Ernest Wertheim joins 2018 GCA Summer Tour as featured commentator

The 98-year-old veteran of garden center store design will take part in the June 24-27 tour of 15 Seattle-area retailers.

Seattle, Wash. – Garden Centers of America (GCA) officials have announced that industry legend Ernest Wertheim, 98, the father of garden center store design, is joining the 2018 GCA Summer Tour in Seattle, June 24-27, to offer pointed commentary and share valuable industry insights during the event’s exploration of 15 hosting indie retailers.

Wertheim is a principal of Wertheim, Van Der Ploeg, & Klemeyer, a firm internationally known for its garden center design, with clients in 40 states and nine countries. He continues to travel the world, serving long-term clients in the United States and Europe and expanding upon his eight-decade-long career. He is the recipient of a long list of industry awards and recognitions, including from GCA and the IGC Show.  

“It’s not often that you get a chance to sit down and talk with the industry’s elder statesman,” says Jeff Morey, GCA Executive Director. “GCA Tour-goers will gain new perspectives on their businesses, and the IGC industry as a whole, from Ernest. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for all of us.”

In addition to his boundless industry wisdom, Ernest’s is a storied life that celebrates the tremendous joys of personal and professional successes, and mourns the horrific losses of loved ones in the Holocaust and World War II, chronicled in fascinating detail in his published book, "Chasing Spring."

Independent garden center retailers from all over the country will gather to network and get energized with new ideas from GCA Summer Tour Seattle’s featured destinations, from trendy urban garden boutiques to established fourth-generation IGCs and a nursery/winery combo with a view of Mount Rainier. Attendees are encouraged to bring their toughest questions to ask the retailer sitting next to them: the GCA Summer Tour is as much about the conversations on the bus as the retail gems at each stop.

GCA Summer Tour Seattle is not restricted to GCA members and is open to all independent garden center retailers. Early bird savings of $50 per person, plus $30 for each additional person registered, are in effect if you register now at

Share This Content