Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Page 1

Spring Fair What did the show
An Interview with Peter Burks, Garden Centre Association Seasonal space Making the most of it with Andrew Burton Greener choices Creating a low carbon Christmas February/March 2023 Issue 66
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For how many years has the horticultural industry been demanding recognition from the government? An Oxford Economics report puts the value of ornamental horticulture and landscaping in the UK at around £28.2bn in 2019 – yet still, horticulture has remained seemingly absent from the government’s agenda and excluded from key conversations. That now looks set to change. A new House of Lords Select Committee has been set up to launch an inquiry into the horticultural sector. The first meeting is taking place today – the same day on which Garden Centre Retail is going to print – so hopefully, by the time you read this issue, we will know more about what this committee intends to achieve.

For now, we can at least celebrate the first time a select committee has been established to

focus solely on horticulture. Fran Barnes, CEO of the Horticultural Trades Association, called it an “exciting opportunity for environmental horticulture” and congratulated Baroness Fookes – “who has long been a friend of horticulture and gardening” – for her role in setting it up. Barnes added: “Our members play a crucial role for the UK’s economy with £6.3bn in tax revenue each year, and the sector underpins 50% of the 25-year Environment Plan…We hope that our industry’s contribution can be fully appreciated, supported and developed in Westminster.”

I’d like to echo Barnes’ sentiment. Horticulture is a huge contributor to the UK, and not just financially. It enriches the lives of those who embrace it, with both mental and physical benefits. Throughout the pandemic, gardens became more important than ever, and it could finally be achieving the recognition it deserves.

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3 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023 Welcome
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5 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023 Contents 14 16 19 22 23 24 27 31 News A round-up of the latest news An Interview With Peter Burks Spring Fair 2023 Summary from this year’s show Maximising Your Seasonal Space Andrew Burton A Low Carbon Christmas Festive sustainability within garden centres Meet the Brand Weaver Green Keeping Customer Engagement Honest Communications Bird Houses, Feeders And Food Impeccable ranges for customers’ gardens How To Grow Online Nfinite Outdoor Heaters And Fire Pits Hottest on the market Full Of Festive Cheer What will 2023 bring – GIMA Christmas 2023/24 Festive-themed products & new launches Contents


Association Updates

HTA welcomes new chief executive

The Horticultural Trades Association announced Fran Barnes as its chief executive.

Fran joins the HTA from the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales (NFU), where she has worked for more than 10 years. Prior to joining the NFU, she held a number of editorial roles on food and farming programmes at the BBC.

Barnes says: “I am delighted to have joined the HTA at the start of 2023, which is set to be a critical year for the sector. The members, industry and HTA colleagues I have met have only strengthened my enthusiasm for horticulture. The sector delivers so much for the country’s economy, health and environmental ambitions, and I am excited by the opportunity to grow the HTA’s firstclass reputation, influence and value for its members.”

President of the HTA, Alan Down adds: “I am pleased to welcome Fran on board as HTA’s new chief executive – her leadership skills, knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we look to improve and innovate how we serve our members.”

Variety of winners announced at GCA conference

Numerous garden centres scooped awards at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) annual conference last month.

Winners included The Old Railway Line Garden Centre of the Environment and Community Award, and Squires Garden Centre in Crawley of the GCA Grow Training Award.

Winner of GCA’s Rising Stars programme was 21-year-old Ella-May Bradshaw from Bosworths Garden Centre. Bradshaw says: “The programme was an amazing experience, and I am so happy I was able to win and how my project idea came to life.”

GCA also unveiled Gardens Centres of Excellence, with Garden Centre of the Year going to Klondyke Garden Centre, and Destination Garden Centre of the Year to Bents Garden & Home.

Peter Burks, chief executive at the GCA, says: “What a fantastic night we had celebrating our ‘Garden Centres of Excellence’ winners. All of them have shown immense dedication, hard work and enthusiasm in what they do and couldn’t be more deserving.”

Squire’s acquires Barnsfold Nurseries

Squire’s Garden Centres has announced that D. J. Squire & Co. Ltd has acquired the shares of Barnsfold Nurseries Limited with effect from 1 January 2023.

Sarah Squire, chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “Barnsfold Nurseries is a business we have worked with and admired for many years. We very much respect the leadership team at Barnsfold as well as the commitment, knowledge and experience of the whole team. The great plants they grow speak

for themselves. We look forward to working with everyone at Barnsfold as, together, we enter a new phase in the history of both companies.

“There is great synergy between the two companies – two longestablished horticultural businesses with shared values. We are certain that, together, both businesses will prosper and thrive.”

Barnsfold Nurseries Limited will remain a separate company as a wholly owned subsidiary within the Squire’s group. As such, it will continue to be business as usual, and the existing

Bents’ financial director retires after nearly 30 years

Brian Daniels is retiring as Bents’ finance director after joining the team three decades ago. During his time with Bents, the garden centre credits Daniels with helping to transform the garden centre business into an “award-winning destination centre”. He has overseen the financial growth of the business from sales of £2m to a turnover of £25m and has helped manage more than £29m worth of investment.

Matthew Bent, managing director at Bents Garden & Home, says: “It really is the end of an era and one which none of us was looking forward to. Brian has been a mainstay and constant part of my working life and I’m not the only one who is going to miss him. He has not only been fundamental to our growth and success, helping to guide us through the ups and downs of the past 30 years, but he is also a member of our family.”

Chairman Ron Bent and his wife Wendy were running the business when Daniels first joined. Ron Bent says:

“Brian is a great friend and support to the family. We are proud of what we have achieved together, and I want to join Matthew in saying a huge thank you to him for all his advice, encouragement and input over the years.

“For any great business, along with vision and innovation there must also be shrewdness and pragmatism to successfully convert ideas into reality, and with Brian we had the very best person for the job. We wish him and his wife Eileen all the best, but whilst this may be his retirement from the business it is not from the family, and we are looking forward to seeing him soon.”

News 6 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

management team will remain in place.

John Turner, Barnsfold Nurseries

Limited, says: “We have a longstanding relationship with Squire’s as a supplier to their sixteen garden centres. We are delighted they have become the new owners of the business. We are confident in the next chapter, that being part of Squire’s will bring exciting opportunities to grow together.”

Squires has also recently announced the appointment of its new health, safety & facilities manager

serving its group of 16 centres. Jordan Howell joins from Thames Water, where he was responsible for health and safety with specific responsibility for service co-ordination, statutory inspections and compliance across the South West London area. Prior to joining Thames Water, he served with the British Army. Jordan will lead Squire’s H&S and facilities matters for all garden centre locations across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, West London and Berkshire as well as group office.

Government unveils far-reaching ban on single-use plastics in England

Arange of polluting single-use plastics will be banned from October following the government’s consultation. Environment secretary Thérèse Coffey announced the ban, which will include single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.

According to estimates, England uses 2.7 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — and 721 million single-use plates per year, but only 10% are recycled. From October, these products will no longer be available to purchase from any business – this includes retailers, takeaways, food vendors and the hospitality industry.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey says: “We all know the devastating impacts plastic can have on our environment and wildlife. We have listened to the public and these new single-use plastics bans will continue our vital work to protect the

News Flash

Non-traditional categories outsell others in December

Catering was the bestselling department at garden centres across the UK for the third month during December last year, according to Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade report.

Sales were up 19.66% compared to the same month in 2021. GCA chairman, Tammy Woodhouse, says: “In December 2021, many of our member’s restaurants and cafés were still under Covid restrictions, so it’s no surprise that sales were up in 2022, once restrictions were gone.

“We are aware of many garden centre restaurants posting record day sales during December, which is quite unusual, but would suggest customers are still happy to spend money on a good food experience, and bodes very well for the year ahead.”

Card use soars to 90% of retail spending

environment for future generations.

“I am proud of our efforts in this area: we have banned microbeads, restricted use of straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and our carrier bag charge has cut sales by over 97% in the main supermarkets.”

It is expected that banning these will have a huge impact in reducing plastic waste and littering. The government is also considering further measures around other commonly littered and problematic plastic items, including wet wipes, tobacco filters and sachets, following the call for evidence on this issue.

Future steps that could be explored include banning plastic in the items, and labelling to help consumers dispose of items correctly. A new research project will look into the impact of wet wipes on blockages in the sewage system and will inform any future policy actions.

Cash payments have plummeted, according to the British Retail Consortium’s latest annual Payments Survey.

The report reveals that in 2021, cash usage fell to just 15% while 82% were made on credit/debit cards. Cash accounted for just 8% of consumer spend, while credit cards rose slightly to 23%, and debit cards rose to 67% (up from 59% in 2020). The rise in card payments in part reflects the increase in online shopping in 2021, when 48.6% of non-food items were purchased online. This figure fell to 39.9% in 2022, as more people returned to the high street.

Glee reveals new look ahead of 2023 event

Garden, leisure and pet trade show Glee has unveiled new branding for its 2023 show.

Glee director, Matthew Mein, says: “It became more important than ever that we created a look for the show that could be easily translated....the branding can build a visual story that showcases the breadth of Glee’s offering and products represented.”

Glee’s ambassador, Michael Perry – better known as Mr Plant Geek, who’s appeared as an expert on shows such as This Morning and Steph’s Packed Lunch – says: “The 2022 event inspired me to get involved to help further evolve Glee’s content and cement its position as a key date in the trade calendar.”

News 7 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023
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An Interview With Peter Burks, Garden Centre Association



Since its inception in 1966, the Garden Centre Association has been a key part of the UK garden centre industry.

As well as providing best practice advice, for instance – and a forum through which its members can communicate with each other – it also serves to keep the industry at the top of its game from a quality-of-service perspective. It does this primarily through its annual inspection process, centred around every different aspect of what now constitutes the garden centre offer.

That being the case, the organisation has proved itself to be especially important in recent years, over the course of what can only be described as the ongoing societal ‘permacrisis.’ Obviously, no one needs reminding about the impact of Covid-19, after which came the effects of Brexit and its attendant supply chain issues, followed now by the twin cost of living/ energy crises.

With that in mind, it would be fair to say that chief executive officer of the GCA is somewhat of an important role, particularly now. It is also

a role which has recently changed incumbents, from Iain Wylie (who resigned last summer) to Peter Burks.

Preparing for conference

As mentioned, the Garden Centre Association was established in 1966, by what the organisation’s website refers to as “early pioneers wishing to make plants available year round, and make gardening more accessible.”

Taking up the story, the website continues: “One of the first decisions when the association

Features 9 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

was established was to set up an inspection scheme for members, who were entitled to ‘Approved Centre’ status.

“The GCA asks its garden centre members, from the moment they join, to meet the highest retail standards. GCA members, large and small, set the benchmark for high retailing standards within the industry which others can only aspire to.

“The association can state, proudly, that it represents the leading garden centres within the UK, as well as worldwide, as part of its membership of the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA).”

Peter came into post at the end of last year. Discussing his background, alongside his suitability for the job of CEO, he says: “I got a degree in horticulture from the university of Bath and worked in various roles off the back of that. I was initially interested in growing, which is why I came into the industry in the first place.

“After a while, however, you realise that the most important thing is growing quality plants

and selling them. I’ve worked for nurseries – both in the UK and in Holland –, independent garden centres, as well as Wyevale and Blue Diamond.”

He continues:

“I would say that I have a massive knowledge of the industry, because, obviously, I’ve been working in it all my life. I was also actually GCA chair in 2012 and 2013, which was when I was working with Wyevale, so I have a knowledge of the organisation itself as well. I think it was a very easy fit.”

In interview situations where the subject has recently been installed in a new job, the obvious first question is generally something around what the role might entail, or what they might want to achieve going forward.

As it happened, however, with this conversation taking place around mid-January this year, there was one thing in particular dominating Peter’s thinking. That was, making a success of the GCA’s imminent annual conference, which was taking place at the end of that month in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Having only been in post since the end of 2022, Peter freely admitted that most of his time up until that point had been taken up with the organisation of that event. (Or in his words: “Conference has really filled up my time with all the last minute things to do”).

Looking beyond the event in question, however, he said: “Once we get conference out of the way, I can start to get to grips with business as usual, which obviously

Features 10 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

includes the workstreams undertaken by other members of the executive committee.

“That means around the inspections, but also things like e-learning [the GROW initiative] and offering members new incentives. I need to understand how I can help with all of those things and take them forward.”

He continues: “There’s a sense at the moment that the industry could potentially be facing some quite difficult times, which may or may not be the case. Personally, I think the thing which has the biggest impact on whether or not we have a good year, however, is still the weather.

“With that in mind, one advantage of being a member of the GCA is that businesses are part of a larger group, rather than if they were an independent operating on their own. And obviously, that large group has an awful lot of knowledge, and are always very willing to share it. There is huge camaraderie within the organisation.”

Staying on the subject of difficult times, one illustration of Peter’s last point is the role which GCA played during the Covid crisis, which saw many UK garden centre businesses having to shut their doors for weeks at a time. When those businesses re-opened again meanwhile, they had to put a number of – potentially costly – health and safety measures in place, such as limiting the number of customers who could shop on premise.

As reported in previous issues, the GCA helped to mitigate this situation by providing up-to-the minute information to its members, including via WhatsApp. According to Peter, this is a platform which the organisation wants to continue to take advantage of, alongside other newly popular innovations, such as webinars.

Discussing this, he says: “I absolutely want to encourage the passing on of best practice, for instance via things like WhatsApp groups. Our next webinar [as of January], meanwhile, will be looking at cost-saving initiatives. That will be organised by Matthew Bent, who is someone who knows a thing or two about business.”

He continues: “We need to keep communicating what we’re doing as an organisation as well. Members need to know that things are happening all the time, for instance around what the executive committee is doing.

“Also, we as the GCA need to communicate with the rest of the industry and show them how welcome they are to come and join us. Tell them the benefits of coming on board.”

Rising to the challenge

While the initiatives mentioned by Peter so far are crucially important, for him the GCA’s most

important function is the oversight which it provides across the industry (and particularly to its members).

In the first instance, this obviously takes the form of the annual inspections mentioned earlier. At the same time, the organisation is also increasingly promoting ethical/‘green’ selling practices across its member organisations.

11 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Regarding the latter in particular, there are very good reasons for this – both ethical, and business-based. “GCA garden centres are increasingly priding themselves on their relationship to the environment,” says Peter.

“They’re working very hard to reduce some of the environmentally harmful products you can buy at the moment, the most obvious example of which is anything peat-based. At the

same time, they’re also becoming increasingly focused on local producers and suppliers, a key benefit of which is the reduction of haulage.

“For me, all that is incredibly important. You’ve got to be happy that what you’re doing is the right thing for the world. And frankly, we’re going to be forced down that route, whether we like it or not.”

Moving onto the inspections piece, he continues: “Every centre has to achieve a pass mark, or they’ll be asked to leave. That’s not an idle threat and it does actually happen. The point is that, coming into a GCA garden centre, you know that the retail standards are great, which reflects well across the whole sector.

“The other side of that is that we have to find ways to make the public more aware of what they’re going to get if they visit a GCA garden centre. I don’t think that’s something we’ve been particularly good at in the past and is something that I would like to help us achieve.”

With the interview coming to an end, we move on to the biggest challenges currently facing the sector, something which seems like an increasingly pertinent topic as of the

beginning of 2023. Naturally enough, the two things Peter identifies above everything else (bad weather notwithstanding) is the current cost-of-living crisis, as well as concerns around the cost of energy.

While for him these are clearly a challenge, he also appears surprisingly optimistic. He says: “Regarding the cost-of-living crisis, if people’s disposable income does fall, the question immediately becomes: What will people actually choose to spend it on?

“However, in my experience, the garden centre sector generally hasn’t suffered in those times. People tend to stay close to home when things are hard, which of course includes the garden. People see them as a haven.

“Regarding the energy crisis, that has certainly impacted on businesses, particularly anyone who hasn’t been on a fixed term contract. But as yet, I haven’t heard about this tipping any garden centres over the edge.”

2023 will likely be a year of both challenges and opportunities for the UK garden centre sector. It will be interesting to see the ways in which Peter and the GCA meet these head on.

Features 12 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Time for Tea


The perfect gift for tea lovers, Beyond the Leaf is a Great Taste award-winning collaboration between two iconic British brands, balancing Ahmad Tea’s four generations of tea knowledge with the natural beauty and heritage of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The partnership, which supports ground-breaking conservation and preservation work in plant and fungal science, sees the prestigious English heritage brand come together with some of the world’s most beautifully blended teas to create a range that is refined, elegant, and quintessentially British.

Featuring four classic blends – Majestic Breakfast, Splendid Ceylon, Garden Afternoon and Elegant Earl Grey – it’s the perfect balance of quality and elegance for a smooth, delicious brew at any time of the day.

Naturally good tea

“As a leading authority in the natural world, Kew is the perfect partner for our Beyond the Leaf collection,” explains Dominic Marriott, Master Tea Taster at Ahmad Tea. “To produce the finest tea takes time, patience, and dedication. From hand-plucking the best leaves and buds from the world’s most prestigious tea gardens to tasting the tea at every stage in its long and intricate journey, every blend in our collection is nurtured to ensure the highest quality and the most exquisite taste.

“At Ahmad Tea, we’re lucky enough to have some of the world’s best Tea Tasters on our team who sample up to 500 cups each day to ensure the blends are perfectly balanced and the taste is consistent. Beyond the Leaf is testament to this; from the rich and malty Majestic Breakfast to the refreshing and lively Elegant Earl Grey, Great British classics are elevated to a new level.”

A supportive sip: How Ahmad Tea supports global communities

At Ahmad Tea, from our HQ in Hampshire, we’re passionate about bringing communities together to help those in need, and we donate a substantial percentage of our profits from Beyond the Leaf (and our wider collection of award-winning teas) to support charitable causes like Kew as well as others further afield such as Children in Need India.

Beyond the Leaf from Ahmad Tea in collaboration with Royal Botanic Gardens is available now. For trade enquiries, contact Ahmad Tea’s official UK distributor, Pretty Wood RRP £9.99 for a 100g loose leaf tea caddy or £14.99 for a 4 x 10 teabag selection caddy. Find out more at:

Beyond the Leaf: Four Classic Blends from Ahmad Tea and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Majestic Breakfast – a jewel in the British tea crown, this rich and malty blend balances Kenyan and Ceylon teas with second flush Assam leaves for a bold, full bodied brew. Best served with a splash of milk.

Splendid Ceylon – teas from high elevations give the brew its bright colour and deep flavour, whilst the medium grown teas add a citrussy freshness for a refreshing and lively finish. Serve with a slice of lemon for a classic Ceylon experience.

Garden Afternoon (1 Great Taste Star) –an elegant and uplifting blend, this delectable brew is the perfect partner for afternoon tea. A blend of Assam, Kenyan and Ceylon teas, with a hint of bergamot, provides an uplifting floral finish.

Elegant Earl Grey (1 Great Taste Star) –soothing and exotic, this refined Earl Grey balances teas from Ceylon and India. A touch of bergamot adds an exotic fragrance to lift the tea’s citrussy notes. Served with lemon or a splash of milk, this soothing brew is perfect at any time of the day.

13 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023 Promotion

Spring Fair


Spring Fair returned to the NEC Birmingham in February with a vast range of new products and brands.

The wholesale home, gift and fashion trade event had exhibitors from 14 different product sectors, including beauty, gifts, toys, Christmas, homeware and outdoor living.

The event boasted a bustling first day. Nicola Meadows, portfolio director at Spring & Autumn Fair said: “It has been an incredible opening day at Spring Fair, it was fantastic to see such long queues outside the halls this morning and it’s remained very busy all day. I’ve had so many

conversations with our exhibitors and buyers who all express what a hugely positive impact the show has on their businesses.

“Spring Fair is such a key event in the buying calendars and an unrivalled marketplace for new products, networking, insightful content, and trends.

We welcome the entire retail industry, including large and small retailers, buying groups, agents, associations, changemakers, and creatives, and it has evolved to become more than just a trade show; Spring Fair is an experience.”

It’s an opportunity to take away some tips from some of the top names in the sector too, and Spring Fair hosted one of the biggest names in retail this year – Theo Paphitis. The TV Dragon and #SmallBusinessSunday founder was interviewed at the event about his career and the state of the market. He said it has been “difficult” recently. “You couldn’t make it up, with Russia and Ukraine, cost of living, inflation and energy costs; it’s been very difficult for us to plan. We have to build in what we’re doing with some margin for error, but I still believe there is opportunity. As a small business, if you remain agile and survive for the next three years and do it in this market, you’ll have great foundations.”

Paphitis said “business is common sense” and retailers need to “know their numbers”. “50% of all small businesses fail in the first

14 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

two years because people don’t know their numbers, they haven’t done their homework. Lots who fail the first time go on to succeed the second. Learning from their mistakes, finding places to get help, understanding the things that really matter in business. The things you need to sweat and the things you don’t need to sweat because they don’t really matter.”

The entrepreneur also discussed setting up #SmallBusinessSunday to support start-ups, with Spring Fair itself hosting winners in the #SBS Village at the show. “Small Business Sunday came about as I’d just joined Twitter and got all these followers from starting on Dragon’s Den. One Sunday I thought why don’t I use these 50k followers to some benefit and thought the first half a dozen that tweet me telling me a little bit about their business I’ll retweet. We read them all, picked six and

left it at that. The following Sunday my phone goes off again and #SBS was coming in. On the third week I took it to the office, retweeted on the Monday. Every Monday morning, we did it and now it’s grown to our event, self-help groups, and forums.”

Along with highlighting small businesses at the show, Spring Fair also brought to the fore environmentally friendly brands through its Sustainability Showcase on the Power of One® stand. This year, there was a ‘Sustainable Trail’, with exhibitors identified with a green leaf on their stand.

If you didn’t manage to visit Spring Fair this year, you won’t have to wait an entire year for the next show. Autumn Fair will be taking place from 3-6 September at the NEC Birmingham. For more information, visit

Features 15 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Maximising your Seasonal Space

Ioften look at garden centres at Christmas, just like all other times of year, and understand that they are the absolute experts at maximising their space according to the season. The flexible and committed approach to making every linear metre work to its best potential all year around is something many retailers can learn from. However, there are ever-changing challenges to do this effectively, and here in the UK we have such a crossover of seasons that identifying what is the priority can prevent garden centres from maximising opportunity week by week.

When we consider months such as October, what takes priority – is it general gardening, Christmas or the ever-growing in popularity Halloween products? Or is it all three?

We know that product and promotion planning, alongside flexible retailing through the gardening season helps drive both turnover and average transaction values up, and it makes sense to keep seasonal products out for as long as possible to maximise the enormous impact their sales can have on margin. However, while it’s one challenge to try to extend high-margin seasonal sales, it’s another to manage seasonal merchandise planning properly. In essence, you shouldn’t

allocate ‘all’ your available promotional space for Christmas-themed products in October if they won’t start selling in large volumes until November.

The weather changes experienced in recent years has extended gardening times for many, so this may keep the range stronger for longer; however, when building a Christmas display, creating a proposition that makes an impact and has the wow factor is important too. This psychology applies to every seasonal change throughout the year.

Operationally, we also know that accurately forecasting the right quantities to be delivered at the right time is critical if you don’t want to compromise sales for other products in your assortment; but suppliers often dictate delivery windows, meaning storage then becomes key. Ensuring you have the right space at the right time is essential to maximise your sales opportunities.

Of course, all garden centres have different shapes, sizes, and sales volumes, so a “one size fits all” plan doesn’t work, but an owner has the opportunity to consider this and to see if their space is really maximising sales.

In the current economic climate, it is essential to review sales data and space seasonally to check that a centre is maximising

profit opportunity. This can be done internally, or by using a consultant. The key is data use and analysis, which can help to identify space needs. The results may deduce that a centre needs to utilise its existing retail space more effectively or highlight that it might be under- or over-spaced in certain departments. Similarly, it could show that a centre has limitations in its existing format and needs more retail, storage or events space, or perhaps more car parking to help drive footfall through sales areas.

By reviewing their existing site, an owner might identify potential to generate more turnover and profit and capitalise on the key Christmas trading period.

About Andrew Burton

Andrew works for garden centre and farm shop business strategy and rural planning specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants. Andrew provides commercial, operational and business development experience and commercial advice to clients in the retail and catering sectors.

Andrew now sits on the Farm Retail Association Council, having previously been on the Garden Centre Association Board.

Features 16 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Watch these mesmerising sculptures dance in the wind, sketching ever-changing forms across the sky. Will Carr has been exploring and creating fascinating contemporary kinetic sculptures for many years, combing complex engineering and in-depth study of balance to create pieces that move silently in the lightest and strongest of winds. These sculptures enhance the spaces they inhabit; their endless flow brings viewers a peaceful connection to nature as they flicker in the wind, through day and night.

Please visit his website to see the sculptures in movement willcarrsculpture

Sweet PARTNERS IN SUCCESS The authorised UK partner supplier of Anthon Berg Discover more on 0330 202 0903 or email us at Anthon Berg Chocolate Liqueurs 12pc 187g

A Low Carbon Christmas


Ensuring we all play our part in protecting the planet is a major focus, now more than ever. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact that Christmas and its consumerism are having on the environment and they’re expecting retailers that they buy from to be more transparent about it too.

An increasing trend in 2022 was shoppers looking for garden centres to offer a more environmentally friendly Christmas by cutting down on packaging and adding eco-friendly gifts to their range. We spoke to some retailers to see how they are helping their customers make choices to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, especially over the festive period.

O Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is one of the quintessential symbols of the festive period and often the focal point for family gatherings. The trees and poinsettias across all of Squire’s 16 garden centres are the results of many months of careful cultivation and unique partnerships with British growers.

Squire’s works in partnership with longstanding Surrey-based supplier, Woodlark

Nurseries, to produce the best quality poinsettias, whilst its real-cut Christmas trees are all British, making their journey from Scotland. They come from sustainable crops as, once cut, this gives rise to new planting – for every tree harvested, a new one is planted.

Artificial trees can also be sustainable says Matthew Bent at Bents Garden Centre. “Artificial

Christmas trees should last more than 10 years as we source the best quality trees, so you don’t have to replace them regularly.”

When it comes to tree decorations, Sarah Squire, chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres comments: “We have entered the era of the mindful shopper who is looking to make thoughtful and re-usable choices at Christmas. Many are consciously looking to buy products that are considered an investment and that they can enjoy for years to come. Our delightful Christmas decorations are brought out year after year and become firm family favourites.

Light it up

British Garden Centres, a family-run chain with 62 centres across the UK, has been working closely with Premier Decorations on its Christmas light offering as Evelyn Chiu, Group Christmas Buyer at British Garden Centres explains. “We have been making our customers aware that LED lights consume 80-90% less energy and can potentially last up to 100,000 hours. With many shoppers now more aware of their carbon footprint, our range of lights has been carefully selected to reduce the extra energy that incandescent bulbs use as well as have a positive impact on your purse and the environment.”

Bents has also been marketing the efficiency of LED Christmas lights, with Matthew telling us: “We have been strongly highlighting the energy efficiency of LED Christmas lighting within our store. An impactful info board on the sales fixture gave shoppers a clear breakdown

19 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

of how economical LED Christmas lighting is, how much it costs to light a tree over the Christmas period, and how much energy could be saved by using timer control.”

Living gifts

A living gift or present for the garden is something its recipient can enjoy all year

round. From blooming plants to stylish planters, and wildlife products to elegant garden accessories, a living gift will make a family member appreciate their love of the outdoors. Bryony Taylor-Edwards, head of marketing and home & gift buyer at Yarnton Home and Garden has been promoting the gift of the garden in-store. “We were the first garden centre to stock ocean plastic pots, and we have been promoting these and cross-merchandising with houseplants.”

Monkton Elm Garden Centre agrees a living gift is much more sustainable and long-lasting with Cara Maccallum, marketing manager at Monkton Elm, adding: “We have been promoting living gifts locally with a particular emphasis on houseplants, potted seasonals, and trees. We also donated 10 Christmas trees to the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal for refugee housing, to spread the spirit of Christmas a little further.”

Martin Cowell, horticultural director at Cowell’s Garden Centre explains the social media #PlantsforPresents campaign to encourage our customers to gift a plant. “Although houseplants are always popular gifts, through this campaign we promote plants for the garden as gifts as well and we have received excellent feedback from customers.

“Whenever possible, our buyers source plants that have been grown in the UK and this is particularly true

of our range of Poinsettia; they are all British-grown and come from suppliers based in Scotland and Yorkshire, as close to ourselves as we can find!”

As Bents operates its own growing nursery, it grows more than 60% of the hardy plants it sells including the ones it sells over the Christmas period.

Environmentally friendly gifts for everyone Diversification has never been more important in today’s garden retailers. With gardening being highly seasonal, stores have had to find a way to generate revenue outside of its shorter peak season which is where Christmas gifting plays a major part.

At Yarnton, Bryony says: “It’s not just plants where we are offering a sustainable alternative, it is gifts as well. We have had some brilliant bags from ROKA made from plastic bottles and some fabulous socks and belts from Swole Panda both made using sustainable materials. All of our fab stationery is also eco-friendly and from Vent for Change.

As families begin to search for Christmas gifts to treat the children in their lives this festive season, British Garden Centres has sourced only the most sustainable toys for stockings and under-thetree presents. Keel Toys are made from 100% recycled polyester made from plastic waste, whilst plastic products have improved recyclability at the end of their life.

Puzzles are a firm favourite at British Garden Centres too and those stocked are made from FSC paper and cardboard and use vegetablebased inks on boxes and pieces.

Christmas wrapping

Nothing beats the excitement on Christmas Day when you finally get to rip open your pile of lovingly wrapped presents. With wrapping

Features 20Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

paper being one of the most important parts of the Christmas experience, recycled gift wrap has seen a surge in popularity as consumers look to reduce their waste on the big day.

Yarnton Home & Garden is constantly reviewing its gift wrap and sourcing recyclable alternatives to those with plastic-coated finishes. Bryony tells us: “We have been on the hunt for great sustainable Christmas products for a while. We love Eco Wrap for its lovely papers, ties and eco tape. Eco Wrap prides itself on the fact that none of its products create landfill and with every purchase it plants one tree.”

Monkton Elm also agrees sustainable wrapping is key for consumers now. Cara adds: “Our Christmas sustainability policies have been around using suppliers that follow a similar ethos to us. All our Christmas gift wrap, cards, gift bags, and crackers are glitter and plastic free. Our Christmas cards are made from recyclable materials and contain no plastic or glitter.”

Bents has also been looking into sustainable ways of wrapping its Christmas treats. “We sold recycled and recyclable roll wrap, cards, and crackers. We also offer customers the packaging that our stock comes in to take their products home in, rather than carrier bags,” Matthew said.

Eat, drink and be merry!

Monkton Elm has a strong ethos on locally sourced ingredients; “Our farm shop focuses on

local suppliers where possible, such as cheeses, pies, preserves, chutneys, and jams are all produced by local suppliers, some in under 10 miles from our store,” says Cara.

“Our ales, ciders, spirits, and wines that provided some festive cheer are 80% local, and over Christmas, we promoted these small businesses by offering in-store tastings direct from our suppliers, which was extremely well received. Local brands we support include Exmoor distillery, Rich’s Cider Farm, Waterhouse Fayre, Bumblee’s, and Longmans Cheese are some of the local and awardwinning brands stocked here at our farm shop which made great gifts.

“Our restaurant and farm shop work with the award-winning Pynes of Somerset Butchery and most of our meat supplies come from there, particularly our festive menu, which included meats and vegetables from local suppliers.”

Yarnton’s restaurant sources locally and cooks local eggs and sausages amongst other customer favourites whilst Bents makes nearly everything made in its kitchens on the premises and sources locally where possible from its onsite butchers.

Even Santa is eco-friendly.

A visit to Santa is often the highlight in the lead-up to the big day, spreading some Christmas cheer and putting smiles on children’s faces. Retailers have been working hard to make a grotto that is a bit different and kinder to the planet. Yarnton Home and Garden offered a great alternative to plastic toys last year: “We did an entirely sustainable grotto this year,” said Bryony.

“Rather than a toy, we gave children a living Christmas tree for them to nurture for years to come. It was well received by the children and a brave step to break tradition, but we were so happy with the reaction it received.”

21 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Keeping the new wave of during the cost-of-living crisis gardeners engaged


As PR specialists in the gardening sector, we have a unique insight into the industry from a brand, retail and customer point of view.

As we all know, in recent years the gardening industry saw a boom like never before. But we now find ourselves faced with the most serious cost-of-living crisis the UK has experienced in years, plummeting us into another recession. Customers have, understandably, tightened their belts, and the gardening bubble is at risk of bursting.

What does this mean for retailers and what can you be doing to keep these customers engaged and spending?

“go live” too; whether it’s showcasing events incentre or inviting a guest speaker to discuss the latest hot topics. You can also boost engagement by coordinating competitions with brands you stock and teaming up with influencers to further your reach.

Don’t underestimate the importance of engaging with your customers and other accounts too – just a few minutes a day of liking, commenting and sharing will boost your profile significantly.

Sharing exclusive discount codes for followers is another way to help drive footfall into the centre and give people a reason to spend with you.

Build PR presence

Building a presence in the local media is vital in helping raise awareness and keeping you front of mind within the community.

Newspapers are key to tapping into the local audience, and there are many ways to get your business featured. One way is to celebrate the centre’s stories – do you have a longstanding member of staff due to retire, or have you taken on a horticultural apprentice? These milestones may seem small but make a great feel-good story for a local newspaper.

Don’t forget to explore beyond the papers and consider reaching out to bloggers, influencers and online outlets in your area too.

It’s likely that the new wave of gardeners are less experienced than your regular customers, so make yourself a valuable resource of content and tips for the garden. Offering tips to help your customers’ money go further is also key in the current climate – think along the lines of guides on upcycling, growing from seeds or propagating houseplants.

The most important thing is to continue communicating with your customers. It can be tempting to scale back on communication when the financial climate looks uncertain, but continuing to nurture your customer relations and reach a new audience means that when they do come to spend, it will be with you.

If you’re looking for support communicating with and engaging your customers visit or email

Be social

Establishing successful social media profiles goes far beyond publishing posts; the key is to get creative with your content.

Ditch the hard sales messaging and instead share content to inspire and entertain – beautiful and interesting plants, live updates from the centre, and expert tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your garden. Don’t be afraid to

Inspire in-store

Organising in-store events and workshops is a great way to encourage people to visit – you could even team up with local companies, brands and shops to see if there is any crossover for added value. Sessions could include anything from “how-to’s” and seasonal advice, to hands-on workshops in anything from floral design to creating hanging baskets.

About Holly Daulby

Holly Daulby is the founder of Honest Communications, the chosen PR and social media agency of many leading home, garden and lifestyle brands including Hillier, Cobra, Baby Bio, Phostrogen, elho and Wilkinson Sword. She has a varied background in the sector and has worked on launching new products, arranging events, and offering ongoing strategic PR and social media support.

Features 22 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

How does your garden centregrow online?

When it comes to online retailing, garden centres have a very different set of priorities and requirements than many other industries. Imagery is essential, but so is context. When people go to a garden centre, they want to see how products look in the environment they are meant to be in, during the season they are in. But how can you recreate this online without spending your entire marketing budget on photography?

Online interactions play a fundamental role in influencing the ultimate purchase decisions.

or thought. A recent survey we conducted revealed that 88% of shoppers said high-quality product imagery is important when making an online purchase.

Moreover, with many of us being exposed to hundreds or even thousands of visuals daily, fighting for attention is more critical than ever. Your e-merchandising may only have a few seconds (if you’re lucky) to grab attention and show that it is relevant and memorable.

and tailored to your target audience at specific times of the year, thus increasing desirability that translates into sales.

Traditional photography will not get you to scaling personalisation. Imagine the hassle of shooting the same product naturally embedded in various seasonal or contextual scenes.

However, when it comes to purchasing, it is easy for consumers to become overwhelmed by the abundance of alternatives and choices, particularly if all they can see are generic product visuals from one specific angle with a white background. Context-rich product visuals will bring garden centre products to life online.

When looking for plants and other garden products online, consumers tend not to purchase via product data but through emotional triggers, where contextual visuals can recall a positive memory

Making compelling, personalised, and immersive content is key in today’s competitive garden centre market. You need more visuals that are increasingly efficient at improving sales. However, many will believe achieving this will require more resources and budget, which is hard to come by. Luckily, nextgeneration technologies are being built to help solve this exact challenge.

Revolutionising and digitising product visuals

Online retailing has become a crucial sales channel for all garden centres. And if images are a key part of online sales, then the production process of product visuals should make the leap as well. If you are going to effectively address the growing number of product catalogues (scale) and a greater need to personalise visual content (creativity), digitisation is the only way forward.

Digitisation is not just having a digital file of traditional photography. It means creating a digital model (often in 3D) of a product that your online content producers and digital marketers can insert and embed seamlessly into seasonal, contextual backgrounds with ease and purpose. This will make the product more eye-catching

The logistics, costs and time associated with this would be astronomical!

Thankfully, there are now turnkey solutions like Nfinite that leverage CGI technology to create, display, and manage unlimited product visuals, resolving the scaling issue faced by modern marketers. We achieve this by creating a digital model (CGI/ 3D) of a product, where content producers can easily create infinite product images seamlessly with a few simple clicks of a button that can be tailored for different audiences, seasonal campaigns, and different digital formats.

Nfinite allows you to display contextual visuals on your garden centre’s e-commerce site that were previously impossible to create in a fraction of the time of a traditional photo shoot.

About Nfinite

The Nfinite Platform is a cloud-based virtual photography studio that helps you build, manage, and display product visuals. It allows you to design, manage, and display product visuals across your website in an infinite array of contextual designs and scenarios quickly and easily.

Features 23 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023



Christmas may be but a distant memory but as many of us know, the season isn’t over just yet. As households put away their decorations and start planning their summer holidays, the garden retail sector is busy sourcing new supply partners to ensure that the coming festive season is packed full of brands that are proven to drive sales.

Garden gift and accessory experts, Burgon & Ball, saw its small indoor watering cans and houseplant misters enjoy a thriving festive season. An ideal accessory for the ongoing passion for houseplants, the brand saw its heritage blue watering can prove particularly popular in response to current interior design trends. Elsewhere, Burgon & Ball’s RHS Gift for Gardeners range has also done well for stockists. In fact, it’s just been shortlisted as a ‘Gift of all Time’ in the Gift of the Year awards. With appealing gifting price points of around £10 and £20, and with regular new designs to refresh the range, it’s a concept which has consistently produced topsellers since its launch.

Continuing with gifts, Taylors

Bulbs’ Amaryllis continued to be a bestselling Christmas gift in 2022, with premium and exotic varieties such as Dancing Queen and Black Pearl growing even further in sales, indicating that consumers are looking for something a bit different from the run of the mill red or striped varieties. With Taylors added value bulb gifts, Narcissus ceramic hedgehog planter and owl ceramic Iris planter continue to be top selling volume items. Taylors national sales/ marketing manager Ian Clark said: “We are amazed at the volumes of added value we continue to sell; clearly, they make great presents for that ‘difficult to buy for’ relative!”

Leon Boots, the brand behind the game changing ultra-lightweight Garden Ankle Boot, reports that autumn and winter sales, including Christmas, were “unreal” as retailers secured stock to boost their gift and outdoor clothing offering. The Leon Boots ranges are now available in more than 600 UK stockists, with the Garden Ankle Boot consistently remaining the bestselling line. Look out for three new colours joining the line-up in spring 2023.

24 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Edelman, whose mission is to make the world more beautiful, warmer and cosier in and around the house and in all seasons, used Christmas 2022 to find its way back through

challenging times to a more well balanced, sustainable, and creative space. The brand’s Christmas themes are about taking traditions with a modern touch, yet still full of the nostalgia of the festive season. Key products include artificial Christmas trees from its Triumph Tree and Black Box Trees brands, plus decorations and lights from its House of Seasons and Luca Lighting collections.

Christmas was a busy period for Eden Horticulture thanks to its annual giveaway. Additionally, Eden expanded its offering having gained the official distribution rights for two new brands – Omega for Spectrum lamps and light kits, and Root Nurse. Together, these brands saw Eden’s festive sales figures increase, whilst gardeners relocating plants indoors to continue their gardening during the colder months also contributed to a strong season thanks to the company’s extensive indoor gardening offering. Looking ahead, Eden also predicts big things for its fabric pot offering as it offers a more flexible, cost effective and sustainable solution for eco-conscious gardeners.

The ongoing focus on sustainability also saw CoirProducts’ Christmas sales increase, including most notably its CoirCoins range and Coir Potting Mix 5kg block, which gives over 75L of coir.

Over the Christmas period, the team at Phoenox Textiles

noticed a resurgence of customers looking for bright, fun and colourful designs. A firm favourite was Phoenox’s new Stripe 85 Hug Rug, which is positively bursting with colour. With colour very much on the agenda, the Phoenox team are working on releasing more bright designs over the course of 2023.

At Charles Bentley, Christmas trading was on par with expectations and forecasts across its retail and online business. Whilst ranges such as premium furniture and BBQs saw negative growth, the business enjoyed sales uplifts in its wooden brooms, garden tidy and storage solutions plus indoor gaming tables categories, with improved stock availability when compared to winter 2021.

Finally, supplier of outdoor furniture since 2009, Maze, utilised the festive season to finalise its 2023 plans including the inclusion of a new outdoor fabric colour – oatmeal – as well as introducing the new-for-2023 Bali range of furniture.

About GIMA

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

Products 25 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

University by Dr Geoff Whiteley. It is made from wheat straw, is an earthy brown colour has a neutral pH and lasts on the surface for up to two years.

Strulch stops weeds germinating by blocking light, retains moisture in the soil and the added minerals and texture deters slugs and snails.

13.5 kg bags of Strulch are available on pallets of 12, 25, 40 or 48 bags. Delivered within 4 working days.

Trade discounts available ExpertiseQualityConsistencyVast range National Reach To get your weekly availability list email or call 01423 332309 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. INDEPENDENT IMPARTIAL INVALUABLE SHEFFIELD GARDEN CENTRE FOR SALE Circa 4 Acre Site With or Without Adjacent 3.75 Acre Field Detached 4 Bedroom Home Profitable Business Offering Considerable Further Potential OUR REF: 0325

Products Christmas 2023/24


Harvey and Mason Christmas 2023


International Limited

The RSW Christmas 2023 ranges are now in place and ready to preorder for this season. With updated, on-trend cracker designs, RSW will once again put a sparkle into your Christmas offering in store. It also has an exciting and comprehensive Christmas sundries range too.

RRP From £1.79-£30.00

Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball seed tin organiser

Burgon & Ball

Tapping into the modern rustic interiors trend, this seed organiser is ideal for collecting, storing and organising seed packets. The thoughtfully designed tin offers plenty of space for seed storage, with three roomy compartments for seeds. Calendar dividers sort seeds by month, with branding to highlight the organiser’s designer credentials, making a practical and chic gift for any gardener.

RRP £25.99

Mushroom Opening Bauble

Sass & Belle

Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball heart-shaped trowel


& Ball

A covetable new addition to the Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball range of gift-boxed hand tools. Shortlisted in the Home and Garden category of the Gift of the Year awards, the trowel has a wide heart-shaped mirror-polished dish, waxed beech handle and solid brass ferrule etched with maker’s mark. Useful for shallow digging and scooping when planting bulbs, bedding, or plug plants; the design is also ideal for container gardening.

RRP £22.99

The Mushroom Opening Bauble is a unique and playful way to add some whimsy to the tree. With a realistic mushroom design that opens to reveal a tiny surprise inside, this bauble is sure to delight children and adults alike. MOQ 6 units.

RRP £10

Launch date Available to pre-order now. Stock to arrive September 2023.

Eco Mini Micro Scooter



The UK’s bestselling, premium scooter for pre-schoolers. Suitable for ages two to five, Micro is renowned for its durable, adaptable scooters and accessories. A great way to keep families entertained while they are in store.

RRP £87.95

Glass tealight holders


Help your customers bring some twinkle to their festive table settings with these coloured glass tealight holders from Ivyline, which launched at Spring Fair. With their curved design, metallic sheen and antique effect, these home accents will illuminate any festive decor with style. Available in two sizes and silver, gold, navy and evergreen colours.

RRP From £29.99

Products 27 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Scented Sticks

Ashleigh & Burwood

Ashleigh & Burwood add

Scented Sticks to The Scented Home, in four festive fragrances. Designed to discretely blend with Christmas décor, each pack features six hanging sticks which provide up to four weeks of scent, the perfect amount to fragrance Christmas trees, wreaths, or garlands for a scented festive touch.

RRP £6.99

Launch date SS23 for AW23

Ziggle ‘Baby’s Christmas’ range

Ziggle Baby

Ziggle Baby has extended its multi-award-winning baby accessories range with an even bigger choice for Christmas 2023. Order your Christmas Display Unit package for £950 before the end of February or buy any individual items for £150 carriage paid orders. Consider giving Ziggle’s thoughtfully designed age-appropriate Santa Grotto gift bags to little ones aged under two.

RRP From £3.99 RRP to FSDU package at £950

Eco Lunch Bag

Micro Scooters

Woodland Christmas Decorations


Artcuts’ bestselling woodland collection includes characterful animals as well as forest flora, mushrooms, 3D pinecones and metallic ferns. Made from unique sustainable woods (FSC certified) and complementary papers, only the finest materials are used to create each decoration. Established in 2012, family-run business Artcuts designs, manufactures and hand-finishes every decoration from its studio and workshops in Surrey.

RRP From £7.85

British Bird Personalised Garden Signs

Mulberry Studios Ltd

Sumptuously illustrated, embossed metal garden signs featuring five British bird designs. Launching in April 2023, the signs can be hung with garden string or secured using the pre-drilled screw holes. With 162 of the most popular names and open titles, the range offers something for everyone.

RRP £4.99

Launch date April 2023


Children’s Christmas activity books for Santa’s grotto collection – branded with your logo!

Daydream Publications Ltd

A great impulsive purchase that’s got great green credentials. Made by the multi-award-winning Micro Scooters, this lunch bag attaches to all scooters and bikes. It’s made from recycled bottles and is suitable for use for kids aged 3-12

RRP £10.95

Looking for something a bit different and bespoke to give away at your Grotto? These Christmas themed books are sure fire winners with kids of all ages. They come complete with story, puzzles, games, stickers and lots of festive fun. They can even be branded with your logo on the front and your own full-page advert on the back cover!

An ideal grotto gift or giveaway promotion.

RRP Start at just 72p per book.

Products 28 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023
Our natural plant food range is made from plants, for plants! A nutrient-rich liquid feed that’s a sustainable product of renewable energy production. Available in 100% recycled containers. Contact: For use on Double your Nutrient Organics flowers, fruit & veg Rich Contact us: 01270 762828 Produced with the finest ingredients using the latest technology to provide precision blended, consistent products. Our popular peat free range combines great value with exceptional results for growers with sustainability concerns. Made in Britain from responsibly sourced materials. Quality top-performing horticultural products Growing Together GCR half page.indd 1 07/02/2023 12:58:38

Timber Displays Limited Lodge Farm, 47 Spalding Road, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 0AU

T: 01778 422700


Baytree Living is a UK based wholesale company, who offer a vast range of garden plant supports and planters. Working primarily with UK manufacturers, we emphasize on quality so our products are created to last. With an aged look, they simply improve over time.

Tel: 07712 676545 Email:

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

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

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

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



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 • •

Products Outdoor Heaters and Fire Pits


Pelba Grande Casual Dining Set with bio-ethanol fire pit table

Kettler (GB) Limited

New to the elba range for 2023 is the elba Grande casual dining set, including a bio-ethanol fire pit table combining a mix of aluminium and FSC certified wood. The table is not only environmentally friendly but also boasts a versatile and practical design. The table height is suitable for both lounging and dining in comfort, designed with the correct proportions for maximum comfort.

RRP £3,199

Adena Lifestyle Appliances

Customers can enjoy the Adena all year round – worryfree of frost, UV damage and signs of rust. For portability, the Adena’s MGO shell is lightweight and proves brilliantly practical. Its shell is also textured for an authentic stone look and feel. To top off this fire pit, there is a chrome cooking grill, ideal for making great food in the great outdoors.

RRP £125

Tower Magna Fire Pits

Tower Housewares by RKW Ltd

Tower Magna Gas Fire Pits are part of the Tower Outdoor Living collection, helping trade customers to extend outdoor entertainment options for their customers. Tower Magna Gas Fire Pits are available in a rectangular or round shape, to suit each consumer’s outdoor space. The natural stone effect is modern, durable and strong, whilst being fire and moisture resistant. The fire pits also have 360° access for even heat distribution.


Products 31 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023
If plants could talk they’d choose... Every plant’s lifelong partner 01795 411527 • • ® The Royal Horticultural Society. The Royal Horticultural Society, and its logo, are trade marks of The Royal Horticultural Society (Registered Charity No 222879/SC038262) and used under licence from RHS Enterprises Limited. MOVING TOWARDSA

Products Bird Houses, Feeders and Food


Peckish Complete Seed Mix

Westland Horticulture

Peckish Complete has now been produced in plastic-free paper packaging that is 100% recyclable kerbside.

Peckish is growing participation further with new Extra Free Peckish Complete. Available in 1.7kg + 20% extra free and a 12.75kg + 20% extra free, these bags offer great value for money to consumers.

RRP £4.99

WoodStone® Seville 28mm Nest Box (Green)

CJ Wildlife

Constructed from a mix of concrete and wood fibres, WoodStone® Seville nest box provides a safe environment for birds to nest safeguard against attacks from predators including woodpeckers, cats and squirrels. The unique material insulates the nest creating a more consistent internal temperature than an ordinary wooden box. This is especially important during the breeding season and ensures that young birds have a greater chance of survival. This 28mm hole nest box is ideal for housing tree sparrows, blue tits, coal tits and great tits.

RRP £24.99

Peckish Ready to Use Feeders

Westland Horticulture

Peckish’s number-one-selling, ready-to-use bird feeder is now UK manufactured. Peckish pre-filled feeders are now produced and filled in the UK, continuing its commitment to a sustainable future. Its high-quality feeders are ideal for those consumers who are new to feeding birds and looking for a simple, convenient feeder. Ideal for impulse purchases, Peckish’s new mixed displays are ideal for driving basket spend in store.

RRP £4.99

Multinester Nest Box with Green Roof Johnston & Jeff

These Multinester nest boxes can be both hole and open-fronted, by simply removing the front piece, making Johnston & Jeff’s Multinester range completely versatile for the individual species. There is a range of 11 different Nest Boxes to suit almost every wild bird. Each nest box is made in Johnston & Jeff’s own woodshop in Yorkshire, using sustainably sourced timber.

RRP £11.99

Products 33 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Cleaner Feeder 4

Finches Friend

Features four feed chambers allowing the use of a variety of food and comes with two interchangeable feed stations for zero feeder downtime. The huge capacity holds up to 6.5L of food, more than four times the capacity of a standard feeder. The innovative design and water drainage system ensures that feed always stays clean, dry and safe. A 360° feeding station allows multiple birds to feed at once and a narrowed feeding tray make it inaccessible to larger birds and such as crows.

RRP £74.99

Gardman Homegrown Harvest Wild Bird Seed

Westland Horticulture

Gardman Homegrown Harvest Seed Mix is a wholesome blend of ingredients, sourced locally to reduce food miles, as well as support British farmers. Packed in paper packaging for kerbside recycling, this product is high energy with small seeds to attract a wide range of garden birds. This product is ideal for environmentally conscious consumers and is exclusive to the garden centre channel.

RRP £5.99

Launch date 2022

National Trust Apollo 4 Port Bird Seed Feeder

CJ Wildlife

The Apollo feeder has four feeding ports allowing multiple birds to use this feeder at the same time. The ports are designed to ensure that birds have maximum access to the food on offer. The offset spacing of the ports also provides each bird with a clear feeding area which results in more hygienic feeding. Its straightforward design makes it simple to assemble and fill the feeder without the use of tools. The unique ventilation system within the lid of the feeder prevents condensation from developing in the tube, helping to keep food fresher for longer.

RRP £24.99

Cleaner Window Feeder

Finches Friend

The clever design is a far cry away from the industrystandard, open food concept, and stops birds from walking and defecating in the feed, preventing cross contamination. The unique fixed perch feeder stores the food inside an easy to clean, refillable, closed feeder cartridge and is supplied with two feeder cartridges. Easy to install suction cups with coloured identification trims increase visibility. Sold with WindowAlert, self-adhesive UV reflective vinyls to prevent fatal window collisions.

RRP £23.95

Products 34 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023

Meet the Brand Weaver Green


‘Great textiles shouldn’t cost the earth,’ reads Weaver Green’s tagline. They usually do, though; especially when they’re touted as sustainable. Fortunately, Weaver Green has stuck to its word. The rugs and textiles creator offers eco-friendly products at an affordable price point. Take its herringbone blankets, for instance. These are handwoven from up to 300 recycled single-use plastic bottles. In fact, the entirety of Weaver Green’s range is produced from recycled plastic bottles.

Communities in areas such as northern India collect plastic bottles discarded in the street, being paid well for their yield. These bottles are collected, weighed, washed and turned into small plastic chips, which are then heated in vats powered by recycled rice and wheat husks, melting them into a liquid. This goes through what is essentially a large shower head, creating long fine fibres which are spun into yarn and hand loomed into various fabrics.

Despite being made from discarded bottles, the herringbone blankets could be mistaken for wool; better yet, they are machine washable and can be used both inside and outside. So, how did it all start, and what can we expect from the ‘green’ textile producer?

How was Weaver Green first founded?

Tasha and I were in India, where we got married, and were inspired by the creativity and opportunity to make products there. We had previously made coir rugs, and were aware that there were fishermen making things from recycled fishing nets, so we started to work with those who had the technology to do this around 12 years ago to build a product which was modern enough, technical enough and had a good enough finish to sell as a rug in the Western world. From there, we launched Weaver Green in 2015.

How has the brand developed?

We started off with a small range of products and now have about 700. It has grown incrementally, as we have worked with different types of weavers and fabrics to create viable products which are also affordable.

How important is the garden centre market

We’ve been building this area of interest as it’s a great market for us. We’ll have one of the biggest stands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, illustrating that those with gardens who visit garden centres are definitely our target audience. Garden centres

are destinations now, and it’s where people go to make decisions on how to dress their space, so they’re enormously important to us.

Are there POS options available?

We’ve found that when people go to garden centres, they want to pick up packaged products to take away. We’ve gone through a phase of working with garden centres to sell bigger rugs, but we now also have a range of doormats launching next year. We also have blankets and cushions for indoor and outdoor use. So, if garden centres want to engage with us, we have a new stand in development which keeps all products in one area and explains that they are made from recycled bottles.

Where has Weaver Green been showcasing?

Products will be on our stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – we have a 75sqm stand right next to the RHS. We also have in-house carpenters, welders, and a sculptor who is making a beautiful gate which we also took along to Spring Fair. We will have a presence at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival as well; but otherwise we’re mostly a trade business, so we look forward to working with garden centres.

35 Garden Centre Retail February/March 2023 gardencentreretail