Gardenworks has developed a series of grow-your-own "yes we can" workshops that can be run with garden centres throughout the year "and help us all dig ourselves out of the doom and gloom", said Connel.
He added: "Grow-your-own might not solve all our problems but it does provide our retailers with a golden opportunity to stand out and highlight their green and local credentials."
Connel said research titled Promotions and the Rules of Improvement, published in the book Smart Retail by Richard Hammond on promotions in retail outlets, shows that they: sell to new customers; sell more to each customer; persuade customers to return; cut overheads; and improve sales quality
Top promotions were bargains, seminars and how-to events and tip sheets.
Connel said: "Building seasonal displays and backing this up with live demonstrations and workshops is the most profitable direction in which to target our promotional efforts.
"With this in mind, The Garden Works has developed a programme of events that could be run throughout the year to give consumers the confidence to invest in the right plants and products at the right time to achieve maximum levels of success."
The programme includes potato weekends, summer fruits and vegetables in containers and spice up with winter herbs and salads, among others. The events can be run as weekend demonstrations or as workshops on weekdays.