You Can Grow That! Blog Campaign Launches

C.L.'s front garden on Cape Cod.

by C.L. Fornari

Bloggers need topics to write about and the gardening “industry” could use a boost. I have a proposal to help with both. Every month there will be a “Garden Bloggers Grow That” day. Four words (You Can Grow That!) on the fourth of every month. Here’s why: 

In hort-industry trade magazine, Facebook groups and private conversations, people are talking about the need for a national campaign that promotes plants and gardening. The opinions about why this is needed and how it might be done are as wide and varied as the plants we all love. We could all debate the “hows” and “whys” forever.

I personally think a national campaign is important not only to build our businesses but to tell the truth about what we do. I also believe it’s something that everyone can begin today, and in many ways garden bloggers are the perfect people to get this growing.

About the truth: we need to remind the public that plants and gardening enhance all aspects of our lives. It’s not just about pretty flowers and nice landscapes.  

I’m preaching to the choir when I tell garden bloggers that plants and gardening provide seasonal celebrations, exercise, entertainment, better air quality, children’s well being, healthy diets, habitats, enhanced spirituality, creativity, tasty food, community connections and more.

Gardens improve quality of life. They connect us with the deepest parts of ourselves and give our lives more meaning. We all know that, but we need to be doing a better job of getting these truths to the general public.

I like the phrase “You can grow that!” for a national campaign for several reasons:

1.  This phrase can be used as a way to talk about those quality of life benefits. Seasonal celebrations? You can grow that! Your daughter’s wedding bouquet? You can grow that! A lush, fragrant party venue? You can grow that!

2. This phrase works for everyone in our industry: growers, retailers, Master Gardeners, public gardens, bloggers and plant breeders.

3. It’s a phrase you can use seriously or lightheartedly. It can be made silly and surprising so it has an element of fun. It can also be made fun of…think “Where’s the beef?”

4. You can grow that! can be combined with other phrases such as “Plant Something” or “Passionate about Plants.” It allows for those who have signed onto a local campaign to join their ideas with this one. “A private place to sit with your wife in the evening? You can grow that! Plant something.”

No where is a grass roots campaign more appropriate than in our industry, and perhaps bloggers are the best people to kick this off.  


I invite you all to post a You Can Grow That! every month on the 4th. It can be about a specific plant, garden, or benefit gained from gardening. Just start with a question that can be answered by You Can Grow That! Flowers in winter? You Can Grow That! (article about heath or hellebores); Bouquets for the office? You Can Grow That! (flowers for cutting); A connection with nature? You Can Grow That! (kids in the garden); A tomato with taste? You Can Grow That! (your favorite heirloom).  You get the idea.

Tweets can include the #youcangrowthat! hashtag. We could start a You Can Grow That! facebook group.

You and I know that individuals have great power to make something happen…let’s prove it. A national campaign to get more people into the garden? You Can Grow That!

C.L. Fornari shares her passion for plants on her website,, and blog,


  1. If any of you bloggers want the bar graphic above to use with your posts, email me and I’ll send it to you – tell me what size you need. clfornari at yahoo dot com

  2. Let’s have some way of finding the other posts on the 4th of the month, like we can all find the GardenBlogger Bloom day posts at Carol Michel’s blog. Sure, we can look for Tweets with the hashtag but a Facebook page would be nicer, I think – or my preference, anyway. Then garden centers and others in the trade could join and find them and “like” or tweet them or link to them on their blogs, website and e-newsletters easily.

  3. I am a novice gardener, but after we planted some plants, my husband and I kept telling each other. “We grew that’. I will try even though I am not a gardener…

  4. Michelle – in some ways your voice is even more important than what we long-time gardeners could say. If you who don’t call yourself a gardener know the delight that comes from putting something in the ground and watching it grow, sharing that with other non-gardeners is important.

  5. “YES!” It’s a great idea. I run a garden maintenance and coaching business. I have more business than I can manage. And, believe it or not my clients must work in parallel with me for a good portion of the time I spend on the property. Or, sometimes I coach them on what to do and follow-up with their progress. People really want this kind of service. I teach them organic principles and methods, and good design practices. Often I reason with them about not planting more than they can care for. I lose. People want to plant! One of my clients has been nagging me for several years to get him kiwi plants. I balk. Isn’t there enough work to do on this property? So, it’s not about me anymore. Right now I promise that I will get him ‘the goods’ so “He Can Grow That in Zone 4!” And, finally I’ll upload my blog and get going on this additional part of my biz – You Can Grow That!

    PS I strongly agree with Kathryn that the general public should be a part of this campaign and in a big way. My wish is that “You Can Plant That” would be a vehicle to further environmental stewardship by showing that organic gardening practices play a significant role in restoring our local ecology. Teach them and they will do it! Yeah! Less chemicals and more healthy soil! We all crave this information (how many garden books do YOU have?). Also, it could be its own “Occupy Garden Center” in that sometimes people want to grow things that are not available in their garden centers (see Kiwi). This could put pressure on the sellers to mix it up more – market pressure and all that.

  6. I’m on board. I’m a very novice gardener, like Michelle. Last year was my first garden. I have already been blogging my attempts, so this will be great!

    I’m looking forward to the great posts.

    And I’m glad you made a FB group. That’ll make it easier for me to find the blog entries. (I’ve sent in my request to join.)

    I’m looking forward to learning from all of you.

  7. I’m just an ordinary gardener with a job and other commitments who is happiest when I get the time to go outside, dig in the dirt and grow things. This is a great idea and I think it will encourage others to get started or try something new. I sent in my request to join the FB group.

  8. Good slogan. Way better than the State of Ohio;s current tag: A big circle (“O”) with hi inside it. OhiO. Get it? Most people don’t. They think it just says “Hi”. It makes me think of a Cheech and Chong Routine.

    But which word is accented?

  9. Oh yes! I can’t believe how many times I’ve told friends and family “You can grow that,” after them eating my figs and other vegetables from the garden.

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