape design, landscape construction, irrigation installation, interiorscape design and installation and wholesale services. On this tour you will get a behind-the-scenes look at their Oakland Delaware operation.  

Wilson’s Garden Center was founded by Carl & Helen Wilson who began their small, family-owned farm market in 1958 selling vegetables, melons and sweet corn to the public and local businesses. Sixty years later, with a highly trained horticultural staff, their small market has grown into a garden center that provides the Central Ohio area with a vast selection of plants. Join us to learn about their focus on customer service, how they are “greening” their garden center and efforts to support their community. 

Come prepared with some of the toughest challenges in your garden center, for you will be spending the day with retailers from across the country and will have the opportunity to network with peers. 

Details on the additional tour stops are coming soon. 

Greenhouse Production Tour


Full-day, bus departs from Greater Columbus Convention Center 

$165, lunch included 

Join us on the 2021 Greenhouse Production Tour to immerse yourself in the greenhouse industry along the northern lakes and central region of Ohio. Take an inside-look at the vertically integrated supply chain of Case Verde Growers and Pettiti’s Garden Center, while picking up new ideas for your business. You’ll learn even more best practices at Thorsen’s Greenhouse, the exclusive supplier to Columbus’ Costco stores.  

Casa Verde Growers is a wholesale supplier of annuals, perennials, and vegetables, as well as bringing in a large selection of tropical plants. This growing facility in Columbia Station is the primary supplier of all Pettiti’s retail centers across northern Ohio. The year-round operation oversees the entire growing process, starting with cuttings and seeds and emphasizing the use of efficient production practices throughout.  

Angelo Pettiti founded his first garden retail store by operating out of his garage. Learn how the company grew from a small, home-based operation to today’s popular garden retail center chain with nine locations in Northeast Ohio. The Pettiti Garden Center stores are supplied locally by Casa Verde Growers and Ridge Manor Nurseries, allowing them to offer a large selection of fresh, high-quality plants to consumers. The tour will take you to the Avon location, known as Pettiti’s flagship store, where you will learn more about Pettiti’s approach to working with all aspects of the supply chain in order to better communicate with consumers.  

Just north of Columbus, you will stop at Thorsen’s Greenhouse, the primary provider of live plant material to the local Columbus Costco stores. Compare the benefits and challenges of working with an international retail outlet, while hearing more about how Thorsen’s strategically manages various sections of their greenhouse throughout the year to make the most of production space. Founded in 2000 in Delaware, Ohio, Thorsen’s has now expanded their business to sell houseplants through online retailers like Zulily and Wayfair. 

Nursery Production Tour


Full-day, bus departs from Greater Columbus Convention Center *Return to Columbus is expected to be at approximately 6:30 PM

$165, lunch included 

Join us on the 2021 Nursery Production Tour to immerse yourself in the nursery industry of the northern lakes region of Ohio. You will leave with best practices and new ideas to take back to your team. We will be visiting 3 distinctive nursery businesses: Bluestone Perennials, North Coast Perennials, and Ridge Manor Nursery.  

Our first stop will be Bluestone Perennials, a family-owned business near Lake Erie, that focuses solely on direct-to-consumer sales, a unique business model for the nursery industry. From implementing RFID scanning to navigating and mastering e-commerce, you will discover how they have been perfecting their model for the last 49 years.  

Just a short drive from the first stop brings us to North Coast Perennials. With philosophy focused on the value of people, owners Mark and Cathy make sure to hire the right people for their north Coast family. At this stop you will learn how a smaller operation utilizes unique methods and technology from other industries to provide their customers with the best quality.  

Located in the northeast corner of Lake County, Ohio, Ridge Manor Nursery, owned by Pettiti’s, offers a full line of zone hardy shrubs, perennials, grasses and trees to independent garden centers, landscapers, and re-wholesalers in a wide variety of container sizes. Come see how this nursery is an important part of the Pettiti’s supply chain.   

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