April 10, 2010

DoLeaf—Young Gardeners with a Fresh Idea

Three young entrepreneurs are on a mission to bring small, independent and specialty nurseries together for a new online shopping experience for gardeners. I like the spirit of the DoLeaf community. Sarah, Ryan and Micah not only created a different business model, but they are gardeners as well.

The advantages to the seller are apparent. The small businesses do not have to create and maintain a website to sell their plants. The DoLeaf staff takes care of the web development and support. By joining with other nurseries, a wider audience of customers is attracted to the site. When it comes to selling on the web, generating a high volume of traffic is crucial to success.

Browsing the interesting variety of plants at DoLeaf is similar to wandering through the nursery section of a farmers' market. Each nursery has a "store" where you can browse their plants. Or, you can search the selections by keyword, category, zones and other criteria. There are plants and seeds—veggies, herbs, annuals, perennials and houseplants—featured in the stores.

Micah sent me an invitation to try DoLeaf for free. Realizing the opportunity for the unique, I decided to shop for plants for my new hot colors, tropicalesque bed. The Green Sunshine store offers a good selection of intriguing plants that I have never grown.

For each plant in the Green Sunshine store, there are multiple images as well as details on growing conditions and care. I selected a Golden Lotus Banana and a Shampoo Ginger.

Both plants arrived carefully packaged and in perfect health. Information and instructions for the care of the two plants was also included.

The ginger was sent bare root as it is dormant until May. It was carefully wrapped and bagged so that there was no damage to the root. The banana arrived with beautiful foliage that was supported by cardboard. The soil was not only moist, but it arrived completely secure inside the pot instead of scattered in the box.

The two plants are now in my garden where I watch with enthusiasm for my tropicalesque bed to flourish—with red, orange and yellow blooms and lush, tropical foliage.

Based on my positive experience with DoLeaf, I now routinely browse all of the stores for interesting and unique plants to add to my garden.

The plants featured in this story were provided by DoLeaf. Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks/copyrights/patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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