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GCA Summer Tour Spotlights IGCs From Urban Chic to Suburban Cool

This year's tour is set to give tour-goers key insights and inspiration found only in the diverse San Francisco Bay Area market. The three-day event, which takes participants to San Francisco, Sacramento
and San Jose, will feature five or more stops each day, from large destination garden centers to small, niche-oriented stores. “Retailers will see a range of operations they can relate to,” says IGC’s Clint Albin, who helps organize and lead the tour. “The products these stores sell respond to the customers in their areas. If you look at the smaller, urban stores, they specialize in garden art and vertical gardens. The larger stores sell a lot of trees and shrubs to suburban homeowners. There’s a lot of variety in the mix.”

More Tour Takeaways
This summer’s destination-packed tour gives attendees plenty of time to network with peers, including opportunities to compare notes over dinner each night. On-board discussions led by tour guides on the buses will examine the relevance of each stop to the industry.

“It gives people the chance to gain a broader perspective of the industry,” says Albin. “Plus, IGC retailers looking to learn about a particular focus, like store layout, can target their networking to find out how to improve their store in that area.”

The tour’s authentic California experience will continue with a special presentation and reception honoring industry legend, San Francisco’s own Ernest Wertheim, who will be recognized for his myriad contributions to garden retailing. Wertheim is a principal of Wertheim, Van Der Ploeg & Klemeyer, a firm internationally known for its garden center design and space planning with clients in 40 states and nine countries.

A visit to Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum will demonstrate how important the technology industry is to the region. “We like to have an attraction on the tour that is a point of interest and a recognition for the local area,” says Albin. “When we were in Detroit a couple years ago, we went to The Henry Ford Assembly Plant because Ford is such a big part of the economy in Detroit. Computers are such a large part of the economy in Northern California.”

Wine tastings during the tour will incorporate a sampling of Northern California’s Wine Country, and there will be free time available to explore the City by the Bay. “San Francisco is a world-class destination,” says Albin. “We are staying right downtown, and the buses will get back early enough each night so we can take advantage of all the city has to offer.”

Click here to view complete itinerary.

GCA Tour Hot Spots
  • Alden Lane Nursery, Livermore, CA
  • Almaden Valley Nursery, San Jose, CA
  • Annie’s Annuals & Perennials, Richmond, CA
  • Armstrong Garden Centers, Dublin, CA
  • Bushnell Gardens Nursery, Granite Bay, CA
  • Flora Grubb Gardens, San Francisco, CA
  • Green Acres Nursery & Supply, Roseville, CA
  • High Hand Nursery, Loomis, CA
  • Navlet’s Garden Centers, Danville, CA
  • Orchard Nursery & Florist, Lafayette, CA
  • Sloat Garden Center, Kentfield, CA
  • SummerWinds Nursery, Cupertino, CA
  • Wegman’s Nursery, Redwood City, CA
  • Yamagami’s Nursery, Cupertino, CA
  • Apple Headquarters, Cupertino, CA
  • Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA

Register Today!


June 22, 2014 • San Francisco, CA
August 05, 2014 • Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, MD
August 07, 2014 12:30 PM • Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, MD
August 10, 2014 • Various locations in Ireland
August 19, 2014 • Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
August 21, 2014 12:30 PM • Rooftop at Navy Pier, IGC Show, Chicago, IL

IGC East & IGC Chicago Registration Is Now Open!

Even more benefits are on the horizon for GCA members!

IGC Chicago
will convene, as usual, at Navy Pier on August 19-21, 2014. IGC East will make its debut August 5-7, 2014 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center complex in National Harbor, Maryland, located on the Potomac River, just minutes from Washington, DC, providing easy access to GCA members.

Both IGC Shows will offer all the features and benefits GCA member have come to expect: thousands of new products, free inspiring keynotes and headliner concerts, plus scores of spot-on conference sessions and networking opportunities at the GCA member lunch, as well as all of the GCA-member discounts you enjoy in Chicago. It's an opportunity for members to select the show that best fits their schedule and travel preferences.

Be sure to log in to get your member-savings discount code when registering for IGC Chicago or IGC East.

Visit for more information.

Two New GCA Member Benefits Now Activated

International Garden Centres Association member reports are now available online! GCA is the U.S. representative association in this international association, providing you a front row seat to what is happening in industries around the world.

Each e-news edition includes updates and reports from all across the globe, as representatives from international garden center associations share their country's happenings with you.

Click here to see the latest editions.

Issues of FloraCulture International magazine are now available free to all GCA members. Staying ahead of the trends in plants is important. Now GCA members can keep one-step ahead, by knowing what is happening in the international marketplace.

Click here to see the latest issue.

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