Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

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Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 60


February/March 2022






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38 03/02/2022 15:56

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Garden Centre Retail I

t’s the first issue of Garden Centre Retail in 2022. For most industries, January – the month we started putting this issue together – involves a combination of reflecting on the previous year and looking ahead to the next 12 months. With no national lockdown (at the time of writing), we have already started this year better than the last and, despite the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, consumers continued to spend over the Christmas period. So, is there a more positive outlook as a result? For the most part, yes. As you’ll read in our feature on one year on from Brexit, suppliers are surprisingly optimistic, despite the significant challenges they’ve faced since we left the European Union. There’s hope that the new gardeners engaged throughout lockdown will continue to be green-fingered this spring and flock to garden centres across the country. We’re also starting to put events into our calendars with more permanency. In January, Harrogate Christmas and Gift took place, as well as Giving & Living in Exeter. At the start of February, Spring Fair opened its doors, and coming up in April are the UK Food and Drink Shows. It’s a welcome return to face-to-face encounters, offering buyers opportunities to reconnect with brands or discover new ones, as well as to uncover the latest innovations in the market. As with any other year, particularly in recent times, this one will not be without its hurdles. As the BRC’s chief executive Helen Dickinson puts it, “retail faces significant head winds in 2022”. She cited challenges such as the rise in National Insurance, energy bills and inflation. Dickinson said it will take “continued agility and resilience if they are to battle the storm ahead”. If the last two years have proved anything, it’s that the garden retail sector is more agile and resilient than ever, and a few head winds won’t be slowing it down.

ADVERTISING Sales manager – Tina Savelle Tel: 01903 777 584 Horticulture Careers – Daniel Riley Tel: 01903 777 570

Nina Mason Head of content, Garden Centre Retail

PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd

Suppliers are surprisingly optimistic, despite the significant challenges they’ve faced since we left the European Union

MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Millie Genner Tel: 01903 777 582 Subscription enquiries – Katie Bone Tel: 01903 777 585 Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2022 subscription price is £100. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, non-commissioned photographs or manuscripts.

@GardenRetailUK Garden Centre Retail Garden Centre Retail

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EDITORIAL Head of content – Nina Mason Tel: 01903 777 570

Subeditor – Sam Seaton Tel: 01903 777 570


Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex, BN16 3DA

Senior subeditor – Katrina Roy Tel: 01903 777 570

Nina and the GCR team

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Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


03/02/2022 16:01

THE SUMMER OUTDOOR LIVING EXHIBITION Be inspired by new products & ideas 12-14 JULY 2022 Halls 17/18/19 NEC, Birmingham | 02392 258844

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02/02/2022 08:33


Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 60


February/March 2022





A round-up of the latest news from the sector

08 NEWS EXTRA William Reed


Five trends from Spring Fair


Return of the ‘not-to-miss’ exhibition








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The impact so far Pact Coffee

Making the most from the electric vehicle growth


The Podcast Guys on how to engage new audiences with podcasts

38 03/02/2022 15:56



Andrew Burton




Discover the future of Crimple


Top picks and trends from GIMA Houseplant accessories Wyevale Nurseries Non-alcoholic spirits Coir

38 BRINGING BACK BIODIVERSITY Ways you can do your part


42 MEET THE BRAND Candlelight Products





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Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


03/02/2022 15:57


NEWS CENTRE Garden centre expands and diversifies following six-figure nursery acquisition


Lurgan-based garden centre has announced a six-figure investment in the acquisition and redevelopment of a garden nursery as it responds to supply chain disruption impacting overseas imports. With funding support from Ulster Bank, Wilderness Flower & Garden Centre has acquired the expansive Hoophill Nurseries, situated on a six-acre plot on the outskirts of the County Armagh town located just a few miles from its main trading premises. Featuring approximately three acres of glass growing houses, the nursery will supply the garden centre with its own ranges while Wilderness owner Kyle Archer says the business will

also begin trading wholesale, acting as a locally-based supplier for other florists throughout Northern Ireland seeking a reliable and consistent supply of garden products. “This acquisition will help us to ensure a consistent supply for our own business while providing us with the capacity to take on a leading role in the local market as we scale up our operation over the next two years and begin selling surplus stock at the wholesale level.” The site also features a large warehouse which is currently under renovation and will see the development of modern office facilities from which to effectively grow the wholesale side of the business.

Ulster Bank business development manager Paul Reid (left) pictured with Wilderness Flower & Garden Centre owner Kyle Archer


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Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

Haskins Garden Centres recognised nationally by Costa Corporate Partnerships


askins Garden Centres has been announced as Costa’s National Partner of the Year out of more than 80 partners across the UK. This is the first time that Haskins has won this accolade with Costa and was one of four shortlisted partners that were celebrated during an awards evening held at Proud Embankment in London last month. Costa has more than 150 partnerships across the UK and Ireland, with more than 0 partners operating five or more sites, similar to Haskins Garden Centres. Ben Harrison, operations director of Haskins Garden Centres, comments: “Our teams have worked incredibly hard to recover from the events we’ve all faced over the last two years and I’m incredibly proud of them for consistently delivering great quality coffee day in, day out in the huge volumes we work through. Our fantastic partnership with Costa Coffee has really helped drive footfall into our restaurants during these times and it means a lot to be recognised in this way.” The annual national awards are held to recognise and praise Costa’s partners for

their committed partnership and excellent customer service. Costa Coffee is served in all five Haskins Garden Centre restaurants where baristas are trained to meet Costa’s quality and taste standards. Marian Fagbemiro, corporate partnerships & FMCG director, Costa UK & Ireland shared that: “We were delighted to award Costa Coffee’s Partner of the Year 2021 to Haskins Garden Centre. As a long-standing partner, Haskins has been serving Costa Coffee for over 13 years and despite a challenging 18 months have demonstrated tremendous resilience, emerging stronger from the pandemic with the recent opening of Forest Lodge and Birdworld in Farnham. “The team have kept the safety of their team members and customers at the forefront of all decision making, remaining committed to safely serving their local community and delivering exceptional customer service and, of course, serving deliciously crafted Costa coffees. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

01/02/2022 15:37


Hillier acquires new garden centre in Ruislip

HTA mourns the loss of “true champion” Peter Seabrook


ardening writer and broadcaster Peter Seabrook passed away over the weekend at the age of 86. His family announced that the former BBC Gardeners’ World presenter had died of a suspected heart attack. Mourning the loss of an industry stalwart, who was a regular face at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the RHS said: “We are very sad to hear that one of the greatest champions of horticulture, Peter Seabrook, has died. Peter had the most incredible career in horticulture and exhibited at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for decades and was regularly at RHS events, gardens and flower shows.” HTA president Boyd Douglas-Davies says: “It was with a heavy heart that I learnt of the passing of Peter Seabrook. He was, without doubt, “ r Gardening” – the original gardening superhero. “I was fortunate to meet Peter in the early days of my career in horticulture. The enthusiasm he shared with

me 30+ years ago never diminished. He enthralled and educated the public through TV, radio and the written word for decades. His passion for everything garden related was infectious. He engaged with children as easily as he did with their grandparents. He had time for all and was never slow to share his opinion. “Many a time I have shared the stage with Peter and have been amazed at his unwavering ability to answer any question. His readers’ letters were legendary and hugely entertaining. “The industry has lost a true champion. A character. A media giant. A knowledge that will be impossible to replace. Above all, we have today lost a friend. eter RI .” Iain Wylie, Garden Centre Association (GCA) chief executive, says: “We were very shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of Peter Seabrook’s passing last Friday.


“He was a huge supporter of garden centres and an integral member of our industry. Peter was in at the very beginning when our organisation was formed and has supported us throughout. He will be sorely missed. “Peter played a big part in the early days of the GCA and was an Honorary Member. He attended our conferences and kept very much in touch with all that was going on. “He visited member centres and was keen to share best practice. He also spoke up for us on many issues on a national level and we were very proud to have him on our side.”

Catering in top spot for December trade report


atering saw a significant boost during December, according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report published this month. Sales were up 182.55% compared to the same month the previous year (2020). GCA chief executive Iain Wylie explains: “In 2020,

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many catering departments were still either closed or socially distanced and it is not surprising that figures are much higher for 2021 as some rules relaxed slightly and although still cautious, more people were eating out again. “Many centres offered Christmas lunches as well as breakfast and teas with Santa and it was great to see things opening up more and events being able to take place.” Seed and bulb sales were also up 37.37% in December 2021. Iain adds: “Positive seed and bulb sales are not unexpected towards the end of the year, as

gardeners prepare for the season ahead. “Christmas sales during the month were up 13.09%, gift sales were up 17.22% and clothing was up 24.1%. Other good sellers included houseplants at 4.9% up, outdoor plants 12.83% up and pets and aquatics sales, which were up 21.51%. “Overall sales in December were up for the month by 24.81% compared to December 2020, although some of this increase this will be due to the restrictions put in place last year, affecting catering, generally and centres in Scotland and Wales, in particular.”

illier Garden Centres has taken over the site previously known as Ducks Hill Garden Centre in Ruislip. The centre will go through a few days of transformation and reopen as Hillier Garden Centre Ruislip, with new Hillier ranges available from spring. Through this new centre, Hillier says it looks forward to being part of the local community, sharing the company’s passion for plants, offering gardening knowledge and advice, and providing a friendly destination for people to be inspired. Hillier will also be introducing its Gardening Club to Ruislip — in a recent survey, 96% of current Hillier Gardening Club members said they would recommend membership to friends and family. Joining is free, with membership benefits including: exclusive offers, points every time you shop, inspiring digital gardening magazines and more. “We are delighted to be adding Ruislip to our Hillier Garden Centres family,” comments Chris Francis, Hillier Garden Centre and Wholesale Nurseries director. “Ruislip is ideally located in the outskirts of Greater London and fits in well geographically with our existing centres. We are looking forward to getting to know the local gardening communities and inspiring them with our great range of quality plants and Hillier expertise. There are very exciting times ahead ”

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 15:37

News Extra



The UK Food & Drink Shows are set to return to the NEC, Birmingham, on 25-27 April 2022, bringing the very best from across key industries back together for an unrivalled three days of trends, innovation, networking and insight

ree to register, Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show, Food & Drink Expo and The Forecourt Show will be held in unison, offering 2022’s most comprehensive opportunity to experience the latest developments across multiple sectors. One badge provides access to all four of the shows. A bustling show floor made up of hundreds of innovative exhibitors, business boosting live seminars, and awards – including the brand-new Farm

Shop & Deli Product Awards and prestigious Retailer Awards – will shape the threeday trade show. Visitors looking for garden centre inspiration will get the inside track on this year’s latest, greatest launches, alongside the chance to see, sample and secure a fast track to profitability. From chocolate specialists Cocoba (Stand B140) and 80Noir Ultra (Stand D178) to eco-friendly solutions such as EcoBags (Stand D181) and NaturePac (Stand H210), as well as quality spirits from Beeble (Stand F220) and the Highland Liquor Co (Stand


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B141) and gourmet treats from La Sablésienne (Stand E149) and Godminster cheese (Stand M131), there’s a whole host of innovative exhibitors preparing for the show. Meanwhile a series of events to discuss and debate the key challenges facing the industry will be a focal point throughout the three days. Discussing everything from sustainability and the latest trends, to boosting profits and customer satisfaction, the seminars will leave no stone unturned. Learn about the latest tech to get tills ringing in ‘Cash-in on clicks’ (Monday 25 April, 3.45pm, The Retailer Hub), where experts will be debating the merits of social media,

Discussing everything from sustainability and the latest trends, t sting p fits and customer satisfaction, the seminars will leave no stone unturned online delivery services and store-based apps. urpose and profits how values add value to your business’, is set to be an inspiring panel session centred on the positives and pitfalls of embracing a more ethical approach. (Tuesday 26 April, 12.40pm at The Grocer Talking Shop Live).

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

It’s been a difficult two years to say the least with Brexit, supply crises and COVID-19 testing anyone’s leadership to the max. On day three, leaders at some of the biggest retailers and suppliers get together to discuss how they manage people and situations, to gain and maintain the respect of their colleagues and suppliers. (Wednesday 27 April, 1pm at the Grocer Talking Shop Live). With thousands of visitors expected – drawn to the variety of products on show, the insight from expert panels and the opportunity to take stock of the market in person for the first time since the pandemic hit – Farm Shop & Deli Show is firmly in the diary as the event to attend in 2022 to reignite business while rubbing shoulders with some big industry names. Andrew Reed, managing director – wine & exhibitions, William Reed, said “Visitors and exhibitors

alike will benefit from the insight, innovation and trends on show at Farm Shop & Deli Show. The entire industry has had a tough time of it over the last two years and I’m so glad we’re able to bring people back together to share new products, create networking opportunities and celebrate this fantastic industry.” Encompassing four key sectors across the industry, the UK Food & Drink Shows are unrivalled in their ability to bring people together, build and foster better relationships, discover business building insight and celebrate innovation, all with the support of the multi-award-winning William Reed brand. Visit the website to find out more and register free ◗

31/01/2022 15:09

R etai l News


Spring Fair has long been a mainstay in the retail buying calendar and after a year’s break retailers were ready to get back to buying. Here are the unmissable trends that ran through the UK’s largest destination for home, gift and fashion

ried owers as the new faux

Floral has been a huge retail trend for the last few years; with the advent of high- uality faux floral, it became a beautiful yet smart decorative accessory. When Coach House, Hill Interiors and Parlane all launched beautiful faux floral ranges a few years ago, we knew it was here to stay. However, over this year we have seen an emergence of dried floral, with consumers looking for a more natural option dried floral. With beautiful displays on show in the living, gift and the floral section, it’s hard not to see it as the next bestseller in this category.


We have all been talking about it for some time, but this year you couldn’t miss the sustainability credentials displayed loud and proud. Wholesalers have made a concerted effort to reassess their supply chain and the materials they use, and they were not shy about letting buyers know. We all are aware how important this is to consumers, so it was fantastic to see it all over the show. In every category, throughout home, gift, fashion and noticeably in the Christmas section. There was no shortage of sustainable products to add into ranges.


Emergence of sustainable waxes

Candles are a major gifting category and as companies double down on sustainability, they are all looking for the next best wax blend. Soy candles have been a go-to; however, some negative press in the last few years about the growing of soy plants on an industrial scale has led to gifting companies diversifying their wax blends, with rapeseed and coconut waxes being added into the mix.

Dinosaurs and seahorses

One of the questions that we are always asked is, what’s the next unicorn or bee? The icon that is plastered all over gift products and at Spring Fair this year is dinosaurs. They have been around for a few seasons now, but their gender neutrality and appeal to adults and children alike means dinosaurs will endure for a little longer. However, seahorses are showing a glimmer of popularity too. It’s not surprising that with all of the press around ocean plastics and cleaning up the sea that consumers would gravitate towards sea and water motifs. We saw a few items at Autumn Fair, and a bit more at Spring Fair, but we can see this becoming a stayer.

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Colour – everywhere

We all know neutral tones are not going anywhere – those beautiful statement pieces that just need a pop of colour to change the look and feel of a room. However, we saw it at Autumn Fair, and we saw it at Spring Fair – there is a love for oranges, yellows, powder blues. Colour still has a very 80s vibe, however, with a big dose of pattern and colour injected. As consumers start to really look towards an optimistic future, their colour choices reflect the way that they live. At Spring Fair, there was an injection of that optimism.


02 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


03/02/2022 15:31

PHOSTROGEN® GROWS WITH REBRAND AND LAUNCH OF A NEW ORGANIC RANGE For more than 60 years, Phostrogen® has been helping British gardeners get the most out of what they grow, providing bigger plants, better blooms, and more vegetables. Despite many changes in gardening habits through the decades, one thing has remained the same – Phostrogen®’s purpose: to enable British gardeners to reap more from their endeavours. As part of the next stage in the brand’s history, Phostrogen® has unveiled a rebrand and significant expansion of its product range. Until now the brand has been famed for having one hero product – it’s All Purpose Plant Food. However, it has now expanded to introduce 11 different products with the key introductions of new liquid feeds and a variety of organic options, offering gardeners a full range of products under one brand name. The organic range is certified by Organic Farmers and Growers (OF&G).

The refreshed appearance blends heritage, provenance, and modernism, with clear signposting making it easy for the customer to see why the product is right for them, whilst providing the reassurance that the Phostrogen® name brings. The hero product, Phostrogen® All Purpose Plant Food, has been the tried and test go-to plant feed for generations because it works by providing all the important nutrients that plants need in one balanced feed, in a pure form, and with no wastage. Everything within the formulation is a plant nutrient, so consumers are paying for only what they need. It promotes healthy green foliage, abundant flowers and fruit and can be used on all ornamental and edible plants indoors and out, including seedlings and lawns. New to the range is an organic version of the All Purpose Plant Food, which promotes the same healthy, strong growth and is enriched with seaweed, for organically bigger plants, better blooms and more vegetables - engaging with an organic-conscious customer base which increased in value by 96% in 2020*. Both products are available in liquid and soluble options. Three further organic products complete the range, including Liquid Tomato Food, Ericaceous Plant Food and Lawn Food, providing a complete package for all gardeners. For more information about stocking the new Phostrogen® collection please contact

*Source: GfK Oct 19 - Sept 20.

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02/02/2022 08:32

A d v erto ri al



After a two-year break, SOLEX will be returning this year – be sure to add the three-day event to your diary

he Summer Outdoor Living Exhibition will open its doors for three days from Tuesday 12 July 2022, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back for what will be the first SOLE since 2019. Outdoor spaces have proven to be a life saver over the last two years; relaxing in the garden and with nature has been a saving grace and, for our industry this new interest in outdoor spaces has been a blessing. Being outdoors also improves health and wellbeing – last year 63% of people spent more time in their gardens and outdoor spaces and more than 80% of consumers purchased an outdoor leisure product, proving that the outdoors is the place to be, rather like SOLE . This unique and focused event, organised by the industry for the industry, brings together all the leading manufacturers of garden products – furniture and accessories, barbecues, fire pits, leisure products, gifts, outdoor buildings, storage, lighting, play equipment, spas, pergolas, hot tubs, parasols, and soft furnishings

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– and provides a showcase for all the exciting new developments in design, environmental manufacturing, sustainability, and production for both the retail and contract markets. The most renowned suppliers in the UK can be found at SOLE which makes it the perfect place to connect with quality buyers. It offers the newest and most inspirational garden products attracting visitors from multiple and independent garden centres, high street and department stores, online retailers, DI stores and other industry professionals. This relaxed, friendly exhibition is a great place to do business; it is where you can establish new relationships and develop existing ones. So, whether you are a visitor or exhibitor, SOLE has everything you could possibly want or need. It is the perfect place to see new products, discuss new ideas and increase brand awareness. We are really pleased to welcome some new and innovative brands to SOLE for the first time. Look out for Kaemingk, Traeger Grills, it Boss, ue Fresco, Gini ue, Broil King, Waspinator, Woodlodge and Minster Stylish Living, each bringing their own unique style and

products to SOLE 22. ou can find out more about exhibitors on our website. This year we will be offsetting the carbon footprint of the exhibition and doing our bit to help the environment. Our plan is to make the show a carbon neutral event, so we will be asking visitors and exhibitors alike how they travelled to and from the show. We will also be partnering with the RS B for every visitor that attends SOLE 22, we will donate . Each donation will plant a tree at RS B Haweswater on the eastern edge of the Lake District National ark. Registration for the show comes with the added benefit of five fantastic summer living prizes donated by exhibitors. Register today and you could win a Gas2Coal Burner BB from Charbroil, Bean Bag from Extreme Lounging, Hofats Spin Lantern from Gini ue, Bistro Set from Kaemingk and an O pig from ue Fresco.


12 – 14 July 2022 Halls 1 , 1 , 19 NEC, Birmingham

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HUGE CHOICE. HIGH PROFITABILITY. LEADING BRANDS. With a choice of over 800 garden equipment products we offer one of the widest ranges in the industry, from light domestic to fully commercial. Whatever you need for your showroom we have the right product at the right price. Our range includes leading consumer brands such as Greenworks, Webb, The Handy, Solo, Karcher, Flymo, Bosch and many more. Available from stock with minimum commitment and with full spare parts backup. Free carriage on all machine orders over £150 and parts orders over £35.

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02/02/2022 08:30



INTERVIEW Discover the future of Crimple




BREXIT: ONE YEAR ON The impact so far




TAKING CHARGE Making the most from the electric vehicle growth


LISTEN UP! The Podcast Guys on how to engage new audiences

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03/02/2022 09:46








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02/02/2022 01/02/2022 08:36 16:38

I n terv i ew B u si n ess




Following the recent spectacular revamp of its food offer, GCR travels to Crimple in North Yorkshire to find out more about the garden centre’s history and plans for the future

ntil relatively recently, garden centres – at least as they existed in the United Kingdom – were generally considered places in which to purchase one particular, ultimately very specific, thing. A single product’ destination if you like, not unlike a shoe shop or a butcher. If you wanted clothes, you went to a clothes shop. If you wanted container plants, items for the garden and so on, you visited a garden centre. As uaint and somewhat comforting as this model is, a lot has changed since those early days, with the sector having responded to a variety of increasingly compelling socioeconomic factors. For instance, thanks to the rise of what could be regarded as leisure’ consumerism, modern garden centres now function primarily as destinations, with the public seeing them just as much as a place to visit than as a business to buy from. This in turn has affected the offer itself, with more traditional stock now presented alongside a myriad of other more lifestyle-orientated products such as outdoor furniture, clothes, decorations, and artisan produce. Needless to say, one key benefit of this is that any visit to a garden centre is invariably far more pleasurable that it once was. Indeed, you could argue that now, rather than just plants, pleasure is actually pretty much the whole point. At the same time, another positive is the degree to which modern garden centres have become integral to the geographical locations in which they reside. This has been illustrated any number of times within the GCR Interview section, where we’ve talked to businesses helping to provide a desperately needed community lifeline during COVID-19, standing up for the local environment, and so on. With that in mind, in this issue we’re looking at Crimple, which is located just outside of Harrogate in North orkshire. As anyone who has visited the area will know, this pictures ue little town is renowned for its uality of life and, in particular, internationally famous food 

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Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


03/02/2022 11:38

B u si n ess I n terv i ew

outlets such as Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms. While certainly not trying to compete with the likes of Betty’s, Crimple – thanks to its recently renovated restaurant – is doing its part to hold up Harrogate’s culinary reputation. At the same time, its food hall, which is also a recent addition, is providing a fabulous outlet for the best local produce catered to the precise needs of the community that surrounds it.

Expanding the offer

Crimple as it exists today opened its doors about eight years ago, following purchase of the business by its current owner, Graham Watson. According to him, the changes taking place over that time have been considerable, prompted in the first instance by an urgent need to evolve away from the business model espoused by the previous owner.


Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

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Picking up the story, Graham says: “It’s been about eight years that I’ve had the garden centre, just after I bought the antiques centre which was located on the same site. That’s where we’ve put the new food hall. My reason for buying it in the first place, honestly, was because I was bored. I’d built up a large security business, which I’d then sold at the age of 42. “After a while I decided that I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing, so a friend of mine suggested that I buy a local antique business. It was dilapidated then, but the land value is enormous, possibly the prime site in Harrogate. That’s really why I bought it. Now, rather than being bored, I’m here seven days a week.” He continues: “The garden centre business was attached to the antiques centre, and I eventually persuaded the owner to sell that to me as well.

“When I first came in, the emphasis was almost entirely on plants, something which was reflected in how they used the space. Only about half of the garden centre was for customers, while the other half was back of house tending to trays of plants. “It was January when I bought the business, and the previous owner told me that time of year was always really quiet, maybe doing something like £50 a day. The simple reason for that was because they only had one offer, so the first thing I did was put in a restaurant and a bistro.” Alongside introducing a food offer, Crimple also started to diversify when it came to the items it sold on the shop floor. Again, this went from being just plants to an emphasis on things like gifting, as well as making a big deal of Christmas for the first time in the site’s history. At the same time, Graham was also hiring out the nearby antiques centre to

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I n terv i ew B u si n ess

different dealers on a concession basis, something that he refers to as “a great little business” (in part due to the lack of involvement required on his part). In other words, Crimple had become – or at least was well on its way to becoming – a destination’. This status was subse uently consolidated again last year with the presentation of its new food offer, including a refurbished restaurant and allnew food hall.

Glorious food

Crimple first announced its plan to open “one of the UK’s largest food halls [20,000 s ft , a brand-new bar and kitchen, and a private events space” in ay of last year. This subse uently opened in November, greeted by enthusiastic coverage in the local press as well as palpable excitement on the part of its customer base. (Or to put it in Graham’s words, “it was rammed”.)

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Discussing the origins of the two new areas, as well as the core concept behind them, he says “We had a lot of discussions around what we were going to do with the antiques centre, which was honestly becoming really dilapidated. It used to leak like a sieve when it rained, and it would have cost too much money to fix the roof. “The plan was always to knock it down and replace it with the food hall, which was what we opened up at the end of last year. There were about two years of planning that went into it before COVID-19 kicked off, which we also obviously had to take into account. It didn’t happen overnight.” He continues “To be honest with you, Harrogate’s got nothing like this. There are fabulous farm shops in Skipton, and obviously there’s Bettys, but it doesn’t have anything else on this scale. In terms of the concept behind it, I just wanted

There were about two years of planning that went into it before COVID-19 kicked off, which we also obviously had to take into account. It didn’t happen overnight to do something different to really give customers what they want. “Before the pandemic, I used to travel a lot watching Manchester United, and was always so impressed how they prepare food in places like Spain and Italy. That’s reflected both in what we provide, and in the way we relate to the people who come 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


04/02/2022 08:56

B u si n ess I n terv i ew in. Customer service is king as far as I am concerned.” Dealing with the food hall first, Graham has built his offer first and foremost via rock solid relationships with ‘artisan’ local suppliers. This not only ensures the quality of the produce itself, but also enables Crimple to have a certain amount of agility when it comes to what they stock. If by an incredibly remote chance I wanted goats’ milk, he assures me he could have it instore within the week. oving on to the restaurant, meanwhile, alongside the food itself, the idea is essentially to provide somewhere that customers would feel at home. Discussing this in more detail, Graham says “In terms of the design, we wanted nice high ceilings, good lighting, and booth seats. We were after something that would make people feel cosy and safe. “Regarding the restaurant food offer itself, we’re planning to evolve things as we go. In arch of this year, we’re going to open in the evenings and start to do theme nights – steak, curry, cheese and wine. We’re also going to do occasions, such as Valentine’s Day. I wouldn’t say that it’ll be fine dining, but it’ll definitely be something more luxurious.” Turning his attention back to the food hall, he continues “On the retail side, we have gone for what you might call sexy shopping.’ That is, luxury but with a homely feel as well. The quality of our meat is exceptional for instance, but I wouldn’t say that it was any more expensive than you would get in a supermarket. “At the same time, we’ve also tried to make things as sustainable as possible. For instance, we provide our milk in glass bottles, which customers can then recycle. All our bags are made out of potato starch. It’s all about the packaging, which is becoming really important to people now.” Finishing the interview, the subject inevitably moves onto plans for the longterm future of Crimple, not just a garden centre site but as a brand. According to Graham, they’ve barely even started to scratch the surface of what could be achieved, particularly in terms of the digital marketing effort, which has gone into overdrive in parallel with the new food offer. Other big plans meanwhile include the business developing its own line of ‘Crimple Meals’ using the Cook model. From humble beginnings, Crimple has evolved into something very special. It will be interesting to see where things go from here. ◗


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03/02/2022 11:40

A n d rew B u rto n B u si n ess


Every garden centre wants to stand out from its competitors. Andrew Burton of Malcolm Scott Consultants explains why you need to consider this


ver the past few years, garden centres have been on a journey a journey of change, discovery and personality. Increased customer demand for local, sustainable and environmental offering is driving this change, just as much as technology so, what I ask of all of the businesses I work with is: “What are you famous for?” It is an age-old question: why should a customer choose one retailer over a competitor? Many businesses feel they have the answer, but contrary to popular belief, being famous for something is not just about having a point of difference or an instantly recognisable logo. It’s about that difference making a positive impact on the public. Being famous for something means that your point of difference has connected with the needs, values and aspirations of the people in your market. Is it your plants, your Christmas department, your restaurant, or something else? Whatever it might be, do your customers agree? Do they understand it and do your brand values and culture support it? Independent garden centre owners are not encumbered by the corporate challenges experienced by other retailers, which have large networks of people,

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Proposed shop extension for Carr Farm Garden Centre and Farm Shop

Independent garden centres can move quickly in the right direction which is a distinct advantage in a changeable retail climate often with many layers of management. Independent garden centres can move quickly in the right direction which is a distinct advantage in a changeable retail climate. Businesses should keep a careful eye on the trends and movements across the world, but often local independents can tell you a lot about customer preference and local culture. In particular, garden centre designs and services are in a state of diversification logistics and infrastructure are at a crossroads and customer demographics have moved. In this sector, customers are searching out local, quality goods and services, which have curated experiences through a mixture of personal and technological channels. We are seeing garden centres creating designs and theatre which support their

culture and values, but that also deliver an experience that excites the customer and creates an environment that fuses the centre’s look with its brand values and customer proposition. This includes the service levels and way the staff dress too. By considering these aspects alongside commercial goals, businesses face a challenge, but it is one that is achievable, rewarding and motivational for everyone. The Malcolm Scott Consultants team works with a diverse range of national rural retail businesses, and are fully aware that often, the ‘everyday’ look is sterile and fails to add to a business’ proposition. Customers want to be proud of their local business, but they also want to appreciate it, enjoy it and feel it. When it comes to creating a story and adding theatre, careful consideration is essential. It could be the way a retail entranceway is finished, or how the retail displays wow customers, or simply the colour schemes and décor is well thoughtout. It might be the fluent easy way customers can collect their online orders. But one thing is clear in my view – if a centre’s business proposition and design doesn’t reflect its brand values and story, it may fail to convince a customer that they should choose it over a competitor. ◗

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


02/02/2022 09:50

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03/02/2022 09:31

B rexi t B u si n ess



How has leaving the EU impacted the garden retail sector over the last 12 months?

ew Year’s Day marked one year since Britain left the European Union, leaving behind its single market and customs union. The long-awaited exit sparked mixed reactions, from optimism over the potential for British growers and a new generation of gardeners, to concern over the negative impact it could have on the supply chain and prices. Brexit wasn’t the only cause for concern either, with COVID-19 continuing to take its toll last January (and still now, for many), with a third national lockdown coming into effect just four days into the first month of the year. Restrictions have since been lifted almost entirely, though whether the UK has returned to ‘normal’ is another debate.

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So, more than 12 months into Brexit, were the optimists right to remain hopeful? Or has it been as bleak as others predicted? Thanks to COVID-19, it could be somewhat difficult to tell which way the pendulum has swung. “The pandemic has created an artificial trading environment,” says Graham Richardson, managing director of Johnsons of Whixley, a Yorkshire-based nursery which supplies plants into garden centres as well as the commercial sector and landscape affiliated trades. “Various lockdowns have generated an internal focus with the garden becoming a natural focal point. Subsequently, demand has increased significantly. It is too early to say if this will last. “We are told there are more than three million more gardeners than pre-pandemic, but equally, when the ‘shackles’ are off, will there be a migration away from a ‘home focus’ to people expanding their immediate pandemic world?” It’s demand, says Graham, which will determine the success of the year. “If the climate is kind, we could see another buoyant season;

however, as always, if we get a poor spring and early summer, trading could be more challenging.” Fulfilling demand could be a hurdle, though – not just due to delays, but rising costs too. Johnsons of Whixley recently shared its experience over the last year, revealing that it had imported 462 loads from the EU which cost a staggering £210k more than the previous year, the majority of this being down to the plant health regulations. To gain a phytosanitary certificate for each consignment, nurseries have had to fork out for inspections and have taken the hit for any delays incurred. This is set to worsen, too, as the place of destination (PoD) scheme comes to an end later this year. Currently, businesses can register as PoDs, meaning they can accept shipments of plants which then need to be inspected on arrival. However, from 1 July, this will be replaced by Border Control Points (BCPs), which the government says will heighten biosecurity standards. There are concerns, though, that this could lead to further delays and unknown costs. “The process and supply chain are only working at 0 efficiency due to border controls and plan health checks. 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 13:42

B u si n ess B rexi t Re-wholesaling of imported stock is taking up to seven days longer than pre-pandemic and this could be further curtailed by a shift to [Border Control Points] by people lacking the necessary skills and experience,” says Graham. “The current system that sees identical checks duplicated on both sides of the channel is both time consuming, costly and in our opinion overkill. To add insult to injury, extra charges for dismantling and re-assembling a load of delicate living plants by unskilled operatives are set to add more unpalatable cost with no prospect of compensation for time or damage incurred.” Could this be an opportunity, though, to switch from importing from Europe to homegrown plants? “We are always seeking to source more UK plants. Availability is limited, though, and exposure to home production is high due to climatic and economic variations. There is insufficient margin in our commodity’ crops to carry such exposure. UK production will gradually increase but I hold out little hope that this will displace European imports.” lants aren’t the only stock to be impacted by Brexit, either. Garden art supplier Primus has experienced delays and pricing fluctuations too, but head of marketing Steve Perry says the industry has pulled together to limit the impact


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Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

of this as much as possible and forward planning has helped Primus to avoid stock shortages this year. “All suppliers have had issues throughout 2021 and it will continue,” says Steve. “However, we pride ourselves on service and we did anticipate many of the problems and where others were running out of stock, we were finding ours just arriving, helping to keep our customers stocked up as much as possible. For 2022, we are in a stronger stock position from the start, and we have forecasted to allow for growing demand as the weather warms up and consumers are back in their gardens.” Steve says the family-owned and run supplier has had to increase the price for certain ranges whilst trying to absorb most of the cost increases. “The biggest impact this year will continue to be the unpredictable shipping costs; however, we are very optimistic for the year, and we do not foresee supply issues as we stand currently.” With expected delays, unknown costs and a switch in plant health procedure, you’d be forgiven for thinking our suppliers have a gloomy outlook for the year ahead, but there’s a welcome optimism instead. “We always work hard to ensure there is

a positive outcome,” says Steve. “Long term, as the industry settles and the whole supply chain becomes comfortable with life after Brexit, we see the future as bright for the garden sector as a whole.

The biggest impact this year will continue to be the unpredictable shipping costs “Consumers are enjoying their gardens now more than ever which can only be a positive sign for garden centres across the UK. Early signs are very good, and there’s no reason to believe 2022 will be nothing but growing above 2021 and we’re looking forward to the coming year and beyond.” Graham shares Steve’s outlook that the gardening boom experienced throughout the pandemic could continue to be to the sector’s advantage. “I suspect that due to an increase in the numbers of gardeners’, the market will expand.” A year in and the true and long-term impact of Brexit is yet to be seen, but despite the garden retail sector having to jump through hoops and over hurdles, it’s a relief to see that there isn’t even a glimmer of giving up. ◗

01/02/2022 13:44

C ateri n g F o c u s B u si n ess

BEHIND THE BEANS Choosing the right coffee for your café can be tricky, but could keep your customers coming back for more


etting coffee right is about more than just taste – though, of course, this remains a key factor to repeat business. The market is saturated with coffee partners to choose from, each offering their own unique blends and selling points, and many tasting as good as the next. But how many of these are offering ethically sourced coffee and putting sustainability at the heart of their business? More importantly, is this something consumers care about? Around 98 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK each day,

Knowing the coffee you serve is high quality and that the farmers have been well compensated for their hard work is something today’s consumers expect according to the British Coffee Association. Annual campaign UK Coffee Week, held in October, found last year that 70% of coffee drinkers are sipping on two or more

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cups each, with 21% upping their intake to more than four cups per day. In other words, the UK is a nation of coffee lovers, with lattes the most in-demand choice. However, the majority (81%) were unaware of their coffee’s origin, found UK Coffee Week. That being said, nearly a quarter (23%) of coffee drinkers would be “happy to pay 20p or more to make a difference to coffee-growing communities”. With eco-conscious consumerism on the rise, now could be the time to tap into the market of coffee drinkers looking for an ethically sourced caffeine hit. “Ethical sourcing is the number one factor when choosing a coffee partner,” says George Bradley, regional sales manager for Pact Coffee, which launched in 2012 with the goal of making coffee ‘a force for good’. “Knowing the coffee you serve is high quality and that the farmers have been well compensated for their hard work is something today’s consumers expect.” Over the last decade, Pact Coffee has been forging strong relationships with a community of coffee farmers in seven different origins including Ethiopia, Brazil, Honduras, Kenya and El Salvador. It pays its coffee farmers an average 

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


03/02/2022 15:34

B u si n ess C ateri n g F o c u s of 55% above Fairtrade prices, partly thanks to adopting a direct trade model which cuts out “unnecessary steps in the supply chain”. “Direct Trade relationships are the new benchmark for coffee sourcing – having an authentic, long-term connection with farmers, and knowing they’ve been paid above the Fairtrade base price,” explains George. It’s not just ethical sourcing to take into account, though. “Garden centres should also consider broader consumer trends like sustainability and environmental

Garden centres should also consider broader consumer trends like sustainability and environmental impact impact, not to mention a menu of coffees that customers will love. Last but not least, fair wholesale pricing helps you retain strong margins,” says George, who says consumers are happy to pay more too for transparency and fairness. “Sustainability certifications like B Corp mean the coffee company has passed rigorous independent assessments. It’s also important to run an environmentally friendly operation, because there’s no lanet B. This could include initiatives such as carbon neutral roasting, shipping instead of air freight, and being powered by 100% renewable electricity. Recyclable items like coffee bags, takeaway cups and lids all help minimise carbon impact too.” And if you’re going to implement sustainability measures and choose coffee suppliers with the same values, then you might as well shout about it, so your

customers know they’re purchasing a drink with the environment in mind. “A strong brand will help you deliver the messages your customers need to see. Using point-of-sale material with images, colour, sharp copy and photography will bring your offering to life and drive footfall. We love to showcase our farmers and their communities to build that connection between the customer and their cup. Garden centres may want to specifically focus on coffee as fresh produce, and what it takes to yield exceptional crops.” act Coffee, for instance, is striving to make the coffee industry “a fairer, more sustainable place for everyone”, making it a great choice for a coffee partner. The company offers coffee plans for businesses nationwide, ranging from hospitality and hotels to large offices. “We know that coffee can change lives and lift farmers out of poverty. That’s why we source 100% Arabica single origin speciality coffees, all

4 on the SCA uality scale, and pay 65% above the Fairtrade base price for our beans. “We minimise environmental impact, drive sustainability and bring it all to life for customers with a strong brand that showcases uality and fairness. Our expert roasters run a Carbon Neutral Roastery, we’re a certified B Corp, and our packaging and items are 100% recyclable. Pair all this with high-end machinery, regular barista training, retail opportunities and national account support, and you have the right ingredients to run successful, thriving coffee outlets.” Along with promoting the credentials of the coffee served in your café, introducing different coffees for special occasions throughout the year can also pull in customers. “You can drive engagement, footfall and revenue by introducing seasonal elements to your menu. Iced drinks in the summer, Christmas blend coffees in the festive period, Coffee of the Month’ seasonal options, syrups, food bundle offers, and themed branding will all boost sales and keep things fun.” As we said, there’s more to consider than taste when it comes to coffee, so it’s worth searching for the right supplier which is going above and beyond. ◗ ABOUT Pact Coffee is on a mission to make coffee better for everyone. Better for businesses, better for farmers and better for the planet. Pact is proud to pay farmers great prices for great coffee, champions sustainable farming practices and roasts every speciality bean in Surrey.


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03/02/2022 15:34

El ec tri c V eh i c l es B u si n ess

TAKING CHARGE Demand for electric vehicles is on the up. How can garden centres take advantage of this growth?

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of electric vehicles and EV charging to new audiences. “To protect the environment and address climate change the Government has committed to banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in only eight

Their support will help raise both the viability and visibility of electric vehicles and EV charging years, and this has helped put EV sales on an exponential growth trajectory. Our partnership with Dobbies will support the uptake of EVs further and deliver many fantastic new charging locations for EV drivers across the UK.” Not only could offering charge points fuel demand for electric vehicles, but it could also provide an opportunity for garden centres to boost sales by encouraging customers to stay in store for longer – this and its environmental benefits make it an addition worth considering going forwards. ◗

©GRIDSERVE Electric Highway


ales of electric cars accelerated last year. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said they accounted for 11.6% of total car sales in Britain, compared to 6.6% the previous year. This December was a record month, with electric cars making up more than a quarter (26%) of sales. A lack of charging points across the country has been raised as a barrier for the electric vehicle market, though. Zap-Map, which helps users locate charge points in the UK, says there are around 48,000 charging points currently available in 18,000 locations, and the government is hoping to boost this figure by announcing that all new homes in England must install EV charge points. Could the garden retail market offer a helping hand too? At the end of last year, nationwide chain Dobbies announced it would be rolling out electric vehicle charging points across a selection of its stores. A partnership with sustainable energy company GRIDSERVE will see it install 30 ‘Destination Electric Hubs’ in its carparks over the course of this year, each with up to 12 high power EV charge points and powered by net zero carbon energy. These will support all types of electric vehicles and will accept contactless payment. They will also provide real-time usage updates to the GRIDSERVE map as well as Zap-Map. Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said: “As we build on the #SustainableDobbies journey, the partnership with GRIDSERVE demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with environmentally friendly solutions. We are proud to be the first garden centre retailer to work with this forward-thinking and innovative company and we look forward to welcoming electric vehicle drivers as

we roll out this service across the UK.” The rollout of these electric vehicle charge points will begin this spring at key Dobbies locations. The garden centre chain says this partnership is the perfect opportunity to give its customers the chance to go another step further for the planet. A spokesperson said: “Sustainable practices and caring for the environment continue to be at the top of our agenda, and we recognise our responsibility as the UK’s leading garden centre retailer to drive positive change.” GRIDSERVE was chosen by Dobbies as a “pioneering sustainable energy operator” which was voted 2021’s ‘EV Charging Network Operator of the Year’ at the Electric Vehicle Innovation and Excellence Awards. Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE, said: “Not only do Dobbies share our long-term commitment to sustainability, their support will help raise both the viability and visibility

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 11:02

B u si n ess P o d c asts



Creating a podcast might seem daunting, but it could help businesses engage with a whole new audience – and it’s not as hard as it seems, thanks to expert advice from The Podcast Guys®

ho isn’t creating a podcast these days? From TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton to plant-based brand founder Ella Woodward, individuals and companies are spotting an opportunity to share their voices – even the Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched a podcast at the end of 2020 (though admittedly only one episode of ‘Archewell Audio’ has made it onto streaming platforms). According to Podcast Insights, there are more than two million shows now available, which have churned out a staggering 48 million episodes between them as of April 2021. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without listeners, of which there are 15 million in the UK, according to Statista – and this figure is set to reach 20 million in the next two years. So, how could garden centres capitalise on this


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growth? And how, exactly, does one go about creating a podcast? “Podcasts are a great way to show expertise,” says Emily Gross of The Podcast Guys, an international production company which specialises in helping businesses to create their own audio shows. “They provide more in-depth insight into the knowledge that someone may have, and with gardening having thrived in the pandemic, a podcast could be a great way for garden centres to educate the public or interested parties about best practice, sustainability efforts or any other concepts which suit the market. Podcasts are another way to connect with customers, showcase your brand, and build engagement – but also to get customer bases to take action.” Dobbies, for instance, launched a podcast series in 2020. Now 22 episodes in, the show has covered everything from gardening tips and inspiration to informing

customers of the garden centre chain’s sustainability efforts and campaigns.

Getting started

But where do you begin when looking to create a successful podcast? “Each podcast needs to tell a story,” says The Podcast Guys®’ Matt Walters. “A good place to start is crafting your narrative. Ask yourself: What is the story you want to tell? And what is the story that your audience needs to hear?” Unsurprisingly, then, you need to consider your audience. “Understanding your audience, what message you want to convey to them and what actions you want them to take is crucial to crafting any uality podcast. Once you define who you’re talking to and, importantly, why they’re listening, you’ll realise what you need to talk about and how best to do so. “Whether your story is about solving issues and pain points that you and your audience might face, paving innovation in your industry or simply creating discussion and raising the individual profile of your

04/02/2022 10:01

P o d c asts B u si n ess brand – these are the essentials that must be considered before launch.” A few ideas att suggests as starting points are how to transition your garden during the change in seasons, best sustainability practices, and how to deal with pests and diseases in the garden.

Ensuring quality

Unfortunately, a good concept is not everything when it comes to podcasting. As att and Emily tell us, “starting a podcast is easy; making it great is the hard part. ou can record a podcast on your phone, but if the quality is poor, it’s less likely people will listen until the end”. “High-end recording e uipment, story development, and editing all play important roles in creating a piece of content that is enjoyable to listen to, engaging for the audience and achieves its goals,” notes Emily. “So, the concept of creating a podcast and the bare bones is not very complex but making it into a piece of content that is actionable and enjoyable, that’s where some complexities come into it.” Emily recommends investing in a microphone to enhance the quality, as well as editing each episode to remove pauses and discourse markers, such as ‘erm’ and right’. For those who would rather not handle this in-house, The odcast Guys® can send microphones to clients. The team then uses a platform called to simplify the recording process, ensuring uality regardless of a Wi-Fi connection,

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for instance. Alternatively, the team can take companies right through from concept to completion. “We specialise in simplifying the production by ensuring high- uality production levels are consistently met, whether that comes down to using top of the range equipment, minimising noise pollution, mastering the editing process or even helping storyboard the series,” shares Emily.

Consistency is key

To remain relevant and build a brand, The odcast Guys® recommend posting a new episode fre uently and consistently. “Just one episode is a great start, but if you really want to make an impact, we recommend a six-part series or a continuous podcast that has new episodes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis,” advises att. “Being consistent is crucial to both audience engagement and brand awareness. Ensuring that a regular upload schedule is maintained, and content is being produced both when and where your audience expects is key to growth and reputation.” It’s best to keep episodes tight too, at least when first starting out. An hour is the maximum length The odcast Guys® would suggest for each episode, though this is generally determined by the weight of the message being conveyed and the story being told. Finally, there’s no point creating a podcast if you’re not going to share it. Be

sure to upload each episode to platforms such as Spotify or Apple. Again, this is something which The odcast Guys® can help with – it encourages garden centres to reach out to them if they’re interested in any aspect of podcast production. “We can handle all the difficulties for you,” says att. “We incorporate the branding and distribution process into one, and this involves getting your podcast to the ears of the listener. This is done with the intention of widening your exposure and maximising your brand to its potential.” Podcasting is a competitive market – att tells us there were nearly 900,000 podcasts launched globally in 2021 alone. But going for uality over uantity provides the chance for your podcast to stand out from the crowd. ◗

The Podcast Guys®’ recommended weekly schedule

Once you have an idea of what you want your podcast series to be and the goal of your podcast, planning on a weekly basis is generally all you need to do to go from idea to finished product. Day 1: Come up with the idea of what you want to talk about for this episode. Try to flesh out the few main topics of what you will be discussing and if you will have a guest on the episode. Day 2: Complete any necessary research and try to explore the concepts of the podcast in more depth. When preparing your concepts, try to set up each idea with background and history and answer the questions – why they are important, why the listener should care, and how it might be relevant to them. If you plan on having guests on the podcast, reach out to potential guests and make sure they are available and aligned with what you plan to talk about. Day 3: Create a general script that you can follow while podcasting. This allows a more put together and comprehensive podcast that will ensure you stay to a storyline and its goals. Day 4: Record! Day 5 and 6: Edit your podcast. ake sure to add an intro and exit that you will keep consistent for the entire podcast. All great podcasts have a defining intro and outro that listeners associate with your podcast. Day 7: Share! Post your podcast on the desired platforms and let your network know about what you have created!

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


04/02/2022 10:02

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 (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

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02/02/2022 12/08/2021 08:34 16:24



HOUSEPLANT HEAVEN Top picks and trends from GIMA


LATEST PRODUCTS Houseplant accessories


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BRINGING BACK BIODIVERSITY Doing your part for biodiversity




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03/02/2022 09:59

G I M A H o u sep l an ts

HOUSEPLANT HEAVEN GIMA members reveal their top picks and trend predictions in houseplant care


ne emerging trend as a result of home working has been a rise in the number of houseplants, with a recent article by House Beautiful revealing that 63% of consumers have experienced a positive uplift in mood because of them. Whether it is for those who want to make their Zoom calls greener, or they want to benefit from the increased productivity and reduced stress that greenery brings, there is a definite trend towards an indoor oasis. This new trend gives retailers a great opportunity to educate their consumers on how to care for their houseplants and the products available to give the best results with dedicated displays and areas of the store. Here, GIMA members share their latest innovations designed to drive houseplant sales in the coming season. Hozelock has a range of watering products suitable, from the decorative trigger sprayers to Aquasolo wateringcones for those consumers looking for minimal upkeep. You can instantly turn a window into a green oasis with Fallen Fruits’ Window Dressing range in a variety of styles, all complete with window clamps with rotating tray, window flowerpots with suction cups, round and rectangular hanging plant trays and handy telescopic window rods to hang the trays from. Available in four trend-driven colours of white, black, gold and green, the Window Dressing range is specially designed for small and narrow spaces and to mix and match for a unique, personalised look.


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Fallen Fruits


31/01/2022 14:50

H o u sep l an ts G I M A


towards indoor plants, the need for easy Shelf plans and imitation window displays care options has become essential; and are available to create a realistic and with more houseplants come more fungus eye-catching in-store display along with gnats. Lava-Lite No-Gnats eradicates hi-res product and mood images for these little black flies by creating promotional use. a barrier on the surface of the The GIMA award-winning soil, stopping gnats laying eggs collection by Plantsmith and the larvae escaping, as well transforms the indoor plant care as benefitting the plant. category in 2022. Maximising its Multi industry-award winners, perfect combination of highly Primeur has some beautiful pots effective horticultural products and planters that are ideal for with chic, on-trend packaging, keeping houseplants, within the Plantsmith is offering retailers award-wining, eco-conscious a dedicated houseplant care Tierra Verde collection. These range that promises exciting include the 50cm Sonata Planter year-round gift opportunities. in slate or steel grey, 15cm Sonata As indoor gardening continues Urban Gardener Trough in slate, 15cm Octavia its upward curve, households are Planter in slate or steel grey and the 30cm spending more than ever on gorgeous Baritone Planter in slate. greenery. This brings an opportunity Panacea Products’ new Urban Gardener for retailers to provide customers with brand collection includes decorative a quality, easy-to-use houseplant care fillers and glass accents, perfectly range that doubles up as thoughtful gift. With their natural and biodegradable coco pots, moss poles, and growbags, Coir products are designed for the ecoThis new trend gives conscious buyer. Easy-to-use and ideal retailers a great for growing various houseplants, these products are handy for those returning opportunity to educate to work after lockdown, as interest in their consumers on gardening continues to rise. Recognising current trends for increased knowledge on how to care for their a product’s origin, Coir works closely with houseplants and the retailers to highlight its ethical business practices in production and sourcing. products available Also tapping into the sustainable theme complementing its growing range is the Lava-Lite Collection, a range of of terrariums and succulent planters. 100% natural, sustainable, child and pet Decorative Filler Kits add pre-designed safe horticulture products, perfectly themes for terrariums in Woodland, suited to meet the needs of the current Rainforest, Beach and Desert options. houseplant boom. As buyers gravitate

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Burgon & Ball

Natural clay Aqua Stones™ add colour and vitality to planting themes in terrariums and can be used to plant directly into, layered over or between potting soil. Pot toppers consist of rocks, pebbles and sand, available in seven colour options, whilst decorative gems in six colourways can be utilised to enhance terrariums, flower vase arrangements and crafting projects. Rainer Schubert, managing director at Burgon & Ball also added: “People enjoy the time they spend caring for their cherished plants, and they want beautiful accessories to help them. We’re extending our indoor watering offering with an elegant indoor plant mister in three colours, offering shoppers our hallmark affordable quality. It features a pump with metal moving parts for sturdiness, durability and a beautifully fine, drip-free spray. Also for 2022, we’re adding a new indoor plant pot to our popular range, picking up on the latest trends in design and colour. Our indoor watering cans have been a sales phenomenon and this year we’re investing in extra stock”. ◗


Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 09:42

Timber Displays Limited Lodge Farm, 47 Spalding Road, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 0AU T: 01778 422700 E:

WHO WE ARE We are the Garden Centre Sales arm at Johnsons of Whixley and are one of the largest and longest-established commercial nurseries supplying 5-6 million plants per year throughout the UK.

WHAT WE OFFER We supply top quality bespoke labelled nursery stock to 500 independent garden Centres throughout the UK; we have an incredible wide range of stock covering , herbaceous, shrubs, climbers, and our comprehensive range of 5 and 10L’s which we market through our web shop based availability list which is available 24/7.




Vast range

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.

National Reach

To get your weekly availability list email or call 01423 332309

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02/02/2022 08:37

H o u sep l an t A c c esso ri es L atest P ro d u c ts

HOUSEPLANT ACCESSORIES Soho Aged Copper Hanging Planter with Leather Strap Ivyline

self-watering insert elho

Customers can add a sprinkle of charm and elegance to their plant collection by housing them in Ivyline’s indoor Soho copper aged planter. The copper exterior is a bold statement while the leather strap is the perfect compliment. It is also fully waterproof so you can position it anywhere without concern.

This ingenious insert, available in seven si es, fits neatly into your chosen plant pot, and has a handy water meter which indicates when you need to top up the device with more liquid. Once replenished, the water will be drip-fed to the plant when it needs it most, meaning your plant will take care of itself for weeks to come without you having to lift a finger.

RRP £29.99 Launch Date March 2022

RRP From £7.99 Launch Date Available now Plantsmith houseplant care product range Plantsmith

The Fazeley Flow Graphite – One Pint Haws

Traditionally, houseplant care products are packaged and sold like traditional garden care products. They’re functional but not aesthetic; you’d hide them under the kitchen sink, for example. Plantsmith is a new range of professionally formulated products, designed to look as good as they perform.

Meet the perfect small watering can for keeping your interior jungle in tip-top condition. Its elegantly curved non-drip spout delivers pinpoint watering accuracy, helping avoid splashes around your potted plants and comes beautifully boxed, making the perfect present.

RRP From £10.99 Launch Date Available now

RRP £31.99 Launch Date Available now

Orchidea plant pot Lechuza

Indoor plant mister Burgon & Ball

With its filigree flowers, the orchid is one of the most popular indoor plants and gives every interior a real style kick. The Orchidea plant pot from Lechuza was especially designed for these noble tropical plants and is perfectly tailored to the high demands of plants like Phalaenopsis or Dendrobium.

This indoor plant mister gives gentle humidity to houseplants. An essential item of equipment for any houseplant fan, the mister has a super-fine spray – with no irritating drips or splatters. Superior performance is achieved through a robust pump with metal moving parts, giving reassuring reliability and long life. Available in a choice of three colours.

RRP £29.99 Launch Date Available now

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RRP £24.99 Launch Date Available now

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 15:40

P ro d u c ts P l an t F o c u s

Plant Focus Wyevale Nurseries showcases its recently introduced Allium ‘Lavender Bubbles’


yevale Nurseries predicts boldly coloured, British-grown and low maintenance plants to top the trends for customers in 2022. “Plants we think will be particularly popular in 2022 are Allium ‘Lavender Bubbles’, Exochorda racemosa ‘Niagara’, Digitalis x valinii ‘Firebird’, Astrantia Star Collection, Hardy Fern Specimen Collection, Lomandra longifolia ‘White Sands’, and our Phormium Collection,” says Carol Dickinson, head of business support at Wyevale Nurseries.

Second place in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2021

Long flowering period from May onwards

Available in 3L size and can grow up to 50cm high and 50cm across

This allium is drought tolerant and will be happy in poor soil in part shade or full sun. Any soil conditions apart from boggy


Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

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Winner of the best New Plant at the 2021 virtual National Plant Show

Masses of dusky purple flowers which appear to float like bubbles over lush, glaucous evergreen foliage

Performs well in the garden or container

Pollinator friendly, so loved by bees and butterflies

Onion-scented foliage, which deters deer and rabbits

Requires very little maintenance and spent flowers can be as they provide architectural interest in the autumn, after the flowering season

For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200

31/01/2022 15:14

No n - al c o h o l i c S p i ri ts B u si n ess




It’s happy hour for alcohol-free spirits, as their popularity continues to grow. Is now the time for garden centres to dip into the market?

ven if you didn’t fully commit, you might have at least considered starting the year with a month off alcohol, and you wouldn’t be the only one. One in six (18%) adults who drink alcohol said they were planning to abstain this January, according to campaign group Alcohol Change UK – an increase of 22% from the previous year. One in three of these said they would prefer to give up alcohol for the month by taking part in Alcohol Change UK’s Dry January initiative too, rather than going it alone. Dry January first launched in 201 , but the story behind it starts two years earlier, when Emily Robinson decided to give up alcohol for January whilst training for her first half marathon. Her boo e-free month resulted in Emily losing weight, sleeping better and having more energy for running, so a year later she joined Alcohol Change UK and pitched the idea for a campaign encouraging people to ditch alcohol for January for similar benefits. “That first year 4,000 people signed up and Dry January has grown in popularity since, with 1 0,000 people signing up to take part in 2021,” says Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK. “What’s more, other countries are interested in bringing Dry January to their own populations.” Alongside a growing participation in Dry January, there has been – perhaps coincidentally – a steady rise in the number of non-alcoholic spirits on the market. Seedlip, for instance, first hit the

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shelves of Selfridges seven years ago and has since been scooped up by drinks giant Diageo, becoming a globally recognised brand. A wealth of other names have since launched, from CleanCo by Made in Chelsea’s Spencer atthews in 2019 to ‘botanic elixir’ brand Three Spirit the previous year. “The alcohol-free market is growing rapidly and is gaining strength year after year,” says Three Spirit co-founder Tatiana Mercer. “Alcohol consumption in the UK has fallen to its lowest in 18 years, with a rise of sober-curious consumers – those who know alcohol doesn’t make them feel good, but don’t want to restrict themselves in the no-boo e box. “As millennials hold more and more of the buying power in most UK homes, sober-curiosity will only continue to grow, ushering in a new era of the semi-sober’ consumer we call it healthy hedonism.” This ‘healthy hedonism’ isn’t just for Dry January either, says Tatiana. “There is always a great appetite, traffic and conversation for us around Dry January, but e ually we find with our drinks they’ve got year-round appeal.”

Dr Piper agrees, sharing: “Our research into low and no alcohol drinks found that more than a quarter of adults (27%) have tried them (under 1.2% ABV) and four in ten (41 ) people who have drunk lowand no-alcohol drinks say their alcohol consumption has fallen as a result. So, they can be a great help for some people in cutting down on their drinking.” Not only could stocking non-alcoholic spirits appeal to a growing audience, but the ingredients of many of these beverages could fit in with other products found in garden centres. “One of the core aspects of Three Spirit is the vast range of incredible ingredients and botanicals that are used in the range, providing a point of interest for those who are interested in plants,” says Tatiana. “We’ve also seen success alongside wellness products such as interesting teas, supplements or more ingredient-led items. It will depend on what else is in stores, so if there is a non-alcoholic range then alongside that with perhaps some call outs of the ingredients and benefits. We try and give booklets, staff education and are happy to come sample to support anyone who stocks our range.” With Dry January only just coming to a close, now could be the perfect time to draw in customers looking to continue the benefits of the last month. ◗

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 11:23

P ro d u c ts C o i r



What is coir? Coir (pronounced coy-er) comes from the outer husk of coconut, which is made up on long and short fibres. The long fibres, Steve says, are typically used to make brushes and brooms. The remaining pith’ is a finer material, usually less than mm in length. This is what companies such as Coco & Coir are using to make compost, or to make up part of a compost.

Where does it come from? “We bring in coir from India and Sri Lanka at the moment and produce 100% coir compost, but some companies blend


Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

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Could coir be the answer to going peat-free? Steve Harper of Coco & Coir explores where coir comes from and its own environmental credentials

it into a peat-free or a peat-reduced compost that they’re manufacturing, which might also contain wood fibre or bark,” shares Steve. Why is it becoming popular? As peat falls out of favour for its extraction being damaging to the environment, coir

Coir is the best replacement for peat, it makes a really good growing media

is gaining popularity as an alternative for compost. “Coir is the best replacement for peat, it makes a really good growing media. Other products, such as green compost or bark or wood fibre, have to be mixed together to come up with a blend which can help a plant to grow, whereas coir can be used on its own.” What makes it a good growing media? “The structure of it means it retains water well but also allows space for the root structures of the plants – so it has good air porosity and water retention capacity. It’s easier to make a compost out of coir

01/02/2022 11:30

C o i r P ro d u c ts

Products Coco & Coir Coco Boost

Coco & Coir Coco Boost from Southern Trident is a 100% peatfree, coir, all-purpose compost. Supplied as a compressed, dried, coir brick, it is lightweight and easy to carry. It is easy to re-wet and use, expanding into 75L of compost for the 5kg size, and 15L for the 1kg. It was best in test in an independently conducted trial on peatfree composts. It is perfect for all-round garden use. £6.99 / £14.99 Launch date: Available now

Coco & Coir Coco Bloom

too because you only have one substrate, so when you’re adding nutrients to a plant, you only have to consider this one substrate which is really consistent.”

transporting bark by truck from Scotland to the same destination.”

What else can coir be used for? Coco & Coir is in the process of launching a range of garden articles made out of coir, including plant pots – to replace plastic pots – growing poles and basket liners, which Steve says are already quite commonplace in the industry. It also sells coir doormats and is looking to introduce more products over the course of this year.

How does Coco & Coir reduce its footprint? Southern Trident, the parent company of Coco & Coir, is working to offset its carbon footprint having gone carbon neutral last year. Recognising that a considerable amount of water is used to wash coir before it’s shipped, Southern Trident is building a new factory as well as working with its existing factories to recycle the water used. “We’re also looking at alternative methods for reducing the water used, such as leaving the coir to stand and break down naturally for a period of time which means it requires less water.” Southern Trident also ethically sources its coir, ensuring no child labour and that employees are given a fair wage. It also invests in an NGO in India called Child Rights and You (CRY), which helps underprivileged school children. ◗

Is it more sustainable than peat? Coir utilises a waste product of the coconut – the husk – which was previously left to rot, and which Steve says was a problem in India. Now, the coconut is used in its entirety and is completely renewable, with coir being a by-product. But there are a few questions to address around its environmental credentials. Its shipped halfway around the world, for instance, though Steve says this is as efficient as possible. “The coir is compressed so tightly into the solid blocks which it comes in, so you can get about 350m3 of coir into a container, which is an awful lot in comparison to other materials. “Shipping coir from India to Liverpool has a lower carbon footprint per cubic metre than

getting to know.indd 37

Coco & Coir Coco Bloom is a premium, coir-based, 100% peat-free, all-purpose bagged compost from Southern Trident. It is formulated with balanced, specialist nutrients for complete plant nutrition. It was best in test in an independently conducted trial on peatfree composts. It is ideal for all-round garden use and is perfect for sowing seeds, and for growing all plants in any container. Size: 50L. £8.99 Launch date: Available now

Harmony Gardens

Harmony Gardens is the new brand of bagged growing media from Southern Trident for 2022. The range of products currently contains the awardwinning Harmony Gardens Multipurpose Compost, Growbag, Top Soil and Soil Improver. All of these are 100% peat free and have tried, tested and proven improvements on other peat-free growing media available. Size: 50L. £7.99 Launch date: Available now

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 11:30

P ro d u c ts B i o d i v ersi ty


It might be in a state of decline, but biodiversity can be recovered, and there are products which can help customers to play their part

iodiversity is in decline. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Britain is one of the worst nations affected. It has lost more than half of its natural biodiversity since the Industrial Revolution, more than any other G7 nation, according to research by London’s Natural History Museum. Research leader Professor Andy Purvis called it “worrying” and told BBC News: “[Biodiversity is] the foundation of our society. We’ve seen recently how disruptive it can be when supply chains break down – nature is at the base of our supply chains.” There is hope, though. The Nature Positive 2030 report, published last year, shows how the UK could reverse biodiversity decline by 2030. Whilst the UK might not currently be on track to become ‘Nature Positive’, there are actions which can be taken to achieve the target. This includes “investing in habitat restoration and creation to strengthen nature networks that deliver for biodiversity and climate change.” This doesn’t always need to be on a large-scale basis, though. Every little

WildPod™ BioScapes®

Hedgehog Highway Seedball

The WildPod™ is an easy way to attract more wildlife into your garden as it contains an ideal range of homes, houses, refuges, nooks and crannies, which are suitable for invertebrates, insects, amphibians and mammals. Its compact structure allows it to fit in any garden either as part of a stand alone feature or as part of a larger project.

A steel sign and template for creating a perfectly sized fence tunnel to connect gardens and help hedgehogs to roam more freely by creating wildlife corridors between gardens is a super way to help.

RRP £249.95 Launch date January 2022


Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022

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RRP £10 Launch date February 2022

Plastic Free Gardening Fair Trade Natural Rubber Seed Trays Wildlife World This reusable seed tray is made from Fair Trade, FSC-certified natural rubber. Unlike cheap plastic seed trays, this seed tray is robust, flexible and long-lasting. RRP From £15.99 Launch date January 2022

01/02/2022 11:38

B i o d i v ersi ty P ro d u c ts

helps, and it’s arguably more important now than ever for the public to consider how they can encourage biodiversity in their own domestic gardens. “With many of the UKs wildlife species in decline, domestic gardens are a brilliant opportunity to help,” says Emily Attlee, co-founder of Seedball, a nonprofit company selling wildflower seeds. “Gardens together make up an area greater than all the UKs nature reserves combined, so the potential for helping garden wildlife is huge.” Garden centres can play a role by promoting biodiversity, too, and the

products which can help. “Garden centres can help by creating specific Help British Wildlife’ areas of the centre, combining different types of products together in one place to help customers identify those products which are best for wildlife.,” suggests Emily. “Collaborating with a local Wildlife Trust or RSPB to offer talks or simply extra POS information could also help highlight the importance of encouraging garden biodiversity.” Mark Pitman, managing director of Wildlife World, agrees there are plenty of ways in which garden centres can highlight biodiversity in their stores. “Garden centres have a huge range of opportunities for biodiversity to succeed in the garden industry market. Most of these revolve around jumping on the growing social, environmental and legal effects of the UK, and the rest of the world, slowly shifting towards the need for a more sustainable and biodiverse future. Promoting genuinely sustainable products that can help improve

Biodiversity.indd 39

biodiversity, with eye-catching displays and messages, is one way to do this.” Whilst these products can be displayed throughout the year, there are certain

With many of the UKs wildlife species in decline, domestic gardens are a brilliant opportunity to help times when it might be most suitable to highlight them to customers. “Typically, spring is the most appropriate time to promote products like this, with the weather improving and more people venturing out to tend to their gardens,” says Terry Smithson, biodiversity manager and ecologist at BioScapes, a new sub-brand of topsoil and turf supplier Rolawn which offers products to boost biodiversity in both domestic and commercial schemes. “However, there are a number of relevant campaigns throughout the year which would lend themselves to promoting biodiversity and the products.” These are detailed in the boxout on the right-hand side of this page. “The massive decline of biodiversity in the UK and across the globe has become a huge concern for many people,” says Terry. “The sight of a butterfly, the smell of a wildflower or the song of a bird lifts our spirits and provides inspiration. Biodiversity is also vital to our future. For example, by pollinating our food, providing clean water, and filtering the air we breathe. “The biosphere is inextricably linked with the climate crises and the restoration of biodiversity presents the single biggest step we need to take to address climate change. People are eager to do their bit to restore our biodiversity but are often unsure what to do or how to get involved.” By actively aligning themselves with campaigns promoting biodiversity and selling products which can encourage customers to incorporate biodiversity in their own gardens, garden centres can help address the issue of biodiversity decline and work towards a ‘Nature Positive’ future. ◗

CAMPAIGNS Consider aligning your biodiversity promotions with these campaigns this year.

3 March – World Wildlife Day

Put in the calendar by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), this day is to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year’s theme is ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration’.

20 March – World Rewilding Day

Launched by the Global Rewilding Alliance, this day seeks to raise awareness of rewilding and its necessity.

20 May – World Bee Day

Another declaration from the UNGA, World Bee Day draws on the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators.

1-30 June – 30 Days Wild

A month-long campaign led by The Wildlife Trusts to promote the wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature.

5 June – World Environment Day

The United Nation’s World Environment Day focuses on ecosystem restoration. Its theme is ‘reimagine, recreate, restore’.

July/August (date TBC) – The ig utter y ount

This nationwide survey by the Butterfly Conservation has been running for more than a decade and is aimed at helping to assess the health of our environment. bi butter ount butter onservation or

Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


01/02/2022 11:39

A d v erto ri al

ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT Introducing Hortiwool Hortiwool has created a useful little pad for use in and around the garden or on an allotment. Wool’s amazing natural properties means the Hortiwool Pad is multiuse, boasting awesome protection properties. They are insulative, hold moisture and, as they break down, add vital nutrients to the soil. The Hortiwool ad is creatively designed with versatility in mind and can be used in a number of ways including: hydration for hanging baskets nutrition for plant root balls protection against slugs insulation from frost for young plants a nutritional aid to compost for mulching even as a kneeling pad.

Dispatch and delivery Delivery is charged at 4.9 however, if you spend over 0, then delivery is completely free. Hortiwool has partnered with DPD to ship its products, currently to mainland UK, but it is working on expanding this network in the near future. As long as a complete and correct address is supplied, as well as a contact phone number, Hortiwool will do all it can to ensure the delivery arrives safely. If the recipient is unable to accept delivery, D D will endeavour to leave it in a safe place or with a neighbour or co-worker.

100% British wool ou will receive five Hortiwool ads in each Hortiwool ouch set, covering a surface area of roughly 0.9s m. Hortiwool ads are made with 100 British Wool which, as a natural material, will vary in colour from one batch to another. Unsurprisingly, it also smells like wool but is thoroughly washed and scoured to ensure any ‘sheepy’ contamination is removed. To remove the smell, nasty chemicals would have to be added, but they would negate Hortiwool’s natural properties. Anyway, what better way is there to prove the product is 100 natural?

Origins Hortiwool is a family business based in Staffordshire which has worked with natural materials for almost two decades, with the favourite material being wool. Originally utilising its ama ing properties for packaging innovations, Hortiwool has worked behind the scenes to investigate wool’s many benefits in and around the garden. What the company found is that wool is even more incredible than first thought. Hortiwool’s dream is that everyone comes to love wool as much as it does, and benefits from its awesome properties to cultivate and create around home and garden.

Future plans The Hortiwool Pouch is the first product in its range, so keep an eye on its online store and sign up to its mailing list for further developments. Hortiwool takes both its environmental and social impact seriously its online blog talks about its belief in business and products being a force for good and explains how it is looking to improve and positively contribute in both these areas. Hortiwool also aims to have its products available to buy from an actual bricks and mortar store soon, so watch this space.


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Product Hortiwool – Garden Wool Pad Manufacturer Woolcool Launch date January 2022 RRP £10 per Hortiwool Pouch Each ouch contains five Hortiwool ads Tel 01785 262031 Email Web

02/02/2022 08:57

L awn C are L atest P ro d u c ts


Lawn Boost DJ Turfcare

TuffGrass with Dog Patch Resistance Johnsons Lawn Seed

Lawn Boost is an organic based long-lasting fertiliser that stimulates growth and helps protect the grass against disease and drought.

New improved Tuffgrass is a unique lawn seed with proven ability to create dog patch resistant lawns and be tough enough to stand up to the wear and tear of family use. RRP From £6.99 Launch Date Available now

Supreme Green Lawn Patch and Repair Empathy Empathy’s new Lawn Patch and Repair is designed to repair damaged areas of the lawn quickly and easily using a unique blend of grass seed, soil conditioner, coir and active biology, in the form of rootgrow™ mycorrhizal fungi. RRP £13.50 (3kg) Launch Date Available now

RRP £29.99 Launch Date Available now

Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 Evergreen Garden Care Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 feeds the lawn whilst also working to kill weeds and control moss. The WaterSmart™ formula helps to protect against heat, drought and other stresses. The lawn will be greener in one week, the moss will blacken and can then be easily raked out, and weeds will be killed within three to five weeks. The product is available in six different sizes: 80m2, 3.5kg, 5.25kg, 7kg, 12.6kg and 17.5kg. RRP From £12.99 to £34.99 Launch Date Available now

STANDOUT GARDEN FEATURE Johnston & Jeff Ltd Nest Box Range

Johnston & Jeff’s range of 11 individual nest boxes, and all other wooden products, are proudly designed and made in its own woodshop, in East Yorkshire. With every piece of timber it uses being sustainably sourced, each product has been thoughtfully designed to be a safe, strong and secure nesting or feeding environment. RRP Starting from £9.99 Launch Date Available now

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Garden Centre Retail February/March 2022


03/02/2022 10:51

L atest P ro d u c ts M eet th e B ran d


CANDLELIGHT PRODUCTS LTD Marketing manager Kate Winch gives us insight into Candlelight Products, a supplier which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year

How was Candlelight Products founded and how has the company grown? Based in Aldwarke, South Yorkshire, Candlelight was born out of the 1972 miners’ strike, when founder and owner Mike Winch had the enterprising idea of selling homemade candles to local, independent stores out of a farm building. Since then, the family owned and run company evolved into a market leading designer and wholesale supplier of design-led, trend-driven accessories to the retail market. This year, it will be celebrating 50 years in business. What products do you now supply? We offer a range of products to retailers, including giftware, florals, home fragrance, faux plants and flowers, candles, furniture, wall art, dining, and home accessories.

What is the company’s USP? There is a huge amount of stock on the ground in our state of the art 150,000 sq ft warehouse. We offer a stock buy and bespoke own brand service, working with our infrastructure in the Far East. We have offices in Hong Kong and China, and our own label products can be supplied on a landed, direct container and FOB service. Our China-based logistic and quality assurance team can meet all customer needs. In contrast, we also offer low minimum order values and free delivery to our UK mainland independent retailer. We specialise in UK retail. Since the pandemic, China has been closed to the Western world for two years and seems to be for the foreseeable future. As a result, the supply chain is currently fluctuating, underlying the UK retailer’s need for the

infrastructure and stock levels that we have. Are there any new trends in the home Amber jars and gift sector? Spring trends for this sector include rustic and natural florals, cottage cosiness, plenty of accessories, stoneware, calming colours and, of course, faux houseplants – the more the better. Will Candlelight Products be attending any trade shows this year? We’ll be attending Spring Fair, Glee and Autumn Fair this year. Our showroom is open and brimming with new stock too – contact our sales team in order to book an appointment. Can we expect any new launches in 2022? We’re always introducing new products to keep our ranges fresh. We’re also relaunching our iconic Vintage Amber Storage range to celebrate our 50th anniversary. These were launched in 1979 and proved really successful for decades, so we’re bringing them back for 2022; and they’re just as fresh as they were in the 80s. ◗


Candlelight Products Ltd



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Tel: 01709 723000 Email: Website:

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OFFER 10% off all bookings using code: WWS21 Sustainable & Environmentally Friendly

T: +44 (0) 1672 565 060 M: +44 (0) 7875 027 369

W: E:

New and second hand aluminium benching: Fixed, Semi rolling, mobile and sales benches.

VALEKA BV • Heliniumweg 14 • 3133 AX Vlaardingen, The Netherlands Tel: +31-10 599 74 02 • •

Glasshouses supplied, erected, dismantled. Bespoke structures. Expert reroofing in polycarbonate and composite panels. All aspects of glasshouse work and refurbishments. Maintenance, cleaning. Gutter and door replacement.

Tel: 01724 734374 Fax: 01482 648032 Email: Web:

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For more information on Vitavia or Janssens Greenhouses, contact your nearest retailer or visit @VitaviaLtd Advert template.indd 6

01473 218100 02/02/2022 08:35