Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

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An interview with... Boyd Douglas-Davies, Garden Re-Leaf Day

Bettering Biosecurity

What action is being taken by the industry?

Heritage Collection Blue Diamond and National Trust collaborate

New on the Block Qwickhose is quickly making waves

April/May 2023 Issue 67

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As was to be expected, the chancellor’s Spring Budget included both glimmers of hope as well as gaping voids. For the next three years, companies can benefit from the money they spend on IT, plant and machinery being deductible from taxable profits.

It arguably softened the blow of corporation tax rising to 25%, though only 10% of businesses will be paying the full rate. Jeremy Hunt also announced a delay in the energy price guarantee increasing, capping household energy bills at around £2,500 for a further three months and hopefully allowing for more disposable income.

What it failed to address though, according to the Horticultural Trades Association, was “the pressing issue of water scarcity,” which CEO Fran Barnes says “poses a significant threat to the industry.”

“It’s important that the government takes immediate action to raise awareness among both businesses and consumers about the importance of conserving water and building drought resilience. We urge policymakers to support measures that encourage water use reduction and ensure the gardening industry’s long-term viability,” berated Barnes.

Her comments come as garden centre sales have grown earlier in the year than usual. A number of categories were on the up in the driest February in 30 years, which the HTA warns caused lower reservoir levels.

As summer approaches – and we recall the unprecedented heatwave last year – Barnes is right that water use needs to be seriously considered by the government – if not in the Budget, then at least ahead of a potential summer of droughts.

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3 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023 Welcome

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5 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023 Contents 12 14 18 20 23 24 27 28 News A round-up of the latest news An Interview With Boyd Douglas-Davies, founder of Garden Re-Leaf Day Is Your Garden Centre Selling To Its Full Potential? Andrew Burton Putting Biosecurity Front and Centre The industry evolves in the name of plant health A Heritage Collection From Blue Diamond and the National Trust Watering Products Pots, cans and starter sets perfect for any gardener Meet The Brand Hozelock A Spring In Their Step GIMA members share latest ranges New On The Block Qwickhose Why we need to create safer gardens Finches Friend Lawn Care Post-winter lawn revitalisers Pet Products Top-tier options for pet owners Home and Interiors Homeware and interior decorating options Contents


Association Updates

GIMA Awards now open for entries

Suppliers can now enter the 2023 GIMA Awards. Titles such as ‘Supplier of the Year’ and the ‘Sword of Excellence’ award are once again up for grabs at the annual ceremony in Wales. Products launched between June 2022 and May 2023 can be submitted ahead of the 2 June deadline for entries. Judging will take place on 11-12 July at Warwickshire Racecourse and the awards ceremony will be 19 October at Celtic Manor. There are 10 product awards, three marketing awards, as well as Export Achievement, Supplier of the Year and the ultimate Sword of Excellence awards.

HTA reveals horticulture growth strategy to Scottish parliament

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) discussed the seven key ambitions of its new Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy with the Gardening and Horticulture Cross Party Group (CPG) in Scotland’s Parliament last week.

The HTA’s Growth Strategy plans to use horticulture to create a “healthier Scotland” and develop “green economic growth, high quality jobs and invest in education/skills.” It hopes to mitigate climate change, increase use of Scottish/UK grown plants, produce greener planning system, and enhance and protect Scotland’s natural capital. It also plans to drive Scottish growth through investment and development grants.

Furniture sales fell in February

Sales of garden furniture plummeted by nearly 30% in February compared to the same month last year, according to the Garden Centre Association’s Barometer of Trade.

CEO Peter Burks says it was “one of the worst performing categories of the month”. He adds: “Lots of centres had furniture marked down in January sales, so customers were able to pick up bargains, and sales have since slowed down.”

Areas which also saw a drop in sales were pets, gifts, hard landscaping, clothing and houseplants. Catering and gardening categories, however, were the ‘standout successes’ of February. Sales in catering were up 15.8%; outdoor plant sales were up 6.58%; seed and bulbs up 8.76%; and garden sundries 6.31%.

Bents revealed as finalist in local business awards

Warrington-based Bents Garden & Home has been announced as a finalist in the Best Retailer & E-Tailer category of the North West Family Business Awards 2023.

A record number of family businesses entered the awards, the ceremony for which will be held at the Concorde Conference Centre near Manchester Airport on Friday 19 May.

Matthew Bent, managing director at Bents Garden & Homes, says: “The whole philosophy of our business is of family and people feeling part of something special, so to be recognised as a finalist in these awards is a fantastic recognition for all of our colleagues. We’re looking forward to meeting fellow family business finalists on 19 May and will be keeping our fingers crossed!”

Employees celebrated at Notcutts’ annual awards

Notcutts Garden Centres has presented 12 awards at its annual ceremony which highlights staff and successes across its 19 sites.

The garden centre group announced winners in categories such as Best Restaurant, Environmental Action, Best Customer Service, Planteria Excellence and Community Hero.

It also awarded 20 Notcutts employees – one at each garden centre and one for the support staff – with Frontline Heroes awards for

“demonstrating exceptional customer service.” Six staff received Long Service awards for between 25-40year milestones at Notcutts.

Nick Burrows, chief executive at Notcutts, says: “We’re proud to recognise the outstanding service our incredible teams deliver across the country every day, making great efforts to inspire customers and to share their skill and expertise. Well done to all our award winners and thank you to our sponsors for supporting our celebrations.”

British Garden Centres expands plant production facilities

British Garden Centres has let a large nursery production unit with the capacity to produce two million retail ready plants each year. The site in Warwickshire has been acquired from Hawkesmill Nurseries,

which built the glasshouse, tunnel and open-bed nursery site in 2017.

“As British Garden Centres, it won’t surprise anyone that we are increasing our production facilities in the UK,” explains Boyd J Douglas-Davies, plants & PR director for the group,

News 6 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Bradford garden centre wins national HR award

Tong Garden Centre has won the Retail Company of the Year category of the British HR Awards.

Organised by employee insight platform New Possible, the British HR Awards aim to discover and celebrate the individuals, teams and suppliers with a high-performing HR function.

“Our work family is at the heart of everything we do at Tong Garden Centre,” says head of people and culture, Neil BarwiseCarr. “We are

passionate about our workplace culture and providing a great place to work and continually strive to be the best employer in the UK.

“Our people and culture team of six work hard to create an environment where everyone can reach their potential, so we’re delighted that this dedication has been recognised with a national award.”

Tong Garden Centres is one of Yorkshire’s largest independent garden centres, occupying a 19-acre site. It is part of the Yorkshire Garden Centres (YGC) group.

Hillier expands sponsorship at BBC Gardeners’ World Live

Garden centre chain

Hillier has announced it will be supporting two show gardens at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live in June, as well as sponsoring the Let’s Talk Plants stage at the Birminghambased show.

It will be providing plants for garden designer Paul Stone’ headline show garden ‘A Garden Fit for a King’, inspired by Highgrove Arboretum.

News Flash

Ivyline eyes growth with new premises

Garden and homeware supplier Ivyline has relocated to a larger warehouse to support its ongoing growth plans.

The new warehouse – part of a 65,000sq ft warehouse development operated by Amethyst Group – is located just 25 minutes from Ivyline’s headquarters at Stoneleigh Park.

Ivyline says it will facilitate “rapid future expansion” as well as “quicker dispatch times” and introduction of “improved systems” to reduce mis-picks and stock shortages. This includes access to the Amethyst’s Wellesbourne site’s robot-operated shuttle racking, which it says is currently the largest in Europe.

Melcourt’s peat-free compost recognised as top performer Melcourt’s SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose compost has achieved Which? Best Buy status. The peat-free product can now use the endorsement, though Melcourt says for production reasons the logo will not appear on its bags.

The family business –which already has 74 consecutive Gold medals from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to its name – will be sponsoring Instagram gardener Lucy Hutching’s ‘The Secret Homestead’. Better known as ‘She Grows Veg’ on the social media platform, Hutchings’ garden will feature dual-purpose edible plants and flowers.

Managing director Andy Chalmers says: “It will be challenging to quantify the benefits derived from the Which? endorsement, but in a typical garden centre compost environment, the widely recognised and respected logo should help customers make the right choice.

“In a market with no formal product quality standards, SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose’s achievement is a testament to the diligent R&D work carried out over many years.”

Seedball celebrates 10th anniversary with trio of launches

Wildflower brand Seedball has created a range of new bee tins to mark 10 years since it launched.

which is the UK’s largest family-run garden centre business. “I’ve known the incredible plants that Hawkesmill has produced for years from this unit and their other sites so jumped at the opportunity to take on this nursery.”

The new nursery, to be known as Temple Nursery in recognition of the local area, will complement the growing the business already undertakes at its

Woodthorpe Nursery – the birthplace of the British Garden Centres group – and Fretherne Nursery, a site leased from Glendale Horticulture.

British Garden Centres has taken on five growers for the new site, including nursery manager, Nigel Coombs, and will be looking to recruit additional colleagues this year.

The trio of products are to raise awareness of three British bee species that are in decline. Each tin contains 20 seed balls of wildflower seeds that are beneficial to bees, with statistics about each bee on the reverse.

Seedball will be showcasing its new launches, along with the rest of its range, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. Its stand will be themed around inspiring visitors to ‘rewild their garden’ and grow wildflowers.

News 7 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023
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An Interview With Boyd Douglas-Davies


As long-time readers of Garden Centre Retail will recall, our big interview tends to concentrate on individual businesses, invariably drilling down into specific aspects of the offer.

With that in mind, we’re going to do something a bit different this time. Instead, we’re going to focus on a key event for the UK industry – Garden Re-Leaf Day. There are two important reasons for doing this, not least the immense amount of good that it does in support of the charity Greenfingers.

Also important, however, – at least from a business perspective – are the immense benefits derived from Garden Re-Leaf on the part of the industry itself. Indeed, this was a key reason for its existence in the first place, with founder Boyd Douglas-Davies intending it as a way for garden centres to get a running start right at the beginning of growing season.

Comic Re-Leaf

Garden Re-Leaf Day was inaugurated over a decade ago in support of Greenfingers, which

is arguably the most important charity for the UK garden centre industry. According to its own website, the latter organisation supports “children who spend time in hospices around the UK. Our aim is to create inspiring gardens for them and their families to relax in and benefit from.”

The website continues that the charity creates “beautiful, welldesigned” spaces, in the belief that “time spent outdoors, away from the bedside” are hugely beneficial, not just for the children themselves but also their families. So far, it has created more than 60 hospice gardens around the country.

Discussing the origins of Garden ReLeaf Day and the support that it provides to Greenfingers, Douglas-Davies – who is currently director of British Garden Centres – says: “The origin of the whole thing was essentially my move from Webbs to buying Studley Garden Centre.

“I had been chief executive at Webbs –which was a very large, marketing-led business – and I was taking over somewhere which essentially had no marketing budget. With the greatest respect to Studley, I thought, ‘I’m going to have to go back to basics with this’.”

Skip forward a couple of days to that year’s Comic Relief, during which, a couple of hours into the broadcast, the inspiration for Garden Re-Leaf struck him. “I was sitting, watching, and thinking about my new lack of marketing budget,” he says. “As Comic Relief continued, I started to wonder why the industry doesn’t tend to engage with it. I had a tin of beer, kept watching, and it dawned on me that we could actually do our own thing.”

He continues: “As the night progressed, I thought of Garden Re-Leaf as a play on Comic

9 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Relief, then texted three people – Caroline Owen at Scotsdale, John Little at Poplars, and the founder of Greenfingers, Richard Jackson.

“At the end of the night, we settled that we were going to have a day in the spring, essentially to kickstart the season. The idea was that we’d engage with the public at all levels, bring the industry together, as well as raising money for charity.”

Skip forward once again, this time to that year’s GIMA Awards dinner: the moment Douglas-Davies chose to officially launch the new initiative. The audience were incredibly receptive to the idea, as were the attendees at the Garden Media Guild Awards several weeks later, particularly after Alan Titchmarsh himself gave it his blessing during his keynote speaker spot. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Elaborating on the concept behind Garden Re-Leaf Day, Douglas-Davies says: “Part of the motivation for the day was that… if I’m a florist, I know that on the 14 February, I’ll have my best day of the year. I know that’s going to be the case every year, regardless of what the weather’s doing. And in the run-up to it, I know that I’ll be absolutely flat-out.

“I was so frustrated with the garden centre industry which was continually finding excuses for its inability to engage with the consumer and get them in the gardening spirit. That could be that the weather was too cold, that Easter was too early, and so on.”

This is not something that can be said in the Re-Leaf era, however. Indeed, those businesses who participate tend to find endless ways of not only raising money for charity but elevating the profile of the industry in the eyes of the public at large.

Star power

Prior to this year’s Garden Re-Leaf Day on 24 March, British Garden Centres sent out a press release, outlining some of the events taking place across BGC’s estate in order to celebrate the occasion. This included Tring Garden Centre playing host to a sponsored walk through the Chilterns, as well as a ‘cycle challenge’ through the local countryside.

To quote the release at length: “Alongside the 20-mile walk and cycle challenge, there will be exciting fundraising events at all the BGC stores across the country.

Features 10 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

“From tombolas to cake sales, treasure hunts to balloon modelling, face painting, raffles and car washes, all 62 centres will be taking part. There [will be] a wealth of fantastic, fundraising events across the country, spanning all interests and ages and raising money for a worthy cause.”

Talking about the importance of these fundraising events to the charity, Greenfingers’ director of fundraising and communications, Linda Petrons, says: “Garden Re-Leaf Day is our biggest event of the year – it’s our national fundraising campaign. Since it began over 10 years ago, the event has raised over a million pounds in the UK, and in Australia, where the money goes to one of their national charities.

“There’s always been the most amazing support from retailers, and all sorts of fun things going on. One year, we held a ‘plantathon’ where key garden centre personnel planted-up for literally 24 hours, then sold the plants for the charity the next day. That was around 2016-2017.

“Alongside raising money for the charity, of course it’s also great for the PR of businesses who get involved. It’s a great way of bringing customers in, and it’s also great for staff morale. Everyone loves it and get loads out of it.”

Dwelling on the last point in particular, this is of course one of the original reasons for getting the event off of the ground in the first place. Asked to dig even deeper into its benefit from a business perspective – including positive impact on staff themselves – Douglas-Davies is unequivocal. “It gives garden centres a great tool to communicate with their community, using any media they choose. The media loves it, and the consumer press loves it. It’s free marketing of your business.

“There’s a huge amount of consumers now who actually want to like the people they deal with, and this is a way to be doing something genuinely good for the most vulnerable people in society. Consumers love to engage with people who do good things.”

Nowhere is this opportunity for publicity better illustrated than in Re-Leaf’s first few years, when Douglas-Davies and his contacts were able to leverage support from any number of celebrities. These included Alan Titchmarsh, as mentioned above, but also Stephen Fry who promoted it on Twitter to extraordinary effect.

Douglas-Davies says: “He tweeted about Garden Re-Leaf Day at 9am that morning – it’s the first day of spring, get down to your local garden centre. His social media team checked that our website was robust enough to handle the anticipated extra volume. And they were right to, because my god, did we get a spike.”

The likes of Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris and Jeremy Clarkson also got involved in the

recording of a quiz CD, which was sent out to participating garden centres in year two.

Like Petrons, Douglas-Davies believes that it is a great way to engage with teams on the shop floor. He says: “People from all different parts of the business suddenly come to life. This year, just in BGC, all of our garden centres took part, and staff could choose to contribute in whatever way they wanted.


“We’ve had bakers in the business making the most phenomenal cakes, which we’ve then raffled off. Suddenly the guys from the plant area are in the restaurant, saying ‘Blimey, who’s made this?’.

“All of this team spirit has been a real plus – it enables them to say ‘This is our day.’ And obviously, if you’ve got a group of garden centres, they’re going to try and compete to outdo each other.”

In the years since it began, Garden Re-Leaf Day has become a fixture for the UK garden centre industry. Long may it continue and thrive.

11 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Is your garden centre selling to its FULL POTENTIAL?

In my opinion, there are opportunities at most garden centres, be it in the development of processes, or by improving their existing proposition.

departments, when it comes to choosing what to sell and when, my seven secrets to success are as follows:

1) B enchmark your data – understand where and why your centre is under-performing and use industry data to clarify it. You may need to call in a consultant to help identify these factors.

Many garden centres have seen a huge diversification since 2020, helping them to improve what they do and turn opportunity into profit. Visiting centres throughout the country, I have seen significant focus on retail improvement, stronger catering offers, improvements to back-of-house infrastructure and team development.

However, not everyone has identified their site’s full potential, and I wonder if this is due to owners wanting to minimise risk in uncertain times, or if they are missing opportunities simply because they are focused on other aspects of

For example, take the food proposition; since 2016 I have seen improvements in food propositions in centres throughout the UK, but since 2019, there has been an explosion in the food offering available, not only in restaurants and cafes, and also in food retail. The Malcolm Scott team has helped farm shops and garden centres nationwide to identify opportunities to strengthen their business, and a key part of that is developing coffee shops to complement their updated restaurant offer, and developing a food retail offering that maximises turnover and profit.

Both of these development areas have been proven to lead to increased customer revisits, driving both turnover and footfall.

The food retail farm shop concept is making a massive impact in sales; the HTA noted in its recent market reports that retail food sales increased by 56% in January, and it’s not just a blip. Since 2019, food retail sales have seen consistent increases and our role on the Farm Retail Association’s council and the work we do with farm shops across the UK has given us a clear understanding of how and why it can maximise turnover and profit.

Creating a stronger food offering might sound simple, but to maximise profit it needs thought, strategy, and a clear proposition and commitment. Through all garden centres’

2) Understand what you need to do within the business, but not look to develop a new range without being 100% aware of every aspect required to deliver it. This includes space, range, staff capability, processes and back-of-house requirements.

3) K now and understand your brand, in terms of what you are and what your customer wants.

4) Don’t be afraid to sell what you are passionate about, provided it works within your business model.

5) Capitalise on trends early.

6) Ensure your plans do not undermine your current proposition and are commercially viable.

7) Ensure any development is supported by town planning guidance. Essentially, your food proposition needs to create a point of difference for visitors while still being consistent with your garden centre’s brand.

Good luck!

Features 12 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023
About Andrew Burton Andrew works for garden centre and farm shop business strategy and rural planning specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants. Andrew provides commercial, operational and business development experience and commercial advice to clients in the retail and catering sectors. Andrew now sits on the Farm Retail Association Council, having previously been on the Garden Centre Association Board.
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Putting Biosecurity Front and Centre


The demand for high-quality pest and disease-free plants is higher than ever. Recent figures show that plants provide an annual value of £15.7bn to the UK economy. So, the garden industry has had to work together to minimise the threat to the UK environment whilst developing a strong and thriving UK production industry.

Defra recently published a five-year (2023 – 2028) plant biosecurity strategy that highlights its vision for plant health and action plan to secure national biosecurity, protect native species and drive economic growth.


HTA and its members have a long history in fostering best practice in biosecurity. The OHAS certification is a flagship HTA scheme that for many years has set out, audited, and inspected plant producers around their biosecurity. The HTA is a founding member of the Plant Health Alliance and it works closely with businesses of all types to encourage the adoption of best practice, and its adoption by members in the form of certification schemes such as OHAS and PlantHealthy.

Ball Colegrave Ltd provides independent garden centres with bedding and patio plants,

perennials, as well as popular vegetable varieties. Its young plants from seed and cuttings are produced at a sister company, Bordon Hill Nurseries Ltd and as a major plant propagator, Bordon Hill aims to work to promote good plant health across all of its nursery sites. “We ensure that we follow all UK relevant plant health regulations, ensuring that staff understand their duties and have received relevant training to carry them out,” says marketing manager Stuart Lowen.

“Bordon Hill Nurseries requires key staff to maintain our Plant Health Management System by producing crops responsibly following

14 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

current OHAS and Defra Codes of Practice. This includes reporting all pest and disease outbreaks and following isolation procedures as required, reviewing all plant health procedures and site and operations risk assessment, and promoting plant health awareness amongst all employees.”

Staff vigilance is also key to Taylor’s Bulbs. Andy Bean, quality and technical manager, explains: “We have a full Quality Management System which is designed to provide the framework through which the company

how to best store bulbs at retailers to ensure optimum quality.”

Wyevale Nurseries has implemented a ninepoint Plant Health Policy. “We set out operating procedures regarding plant health which consider legal obligations, risk assessment, and documented work practice,” says production manager, Kyle Ross. “We set our standards high, to exceed minimum legal plant health requirements and have adopted the newly created Plant Health Alliance’s Plant Healthy Scheme (PHS).

“The business recognises quarantine and regulated pests and diseases and has appropriate measures in place to handle these using pest risk analysis (PRA), with the performance recorded and monitored by external audits. I also obtained status as a Registered Plant Health Professional and utilise these credentials to strengthen the company’s biosecurity policy.”

certification, which is applied for, processed, and pre-notified through the Defra PEACH or IPAFFS system. Products are quarantined, and procurement checks and inspections are made by Defra or FPM plant health team before any movement to the rest of the nursery.”


The HTA and GCA work closely with Defra to ensure standards and measures are in place to drive best practices and standards in garden centres. Antony Snow, instructional designer at the GCA says: “In 2022, we started to produce courses that provide customers with a more organic approach to pest and disease control by promoting good plant husbandry to maintain a plant’s health. As well as being available exclusively to GCA member garden centres, the GROW facility is now also available to HTA members too.”

ensures it fulfils biosecurity requirements alongside quality and service commitments to customers. We are audited annually by OHAS to ensure the latest legislation and best practice methods are followed. We work with our local Plant Health Inspectorate to ensure we stay up to date with the latest plant health guidance and also to inspect and maintain the health of our daffodil growing stocks.

“Each consignment of raw bulbs received travels with either a UK Plant Passport or a phytosanitary certificate depending on its origin. When booked in, each stock receives a lot number which enables traceability along the full length of the supply chain – from the field to the gardener. Bulbs are quality controlled on arrival and there is an internal sample system in place; all are sampled and inspected. They are then stored in a variety of temperature-controlled areas depending on their specific needs.

“Each sample is labelled and put aside to be planted out, grown on, and checked at onsite trials ground. We also run a biennial training day for customers where training is given on

Frank P Matthews has been supplying highquality, healthy trees to customers for more than 100 years. Sales director Matthew Thomas tells us how they implement plant health measures on its site: “We will always try to source plants that have been propagated and produced in the UK if we cannot produce them ourselves. We will not deal with any nurseries that operate in high-risk geographical areas. We only purchase plant material with plant passports, and if purchasing from outside of the UK, we check that all plants have the required phytosanitary

The Plant Healthy scheme is also a key accreditation held by Hillier, which has 19 garden centres across southern England. Chris Francis, garden centre director at Hillier says: “We recognise the risks posed to UK horticulture from imported plant pests and diseases and are committed to helping define industry standards by adhering to a strict biosecurity policy. This helps us to ensure good practices in our plant purchasing and growing practices with full record keeping and documentation. Our staff are then thoroughly trained to recognise and

Features 15 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

report pests and diseases, practice high levels of nursery hygiene, and maintain crop inspection and husbandry records.”

Hillier holds the Plant Healthy accreditation at its Andler’s Ash tree nursery with plans to extend this across other sites, as well as the ISO 14001 environment management accreditation, and the Woodland Trust UK and Ireland Sown and Grown (UKISG) trust mark.

“We also comply with all government regulations and legislation, ensuring that plant health remains at the highest standards and the risk of disease is controlled and minimal,” says Francis. “Through trade bodies, consultants, and the ‘plant health portal’, our incredibly knowledgeable team of experts always remains up to date with developments, operating a zerotolerance policy for notifiable pests, diseases, and weeds on all imported stock.”

David Hall and Simon Hall, business partners at Halls, explain that they buy little but often to sell through stock in a short period and rebuy, with most suppliers getting stock to the store quickly, ensuring they are both healthy and look their best. The growers whom they work with are all long-established, reputable, and experienced in what they do well and with whom we have a great relationship. Halls also

offers literature for the newer members of staff to read over and refer to, so they can aid customers with plant health.

High-risk plants for retailers can include olives, Nerium, and polygala which are now off Notcutts’ shopping list. Colin Dale, category head of plants & gardening, says: “We only buy from suppliers we trust for quality and who can provide plant passports for all the plants we buy. We also select suppliers who use tried and tested young plant growers and this, in conjunction with using the plant passport scheme, ensures we have full traceability throughout the whole plant production process from start to finish.

“We do not buy from areas of countries where there is, or has been, a Xylella outbreak and do not import high-risk plants from anywhere.”

Plant guarantees are offered at most garden retailers, including Coolings. Jon Reburn, horticultural manager, says: “We offer our

customers a seven-year guarantee on all our hardy plants, so it is very much in our interests to only sell the best quality stock. We grow about 60% of what we sell in our nurseries, giving us a high degree of control regarding plant health issues.

“We import root-balled Acers for potting from Holland but use a supplier who has the highest rating of biosecurity from the Dutch plant health authority. We always try and take a proactive approach and work with our local APHA Plant Health Inspectors with the mindset that they are on our side to protect our industry.”

Retailers and growers alike are working hard to ensure pests and diseases do not cross our borders and that the plants they offer to customers are the best quality possible.

Features 16 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

What is Strulch?

A garden mulch made entirely from wheat straw with added minerals.

Which acts as a deterrent to slugs and snails

Packed in recyclable bags

Interested in becoming a stockist?

1 pallet minimum order discounts for 5, 10, 20 pallet orders 48 x 9 kg (approx. 100 litre) bags on a pallet

Delivered in 3 working days

All stockists advertised on our website Email or call for a quotation: 01943 863610 01943 863610

A heritage collection


Towards the end of the summer last year, the UK’s second largest garden centre chain and the National Trust announced the start of an exclusive five-year collaboration. Blue Diamond Garden Centres is working together with the National Trust to create a series of collections, from seeds and bulbs to a far more unique offering.

Sold exclusively through Blue Diamond stores, the collections are inspired by National Trust gardens, including the red border at Hidcote and the white garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. They include rare, heritage species which gardeners will be able to plant for themselves for the first time. “This horticultural heritage doesn’t belong to the National Trust; it belongs to the nation,” says Andy Jasper, National Trust’s head of gardens and parklands.

“So, this is all part and parcel of allowing access. It’s actually quite a bold move. We were looking for a partner and Blue Diamond came along with the mechanism and the ability and a can-do attitude which unlocked everything.”

First to launch was the spring flowering bulb collection last September. Two months later, the Powis Castle Bare Root Collection was unveiled, inspired by some of the roses grown at the Grade I listed castle in Powys, Wales. “The sourcing standards at the National Trust include no single-use plastic, peat free, and recycled – all of which Blue Diamond has adopted, and Blue Diamond has actually been leading the way in transferring away from peat growing media. We’ve been eradicating peat from our processes for the last 30 years, so it really is something that is right at the core of who we are and what we represent.”

Plants for the National Trust’s latest collaboration plants are grown at Blue Diamond’s 75-acre nursery, which the chain purchased alongside its Bridgemere Garden Centre, one of the largest garden centres in the UK. “Blue Diamond, we feel, is a formular in the garden centre trade; we aim to be peat free by 2024. We work with big and local suppliers to try to get everyone moving towards peat free too,” explains Blue Diamond’s Jill Kerr.

At the start of this year, the native trees and hedgerow collection hit stores which hopes to address the decline in hedgerows following World War II and to improve biodiversity. It includes native shrubs and trees such as viburnum, hawthorn and elderberry. The summer flowering bulb collection then launched in February, swiftly followed by the seed collection – with more than 60 flowering varieties of seeds in packets

18 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023
©National Trust Images, Gary Cosham

illustrated by Madeleine Smith – and seed gifting, along with potted roses such as Rosa ‘Octavia Hill’, named after one of the founders of the National Trust, Rosa ‘Biddulph Grange’, Rosa ‘Tatton’ and Rosa ‘National Trust’.

Most recent to market is the herbaceous border plant bundles inspired by four National Trust properties: Nymans in West Sussex, Hill Top in Cumbria, Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, and Hidcote in Gloucestershire. The ‘Ready to Plant’ packaging shows users how they might plant the collections to replicate those at these properties, with planting instructions and a planting plan.

To showcase the range so far – and what’s still to come – the National Trust and Blue Diamond will be exhibiting in the Discovery Zone at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, before launching their seed journals in June. At the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, a new rose will be unveiled which has been bred by specialist German rose breeding company Rosen Tantau.

The ‘Mottisfont’ rose has been named after the National Trust property in Hampshire with the same name, “which is renowned for its 1900

old fashioned roses,” explains Kerr. “It’s a very traditional rose, in terms of colour and style –which is just perfectly suited for Mottisfont,” adds Jasper.

Towards the end of the summer, Blue Diamond will be adding a collection of ‘naturalising’ spring flowering bulbs – which are planted in open grass – including crocus and tulips.

All the launches, up to this point, will be available to the mass market, with a minimum of 10% of retail sales price per product to be donated to the National Trust. However, in the autumn, an exclusive product will be available through the collection which only 10 buyers will be able to get their hands on – one which has “gravitas”, says Jasper.

Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree, also known as the ‘Flower of Kent’, is situated in the orchard

of Newton’s childhood home, Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire. An apple from this tree dropped in front of Newton which is said to have sparked his theory of fundamental gravitational force. From the original tree, a limited number of trees have been propagated and will be auctioned off. A large part of the sum will then go to Woolsthorpe Manor, a National Trust property.

Whilst both Blue Diamond and the National Trust will profit from sales of the collection, the hope is that these products will also drive customers of the garden centres to their local National Trust garden,

For now, the five-year partnership is exclusive to Blue Diamond, with no plans from the National Trust to strike up a similar partnership with other garden centres. With a series of launches in just the first year, though, it’s bound to prove lucrative for both parties and there could be more to come.

Features 19 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023
©National Trust Images, Clive Nichols

in their A SPRING STEP


Lawn care

The green, green grass of home is, for many gardeners, the largest plant they take care of, which is why lawncare remains one of the biggest product categories within garden centres.

Helping retailers to optimise sales this season is Burgon & Ball which offers weeding and edging tools for a flawless finish. The team has created a lawncare stand for the retail environment which features all the bestselling lines across various lines, together providing retailers with an easy complete offering solution.

The UK’s oldest lawn seed brand, Johnsons Lawn Seed, has long extolled the environmental virtues of lawn and, with its new QR code packaging, is making it even easier for consumers to get to grips with these benefits. Designed to build consumer confidence at the point of sale, customers just have to zap the ‘How to Choose Your Lawn Seed’ QR code on the front of the box with their smartphone or tablet, for access to information that will help them find the best lawn seed for their specific requirements. A second code for ‘Hints and Tips’ is on the back

of all boxes, enabling customers to access invaluable advice on preparing the ground for seeding and sowing grass seed for optimum results.

Greenkey has brought to market its Rolling Lawn Aerator, which has already been recognised as a BBC Gardeners’ World Best Buy for its exceptional performance. Despite its simplicity, this lawn aerator is highly effective, featuring lightweight construction and robust spikes that make it an ideal tool for small lawns and comes complete with a two-year warranty.

DJ Turfcare’s Lawn Boost is the ideal treatment to give lawns a quick start after the winter weather and to keep them healthy throughout the growing season. This organicbased feed provides the ideal solution for lawns where moss is not a problem. Additional benefits include good drought resistance, whilst the bacteria found in Lawn Boost will convert

thatch into nourishing plant feed that lasts for up to 100 days.

Over at Neudorff, its complete lawn care portfolio only contains organic, natural raw


ingredients with added microorganisms to ensure that soil is healthy and alive with organic growth activity. Products include Mycorrhiza fungi to absorb additional water and nutrients from the soil. Look out for the ever popular CleanLawn and CleanLawn Moss Control for Lawns Concentrate.

Products 20 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Hygeia’s Nature

Safe range also features natural, organic and sustainable lawn care products, all of which benefit from the inclusion of wild Atlantic seaweed. This seaweed is hand harvested and cold pressed for a more nutrient rich and sustainably sourced solution.

New watering solutions

Capi Europe is working to bring water-friendly gardening to the fore, starting with its new rainwater tank, reducing tap water reliance and utilising softer rainwater that offers unique

cleverly stores water automatically to be used when the plant requires it. A handy water meter indicates when water reserves are running low. elho’s Greensense planters come in charcoal grey, light concrete, and clay brown, and are suitable for use indoors and outdoors.

benefits for plants. Holding up to 400L of water, and manufactured using sustainable processes and recyclable material, the tank features a ribbed texture and a metal tap that includes a garden hose connector, whilst planting can be added to the top of the barrel to help increase the biodiversity credentials of this new introduction.

Planters that take the worry out of overwatering for forgetful plant parents have shaped the latest offering from both elho and Primeur. At elho, the innovative ‘greensense aqua care’ range has been introduced, with each planter featuring a generous water reservoir that

Primeur’s award-winning Tierra Verde self-watering planters don’t just help plants to thrive by drawing up water when it’s needed most, but each planter also helps to recycle a waste product that would otherwise take upwards of 80 years to decompose. Using ‘black magic’ – aka recycled rubber tyre crumb – Tierra Verde planters are lightweight, virtually indestructible and UV and crack resistant, making them suitable to last a lifetime in the home or garden, and capable of tackling every bump and knock on the shopfloor.

For those who prefer to water plants manually, Burgon & Ball also offers 5L and 9L watering cans in a range of colours. Burgon & Ball prides itself on the mass market appeal of this ergonomically designed range.

Additionally, the Spear & Jackson Kew Garden Collection of French-style Watering Cans offers a traditional solution combined with modern innovations for hydrating plants and flowers. These beautifully crafted, high-quality cans are all metal, with fully sealed seams and rivet holes and come in 4.5L and 9L capacities. Available in a choice of British Racing Green, Vibrant Lime, or Vintage Galvanised Steel finishes, the cans feature handles and a watering rose in a complementary burnished copper colour. The rose is fully detachable, and handles are hinged, ensuring the can remains balanced as it empties; folding flat for space-saving storage. In stock and available to order now.

About GIMA

Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) is a membership organisation of around 150 members representing the majority share of suppliers and manufacturers in the UK gardening industry. Formed in 1999, its goal is to promote commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU based companies. GIMA is run by a small team of dedicated professionals and governed by a council of members.

Products 21 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Peak Performing Peat Free


Bathgate is still a relativly new member of the horticulture market, having been established just over 10 years. But right from the outset, it knew a top-performing peat-free product was a Holy Grail worth searching for.

Made with the finest ingredients using the latest technology, this UK manufacturer prides itself on providing precision blended, consistent products with outstanding results across its whole range, but especially with its peat free.

This popular range combines great value with exceptional results for growers with sustainability concerns. Made with a balance of quality ingredients including wood fibre and coir, Bathgate ensures gardeners will have a similar experience to what they are used to with peat.

The Champions Blend flagship peat-free product has several extra additions to provide an exceptional premium product that is regularly at the top of many influencers and garden enthusiasts’ growing trials.

BBC Radio 2’s allotment guru, Terry Walsh, had this to say about Champions Blend: “I have searched long and hard to find a peatfree compost that would challenge the results I had with peat based. When I discovered Champion Blend peat free compost I was finally getting those results I had always had with my germination and early plant growth.

“I can now move in the right direction and move entirely to peat free and still have the best results on my allotment and enjoy my new gardening experience.”

So now retailers can do the right thing by the environment and their customers – happy that gardeners will keep coming back for more.

If you want to know more about Bathgate’s full range of horticultural products and why their peat free is gaining popularity, contact them on:

22 Garden Centre
2023 Promotion
Retail April/May

Why we need to create safer gardens



ince the pandemic there’s been an exponential rise in the number of people feeding birds in their gardens. Whilst there is no doubt that people love to see a garden filled with birds feasting, drinking, and bathing, what is not as commonly known is that bird feeders, tables and other feeding points can easily become a focus for the spread of disease.

The Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) and Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) have researched the effects of intensive feeding on wild bird populations and have found that when high numbers of mixed bird species are brought together at feeders, there’s an increased transfer of diseases between them.

The findings presented by the GWH and CWHC are clear – food should be kept dry, and feeders need to be cleaned regularly to reduce the risk of disease transfer. Put simply, separating ‘feed, feet & faeces’ is key to protecting our wild birds. We must ensure they cannot stand, walk, or defecate in the food or water they are provided, and this begins with the products used, manufactured and sold.

SSo, who is responsible for this damage to our wildlife? The manufacturers, retailers, or both? And why are so many unsuitable and unsafe open feeders still available to buy?

Typical side port bird feeders are the worst offenders. They offer no level of biosecurity because the main body of food is open to the elements and as the food drops, water and fungal spores access the food. The Trichomonosis parasite lives longer in damp food, and because it is transferred through saliva, it can pass from one port to another. We are fighting parasitic, fungal, viral, and bacterial disease, all transferred on and around feeders and water sources.

Whilst the message of ‘clean regularly’ may be communicated via labelling on products, most manufacturers don’t acknowledge responsibility for the consequences of intensive feeding or the impact on wildlife populations –and this needs to stop. It’s vital for retailers to find brands that take duty of care seriously.

Intensive bird feeding can have devastating consequences on certain species if done incorrectly or irresponsibly. So, to prevent further damage, it’s essential that both retailers and manufacturers take steps to ensure their customers understand exactly how they can

properly use bird feeders so that they don’t inadvertently harm any wildlife as a result. Customers must clean their feeders regularly and only provide dry food for birds to limit the spread of disease among different species, but they need support and education to do so.

My plea is simple: please read the GWH or CWHC guidance and consider how damaging the products on your shelves are. Provide the safest choices for birds and help customers to make those right choices. Together we can tackle disease and prevent the spread of illness and disease in all gardens.

About Dick Woods

Dick Woods is the founder of Finches Friend Nature, a family business run alongside his son Andrew. An engineer with more than 40 years’ experience of product design and manufacture, he created the business after noticing the decline of birds in his own garden. Product development for Finches Friend Cleaner Bird Feeders began in 2016 and its first product was released in 2021. Its range of feeders has been designed to safely overcome the key problems surrounding feeding garden birds.

23 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023 Products

Products Pet


PARK LiFE Fris-Bix Peanut Butter & Chicken & Veg

PARK LiFE Pet Limited

Fris-Bix are frisbee shaped biscuits for throwing, catching, and playful snacking. They’re ideal for dog owners with large gardens, and are grain free, 100% natural, with ‘no hidden junk’. Available now from Pedigree Wholesale.

RRP £5.99

Mrs Cook’s Fish Cakes, Mr Fisher’s Fish Skins, Lil’ Scamp’s Fish Bites

Goodchap’s Goodchap’s Treat a Dog in Need campaign means that every time a customer purchases a bag of Mrs Cook’s Fish Cakes, Mr Fisher’s Fish Skins or Lil’ Scamp’s Fish Bites, the company will send some to dogs in need at a rescue centre.

RRP From £3.50

Little Tricks

Little BigPaw, The First Class Pet Company Ltd

Perfect for reward-based training, these treats can easily be divided to stimulate interaction and bonding. They include 100% natural ingredients with no added sugars, enriched with liver for palatability and added mixed herbs with health boosting properties. It’s a grain-free recipe and is available in shelf ready boxes of 12. Also in the range are Little Boostas and Little Kips.

RRP £1.99

Buddycare Dog Shampoo


Deep cleansing, soft lathering and quick rinsing – Buddycare offers five different scents: Baby Fresh, Oatmeal, Vanilla & Shea Butter, White Dog and Flea & Tick Shampoo.

RRP From £6.99

Products 24 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023
PATS Sandown 2023 New Product Award winner

On the Go Bars

Lily’s Kitchen

Lily’s Kitchen has launched its On the Go Bars, ideal for dogs on long walks or to keep them satisfied on a road trip. These 40g bars are packed with natural ingredients and are available in chicken with coconut and turmeric, or beef with spinach and cinnamon.

RRP £2.50

Meet FibreCycle

Tell us about FibreCycle.

FibreCycle is an Australian company, founded in 1989 with a mission to make a more sustainable pet care business. Having produced the bestselling cat litter in Australia, FibreCycle built its factory in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire in 2010 to share the great power of paper litter with the cat owners of the UK. We produce Breeder Celect upcycled paper cat litter and Breeder Celect upcycled small animal bedding here, whilst also managing the corn clumping ‘World’s Best Cat Litter’.

How was it founded?

Frozzys Frozen Yogurt and Superbites


Frozzys produces healthy and award-winning Frozen Yogurts and Superbites treats for dogs. Its products contain only natural, simple and healthy ingredients. The Frozzys brand is loved and recognised by dog owners throughout the UK as a fun and healthy treat for their pets. Frozzys can supply freezers and stands for stores.

RRP £1.99 (Frozen Yogurt) £3.29 (Superbites)

A family-owned business that took an unwanted waste product, understands the natural absorbency properties and turned it into a cat litter that is great for people, pet and planet.

What makes the litter environmentally friendly?

Breeder Celect and Back 2 Nature utilises over-issued newspapers – the ones not sold by newsagents and sent back at the end of the day – along with other preconsumer wastepaper. FibreCycle gives a second use to this waste product, upcycling into great performing, natural litter – UK sourced paper, made in our UK factory, using upcycled material, in a paper bag. And that’s not all; once the solid waste is removed for the litter, it’s biodegradable and home compostable, so it doesn’t have to be sent to landfill like many other litters.

What’s next for FibreCycle?

We launched two new products at PATS Sandown:

• Breeder Celect PLUS Probiotic 10L – paper cat litter with odour eating probiotics

Natural Raw Dog Food Natural Instinct

The Natural Dog Food range is packed full of 100% British meats with the freshest fruit and vegetables. This range offers specialised recipes for the different needs and life stages of a dog. With no need for supplements, the Natural range provides dogs with a balanced and healthy BARF diet, with a range of flavours to choose from.

RRP From £1.95 (Natural Puppy – 1 x 500g)

• Breeder Celect PLUS Kitten 10L – paper cat litter with a natural attractant to help with litter training and odour eating probiotics

Breeder Celect Recycled paper cat litter

FibreCycle UK

Made in the UK, Breeder Celect is highly absorbent with natural odour control. Because it’s made from paper, water and air, it’s soft and safe for all paws. Breeder Celect Cat Litter can be home composted once the waste is removed, adding much needed carbon to green garden waste compost, so no need to send to landfill.

RRP Starting from £8.49

Products 25 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Products Homeware


Darjeeling heather throw/blanket

Weaver Green

Made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, these durable and stylish blankets can be used indoors and out. They are water, mould and rot-resistant, uninteresting to insects, resistant to snagging on pet claws and machine washable.

RRP £75 (200cm x 110cm, large size)


& Ball Bilbao indoor pot, pale jade

Burgon & Ball

Strikingly contemporary indoor pots, for the trend of geometric designs. The design’s strong diagonals are picked out in white from the glazed background. Available in a choice of two sizes. The pale jade colour is also echoed as a colour option in the top-selling wooden-handled indoor watering can, to make an appealing mix’n’match set which works well for retailers.

RRP £10.49 & £15.49

Burgon & Ball indoor watering can

Burgon & Ball

This elegant indoor watering can has “been a sales phenomenon since its launch.” Just 14cm high, it’s more than stylish enough to leave on show, with a slender spout ideal for delivering water just where it’s needed and an FSC beech wood handle. Available in a choice of four colours.

Burgon & Ball indoor plant mister

Burgon & Ball

Perfect for the continuing passion for houseplants, the mister is ideal for caring for tropical houseplants, orchids, terrariums and succulents with a super-fine spray. Superior performance is achieved through a robust pump with metal moving parts, giving reassuring reliability and long life. Available in a choice of three finishes.

RRP £24.99

‘My Monstera’ coir doormat

Coco & Coir

RRP £19.49

Thick, durable, and long-lasting – this 15mm coir doormat is designed to show off the homeowner’s love of the monstera with a vibrant green print on natural brown coir. Made with organic coir fibres that naturally absorb water and deter insects with natural coconut oils, the doormat has anti-slip PVC backing for a secure, safe doorway.

RRP £12.99

Products 27 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Products Lawn Care


Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance

Johnsons Lawn Seed

Tuffgrass has quickly become a top-performing lawn seed product with both consumers and retailers alike, with over a million boxes sold to date. And with the new season approaching, Johnsons Lawn Seed is urging garden centres to top up this favourite which has been scientifically proven to create dog patch-resistant lawns and is tough enough to stand up to the wear and tear of daily footfall and the UK weather.

RRP From £5.25

MO Bacter

DJ Turfcare

Organic-based Lawn Boost will provide an ideal feed solution for lawns where moss is not a problem. For use throughout spring and summer, Lawn Boost will kickstart the lawn following winter and will encourage healthy growth, characterised by a vibrant colour and strong grass plants. Drought resistant and the inclusion of health bacteria can feed the lawn for up to 100 days. Each 10kg bag of Lawn Boost will feed a 200m 2 lawn, perfect for the average UK garden.

RRP £31.99

CleanLawn Moss Control for Lawns Concentrate


Neudorff’s CleanLawn Moss Control for Lawns

Concentrate is biodegradable and based on the active ingredient pelargonic acid. Packaging throws the spotlight on key benefits – a thicker, greener and more drought-resistant lawn – ramping up the sales appeal at the point of purchase, as well as confirming that the formulation is child and pet safe, further enhancing its appeal to eco-savvy consumers.

RRP From £12.75 (1L)


The Real Soil Company

SuperLawn is a three-in-one blend of natural topsoil, soil improver and horticultural sand, designed for use during seeding, turf laying, or lawn dressing. Packed full of slow-releasing nutrients, trace elements and minerals, SuperLawn helps lawns to thrive by improving the soil type and structure to give lawns the healthiest start. SuperLawn is an ideal combination, occupying a minimal retail footprint, allowing retailers to maximise their floorspace.

RRP From £5.99

Peat-Free Organic Lawn Feed & Top Dressing 40L


RocketGro’s Organic Lawn Feed is 100% chemical and peat-free and is organic approved and weed seed free, packed full of micro-nutrients. The clear and concise packaging outlines all user benefits to ensure more confident buying decisions at the point of sale.

RRP From £9.99

Aftercut All In One Lawn Feed, Weed on Moss Killer 80m


RRP £9.99


Aftercut All in One Lawn Feed, Weed & Moss Killer contains 2,4-D, Mecoprop-P, Dicamba & Ferrous Sulphate. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

Gro-Sure Smart Seed Fast Start 40m 2


The ideal pair for customers to get the lawn they want in spring. Consumers can kill up to 12 types of weeds and kill moss fast with Aftercut All in One Lawn Feed, Weed & Moss Killer, whilst getting a greener lawn in just seven days. Waiting six weeks, they can apply Gro-Sure Fast Start to repair patches left by weed and moss removal.

RRP £21.99

Products 28 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023


UK warehouse means we fulfil orders quickly. We

dropshipping, enabling you to sell a

range without holding stock, and we’ll deliver direct to your customer.

With award-winning products and a TrustPilot ‘Excellent’ rated customer service team, why not see how we could help grow your sales this season?

Suppliers of outstanding Home & Garden Products For further information, email or telephone +44 (0) 1235 424100 Celebrating 20 successful years in the industry! FIND US AT GLEE: Hall 20, Stand G40–H41 Keep up with the conversation Broad range of high-quality hand and power tools available to suit every gardener.
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New on the Block Qwickhose


For years, hose connectors have remained largely unchanged, says Jason Wilkinson. The plastic teeth would often snap off and the connector would need to be replaced – and he should know. Having founded construction company Rivendale Developments more than 20 years ago, Wilkinson says he alone was throwing away three or four connectors a year due to broken teeth.

Being something of an inventor, and a carpenter by trade, Wilkinson has been keeping a list of potential products to bring to market, based on the challenges he would come across in his day-today work. Around three years ago, he decided to give one a go – a lock with a mechanical and electrical component to it, which proved to be more time-consuming than he’d first envisaged. So, he decided to focus on another.

Enter the Qwickhose connector which, rather than featuring plastic teeth, has a unique wing-lock system. Its durability makes it

more “eco-friendly”, says Wilkinson, who adds that lockdown and the public’s growing love of gardening likely prompted him to pursue reinventing the hose connector earlier than he might have done otherwise.

The pandemic also arguably highlighted the need for more British manufacturing. From day one, Wilkinson says he didn’t want to outsource the manufacturing of Qwickhose to another country, so the products are produced entirely in Britain. “It’s maybe a little dearer to make it in the UK, but it’s more environmentally friendly because you’re not putting it on a boat or plane to get it from overseas. I’m a strong believer in supporting UK businesses and now a lot of people are supporting British products.”

We spoke to Wilkinson just three weeks after Qwickhose had come to market in February. He said the feedback so far has been “fantastic” – some have described the product as a “gamechanger.”

Now, the brand is looking to add new products to its lineup. “Originally, when I came up with the concept, it was just about the hose connector. But we questioned whether we could just sell people hose connectors, so we came up with the Starter Kit (see page 33) so that people can have a matching set in their garden.”

On top of that, Qwickhose is launching a set of mini spray heads, a multi spray gun, a double-end wing-lock hose joiner and a double male hose coupler. To showcase its growing range, the company will be at Glee in June, where last year it won the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund, a grant which helps launch innovative new products. Qwickhose will also be looking to enhance its marketing campaign to spread the word about its founding product and the difference it can make.

“You’re not going to be putting it in landfill once pesky teeth break and they won’t drop off once they’re connected, so you’re not wasting water either. These are the advantages that the Qwickhose connector can bring to people’s enjoyment of gardening.”

31 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023

Timber Displays Limited

Lodge Farm, 47 Spalding Road, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 0AU

T: 01778 422700


Baytree Living Startup Package

All Products Pictured – 18 In Total

TOTAL £556.30 EX. VAT!

Tel – 07712676545 Email –

Timber Displays can offer you the very best quality in pressure treated timber display products at affordable prices.

Our products are designed to increase your turnover by showing your merchandise to its full potential and to add an attractive feature to your Garden Centre or store.

We offer a comprehensive range of standard items plus our ever expanding range of flood benching.

Baytree Living Startup Package

All Products Pictured – 18 In Total

All Products Pictured – 18 In Total

TOTAL £556.30 EX. VAT!

TOTAL £556.30 EX. VAT!

Tel – 07712676545 Email –

Tel – 07712676545 Email –

Products Watering


Tray2Grow AutoPot Watering Systems

Tray2Grow from AutoPot is the completely automated, powerfree system that offers gardeners five ways to feed and water their plants. Seed trays, small pots, grow bags, micro herbs, and planters, can each be accommodated, making this the most versatile product in the AutoPot range and one of the most versatile irrigation systems. As with all AutoPot Watering Systems, Tray2Grow requires neither electricity nor running water, making it sustainable, safe to leave unattended, and capable of being positioned practically anywhere.

RRP £69.99

Micro-Drip-Irrigation Hedge/Bush Set (25m) Gardena

The entire Gardena Micro-Drip range has been completely revised. Gardeners can now find what they need for their watering requirements more quickly. This is because the number of individual components in the system has been significantly reduced. The clear colour classification in the different application areas helps with orientation and making the right choice. The new sets offer appropriate watering solutions, for example, for potted plants, vegetable patches or flower beds, raised beds or hedge plants. The Micro-Drip-Irrigation Hedge/Bush Set is for rows of plants up to 25m, is expandable up to 70m, and can be laid above or below ground.

RRP £54.99

Can-Can Westland

The Flopro Can-Can, designed by Westland in the UK, has a 7.5L capacity and is made in Europe from 100% recycled plastic.

“The Can-Can comes with a rose that is stowed on board when not in use, clips securely to the extra-long spout and critically has a fine rose that flips up out of the way to allow faster pouring when required,” says senior brand manager Martin Ward.

RRP £16

Hozelock AquaSave Pro 350 XL Hozelock

Designed to meet the demand for reliable and easy-to-use sprinklers, the new Hozelock AquaSave Pro 350 XL offers innovative 3D control, providing larger coverage to desired areas whilst also avoiding water waste. The innovative design includes a sled sprinkler base and six adjustable jets, allowing control of the sprinkler’s width, direction, and range. The AquaSave Pro 350 XL comes with a five-year guarantee, offering a long-term solution for garden watering.

RRP £45.99

Qwickhose Starter Set


Including its unique, patent-pending hose connector which swaps traditional plastic teeth for a wing-lock system, Qwickhose’s Starter Set contains the necessary products for gardeners to water their garden. Along with a wing-lock and a no-flow wing-lock hose connector, the set comes with a wall mount, nozzle spray end and tap connector, all in the sleek and stand-out blue and black Qwickhose colours.

RRP £39.99

Products 33 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023
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Meet the Brand Hozelock


How was the brand first founded?

It was founded in 1959 by the Codling family, on an airfield in the village of Haddenham. Starting with the world’s first all-plastic hose connector – the Hoze-lock – the brand has grown over the years with a strong focus on quality and innovation. Hozelock has since expanded into a variety of categories, such as hose systems, automatic watering and more recently natural gardening. As a family-run business and active UK manufacturer, Hozelock is proud to be the UK’s leading garden watering brand.

Are there POS options for retailers?

Our field sales team works closely with our retail partners to support all merchandising requirements. We offer an extensive range of permanent and off fixture displays that provide an effective platform to showcase and sell the Hozelock brand.

What is the latest launch from Hozelock?

After the launch of the EasyMix 2-in-1 Composter in 2022, which expanded our

natural gardening product line, we have introduced several new watering products this year. These include an enhanced sprinkler solution, a newly designed and improved nozzle, and even an outdoor shower.

The improved oscillating sprinklers meet the demand for a reliable, easy-to-use and sustainable watering solution. The new AquaSaveTM sprinklers offer 3D control by giving users full flexibility so they can manage the width, direction and range of flow.

Is sustainability/reducing water usage a focus for the brand?

We’re committed to increasing the sustainability of our products, packaging and manufacturing processes and we’re making big steps to improve our carbon footprint. One significant change we’ve made is to our core range of knitted hoses. These are now made from 40% recycled PVC, with the ongoing goal to increase this up to 70% by 2024.

Over the last eight years, we have also entered a range of new categories enabling

consumers to garden more sustainably, offering chemical-free alternatives to weeding, promoting homemade natural solutions as well as expanding options in composting.

We regularly assess our packaging throughout our product range. Our efforts have resulted in the removal of over 95t of single-use plastic packaging. Additionally, we strive to use recycled materials from sustainable sources, with packaging that is also easily recyclable or compostable.

In addition to carrying out a detailed forensic carbon audit, we have also introduced internal project teams with employees from all areas of the business, who have been empowered to make changes in relation to sustainable business practice.


What can we expect from Hozelock this year? Hozelock has a proven track record of innovating products, and we rely on valuable feedback from customers and retailers to help fuel this. Our commitment to sustainability will remain a priority as we continue to develop cutting-edge solutions over the next year and beyond.

35 Garden Centre Retail April/May 2023 Products
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