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Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 44

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

June/July 2019

MAKING THE MOST OF

Social Media E XC LU S I V E R E S E A R C H E M PLOY I N G D I F F E R E N T G E N E R AT I O N S

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDY BUNKER

ALTON GARDEN CENTRE SEASONAL WORKERS

PROS AND CONS OF TEMPORARY CONTRACTS

19 Cover.indd 1

SHOW GARDEN PLANT FOCUS TOP CHOICES AT RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW

33

SELLING COMPOST

EXPLORING DIFFERENT TYPES AND PRODUCTS

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INDEPENDENT IMPARTIAL INVALUABLE

COUNTY DURHAM

BEDFORDSHIRE

GARDEN CENTRE & NURSERY

NURSERY & GARDEN CENTRE

FREEHOLD FOR SALE

FOR SALE LEASEHOLD DUE TO RETIREMENT

Circa 12.5 acres Modern Garden Centre Building Planning for Coffee Shop and Farm Shop Mobile home Outline Planning Permission for tied dwelling

Attractive Site of Circa 7 Acres Good Range of Nursery & Garden Centre Buildings Modern Restaurant

REF: 0172

REF: 0242

YORKSHIRE

With or Without 3 Bedroom Home

NORTH WALES

NURSERY & PLANT CENTRE

ATTRACTIVE PLANT CENTRE

FOR SALE LEASEHOLD DUE TO RETIREMENT

FREEHOLD FOR SALE

Attractive Plant Centre with an Established Business and 4 Bedroom Period House

Successful Plant Centre Tied 4 Bedroom Dwelling

New Lease Offered Subject to Suitability

Coffee Shop 2.65 Acres Potential to Increase Turnover & Profitability

REF: 0276

REF: 0281

On Behalf of Retained Clients We are seeking Garden Centres, Plant Centres or Retail Nurseries in the Sussex / Surrey / Hampshire Areas If you are considering a sale or would like to discuss this further in strictest confidence, please contact Simon Quinton Smith or Rachel McMordie on 01635 551441 Quinton Edwards Chartered Surveyors, Bartholomew House, 38 London Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1JX

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Welcome

WELCOME TO...

Garden Centre Retail A

s Summer approaches, the British public turn to their gardens as an area to reconnect with nature, enjoy the weather and socialise with friends and family. As we’ve seen with the GCA’s Barometer of Trade report, sales in outdoor furniture and barbecues have risen. The public wants to get outside – meaning that garden centres are about to get busier. Coincidentally, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has just happened. As the biggest gardening event on the planet, we can expect fans to be inspired by the sights of the show. Letting nature claim gardens back was a recurring theme throughout the show – it wasn’t about having a neatly manicured lawn, plantings were intentionally overgrown and interspersed with ragged robin and buttercups. Expect to see a rise in wildflower sales as people seek to make their garden a haven for not just themselves, but nature as well. In other news, Garden Centre Retail is launching a new initiative, to be held in conjunction with Glee. We’re asking UK garden centres to nominate team members, highlighting the most successful 30 people under 30 years of age. Also in this issue, we have a fantastic interview with Andy Bunker of Alton Garden Centre. Andy shares the journey his career has taken him on, and how they operate without a central EPoS system. We’ve also got a plant focus on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a dive into the different products in the compost market and a great article on the four generations working within the garden retail market. Have a great month,

ADVERTISING Sales Executive – Beth Doran beth.doran@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 592 Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough Tel: 01903 777 584 liam.colclough@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kara Thomas, Kirsty Turek

Joe Wilkinson Managing Editor, Garden Centre Retail joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson

People seek to make their garden a haven for not just themselves, but nature as well

MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Amber Bernabe amber.bernabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 581 Subscription enquiries – Chris Anderson chris.anderson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 588

Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2019 subscription price is £95. 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 www.gardencentreretail.com

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EDITORIAL Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 577

Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 591

GCR APP

www.gardencentreretail.com

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

Subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Joe and the GCR team

Garden Centre Retail is available FREE on your mobile device. Simply go to the App Store, search for ‘Garden Centre Retail’ and download the app!

CONTACT

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 June/July 2019

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OUTDOOR LIVING COLLECTION

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OUTDOOR PLANTERS FOUNTAINS SOLAR LIGHTING

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Contents

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 44

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

June/July 2019

MAKING THE MOST OF

Social Media E XC LU S I V E R E S E A R C H E M PLOY I N G D I F F E R E N T G E N E R AT I O N S

CO NTE NT S NEWS

SEASONAL WORKERS

PROS AND CONS OF TEMPORARY CONTRACTS

SHOW GARDEN PLANT FOCUS

SELLING COMPOST

TOP CHOICES AT RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW

19

EXPLORING DIFFERENT TYPES AND PRODUCTS

33

38

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JUNE/JULY 2019

15 THE INTERVIEW

33 PLANT FOCUS

19 SEASONAL WORKERS

36 GIMA

20 USING EVENTS

38 COMPOST: THE VARIETIES

25 GENERATIONS

41 COMPOST: THE MAKEUP

29 SOCIAL MEDIA

42 COMPOST: LATEST PRODUCTS

Andy Bunker, Alton Garden Centre

A roundup of the latest news from the sector

ALTON GARDEN CENTRE

PRODUCTS

BUSINESS

06 NEWS

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDY BUNKER

Making the most of seasonal employees Hosting events to reach new customers Understanding our workforces Retailing with social media platforms

The plants at RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden giftware from GIMA members Evergreen Garden Care compares choices A compost component breakdown Five options for great composting

45 GIFT FEATURE

19

Treadstone’s new ClipGlove range

47 WILD BIRD CARE

The latest wildlife-friendly products

25

33

COMPANY PROFILE 48 FLORALSILK

The power of faux foliage

50 MAGICAL HYDRANGEA

The Magical Amethyst range expands

www.gardencentreretail.com

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News

NEWS CENTRE Westland buoyed by BTO report findings

T

he British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has released reports which highlight that there is a higher population of birds in UK gardens than there were 40 years ago. The report from the BTO attributes this increase to “Britain’s growing love affair with feeding the birds”. This is something which Westland, a supplier to the wild bird sector, is boosted by. Rachael Dickinson, senior marketing manager at Westland, commented: “We have invested in this market. We want to raise awareness of the sector and to encourage people to feed birds. Our aim is to help birds and to increase populations,

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so it’s great to see that this is having a positive impact. “Our products are always developed with birds’ best interests in mind. It’s fantastic to see in the BTO findings that the population increase is linked to the feeding of Nyjer Seed and Sunflower Hearts. These products that have become popular over the last 20 years.” Earlier this week, Westland formed a new partnership with the BTO to help boost education around birds and wild bird care. This will be supported by a series of events and activities taking place throughout the year. www.gardenhealth.com

Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

Small plants range from Farplants sees record growth

T

he Small Plants for Small Spaces range from Farplants is being restocked by garden centres at a record rate. Sales of the consumerfocused range has increased (YTD) by 94%. Over a period of two weeks, some garden centres topped up Small Plants for Small Spaces three times. Since the launch of the range, it has become Farplants third biggest annual promotion. Farplants created the range to help gardeners find plants ideal for modern-sized gardens. Managing director Brett Avery says: “We wanted to create a consumer-focused promotion that helped solve the problem of making things

work in small spaces. It’s fantastic to see such a positive reaction from garden centres and shoppers alike. The rate of restocking of the range shows the message has hit the mark with shoppers. “Garden centres have embraced the concept by creating some fantastic imaginative displays.” Joe Aldworth, marketing manager at Old Railway Line Garden Centre, said: “Our customers love the concept of Small Plants for Small Spaces. We trialed the plants last year for the first time. They sold so well we had no choice but to stock them again this season!” www.farplants.co.uk

Garden centre to open on first international football match site

A

new garden centre is opening in the West End of Glasgow, on a corner of what is now the home of McCrea West of Scotland Cricket Club. The field on Hamilton Crescent was home to the first international football match between Scotland and England. Martin McCarron, 34, has been running his own gardening and nursery businesses at Carbeth for years. Martin told a local media outlet: “I am pushing herbs, veg and plants for the wildlife. Other than that, it will be colour,

bedding and basket plants. I’ve got loads of experience and I will be happy to give advice to customers.” A lot of what he will sell will be grown at his nursery on the outskirts of the city. “We’ll be pretty unique in the West End. No one is doing this here.” The 1872 match between Scotland and England was the first ever association football official international match to be played. It was attended by a crowd of 4,000 spectators. www.instagram.com/west endgardencentre

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News

RHS urges gardeners to help fight against bacteria killing plant life

T

he RHS has issued a plea for help to stop bugs transmitting a deadly disease to the UK’s plants. Xylella fastidiosa has already taken hold in Europe, where it has killed olive trees. The bacteria isn’t yet present in the UK, but the RHS has described it as its “number one concern”. The disease prevents water travelling from roots to leaves. It makes plants visually appear as if they’re affected by frost or drought.

Earlier this month, a report by the European Food Safety Authority concluded there is no known way to end the bacteria. If Xylella is discovered in the UK, all host plants within 100 metres would need to be destroyed. According to the RHS, there would be an immediate restriction of movement for some plants within a five kilometre radius. The society has asked gardeners and nature lovers to report any sightings of

Smiemans set to upgrade Van Hage Great Amwell

V

an Hage’s flagship store at Great Amwell, Ware will be completely renovated by Smiemans Projecten. More than 3,000m2 of the garden centre will receive a new roof and air vents. Along with this update, the entire screen installation will be replaced. A computer system will be installed to help optimise the internal climate. Smiemans Projecten

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will complete the renovation of the store in two phases. The first phase is planned for the summer while the second part of the roof will be replaced in January. John Carver, the new CEO of Van Hage, is confident sales at the garden centre will continue during the renovation, as the changes should not affect customers. www.smiemansprojecten.com

spittle on their plants. This is left by spittlebugs, which are known to carry the bacteria. These are small, sap-sucking insects that move from plant to plant to feed. Gerard Clover, head of plant health at the RHS, said: “Xylella remains our number one concern. It’s not an issue bound by the garden fence. “Understanding how and where

the disease’s primary vectors move is fundamental to understanding how we can stop the devastation of our gardens and environment should it arrive.” www.rhs.org.uk

Easter heatwave saw furniture and barbecue sales rise

S

ales of furniture and barbecues were up 28.36% compared to April 2018, according to the GCA Barometer of Trade report. Iain Wylie, GCA chief executive, said: “The weather was certainly on our side during April. We enjoyed fantastic record-breaking temperatures over the Easter break, which meant customers flocked to their local garden centres. The contrast between this April’s weather and the first half of April 2018 could not have been greater. “Easter Monday was a huge hit for us. According to the

Met Office It was the hottest on record in all four nations of the UK. “As well as furniture and barbecues, we also saw strong sales in outdoor plants as these were 11.74% up compared to the same month last year. “Hard landscaping sales were also up 17.71% and food hall and farm shop sales were positive at 13.21% up. “We have been very lucky, after already enjoying a positive March to also enjoy good weather in April too. It gives everyone a real boost.” www.gca.org.uk

Garden Centre Retail June/July 20197

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News

Maximise your retail and restaurant space in just a few days

W

ould you like to get the most from your outside space during the festive period by increasing your restaurant or café? Or do you simply need extra space? Worldwide Structures Ltd’s team can help maximise your space with one of its temporary structures. These structures can be stand alone or integrated seamlessly to your current building. You really wouldn’t know you were in a temporary structure. Worldwide Structures can build on difficult terrain, around

awkward objects, and even in tight spaces. The structures can be ready to use in just a few days, depending on size, with little to no disturbance to the running of your business. The company can offer 10% discount on your orders before 1 August. Call us to discuss your ideas: 01672 565 060 or email Colette@w-sl.com

Squires survey highlights the nostalgic value of gardening

S

quires Garden Centres have completed a survey that suggests a love of gardening starts at an early age and generates positive memorable experiences. In the survey, Squires found 86% of respondents said their earliest memory of gardening was when they were under the age of ten. 31% remembered gardening when they were under five. Squire’s found that 75% of people loved gardening as a child, 21% were indifferent while 4% found it boring. 71% of people questioned said that their parents taught

them to garden. 16% said it was their grandparents instead who gave them the gardening bug. As adults, 72% said that gardening with children was a positive experience, and 9% suggested it makes them feel youthful. Sarah Squire, chairman of Squires, said: “It is never too early to start gardening with children. They love to learn about how plants grow, and how to care and look after them. “It’s so important that we pass gardening knowledge onto the next generation.” squiresgardencentres.co.uk

Notcutts Booker unveils new look

N

otcutts Garden Centres has re-opened the refurbished Notcutts Booker. Positioned near the town of Marlow, it offers customers a bright and modern space to shop, with improved layout, flooring and lighting. The outdoor plant area has expanded to offer more variety of plants and garden supplies. The car park has been extended to improve accessibility and parking. The restaurant at Notcutts Booker

now provides a brand new comfortable dining area. A new display garden was revealed, showcasing Notcutt’s passion for horticulture. It includes a large water fountain, structural pergola and over 300 plant varieties. Stuart Blight, general manager at Notcutts Booker said: “Thank you to everyone who joined us for our opening. We’re delighted with our newlook centre and restaurant. www.notcutts.co.uk

21/22/23 August 2019 Boskoop/Holland Innovations, novelties & inspiration at the leading international tree nursery trade fair! GREEN FITS ALL

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Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

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magrini high chairs The Magrini Breeze commercial high chair stacks up to 8 high for easy storage and comes in a choice of colours that will not fade or peel. The strong, sturdy design allows your smallest customers to feel safe and the chair pushes up to the table to create a relaxed family mealtime. The Breeze high chair is manufactured in the U.K. by Magrini.

tried & trusted by young professionals safe - strong - stacks Tel:t:01543 sales@magrini.co.uk• • w: www.magrini.co.uk 01543375311 375311 • •Email: e: sales@magrini.co.uk www.magrini.co.uk

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Celebrat

5

years o

Thank you to all o 5th birthday.indd 10

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ating

s of

l of our readers! 5th birthday.indd 11

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Advertorial

spoga+gafa 2019 – Focus on city gardening

The garden season 2019 is in the hot phase, and that means that it’s time to have a look at the current and coming trends for the “summer living room”. Where else can this be done better than at spoga+gafa. The world’s largest garden fair for a trade public takes place from 1 to 3 September in Cologne and will present lifestyle trends of the green industry and everything the green heart desires. The focus of the exhibitors and the trade fair conception this year is on the theme of “City Gardening” – gardening without a garden.

for large areas, battery products and the possibilities of smart gardening will once again be staged in an experienceable way and further expanded upon from 1 to 3 September 2019. The top theme of city gardening, gardening without a garden, will be one of the central themes in the Cologne exhibition halls: international lectures and active product shows accompany the theme on all three days of the trade fair. Exhibitors thereby focus on solutions for themes like vacation watering for balconies and gardens. The exhibition offerings also focus on cultivation in a small space and the smart lighting of the “City Oases”. Anyone who wants to experience the garden in all its facets, meet the top players of the global green industry, present innovations and be inspired by fresh ideas from the whole world of

In times in which stress, performance and time pressures define the lives of many, an ever increasing number of people are longing for deceleration. The theme of the garden, balcony and patio is thus increasing in importance year after year, whether as an oasis for relaxation or as a place for creative realisation. One of the top trends is city gardening, gardening without a garden, which makes the creation of oases of peace under the open skies and the deceleration of our everyday routine possible. The market offers a wide variety of aesthetic, functional and technical possibilities for designing these. As the world’s largest garden fair, spoga+gafa presents an offering for the designing of the garden as a living space and the trend themes of the industry that leaves almost nothing to be desired. Product worlds for trade themes like outdoor kitchens, garden furniture trends, fertilisers & plants, POS solutions

plants, garden furniture and grill equipment will find everything for his growing garden business in one place at spoga+gafa 2019 in Cologne from 1 to 3 September! The prospects for the largest garden trade fair in the world are fantastic… spoga+gafa 2019 is open to trade visitors on 1 and 2 September from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on 3 September from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For further information visit

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THE GARDEN TRADE FAIR COLOGNE, 01.–03.09.2019 Advert sg19_210x265_Garden template.indd 4 Centre Retail_EN.indd 1

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JUNE/JULY 2019

BUSINESS 15

THE INTERVIEW Andy Bunker of Alton Garden Centre

19

SEASONAL WORKERS Making the most of seasonal employees

20

USING EVENTS Hosting events to reach new customers

25

GENERATIONS Understanding the four generations in our workforce

29

SOCIAL MEDIA How retailers can use social media to their advantage

Business Cover.indd 13

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Advertorial

HOLIDAY WATERING MADE EASY BY

• Flexible setting with innovative turn and push features • Short cycles for watering pot plants The GARDENA Micro-Drip system. Water conserving garden irrigation for hedges, planted borders, vegetable patches and potted plants on the patio. This patented “Quick & Easy” Pipe connection technology allows for fast assembly of the system and is easy to loosen if required. The GARDENA microdrip system ensures every drop counts, using precisely the right amount of water directly to the root, and saves up to 70% water when compared to conventional watering methods. The system can be used with a GARDENA Water control, which allows programming of specific watering schedules, depending on the needs of your plants. The range of water controls offer different programming schedules, from the basic Manual Tap timer which allows you to set one watering cycle to the Master Water Control which can operate up to six independent watering schedules of different times and days. All GARDENA Water controls come with “Safestop” technology with guarantees 100% safe closing. This means that if the battery level is too low, the water control will not allow the watering schedule to take place, thereby ensuring you will never come back to a completely flooded garden.

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• Precise watering of pot plants and planter troughs using drip heads • Regulate the flow of water • No continued dripping after the tap is turned off • Self-cleaning • Flexible spray nozzles ensure efficient watering promoting healthy crops • Delicate watering for young seedlings and plants • Customise according to your watering needs by combining spray nozzles, oscillating sprinklers and extension pipes • Root watering with pinpoint accuracy using irrigation lines • Self-cleaning drip head • Special labyrinth technology prevents ingress of roots • Can be installed above ground or underground

• Individual setting options of three independent schedules

• Individual setting options of six independent schedules • Control up to six connecting devices with Water Distributor automatic • “Rain off” function stops watering due to bad weather

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Interview Business

AN INTERVIEW WITH

ANDY BUNKER

ALTON GARDEN CENTRE

A

From selling strawberries to franchising with Debenhams, Andy Bunker of Alton Garden Centre takes us through its diverse history and explains what sets them apart

lton Garden Centre is a familyrun business based in Essex. It was established in 1971 by Derek Bunker, a businessperson who is as passionate about his customers as he is about his business. Derek’s son, Andy, is cut from the same cloth. He joined the family business after leaving school at the age of 15, joining the aquatic department and working weekends. Andy says: “We’re based on the A127, which was the busiest A road in the country. It’s a main artery into London, we got a lot of people passing the centre. We used to have a chap come in here selling strawberries. He used to come in

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Interview.indd 15

every Friday night and Saturday morning with a white pop up box, strawberries and fresh cream. I was about 13, and this man talked to my Dad about selling strawberries on the roadside. I could earn £15, probably about £70 now, after inflation. “I started selling the strawberries, it was ‘eat as many as you sold’ for me. I enjoyed that. In those days we also used to sell seasonal fruit, veg and salad products. I asked dad if I could have some outside to sell alongside my strawberries. Priced at 15p per pound, I sold loads. People were asking why they were cheaper outside than in the shop – Dad came outside and found out I was undercutting him!” 

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Business Interview

Garden machinery Andy was starting to become successful, but he had no business education, just his knowledge of retail. The key to his success was the inception of their garden machinery business. “That was my start into this industry. We started up a garden machinery business, but we were unique. We sold and serviced garden machinery, and we had repairs and spares. We were probably one of the first garden centres in the country to have this service in-house. “We set it up with a local company supporting us to give us the availability of a very wide range and I was to run it. At 16 years old I thought it was great! I was running a department that we had high hopes for. I was particularly fortunate that I get on with older people so well. I was a sponge and listened to what people had to say. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly academic, but I remember things. Andy started the lawn mowers and that was his life – he can still give you the Flymo belt part numbers! He says he is not not mechanically minded, but one of the things he prides himself on is logic: “I apply logic to a situation to work out any faults. It seemed to work.” “I really set my stall out and understood the products. If somebody came in and said to me: ‘How are the stripes coming out on the new Suffolk Punch?’ – I’d be able to explain that it’s great because they’ve changed it, and it’s now got six blades on the cylinder as opposed to four. He took the time to understand how the machinery worked, learning details like what the difference was between

Uniquely, the company operates with no EPoS system, and different till areas for each department the Flymo with the bag and without, and understanding grass so he could really explain products to customers. “We were very big on tractors in the days of Westwood. In my heyday I was selling 80 ride-ons a year. In those days they were just touching £1,000. I would sell and deliver it, and build up a relationship with people. Even now, a gentleman from

Brentwood still comes in – I remember selling him one of the first ride-ons!” Attitudes Andy prides himself on how he, and in extension the company, treats customers. It’s not the hard sale technique for Andy. “When you deal with customers you have to find your comfort zone. If I see somebody browsing the plant area, I ask something simple like: ‘You okay there?’ – actively getting involved with them. By asking an opening question, customers will often open up, perhaps ask if you have something, but just in another colour or size. “Once they get that you know what you are talking about, interacting becomes so much easier. I’ve always worked hard at understanding customers.” To Andy, attitude is also key from an employee perspective: “This lad, Sam, joined recently, and after a month his performance was astonishing. Once, a customer walked through the door for a Christmas tree – Sam had only been in for perhaps 3 key weekends at this point – and the customer asked what trees were on offer. Straight away, he was comfortably able to make recommendations by name. l could tell straight away he would do fine here. He took on the finer details and pushed to help the customer, rather than just directing them to the Nordmanns.” Furniture and other sidelines Following the success of the garden machinery business, Andy expanded to furniture selling, which kickstarted a business relationship with Debenhams. “We had a garden furniture company called Denewood, which was sold off a

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Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

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Interview Business

few years ago to Solus G&L. Because we had the garden furniture company, we also had a relationship with Debenhams. We opened a franchise in five stores, selling mostly garden furniture and machinery.” After the first year this was rolled out to 18 stores all over the country and Andy ran the operation. Three years later the garden centre was becoming very busy, and balancing time between the two businesses was becoming a challenge. They decided to close down the operation and focus on the garden centre, with Andy taking over as plant area manager. However, his father had always tried different things and explored the trade. This ambition led him to get involved with a turf company, Inturf. “Dad owned part of the company, which was a follow on from Rolawn,” explains Andy. “Dad put up some money to help set up Inturf South, following on from the

If you can get something that people can come in for every week, you’re onto a winner!

someone who knows exactly what they are talking about.” Alton Garden Centre is also a GCA member. In the past, Derek has been national chairman, while Andy has been chair of the South Thames GCA group.

Alton Garden Centre, rather than looking further afield as they have in the past. “Dad is 75 and is still a spring chicken, he’s very full on. Our aim is to continually improve the business and all of its departments. At present, we are completely revamping our buildings area. “However, we will never buy another garden centre, we weren’t even going for the Wyevale approach. My dad’s viewpoint is: when you’ve got one of the best, why go for anything else? “Ultimately, I would say it will be nice to be a little bit less dependent on the weather. We have just closed our swimming pool company down, and in the last couple of years we added a hot tub franchise to the store. “If we could, my aim would be to put a food hall in. Let’s face it, if you can get something that people can come in for every week, you’re onto a winner!” ◗

The future As far as plans for the business go, Andy says the company is focused on strengthening its foundations at successful first venture. I wouldn’t say he was a silent partner, because my Dad has some great ideas and is always trying to innovate. Business currently Currently, Altons Garden Centre employs 100 staff, and has a turnover of over £10 million. Uniquely, the company operates with no EPoS system, and different till areas for each department. Alton Garden Centre is departmentalized with areas like aquatics, BBQs and garden furniture all having their own tills. This allows experts in each department to talk, advise and sell direct to the customer. While some might be surprised at the system, he says it’s not an issue for his customer base. “I tell our customers we have to do it for security reasons. 9 times out of 10, they will be fine with that. The upside of this is that each department is specialist. Customers can ask any questions at the till and get the answers instantly from

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Seasonal Workers Business

MAKING THE MOST OF SEASONAL WORKERS Hiring seasonal or part-time workers could provide both the company and employees with a variety of perks and benefits

F

orty per cent of employers hire seasonal workers on an annual basis, and approximately two million people work on a temporary-basis each day. Why then, are seasonal jobs often deemed as ‘lesser roles’ than regular full-time positions? The source of the negative image is often associated with the handling of these positions, rather than the nature of the work itself. This article aims to highlight the complexities and help navigate them. If you list the benefits of seasonal workers, you can easily see why so many companies choose to adopt this method of employment. Some of the benefits include: • The ability to adapt to fluctuating demands and maintain staff flexibility. • Evaluate employee potential without the commitment for a full-time role. • Using the season to trial staff - like a fixed-term assessment centre. • Save time and money on recruitment costs and running costs. What is in it for the two million people working temporary roles? • It can be CV-building and help to avoid work history gaps. • They can test a new company/job. • It may lead to full-time work.

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• Supplement other work with evening/ weekend shifts. • Taking temporary work (even if not in your field) can show commitment to work and other positive things about your personality. • Opportunity to trial/learn/develop new things without full commitment. • Get extra references for full-time work if at University or school. • Assist in personal circumstances. • Work schedule is more flexible. The negative aspects of this type of work for employees could include: limited training, lower wages, limited company benefits and not feeling part of the company/culture. However, the negative aspects of hiring seasonal workers for companies can be more far reaching if the situation is not handled properly. Potential issues could be: • Training needed for large numbers of people at the same time. • Administration to onboard correctly. • Reliability - potential for more workrelated mistakes. • The possibility of morale issues with temporary staff impacting the permanent employees.

The complex legal landscape of contractual arrangements is also important to get right. Understanding employee or worker status, complexities of umbrella contracts, minimum wage variations, working terms and variable benefits (i.e. bonuses) are crucial. If you develop good relationships and contracts in the first instance, then nothing should prevent you from seeing real benefits of seasonal workers. Having a clear conscience to flex your workforce can have huge benefits for your business, as well as provide temporary positions to those needing or wanting to build professional experience. These are our recommendations for effectively hiring seasonal staff: • Be sure to develop your budget for staff and recruitment. • Understand the contract type and ask a professional to draft it. • Help seasonal workers to feel that they are treated with the same respect as other colleagues. • Create a robust onboarding programme designed for seasonal or temporary staff. This programme should include training and development plans to get them up to speed quickly. A buddy or network element to ensure that they become part of your organisation from the outset. Engaging your seasonal and full-time employees will be the biggest benefit to your productivity and sales. If correct measures are put in place, there is no reason why you and your community shouldn’t benefit from the effective employment of seasonal staff. Who doesn’t love a win-win scenario? If you have any queries about the best way to engage seasonal workers and to ensure you are compliant, contact ViewHR on 01425 205390 or at hr@viewhr.co.uk ◗

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11/06/2019 15:22


Business Public Relations

USING EVENTS

TO REACH NEW CUSTOMERS

H

Hosting gardening events is a great way to pull in new customers whilst showing off what your store can offer

ow do you attract potential customers – especially those you may not even know you exist yet? It’s been widely reported now that gardeners are getting younger, and social media has now been incorporated into the gardening experience for many. But do these gardeners know you exist and the full scope of what you offer? By using an event, you can try to make sure they do. Step 1 – Pick a topic and decide on how to approach it It’s important to be topical and embrace current trends, whilst remembering the potential audience you are trying to attract. Ideally, select a speaker or host for the event with an excellent understanding of the topic. Explore local companies and shops and see if there is any possible crossover – they may be interested in getting involved. This doesn’t need to be an information evening, you can make it a hands-on

session where people can get involved. That way, they are more likely to keep talking about it afterwards. There are some great, simple events garden centres can host, including: • Workshops: creating floral bouquets, wreaths, hanging baskets and/or container planting • DIY wedding flowers – an excellent opportunity to work with local florists • Indoor gardening: houseplants, terrariums and macramé • Gardening 101: events that teach inexperienced gardeners the basics • New build gardening choices for new homeowners. Step 2 – Promote it In-store advertising is excellent for reaching people that are already coming through your door. However, you’re trying to reach new customers. One of the simplest ways to reach new customers is to go digital, particularly if it’s younger gardeners you are trying to attract. Google advertising and social media can be made to be incredibly targeted and relatively cheap, with big results. Your speaker or host may have a customer database or following that you can utilise, as well as local media and bloggers. Step 3 – Extend the event beyond the day Give people something to take home. For example, a plant is a perfect choice as you can encourage people to post regular photos and show off its progress. You can also use the event to get content for your marketing. Take photos

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Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

and videos, including feedback from attendees. You could even livestream on social media to give those who aren’t there a live taster of what they are missing. You want to give people a reason to come back; discount vouchers always go down very well. Be sure to showcase the facilities you offer whilst they are on site – if this is their first visit, it lets them know what else you can offer them. This could be as simple as providing free refreshments in your café with the event ticket, or a free drink at a future date. Step 4 – Follow up The success of this event should make people want to come to future ones. Reviews, videos and posts on social media will all help to make future events more enticing as it gives people a clear understanding of what they will be getting if they attend. Put photos and video on your website, send out a customer newsletter and don’t be afraid to ask those who attend to shout about it too! ABOUT Honest Communications is a PR and social media agency with vast experience in the home, garden and lifestyle sector. Services span the full media, marketing and communications spectrum to shape a brand’s media and online presence. The agency delivers award-winning campaigns that generate coverage, increase reach and put brands in front of the right people. E: holly@honestcommunications.co.uk T: 01332 653693 W: www.honestcommunications.co.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

11/06/2019 15:47


Suttons Seeds NEW look A to Z for 2020

Including... ANTIRRHINIUM CALENDULA COSMOS BEGONIA DAHLIA FOXGLOVE GERANIUM HOLYHOCK LUPIN

FLOWERS

LEEK LETTUCE LEAF SALAD ONION PARSNIP RADISH SPIANCH TOMATO TURNIP

Unsurprisingly EASY...

Our comprehensive customer favoured “new-look” A-Z range includes new and exciting Flower & Veg ranges for 2020...

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is for...

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to

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6 NEW prairie garden varieties to bring colour, structure and sound to your garden!

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2020 Retail Catalogue

As seed purveyors since 1806 we have all the gardener's favourite seeds, together with our yearly introduction of exciting new varieties.

Unsurprisingly Suttons!

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BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN SEEDSMEN SUTTONS CONSUMER PRODUCTS LIMITED, DEVON

Advert template.indd 8 4757_Garden Centre Retail Mag_210x265_v1.indd 1

retail@suttons.co.uk

As seed purveyors since 1806 it’s no surprise we have all the gardener’s favourite seeds, together with new and exclusive varieties. 4729_Cover sec.indd 1

BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN SEEDSMEN SUTTONS CONSUMER PRODUCTS LIMITED, DEVON

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The complete

A Z range to

For information on the complete Suttons 2020 seed range please contact us on:

01803 696400

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A Z to

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and finally...

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retail@suttons.co.uk 24/04/2019 07:48

www.suttonsretail.co.uk 13/06/2019 28/05/2019 14:53 10:33


Advertorial

HAYES DELIGHTED

WITH WINRE TAIL Garden Centre amazed at ability to “... exceed a fairy-tale promise” Hayes Garden World is a prestigious garden centre based in the beautiful Lake District town of Ambleside. The company has a gardening heritage which stretches back over 200 years, having been run by five generations of the Hayes family.

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It opened on its present site in 1921 when it was known as the Lake District Nurseries, developing into a garden centre during the 1960s. Today’s garden centre, which attracts more than a million visitors a year, has a significant eCommerce presence, selling

an extensive range of highquality garden furniture. In 2018 the management team at Hayes decided to upgrade its current EPoS and retail management software. It evaluated several systems before choosing Corby & Fellas’ WinRetail system, which was installed in early 2019. The Hayes management team is delighted with WinRetail’s performance: furniture and barbecues sales team leader Ian Hodgett says: “Since we installed WinRetail at the end of February 2019, we have been amazed at the difference between our old EPoS system and the new WinRetail system. “At our initial meeting with the team at Corby & Fellas, we discussed our existing cloud-

based system. We discovered that most of the features our exisitng system lacked were already there and working in WinRetail. However, WinRetail did not include an order delivery scheduling module, which we required. Within a week Corby & Fellas produced a mockup version of this for us to evaluate. We tried it out to ensure that the company has understood our exact requirements and given us what we were looking for. In April 2019, two months after going live with WinRetail, the new module was released to us. We have happily been using it ever since to schedule in all our customer orders for deliveries for both our store and our eCommerce business.

11/06/2019 15:10


The EPoS and Store Management System For Garden Centres www.corbyfellas.com

Contact AlanSales McCammon on 01493 658800 or alan@corbyfellas.com Contact on 01493 658800 or sales@corbyfellas.com

“Further to the installation of the WinRetail system installation, we took delivery of two Dell tablets and two Wi-Fi Chip and PIN terminals

for our furniture sales team to use to process sales orders. This allows the team to process customer sales more efficiently and professionally than our

previous system allowed. The tablets enable us to process multiple customers simultaneously – a function we struggled with in the past.

“In summary, some may say that going from a cloudbased system back to a store-based system is a step backwards, but from what we have experienced from the WinRetail system so far, we can only say that we have taken a massive step forwards and the WinRetail system will streamline our business and save on costs from the get go.” Lyndan Orvis, Hayes’ eCommerce manager, says: “I would just like to say that Corby & Fellas is one of the very best and most efficient companies I have ever worked with. Their effort, efficiency and ability to deliver has left me with a lot of admiration for their team. Very rarely have I seen a partner exceed a fairytale promise.” w Images ©Tony West CONTACT

sales@corbyfellas.com www.corbyfellas.com 01493 658800

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11/06/2019 15:10


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l i a t e R e r t n G arden Cent re Retail Garden Ce PROD UC TS PEOPLE • ISSUE 41

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e chris.anderson@eljays44.com 13/06/2019 16:30 15:41


Generations Business

THE FOUR DIFFERENT GENERATIONS IN THE WORKFORCE An exploration of the four different generations running our garden centres and their strengths and weaknesses

THE FOUR GENERATIONS: Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Born during a period which saw an increase in births following the end of the Second World War, Baby Boomers are characteristically defined as strongwilled, disciplined and competitive with a strong work ethic. Generation X (1965-1981) Characterised as independent, resourceful and self-sufficient, it’s believed that Generation X currently has the strongest spending influence, helping their elderly parents and also their teenage children decide how to spend their money. Millennials (1982-1996) The Millennial generation have fully witnessed the rise of the digital age. People born during this period are often characterised as championing individuality, social responsibility and a want for instant results. Generation Z (1997-2015) Generation Z is characterised as independent and unfocused. It’s believed that Generation Z are the first generation to be fully immersed in a digital world from childhood, with dial-up internet being little more than a faint memory for some.

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e’re in a period of time where it’s not uncommon to see a workforce with four different generations, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. Garden centres are a prime example of this. Garden Centre Retail has undertaken some research into the way garden centres manage the different generations, what each generation values as an employee, and to find out if there is one specific generation that works best in a garden retail environment. It may not come as a surprise, but it seems that garden centres, according to those in positions of power, work best when they can use the strengths each generation possesses to work as a whole. What is evident is that even within each generation there isn’t a one-size-fits-all

approach. Most centres that took part in this research, work on a person by person basis, and they use a template to match the generation for the foundations of a manager/employer relationship.

What is evident is that even within each generation there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach Another interesting statement this research provided was the way in which some garden centres approach management by department. This would make sense in the plant department, or for the visual merchandising team, whose 

Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

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11/06/2019 15:16


Business Generations What’s your management style? Autocratic This form of management takes full control on decisions. Autocratic leaders tend to make choices based on their ideas and judgements, and rarely accept advice from their employees. Democratic The democratic management style is where a manager allows employees to play a part in management decisions. This is a management style that occurs often in governmental roles. Consultative This style of management is usually task-orientated. A consultative leader asks employees for their opinions before making management decisions.

team members tend to be more creative. Irrespective of age, you are looking at a person’s strengths to allow them to make the best decisions.

Irrespective of age, you are looking at a person’s strengths to allow them to make the best decisions Garden Centre Retail was also very interested to see what each generation values from their job. We asked participants to rank training, salary, work/ life balance and flexibility of employer as very important, important or not important. The results show that Baby Boomers rank the flexibility of an employer, salary and work/life as important, but they see training as unimportant. Interestingly, Generation X finds each of the categories important. It seems that just like Millennials they find a work/life balance to be a key influence, with this ranked as very important in the survey. Training, flexibility of employer and salary are ranked as important. Garden centres are keen to have a workforce that is made up of all the generations, and are fully embracing the aspect of having four different generations under one roof, sharing their different outlooks on life within the team.

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Although the typical garden centre customer is over the age of 50, having staff in a similar age range is advantageous, but garden centres are also looking to attract younger customers, so having young people within the team helps to attract this customer base as well. Typically, senior roles tend to belong to people in this older age range, who are experienced in senior roles, or highly skilled roles within companies. The younger generation tend to fill the lower skilled roles, at the start of a career. Thank you to Kirktown Garden Centre, Cherry Lane Braintree, Old Railway Line

Free-rein This management style adopts a hands-off approach. Free rein managers allow their employees to make decisions. Mangers set objectives and employees are free to do whatever is appropriate to accomplish those objectives.

Garden Centre, Monkton Elm Garden Centre, Garden Wise Plant and Garden Centre, Highfield Garden World, Thorpe Garden Centre, Alleyn Park Garden Centre, Perrywood Garden Centre, Squire’s Garden Centres, Upcountry Garden & Country Store and Dobbies Garden Centres w

www.gardencentreretail.com

11/06/2019 15:17


Top 10 Plants Business

THE TOP 10 INDOOR PLANTS

TOPPING INSTAGRAM’S FEEDS

R

10 photogenic plants that have become Instagram gardening favourites

esearch from online outdoor living retailer, Internet Gardener, has revealed the favourite indoor plant choices for Instagram users. They have produced this information by researching and analysing thousands of Instagram posts. The top 50 posts from almost 6.1 million images across five hashtags were analysed to see which plants made an appearance in each individual post. The top 10 plants are: • Swiss Cheese Plant (7.28%) • Echeveria (7.0%) • Chinese Money Plant (4.48%) • Devil’s Ivy (4.2%) • Boston Fern (3.64%) • Hedge Cactus (2.82%) • False Shamrock (2.52%) • String of Hearts (2.52%) • String of Pearls (2.24%) • Rubber plant (2.24%) The Swiss Cheese Plant was the favourite, accounting for almost 7.3% of all indoor plants examined. This species of houseplant also received 745 likes per post on average where it featured. At 2001 per post, the plant that received the most likes on average was the Chinese Money Plant, which appeared in 4.48% of posts. Andy Baxter, managing director of Internet Gardener, says: “Recent news has frequently discussed a crumbling housing ladder forcing younger people into smaller accommodation, it’s no surprise they want a plant or three to comfort them. “The Instagram data matches up with sales statistics. It’s quite clear that Millennials and Generation Z ‘jungalow’ owners alike are using their disposable income on some green company.” blog.internetgardener.co.uk ◗

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Swiss Cheese Plant

Hedge Cactus

Echeveria

False Shamrock

Chinese Money Plant

String of Hearts

Devil’s Ivy

String of Pearls

Boston Fern

Rubber plant

Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

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13/06/2019 08:39


Contact Details: Sales@neatideas.tv Tel: 01476 576289 www.neatideasdirect.co.uk Sales Manager: Colin Higgs CALL or EMAIL today! Please contact us for our trade catalogue:

Tel 01460 75686 www.classiccanes.co.uk

A superb range of Crescent Garden planters and planter bowls. Traditional and contemporary styles in a range of colours and sizes 16” – 40” diam. Manufactured in polyethylene resin, lightweight, extremely robust, and guaranteed frost-proof and colour stable. Most are double-walled for extra insulation, and pre-drilled for drainage. Styles and sizes colour-match if selected in a common colour.

www.biggardenpotcompany.co.uk Tel : 023 8084 5616

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13/06/2019 16:17


Social Media Business

HOW RETAILERS

CAN USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO THEIR ADVANTAGE Social media platforms offer a range of opportunities to showcase your product range, promote your centre and attract new customers; GCR compares the major players

S

ocial media provides retailers with a wealth of information about their consumers, that is less available through traditional media. Since social media is a two-way interaction between the brand and the individual, retailers can quickly develop an understanding of customer buying habits and measure the way in which customers identify with their brands. Ways retailers can use social media Socially savvy retailers will track customer insights for this type of feedback and adjust their offering to reflect customer needs. People’s comments and positive reactions – ‘likes’ – to a brand on social media platforms help dictate how the brand should perform long term. If retailers can connect with consumers meaningfully on social media they increase their visibility with an audience that’s already inclined to buy or looking to buy

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products. By creating an online community filled with entertaining and valuable information, interesting insights about the brand and an active fan base, retailers will ensure that visitors to their social media are converted to fans and eventually, if the social media strategy is being done well, to repeat customers. Social media platforms most suitable for retailers Pinterest This is one of the most useful tools for retailers to use as it’s the perfect place to display product ranges, engage viewers through high-quality images and allow them to browse and make decisions about potential purchases. Facebook This platform offers a great place to engage existing customers with offers and promotions. Facebook advertising is a major sales tool, directing customers to your Facebook page or website. Twitter Twitter can be used for customer service and to gain customer insights about your brand, certain products and how they feel about previous purchases. Tweeted imagery adds visual appeal.

Measuring effectiveness of social media strategies Measurement is another crucial part of social media activity. It is as relevant for retailers as it is for any type of business using social media to reach out to target audiences. 1. Measuring conversations and engagement with the brand This involves tracking how many people are commenting, liking and sharing your content. If a brand generates lively discussions and active participation from fans, this is a strong indication of brand affinity and trust. 2. Setting your own benchmarks Once a retailer has developed its strategy or campaign, it should remember to record its starting point. 3. Measuring click-through rates Retailers can measure engagement and success of their content by finding out how many people are clicking on the links included. 4. Identifying traffic referral sources It is easy to see how much impact social media is having on a retailer’s website traffic using Google Analytics. This tool demonstrates where traffic originates, whether it’s from a link on Twitter, a post from Facebook or an image on Pinterest.By using appropriate social media platforms suited to your retail offering, addressing your online customer needs, aspirations and interests, then measuring results and repeating the success of your efforts, retailers can steadily increase their share of market, build a strong brand identity and over time become your customers brand of choice. ◗

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11/06/2019 15:56


nature Don’t forget nature this summer. Stock up on our new specially developed Extra Select range. Extra Select Nature features complete and complementary food for Swan & Duck, squirrel & chipmunk, k and Squirrel & Chipmunk are available in 5L & 1L buckets, and and for native hedgehogs. Swan & Duck Hedgehog crumble and pellets in 5L buckets and d 650g 6 pouches. Natural floating pellets for ease of feeding

A mix of Pro-biotic Pellets, Roasted Suet Granules & Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae

High levels of fish meat and shrimp

Contains Pro-biotics to improve digestion & general well being

New Available from Su-Bridge Pet Supplies Ltd www.su-bridge.co.uk | 01953 882485

For over 50 years Fordingbridge have been helping clients maximise their retail space. Industry leaders in timber & steel structures, some of our work within Garden Centre Retail includes: • Planteria Canopies • Roof Conversions • Covered Walkways • Statement Garden Centre Buildings

See y ou at

Contact us today 01243 554455 info@fordingbridge.co.uk www.fordingbridge.co.uk

Call us to discuss your autumn/winter installation

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13/06/2019 16:51


JUNE/JULY 2019

PRODUCTS 33

PLANT FOCUS The hits of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

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GIMA The latest garden giftware from GIMA members

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COMPOST: THE VARIETIES Evergreen Garden Care compares

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COMPOST: THE MAKE-UP Breaking down the components of compost

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COMPOST: LATEST PRODUCTS Five options for great composting

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GIFT FEATURE New and unique safety gloves for heavy industry work

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WILD BIRD CARE The latest wildlife-friendly products

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13/06/2019 15:27


Fiskars’ campaign helps grow sales for retailers Fiskars’ exclusive spring trade offer to support the company’s consumer focussed ‘0% Stress, 100% Happiness’ marketing campaign, has proven to be an outstanding success in its first two months. Running from 1st March to 30th June, it is rewarding customers who spend £50 on Fiskars gardening tools at a participating retailer or garden centre with a £10 voucher to use at the same retailer if they are still happy after 60 days. If £100 is spent, the customer receives a £20 voucher.

They can then return to the retailer and spend it on anything in store. Feedback from the trade indicates that the promotion is delighting Fiskars customers and providing numerous additional sales opportunities for participating retail outlets. Additionally, in order to maximise the enhanced potential for extra sale volumes, retailers are welcoming the help and assistance provided by Fiskars’ new direct sales channel. Helping outlets to order Fiskars products without the need to use a wholesaler, retailers are using the new sales channel to create eye-catching POS solutions and directly access a broad range of the latest, market-leading gardening tools. And Fiskars has more exciting trade promotional plans to maintain the momentum created by the spring offer. This autumn will see the launch of the ‘0% Leaves, 100% Happiness’ campaign, providing a seamless follow on to the already successful ‘0% Stress, 100%

Happiness’ promotion. Customers purchasing any Fiskars product at a participating retailer between 1st September and 31st October 2019, will have the opportunity to enter into a competition to win a garden makeover worth up to £3,000. Coinciding with the time of year when thoughts turn to preparing the garden for winter, ‘0% Leaves, 100% Happiness’ is set to provide enhanced sales opportunities for retailers. For more information, visit www.fiskars.co.uk.

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PLANTS AT

RHS CHELSEA

Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily) Prior to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, Wyevale Garden Centres predicted Alstroemeria would be a showpiece plant at the event. It’s an easy to grow perennial that stands out across the seasons. The flowers of this species come in a range of vibrant colours, from pinks to oranges, and the plants can reach up to 1.5m tall.

Flower Show As the most famous gardening event in the world, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is in the ideal position to inspire gardeners with creative plant choices. GCR picks out its top plant highlights from this year’s show

Mathiasella Bupleuroides ‘Green dream’ Another common theme at 2019’s show was the use of green flowered plants, a genre that often goes forgotten due to the abundance of green foliage. One that stood out from the crowd was Mathiasella Bupleuroides ‘Green dream’. The M&G Show Garden, designed by Andy Sturgeon and Best in Show award winner, used this in abundance. The bell-shaped flowers start green before turning pink late in the season. 

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Plant Focus RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Geums A whole host of geum varieties were seen at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. These flowers offered pops of colour in what was a predominantly green show. The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden teamed geums with other vividly coloured plants such as dahlias and peonies. Geums are single flowers on strong upright stems, spreading to form a carpet. It’s often seen in cottage-style or rock gardens, adding colour to what can be a dreary grey background. Lychnis flos-cuculi (Ragged robin) Native to parts of Europe, the ragged robin is a herbaceous perennial plant. It’s commonly found along road verges or in wet meadowlands and has gained a reputation as a prolific wildflower. It’s lance-shaped leaves are the base for clusters of star-shaped pink flowers, and it’s recognised as one of the RHS Plants for Pollinators. This plant was a common theme throughout the show this year, with many of the gardens taking a ‘let it grow’ approach.

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11/06/2019 15:41


2019 Summer Showcase Head along this summer to the home of the UK’s favourite bedding plant trials for Ideas in Action on how to make your retail colour sales easy, fun and inspirational!

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GIMA Giftware

GARDEN GIFTWARE

GIMA members unveil their latest giftware, aimed at helping retailers to drive impulse sales

b.for original round from elho

Giftware is currently one of the biggest growth areas in garden retailing. This issue, GIMA members unveil their latest products aimed at giftware buyers. Bulb growing kits are an increasingly important item for retailers to stock as we head towards the autumn months. Taylors Bulbs has added to its Novelty Ceramics range, introducing increasingly creative and innovative planters. Director Adam Taylor says: “The Sausage Dog, Llama and Chilli planters now appear alongside the bestselling Hedgehog, Owl and Bird gifts. The novelty nature of these kits appears to almost inadvertently introduce people to the idea of giving a bulb growing kit to a loved one or as a thank you to a friend.” Growing kits marketed as gifts are high on the agenda for G Plants too. Managing director, Alex Reihl, says: “After a successful season, we have introduced spring flowering and yearround growing gifts. For 2019, we are sourcing beautiful patio planters with extra-large bulbs for spectacular flower displays. We have also increased our range of ever-popular herb and chilli growing kits, which are great giftware for season-long sales.” Another GIMA member that has witnessed a surge in interest for houseplants is elho, which it believes will drive a demand for pots as gifts. David Taylors Nicholson, Sausage Dog UK & Ireland sales manager, says: “The trend for

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indoor plants shows no signs of slowing, and a houseplant in a beautiful pot is a thoughtful gift for any occasion. Retailers can use planted-up pots in different colours and sizes in in-store displays, to inspire customers looking to buy gifts. “The Brussels collection is a great way to showcase stunning orchids. Popular cacti and succulents look fantastic in the ‘b.for’ range of round mini pots. Retailers can combine different pots with our plant light care kit to create the perfect gift for the houseplant enthusiast.” At Burgon & Ball, sales director Ruth Posey says houseplants are “more popular than they’ve been in a generation,” creating opportunities for retailers to market a “beautiful plant in a stylish pot as an appealing and on-trend gift combination.” She explains: “Our indoor pot collection showcases interesting combinations of design, texture and glaze. This year we’ve added new pot designs, both hanging and standing, to refresh and extend the range. We’re seeing some customers sell them with a live plant as an interior décor solution, which is an excellent way to increase the basket value.” For the outdoors, Burgon & Ball is drawing attention to the latest RHS Gifts for Gardeners gift collection, British Bloom. It carries a striking dahlia design and includes RHS favourites, such as a memory foam garden kneeler and gardening gloves. New gift ideas in this collection include letterbox-friendly gift cutting tool and holster sets, can interestingly be gifted by post. Floral doorstops that lift the spirits and catch eyes are the latest giftware introduction from Wagner. According to their release announcement, the new decoration stops are designed to look like a colourful plant family. They are stable and robust, perfect for keeping doors and

windows open. They suggest retailers sell the flower stops in gift Taylors Novelty Chilli Planter shops but can work in any part of the store as they are perfect impulse purchases. Primeur launched a range of doormats at Glee, aimed at the giftware sector. The launch of the new doormat collection, Mighty Mats, highlighted some exciting new qualities. The Scrape n’ Sorb doormat gives customers dual functionality – it both scrapes and absorbs. It offers an eco-friendly option, as the backing is made from recycled rubber. Also included is the Dirt Catcher, a mat with a durable vinyl material surface, great for scraping and holding onto dirt and dust. For further information, contact GIMA on 01959 564947 or info@gima.org.uk ◗

Floral doorstops from Wagner

ABOUT

The Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) is a membership organisation of around 150 members representing the majority share of suppliers and manufacturers operating within the UK gardening industry. Formed in 1999, its goal is to promote the commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU-based companies supplying the UK garden industry.

www.gardencentreretail.com

11/06/2019 15:20


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Products Compost

WHAT IS THE

DIFFERENCE IN COMPOSTS? Evergreen Garden Care shares its knowledge on the myriad products in the compost sector

All Purpose Enriched Compost

All Purpose Enriched Compost is versatile and perfect for use in beds, borders, hanging baskets, pots and containers. It’s ideal for growing fruit and vegetables, helps plants to grow twice the size, and feeds for up to six months. The Miracle-Gro ® All Purpose’s special formula contains Smart Release Feed granules, which provides complete nutrition for healthy growth and blooms all season long. This product comes with patented Fibresmart technology, with 100% natural hollow wood fibres, to ensure optimum balance of air and water for stronger roots and healthier plants.

Desert Cactus and Bonsai Compost

Desert Cactus and Bonsai Compost is the ideal companion for: bonsai trees, alpine plants, cacti, succulents, and African violets. It is pH-balanced to provide an acidic environment, which is preferred by cacti and bonsai plants. The blend of sand, loam and peat, with essential plant nutrients is perfect to use when potting, re-potting and propagation of cacti and succulents. The sand content improves drainage for optimum moisture balance, where as peat provides organic matter to ensure essential nutrients are available for the plant.

Ericaceous Compost

Ericaceous compost works best for beds, borders, containers, pots, outdoor planting and window boxes. Its formula (nitrogen, phosphate, potassium and trace elements) is ideal for acid-loving or lime-hating plants. It has a low pH, high iron formula and a unique balance of nutrients for greener, healthier leaves and stronger plants.

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Compost Products

John Innes No.1 Compost

John Innes No.1 Compost is a carefully balanced nutrient mix, matched perfectly for the needs of seeds and seedlings, plug plants and newly-rooted cuttings. This product is a traditional mixture of loam, peat and grit. Its special balanced nutrient mix feeds for up to six weeks.

Houseplant Compost

Houseplant Compost is perfect for potting on, repotting and propagation of cuttings. It contains a blend of nitrogen, phosphate, potassium and trace elements, as well as a wetting agent which holds in extra moisture.

John Innes No.2 Compost

John Innes No.2 Compost works well for repotting plants and vegetables, pots and tubs. It is a traditional mixture of loam, peat and grit. Its nutrient mix is matched for the needs of plants being re-potted into medium-sized containers and feeds for up to six weeks.

Peat Free All Purpose Enriched Compost

John Innes No.3 Compost

John Innes No.3 Compost is suited for the ďŹ nal potting of plants into pots or outdoor containers. It is made up of loam, peat and grit, and can feed for up to six weeks. This compost blend provides the highest nutrient levels for ďŹ nal potting of mature plants.

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Peat Free All Purpose Enriched compost is a versatile compost, perfect for use in beds, borders, hanging baskets, pots and containers. It is ideal for growing fruit and vegetables, and helps to grow plants twice the size. This is perfect for drainage and ensures the optimum balance of air and water for strong roots and healthier plants.

Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019

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Compost Products

THE MAKE-UP

OF COMPOST

Most composts are recipes, made up of varying amounts of certain ingredients with added fertiliser. Garden Centre Retail explains what each component is there for. Peat Peat is an accumulation of partially decomposed organic matter. Peat forms in wetland conditions, and resembles soil. Peat has a high absorbency rate, is sterile and has acidic features. It also prevents compaction in the earth. It is used in compost mixtures to provide aeration to the soil, and as a prevention of the material drying out. It is know to promote healthy growth in plants.

Loam Loam is a fertile soil consisting of clay, sand and humus. It is made up (almost) equally of each element. Because of the organic material within loam, it is useful for promoting the growth of crops. Again, loam allows air and water to penetrate to the roots of the plants within the soil. The roots then feed on the water and minerals held within these spaces.

Sand/grit Sand or grit adds another element of organic material into a soil. It is added in order to aid in drainage, which is an ideal characteristic for plants that don’t like their roots sitting in water. A sandy soil enables easier root penetration, allowing a plant to build a more extensive root system.

Vermiculite Vermiculite is a natural mineral. It is extremely useful for encouraging seed germination, creating the ideal soil structure for this purpose. It is lightweight, doesn’t rot when it is wet, and increases water and nutrient retention within soils.

Wetting agent A wetting agent is used to coat soil particles so that water can infiltrate the soil. It works by weakening the bonds within the water, and improves the water’s ability to stick to other materials. It allows for a more even distribution of water.

Lime Lime is often used in soil to lower its acidity. By adding this element, the soil quality is improved, allowing plants to grow healthier. Lime works by creating a chemical reaction within the soil, which could otherwise be acidic, meaning a greater variety of plants and vegetables can be grown.

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Latest Products Compost

Levington John Innes No. 3 Evergreen Garden Care

COMPOST

• Matched to the needs of mature plants • Feeds plants for six weeks • Traditional mixture of loam, peat and grit • Perfect for final potting into outdoor containers • Pack size of 25L RRP POA www.lovethegarden.com

New Horizon All Veg Compost 50 Westland • 100% sustainable, natural and peat-free compost • Specially blended for all types of vegetables • Base fertiliser – feeds plants for up to 6 weeks • Ideal for adding into raised beds • BIO3 formulation – no green waste

Lakeland Gold Compost Dalefoot Composts • Claybusting for heavy clay soil • Peat free • Good source of potash • Produced by blending bracken with farmyard manure • Aids moisture retention

RRP £7.99 www.gardenhealth.com

RRP £10.99 www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk

Ericaceous Compost Durston Garden Products

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Growise Multipurpose Compost Bord Na Móna

• For acid-loving plants  reated to suit •C rhododendrons, azaleas, camelias and heathers.  vailable in 40L and •A 60L packs • Made in the UK

• Contains essential plant nutrients to ensure healthy and vigorous plants • Contains a wetting agent • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor plants • Available in 50L packs • Based on high-quality Irish moss peat

RRP from £4.99 www.durstongardenproducts.co.uk

RRP POA www.thegreenergardener.com

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Gifts Latest Products

GIFT FEATURE Treadstone develops unique, high-quality safety gloves for heavy industry work For retailers, it is not always easy to come up with a USP on a particular range of stocking gardening gloves. There are so many similar products in the market. However, Dean Winters, Treadstone Products’ head of brands, explains that a unique initiative, undertaken by the company during the development of its recently launched ClipGlove gardening gloves range, is giving retailers just such a USP, and therefore, enhancing sales opportunities. Retailers know Treadstone for its gardening products ranges, but what they are unlikely to know, is that we are also busy developing a range of high quality safety gloves for use in manufacturing and heavy industry. During the course of this process, it has been working closely with safety

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product experts, both in China and the UK. As a result of this partnership, it has been able to embed in our ClipGlove range what one might call the ‘professional DNA’ of ultra highspec safety gloves. I believe this initiative is unique in the garden glove market. Treadstone has called on the specialist safety expertise of the Industrial Safety Range’s European sales manager, Tony O’Donovan. He has spent over 30 years in the PPE industry, and has over 20 years’ specialist experience in the field of chemical protection and the industial safety gloves market. Tony has been able to report on the yarns, coatings, durability, touch sensitivity and resistance, to puncture and abrasion required to make outstandingly high-quality safety gloves. The

approach has improved the development of its ClipGlove range, resulting in gloves that not only fit beautifully and allow the wearer to feel clearly what they are touching, but have other industrial sector attributes, such as the puncture-resistance of the ‘ultimate’ gloves. All of this is great news for retailers because it gives a positive ‘story’ to tell when helping customers with their purchase. ClipGlove gets its name from the addition of an aluminum carabiner clip, which keeps glove pairs together when being stored, so they do not get lost. Treadstone says retailers appreciate the clip and how it prevents torn header cards and allows consumers to try on gloves easily in store, plus, of course, how it enables the gloves to be clipped to the user’s belt, ensuring they are always to hand. The premium range has a RRP, starting at just £3.99. Available in two colour palettes, and light, medium and heavyduty options, the ClipGlove range has a pair to suit everyone, from the occasional, to the keen gardener. To assist further in sales of the ClipGlove range, Treadstone has put together a high impact and space-efficient main range stand, capable of holding a comprehensive selection of gloves, each in two sizes. Panels on the stand feature informative graphics to help consumers select the

correct glove, as well as a clever size guide for both men and women. A specially designed hook system prevents the gloves falling from the spinner, even when fully loaded.

A specially designed hook system prevents the gloves falling from the spinner even when fully loaded The unit holds 240 pairs of gloves and 48 packs of clips in less than 0.4m2 of floor space. In addition, retailers have the option of ‘The Right Glove’, a collection of seasonal gloves for volume sales opportunities, either displayed on retailers’ own merchandising units, or by making the most of Treadstone’s bespoke feature display unit, which is provided with a combination of 144 assorted pairs. Retailers interested in working with Treadstone Products, can contact the company on: 01978 664 667, or email: sales@ treadstoneproducts.com. For more information, visit: www.treadstoneproducts.com.

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13/06/2019 20/03/2019 16:30 09:27


Wild Bird Care Latest Products

WILD BIRD CARE Henry Bell & Co launch own brand of bird care products Family-owned animal feed producer Henry Bell & Co has announced the release of its own brand – Henry Bell Wild Bird Care. Henry Bell has over 20 years of experience in the bird food industry, having previously helped the growth of various private label wild bird food brands. The company has now combined its expertise and knowledge to launch a high-quality range of products. The Henry Bell Wild Bird Care range is comprised of over 100 products, catering for every type of garden bird. Created to meet their specific needs, the range includes mixed seeds, straights (such as peanuts, sunflower seeds and mealworms), suet and fat balls – available in various sizes and formats. Complementing the food range, the company is also introducing The Henry Bell Wild Bird Care Collection, a range of bespoke and adaptable accessories. It includes the Essential and premium Heritage collections, featuring a broad range of feeders and feeding stations at marketleading prices. The Henry Bell Wild Bird Care range will be available from July 2019.

Fat Ball Bunting Jacobi Jayne & Co Fat Ball Bunting can be filled with suet balls, hung like fruits on a tree – or snapped together in colourful chains and garlands. RRP £2.99 www.livingwithbirds.com

Winter Warmer Extra Energy Seed Mix Peckish Bird Food Packed with ingredients that are high in energy and fat content, Peckish Winter Warmer Extra Energy Seed Mix is available in sizes of 1kg, 1.7kg and 12.75kg. RRP from £2.49 www.gardenhealth.com

Royal British Legion branded Poppy Bird Feeder Gardman The Gardman Poppy Bird Feeder makes for a great garden ornament for feeding wild birds all year round, bringing style and colour to any garden display or outdoor space. RRP £6.99 www.gardman.co.uk

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Company Profile Floralsilk

FLOWERS FROM

FLORALSILK

Looking like a better choice than ever, faux foliage has many benefits. Floralsilk is a leading light as a high quality product supplier With suppliers like Floralsilk, the days of dusty, unrealistic floral displays on your Grandma’s windowsill are gone. With new manufacturing methods, even a long hard stare and a tentative touch cannot distinguish the real thing from faux flowers and foliage. As a result, the demand for good quality, affordable and low maintenance replica products has increased exponentially. From wedding bouquets and statement arrangements to potted plants and hanging greenery, there is a great case to buy faux in more situations than ever. Modern life is often hectic, physical and mental space as well as spare time are constantly coming at a premium. Homes are, more than ever, required to be a retreat – an oasis of calm and tranquillity. An easy way to create this desired environment is with the addition of stress-free flowers, foliage and plants. Although fresh flowers are beautiful, they are also often

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short lived, high maintenance and expensive if continuously replaced. It is therefore becoming increasingly recognised that a simpler option is to have realistic, maintenance-free alternatives. Floralsilk specialises in fine replica flowers and home decoration. It constantly looks to inspire and innovate with extensive product ranges, incorporating the latest styles and trends, capitalising on their ‘fresh touch’ technology. Managing director Liam O’Flaherty says: “We have seen unswerving growth in sales of potted items and greenery over the last couple of years as customers are realising that they are a quick and easy, yet still beautiful, option. Our flowers, foliage, plants and trees are all selected with both quality and affordability in mind. We are delighted that the trend to have long lasting, attractive home decoration is as popular as ever.” There are many benefits and reasons to consider these replica flower choices. For example, they: • Look highly realistic, natural and are long lasting • Are allergen free, especially valuable in months when hayfever can be at a peak • Can be colour matched to complement your home décor • Don’t attract bugs or wasps

• Are maintenance free  an be enjoyed all year •C round with no restrictions •A  re not produced with agrochemicals which pollute the air, soil and water supplies. According to Flowerpetal.com, the sending of roughly 100 million roses on a typical Valentine’s Day produces some 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from field to florist. Liam adds: “In addition to our florals, we will soon be launching our new Spring 2020 lines to complement our existing ranges. This will be with a focus on the current demand for nature-based items as well as spring wreaths and summer lighting.” If you’re looking for an everlasting, beautiful potted plant or artistic floral arrangement, the world of faux florals could be the way to go. They make for great gifts, can easily be customised and are bound to be appreciated and admired for a very long time. w CONTACT

+44 (0)1778 425205 sales@floralsilk.co.uk www.floralsilk.co.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

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The gift that keeps on giving‌

‌ fine faux flowers See us at Autumn Fair 1-4 September 2019 Hall 20 Stand H42-J43 NEC Alternatively, visit our beautiful showroom in Bourne, Lincolnshire

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sales@floralsilk.co.uk 01778 425205 www.floralsilk.co.uk 05/06/2019 13/06/2019 14:49 14:18


Company Profile Magical Hydrangea

MAGICAL

HYDRANGEA The Magical Hydrangea range has been purpose-bred for easy care and timeless looks – and now there’s a new variety of Magical Amethyst on offer of all shapes and sizes and just keep on blooming.

Gardens all over the UK will be bursting with stunning, vibrant colour this summer, thanks to the eye-catching varieties of hydrangeas by Magical. This year sees a vibrant new addition, too, in the form of the Magical Red Amethyst. This stunning plant gets its name from the one of the strongest minerals found on the face of the earth, and there is good reason for this. The Magical Amethyst is an extremely robust garden hydrangea with a magnificent striking red colour.

The Magical Red Amethyst is no exception. Within months of buying the red globular plant, the flowers change into a deep, green colour. Even with their glorious splendour, Magical hydrangeas are incredibly easy to care for, which makes them perfect for those leading busy lives. Ideal for both beginners and the advanced gardener, these moisture loving plants instantly adds shifting colour to gardens

More than 10 years of breeding The Magical Four Seasons hydrangeas cope well with sun, rain and frost – as well as being compact in nature – so they’re great for gardens where there’s limited space. The astonishing display of colours is the result of years of breeding, where strong natural characteristics of various colour-changing hydrangeas were crossbred. This particular process took around ten years, but the results have most definitely been worth it. Their strong stems support sturdy flowers that can handle the rain. The blooms remain beautiful for long periods of time in strong sunlight, perfect for the British summer. Magical Hydrangea’s UK growers These beautiful outdoor garden flowers are sold exclusively to major retailers and garden centres by Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford.

They flower from May to November and are available in 3.5, 5 and 10L pots, perfectly suited for patios, balconies, terraces or borders. There are several different varieties to choose from in the UK, including the Plantarium 2015 Best in Show winner Magical Revolution ‘Ruby Tuesday’. The Magical range of Hydrangea macrophylla includes: • Magical Amethyst, available in blue, pink and the latest variety, red • Magical Coral, available in blue and pink • Magical Revolution, available in blue and pink • Magical Ruby Tuesday • Magical Noblesse, which shifts over time from white to green. As well as being an easy way to brighten up your garden, these compact, robust and beautiful plants also make a lovely gift for family or friends. If you would like to order for your garden centre, then contact Wyevale’s team at: enquiries@wyevalenurseries.co.uk w

Stunning colour changes The many flowers of the hassle free, hardy Magical hydrangea change colour at least three or four times a year, providing a magnificent display that can last from May right through to November, or when it starts to freeze outside.

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Magical, the colour-changing garden Hydrangea Besides the colour-changing characteristic, the plant’s long vase life is a noticeable asset. More info? Visit magicalfourseasons.com, contact one of our growers or send an e-mail to info@magicalfourseasons.com.

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Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019  

Garden Centre Retail June/July 2019  

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