"I've been looking in some detail at garden centre merchandising in the past few weeks and I've seen some engaging and attractive displays that will inspire even the most reluctant gardeners.
"But I've also seen some well-meaning attempts that look beautiful but frankly are likely to confuse and alienate the very people they were designed to attract."
The former Bayer and Gardman marketeer added:
"In outdoor merchandising especially, the dedicated and experienced horticulturists that run plant areas are clearly enthusiastic about their craft, and they want to impart important detail about the plants. So they sometimes fall into the trap of trying to communicate all the key information in one go. I don't believe that the point of sale is the right place to deliver that level of detail and can result in a big 'turn off' for consumers."
Lawler, who has worked with Hillier and Town & Country on rebranding recently, said: "It is better to aim merchandising and messaging at passing consumers who don't even know they wanted to buy anything."
"Creating displays with which your target consumer can really identify is highly motivating for them. Suggesting small changes and additions to their outdoor space that will make a big improvement to the appearance makes it seem achievable with minimum effort and expertise."