Jackson & Perkins, New Roses 1998

A rose is never only a rose in the Jackson & Perkins catalog. From the breathtaking white hybrid tea rose on the front cover to the stunning lavender variety with white reverse petals on the back, it’s clear why this catalog has earned the top honor in the gardening category.

Appropriately enough, this Gold Award-winning catalog features the Jackson & Perkins’s “1998 Rose of the Year” on the cover-a hybrid of two other award-winning tea roses that offers “three times as many blooms and is even more elegant than its prestigious parents,” according to the catalog copy. Creative touches, “such as the sprinkled water drops and the clear background, enhance the featured cover item,” says one judge, adding that the gold type adds richness and elegance to the cover.

Although the catalog sells “a phenomenal selection” of roses-more than 100 varieties-it also offers complementary gardening products on almost every spread. And a few other types of flowers are added to the mix, such as an English delphinium and several varieties of lavender, which should boost the average order size, notes a judge.

When selling a product based on its beauty, such as roses, you’d better have beautiful photography. And Jackson & Perkins delivers superb creative with clear, vivid shots of its roses, often mixing large photos with smaller pictures on the same spread.

The company doesn’t rely on just pretty pictures to sell its products, however. Jackson & Perkins uses its copy to come across as an authority on roses and set itself apart from the competition, a panelist notes. Subheads under product names call out product benefits, such as “sultry color with a delicious old-rose fragrance” and “the whirling dervish of roses-the blooms just don’t stop!” The amount of information provided in the copy, coupled with the confidence of voice, “makes you want to keep this book around,” gushes one judge.

The catalog also provides a number of customer services, such as gift certificates, express delivery, and even a 900-number horticultural hotline for expert advice. “And it’s a great idea to use ink-jetting to print the hardiness zone for rose growing on the back cover, based on the customer’s zip code,” adds an impressed judge.

Indeed, Jackson & Perkins wrote the book on roses, and this particular book is well deserving of its Gold Award.

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