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Urban green spaces improve property values.
Photo courtesy of Benary

With recent economic challenges, many municipalities and private businesses have cut their budgets for “seasonal color.” At every level of the horticulture industry we recognize that decision is bad for business, but how can you argue with budget cuts? What if you could prove that flowers and plants not only improve the well-being of the community, but they can boost the economy as well?

The University of Illinois has done several studies on urban greening and its powerful benefits to low income, inner city communities: lower crime rates, fewer domestic abuse cases, increased optimism, better test scores, the list goes on and on. You can read their articles (or download their pre-made color fliers and PowerPoints) at

But what if your community is already relatively safe and happy? Maybe it’s even considered somewhat wealthy. Is there a way to prove that the use of flowers will also improve the community’s bottom line?

In a recent paper published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, in partnership with Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, Diane Relf provides multiple examples of how businesses are positively impacted by the use of plants and flowers such as:

Cities with attractive landscaping often see greater tourism revenue.
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  • Attractive landscaping increases the value of a home by an average of 7.5 percent
  • Plants increase tourism revenue by increasing the price people are willing to pay for hotel rooms
  • Workers with an outside view of plants feel greater job satisfaction and suffer from fewer headaches and illnesses
  • Workers with access to plants and nature are more productive
  • “Greening” of business centers creates a positive image that attracts customers

For a print-ready pdf that you can hand to your customers or town administrators, just go to

If you want to see these claims in action you need look no further than Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Between the private installations at hotels, businesses, apartment buildings and city containers, parks and parkways, it is very clear that Chicago understands the many benefits of flowers to the economy! It is truly a city in a garden.

BIG Begonias are ideal for casual gardeners due to ease of use.
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Do it BIG

Find easy DIY ideas for your customers in Do It BIG Magazine.

Benary’s Do it BIG Magazine provides tips, ideas and activities to make the most of your time in the garden.
Photo courtesy of Benary

The “lack of time” is cited over and over as the main reason why people don’t garden, or limit their time in the garden. Technology was supposed to make work easier, so people would have more leisure time. The irony is that people may have more leisure time, but they choose to spend it indoors using technology. When they do choose to garden, they want plants that are easy to plant and easy to maintain, and they want it to be fun! They want to interact with their garden and make it a fun part of their social lives.

BIG® Begonias, are perfect for these “no nonsense gardeners” because they are the easiest plant you’ll ever grow! They thrive anywhere from full sun to full shade and even tolerate poor soils. Their well-branched habit provides an amazing show of color all season and will stand up to the hottest summer days, and the worst thunderstorms without breaking open. They are quite drought tolerant so they don’t need irrigation in most areas. This means even the most novice gardener can be an instant success with BIG® Begonias.

Benary just re-released their Do It BIG Magazine, which is full of fun activities, recipes and tips about growing begonias and having fun with them. From making bath salts to a smart phone cover, most projects shown take just 10 to 30 minutes and can be done at home with your family and friends. So have fun with begonias! Just go to to download the full Do It BIG® Magazine.