Garden Centre Retail March 2024

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March 2024


A green gem in the heart of Munich

The pot sector

Colours, materials, sizes – what’s trending?

Issue 75

Pest control

Valuing hygiene and safeguarding reputation


Spring-flowering bulbs perfect for your centre

A leading firm of accountants and tax advisers offering bespoke tax and accounting advice. Chartered Accountants & Chartered Tax Advisors

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ith spring around the corner, and the gardening season just about ready to get going, it’s now time for this industry to cement itself as retail leaders – the innovators for experiential retail. Having spent a couple of enjoyable, insightful, entertaining days at the GCA Conference at the end of January – the theme of the eve being ‘The Future of Garden Retail’ – it was interesting to see talks from some very good names on topics such as technology and sustainability, amongst others. It really does back up a decision we made mid-way through last year, and that was to provide content focusing on business growth through effective product selection, innovation, sustainability and technology. Whether that’s entwined in the pages of Garden Centre Retail magazine, on the show floor at Garden Centre Expo, through our social media or via our email newsletters, these are subjects that every industry leader wants to learn about, and action in their business.

Onto this issue of Garden Centre Retail, we have a lawn care sector round up from GIMA, Andrew Burton takes a look at a family-friendly catering operation, and Nurture Group outlines the ways and means pest control can safeguard reputation in a garden centre setting. We also look at Taylor’s Bulbs’ top 10 spring flowering bulbs, and we have an important article on mental health and how employers can assist their staff with their mental wellbeing. You may also have noticed another magazine in with this issue of GCR. This is part one of a four part look at the pet sector and how your pet and aquatics departments can take advantage of this rising sector. Pet Innovation aims to tackle the same issues as Garden Centre Retail, so technology, innovation and sustainability within pet products will be explored over the next 12 months. As always, we’d appreciate any feedback you wish to give us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Joe Wilkinson Joe Wilkinson Head of content


Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex, BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Head of content – Joe Wilkinson Tel: 01903 777 587 Senior subeditor – Katrina Roy Tel: 01903 777 570 Subeditor – Sam Seaton Tel: 01903 777 570 Senior designer – Kirsty Turek ADVERTISING Portfolio director – Luke Page Tel: 01903 777 580 Sales director – Rob Dwyer Tel: 01903 777 573 Event manager – Tom Glasby Tel: 01903 959 391 MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jamie Wilkinson CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries Tel: 01903 777 570 Printed by Stephens and George Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd Garden Centre Retail is published by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2024 subscription price is £125. 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.

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 March 2024


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News A roundup of the latest industry news The GCA Awards 2024 We showcase the GCA’s awards winners from its 2024 conference Creating opportunities in lawncare GIMA members update us on all things lawncare Is your food proposition as good as it can be? Andrew Burton discusses the rise of food offerings A green gem in Munich Taking a look into family garden centre, Samen-Schmitz Mental Health How is our sector focusing on positive mental health? Can signage aid the customer experience? HFE Signs shares its tips for garden centres Safeguarding reputation – pest free Nurture Group on effective pest control Summer-flowering bulbs Taylors Bulbs’ provides its expertise

Catering for children We explore four key areas of family-friendly catering

Grab & Go Is grab and go an effective catering offering for garden centres?

Trends in pots Manufacturers and suppliers share what’s trending for 2024

Pest control products Reliable pest management solutions

Lawn care, feed and seed products Top products for a flourishing lawn

Garden Centre Retail March 2024



News Andy Hannan appointed as commercial director by Dobbies


obbies has officially appointed Andy Hannan as it’s new commercial director. With extensive experience from across the retail sector, Andy will lead the delivery of Dobbies’ commercial strategy as it enters its new financial year. Departing commercial director, Richard Hodges has

stepped down from his role which he has held since 2021. David Robinson, CEO of Dobbies, shared these comments: “Andy is a really experienced commercial director and will bring with him brilliant knowledge from his time at other major UK retailers. “As we move into our new financial year, someone with Andy’s depth and breadth of experience is just what we need to ensure we are well positioned to further develop our commercial success. He is a really experienced operator and will be an asset to the team.” Andy Hannan, commercial director at Dobbies, says: “I’m super excited about the opportunities there are with Dobbies. I’m a frequent Dobbies customer, with five stores in the area where I live. With a market leading position, I’m really looking forward to meeting, and working with, colleagues and suppliers across the business.”

Retail sales slow as high cost of living enters third year


K total retail sales increased by 1.2% year on year in January, against a growth of 4.2% in January 2023. This was above the 3-month average growth of 1.9% and below the 12-month average growth of 3.4%. Food sales increased 6.3% year on year over the three months to January, against a growth of 8.0% in January 2023. This is below the 12-month average growth of 8.1%. For the month of January, Food was in growth yearon-year. Non-food sales decreased 1.8% year on year over the three-months to January, against a growth of 2.9% in January 2023. This is steeper than the 12-month average decline of 0.5%. For the month of January, Non-Food was in decline year-on-year.


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Over the three months to January, In-store Non-Food sales decreased 1.5% year on year, against a growth of 7.2% in January 2023. This is below the 12-month average growth of 0.8%. Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, says: “Easing inflation and weak consumer demand led retail sales growth to slow. While the January Sales helped to boost spending in the first two weeks, this did not sustain throughout the month. Larger purchases, such as furniture, appliances, and electricals, remained weak as the higher cost of living continued into its third year. Milder temperatures meant clothing sales performed poorly, particularly winter clothing and footwear. Health and beauty products continued to sell extremely well.

Bells Horticultural acquires Peter Beales Roses


ells Horticultural has announced the acquisition of Peter Beales Roses business. This move solidifies Bells Horticultural’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the tradition of exquisite rose cultivation. Peter Beales Roses has been a beacon in the world of roses since 1968. The acquisition allows Bells Horticultural to carry forward the legacy of Peter Beales Roses, ensuring the continued availability of one of the finest and most diverse selection of roses in the market. The deal, which has been several months in the making, marks an exciting new era for Peter Beales Roses, an established brand and 28-time gold medal winner at RHS Chelsea. The plan going forward is for the two businesses to operate independently of one another, however, the Bells team recognises that some benefits will be realised through the acquisition. It has also been confirmed that the wholesale supply of branded Peter Beales Roses to garden centres will continue through the existing supply partner, Whartons Roses.


Paul Larsen appointed as restaurant training & standards manager at Squire’s


quire’s Garden Centres has bolstered its Restaurant team with the appointment of Paul Larson, in the newly created role of Restaurant Training & Standards Manager. Paul will have responsibility for overseeing training programmes across Squire’s 16 garden centre restaurants, as well as continuing to drive high standards and processes among restaurant teams. Paul will also establish Centres of Excellence and provide support in the roll-out of new menus. Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “Our restaurants have

developed significantly over recent years and Paul’s appointment will bring additional resource and an extra dimension to our restaurants. We believe Paul’s appointment will help us to serve our customers better and offer our colleagues enhanced training and support, so that their time at work is more enjoyable and satisfying. “We are delighted to welcome Paul, who brings with him a wealth of experience, and I know his strengths in training and motivating individuals and teams will be a fantastic addition to our restaurant team.”

RocketGro products certified by Vegan Society

Dobbies launches pair of discount outlet garden centres

eat-free growing media producer, RocketGro has announced that two of its best-selling products have been verified by the Vegan Society. Both its flagship Magic Mulch product and Plant Fuel collection of liquid concentrate plant feeds are now certified as vegan and can carry the recognised Vegan Society trademark. It’s an exciting milestone for the British brand, whose products are all 100% peat free, Soil Association-approved organic, chemical free and produced sustainably in the UK. Magic Mulch and Plant Fuel are made from composted-down crops that are a by-product from the biogas plant on RocketGro’s farm in Somerset, which is responsible for powering thousands of homes in the local area. RocketGro will now begin the process of getting the rest of its range, which is already listed as Vegan Friendly, fully certified by the Vegan Society and authorised to use the widely-recognised trademark logo. Commenting on the accreditation, RocketGro Managing Director Toby Thomas says: “We are very pleased to be working with the Vegan Society to be able to ensure the message is clear about the Vegan certified status of our product range. We have started with two products, but the plan is to have most of our full range officially accredited.”

obbies has opened two new outlet stores at its branches in Morpeth in Northumberland and Atherstone in Warwickshire. The outlet stores stock products from across its homeware; outdoor living; gifts, kids and pets; and gardening ranges with discounts between 30-70% off their usual price. At Atherstone, the outlet is located in a separate on-site building while Morpeth’s outlet is located near its restaurant within the footprint of the main store with a standalone pay point. Paul Travis Anderson, General Manager of Dobbies Morpeth, says: “This is the first time we’ve had a dedicated outlet in Morpeth and we feel really positive about being able to offer discounts across a number of ranges for our customers.” Sarah Faulkner, General Manager of Dobbies Atherstone, adds: “We’ll be replenishing stock frequently, so there’s lots of opportunities for customers to get some fantastic bargains. “With spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of price reductions across a wide selection of our products.”



Garden Centre Retail March 2024



The GCA Conference 2024


Best overall garden centres revealed at GCA conference: The winners of the Garden Centre Association’s most prestigious awards, including its Garden Centres of Excellence, were announced at its annual conference. The awards ceremony took place at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Peter Burks, chief executive at the GCA, says: “We had a joyous evening celebrating our overall champion of champions and our ‘Garden Centres of Excellence’ winners. They have all demonstrated tremendous tenacity, hard work and passion, and couldn’t be more deserving of these accolades. “We were also delighted to announce our Associate of the Year, as voted for by our member garden centres and to present our Worrall Cup to the garden centre that the judges felt entered the best marketing and community campaign too.” Another set of awards were also celebrated at the conference, including the Rising Star award: GCA chief executive, Peter Burks, says: “The commitment and hard work our member garden centres put in each year just gets better and better. Through our annual inspections and awards, we know our members have some of the highest standards in our industry. “They should all be proud of the example they set to others. I’d like to congratulate all our worthy winners this year for their dedication to ensuring the public receives an experience to remember when visiting them. I would also like to thank all our award sponsors in each category for supporting us this year.” 8

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Destination Garden Centre of the Year Winner Bents Garden & Home Second Place Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree Third Place Ruxley Manor Garden Centre Garden Centre of the Year Winner Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne Second Place Coolings Wych Cross Garden Centre Third Place Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe Garden Centres of Excellence (in alphabetical order) Barton Grange Garden Centre Bents Garden & Home Coolings Garden Centre Knockholt Haskins Garden Centre, Snowhill Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre Millbrook Garden Company, Gravesend Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree Ruxley Manor Garden Centre Simpsons Garden Centre, Inverness The Old Railway Line Garden Centre Associate of the Year (voted by GCA garden centre members) Winner Woodmansterne Second Place Smart Garden Products Third Place Merzario The Worrall Cup Winner Tong Garden Centre Second Place Simpsons Garden Centre, Inverness Third Place The Old Railway Line Garden Centre

GCA GROW Training Award Bosworths Garden Centre, Burton Latimer Dick Allen Award (Most Improved Garden Centre) Winner Thompson Plants and Garden Welling Second Place British Garden Centres, Arcadia Third Place Klondyke Beverley Garden Centre Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Creativity and Innovation Winner Bents Garden & Home Second Place Ruxley Manor Garden Centre Third Place Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree Customer Service Award – Best Customer Service sponsored by Worldpay Winner The Old Railway Line Garden Centre Second Place Aylett Nurseries Third Place Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre Paul Cooling Environment and Sustainability Award sponsored by Wildlife World Winner Millbrook Garden Company, Gravesend Second Place The Old Railway Line Garden Centre Third Place Ruxley Manor Garden Centre

News The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer

NEW for 2024 – Best Food Hall/Farm Shop Award

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Bents Garden and Home Second Place Barton Grange Garden Centre Third Place Stewarts Garden Centre, Christchurch

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre Second Place Ruxley Manor Garden Centre Third Place Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre

Garden Centre Category Winner Klondyke Garden Wise, Dumfries Second Place Klondyke Astbury Meadow Garden Centre Third Place Tarporley Garden Centre, British Garden Centres

Garden Centre Category Winner Squires Garden Centre, Frensham Second Place Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe Third Place Klondyke Beverley Garden Centre Catering Award sponsored by Clifton Coffee Roasters

The Indoor Lifestyle Award – Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer sponsored by Merzario

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Ruxley Manor Garden Centre Second Place Bents Garden and Home, Haskins Garden Centre, Snowhill Third Place Polhill Garden Centre, Henry Street Garden Centre, Stewarts Garden Centre, Christchurch

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree Second Place Gordale Garden Centre Third Place Bents Garden and Home Garden Centre Category Winner Perrywood Garden Centre, Sudbury Second Place Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe and RHS Bridgewater Third Place Creative Gardens, Logwood

Garden Centre Category Winner Knights Plant Centre, Betchworth Second Place Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe, Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne Third Place Klondyke Mayfield Garden Centre

The Outdoor Living Award – Best Outdoor Living Retailer sponsored by Woodlodge

Ruxley Rose Award for Best Overall Plantaria sponsored by Wyevale Nurseries

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Garsons Garden Centre, Esher Second Place Bents Garden and Home Third Place Ruxley Manor Garden Centre and Hayes Garden World

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Cowell’s Garden Centre Second Place Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree Third Place Aylett Nurseries

Garden Centre Category Winner Canterbury Garden Centre Second Place Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne Third Place Klondyke Garforth Garden Centre, Stanway Garden Centre, Ramsgate Garden Centre, British Garden Centres, Squires Garden Centre, Frensham, Squires Garden Centre, Woking, Squires Garden Centre, Washington

Garden Centre Category Winner Squires Garden Centre, Hersham Second Place Perrywood Garden Centre, Sudbury Third Place Squires Garden Centre, Woking Christmas Competition sponsored by Gisela Graham

NEW for 2024 – Ian Boardman Indoor Plants Cup

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Garsons Garden Centre, Esher Second Place Barton Grange Garden Centre Third Place Gates Garden Centre

Destination Garden Centre Category Winner Cowell’s Garden Centre Second Place Webbs of Wychbold, Ransoms Garden Centre Third Place Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree, Hayes Garden Centre

Garden Centre Category Winner Castle Gardens, part of The Gardens Group Second Place Brimsmore Gardens, part of the Gardens Group Third Place Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe

Garden Centre Category Winner Knights Plant Centre, Betchworth, Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe Second Place Klondyke Garden Wise, Dumfries Third Place Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne

Rising Star award sponsord by Westland Horticulture Haydon Walters – Thatcham Garden Centre (British Garden Centres)

Garden Centre Retail March 2024






Weed and feed “Lawncare, as a category, is universally strong on sales,” says Burgon & Ball managing director Rainer Schubert. “Weeding and edging for a flawless lawn hold particular customer appeal, with chemical-free solutions proving an increasingly popular option.” Burgon & Ball’s Wonder Weed Puller makes weeding in lawns easy, thanks to its stand-up use and is


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

extremely light weight. “Clever design is another positive for consumers,” says Schubert. “The blades of our new RHSendorsed single-handed grass shear rotate through 180 degrees for trimming either horizontally or vertically. Our lawn care stand is a compact option to group together some of our best-sellers for an excellent return on space.” More eco-friendly lawncare solutions are indeed finding greater favour amongst gardeners, which is why RocketGro’s Peat-Free Organic Lawn Feed & Turf Dressing is guaranteed to create fantastic opportunities for retailers this season. Naturally produced, sustainable and 100% peat free, this outstanding chemical-free lawn feed helps environmentally-conscious gardeners achieve

the lush green lawn of their dreams. Regular applications of the rich, natural bio-active feed will revitalise tired lawns. Micro-nutrients, including magnesium and sulphur, slow feed for up to three months, whilst natural microbes boost root growth, resulting in a strong, healthy, resilient lawn. It is Soil Association Approved, 100% British, and child and pet safe. Gardeners can remove weeds quicker and more easily than ever, without using harsh chemicals, with the GARDENA Weed Puller. Ergonomically designed, the Weed Puller needs to be inserted over the weed, pushed into the ground with the extra-large footrest; then users simply twist, pull, and voila! Thanks to the patented extra-narrow blades, the GARDENA Weed puller leaves minimal damage to the lawn and soil; the handy trigger release system makes disposal simple. The GARDENA Weed Puller comes with an impressive 25-year warranty, meaning weeds in the garden will be a thing of the past for years to come! Home composting is a huge trend – and can provide lawns with a wealth of organic matter – but compost bins can be unattractive, says outdoor living sustainable timber product expert, Zest. The Zest Eco Hive Composter is a stylish take on a traditional beehive, repurposed as a 405-litre capacity composter which makes quality compost quickly, in a way which is easy to harvest. Made from sustainable timber from responsiblymanaged forests. Pressure treated for longevity, Zest products can be home-delivered for easy assembly.

IT’S NOT ALWAYS THE GRASS THAT IS IN NEED OF RESCUING naturally tolerant grass species, scorched patches in lawns will be consigned to history. Even if slight discolouration occasionally occurs, grass will recover. Natural and safe for family use, the product contains 100% grass seed and nothing else. Like all Johnsons Lawn Seed products, lawns sown from Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance perform excellently in low temperatures and snow, while the mix benefits from improved drought-resistance. Of course, it’s not always the grass that is in need of rescuing… Aches, cuts, abrasions and scrapes are often par for the course when gardening and tending to the lawn, which is why HEMPE

offers a strong natural solution for gardeners everywhere. HEMPE products take the best natural ingredients for relief – clove leaf oil, Cypress oil, laurel leaf oil, eucalyptus, mentha arvensis, lavender and pinus sylvestris – and combines them with CBD during a rigorous formulation process. The result is three powerful topical products aimed to alleviate aches, pains and sore skin: HEMPE Hot Muscle & Joint Gel, HEMPE Ice Muscle & Joint Gel and HEMPE SOS Balm. Gardening tools and accessories supplier, Barrus launched over 100 new products at Glee for the 2024 season. Under its Town & Country and Wilkinson Sword brands, the huge new collection includes a range of gloves made from

recycled materials, leaf rakes and a lawn and scarifying rake. Ideal for keeping slugs away from sown lawn seed and grass seedlings, Hortiwool’s 100% compostable all-season, multi-use garden pads prove a gardener’s best friend, thanks to the amazing natural properties of wool. As well as deterring slugs, Hortiwool’s garden pads have many other benefits around the garden, including adding nutrition to the soil, providing frost protection and even lining pots, planters, or hanging baskets for extra hydration. About GIMA GIMA is a membership organisation of around 170 companies representing the majority share of suppliers and manufacturers in the UK gardening industry. Its goal is to promote the commercial, trading and industrial interests of its UK and EU-based members. Run by a team of professionals, and governed by a council of members, GIMA is funded by membership subscriptions and services. Its extensive range of services and support caters to all members.

Garden Centre Retail March 2024



Water and TLC Key to keeping the lawn healthy during dry spells is a reliable water source. Enter Qwickhose® – the unique Wing-Lock hose connectors that don’t pop off. The Qwickhose range sets a completely new standard for hose fittings, connectors, and accessories. The distinctively re-designed universal Wing-Lock system replaces the fiddly breakable teeth of standard connectors, offering a quick and easy connection with greater hose grip, eliminating pop offs, and reducing water wastage. For larger gardens or tricky-to-reach areas, there’s the Qwickhose Wing-Lock Repair Connector to join two hoses together, ensuring optimum lawn and plant care in the garden. Meanwhile, Johnson Lawn Seed’s Tuffgrass with Dog Patch provides retailers with an unrivalled opportunity to optimise sales of a product that solves an age-old problem that plagues the lawns of dog owners. This unique product has been formulated to banish the problem of yellow patches and dead areas of grass caused by dogs urinating on lawns. By incorporating


Is your food proposition maximising


The post-covid era has also seen a really positive impact on catering in garden centres, with many businesses revisiting their customer model to reflect on what their customers expect and need. We have seen garden centres change their menus, service models, décor, layout and improve their processes, which have all had a positive impact. What was clear was that customer needs have changed since 2019 in many ways, and as the economy continues to change, so do customer expectations and requirements. The garden centres that have developed their customer proposition have often reaped the benefits.


ver the past couple of years we have seen the ‘rise of the food’ departments in garden centres. The HTA have identified that in garden centres in 2023, food retail was +8% up and catering sales were +23% year to date, versus 2022. The GCA also noted these strong performances in both areas, reporting with sales at +10.99% for food retail and +16.6% in catering. Through the covid and post-covid period, farm shops and food halls throughout the UK have seen huge growth, and garden centres that have strong food halls really benefitted from an increase in visits, helping to maximise potential throughout the whole garden centre. The food halls that had the biggest impact were


those that offered a comprehensive customer proposition, which enabled customers to do a core shop often including meat, dairy, fruit,

A STRONG FOOD OFFER HELPS INCREASE CUSTOMER VISITS vegetables and grocery items. Strong sales were also seen in drinks, bakery items and snacks too.

What can you do? There are several aspects to consider when reviewing the retail or catering food offer in a garden centre, including benchmarking existing performance, monitoring processes and staff requirements and revisiting your layout. To clarify how much thought has gone into this, there are some specific questions I ask businesses when I am working with them: 1) H ow have you identified your turnover potential? 2) W hat do you think the hidden benefits are of a strong food proposition? 3) H ow have you clarified if ‘your’ food offer is right for ‘your’ customer, and how do you consider the differing customer needs? 4) How does the service method and layout of the department help turnover? 5) Do you think the look of your department is important? 6) If there is a food retail department, how does your food retail area work with your catering offer? Now, let’s not hide from the fact that not everyone can do everything, but understanding the potential, capability and will of each site is important. Reflecting on these questions, the answers given can help to identify what can be done to give you that point of difference. Garden Centre Retail March 2024



How can garden centres start to identify their turnover potential? One simple answer is benchmarking. By understanding how you are currently performing versus like-for-like businesses helps a garden centre to understand its potential. Benchmarking isn’t as cut and dry as sales reflection though, it also needs to consider other aspects of the business that might impact on turnover, such as adequate parking, kitchen size, the location of department and the seating numbers. What are the hidden benefits are of a strong food proposition? There are lots of reasons to be good at food, but the standout hidden benefit of a strong catering and retail food offer is that these can give reasons for customers to visit more often. If you get these propositions right, then customers visit more, and whilst they are on site, they are likely to visit the other departments too. Additional customers who initially visit just because of your food, are likely to visit other departments, helping to increase turnover, average transaction value and profit. What food offer is the right one for your customer? Retail ranging is a key component of right product, right place, right time, but when I consider garden centre catering over the past few years, all of us have seen centres change their propositions to reflect their customer needs. The difference between a restaurant meal and a quick cuppa is huge, and I have seen businesses introducing new complementary food outlets, enabling customers with different needs to go to their preferred destination. It is important to understand what your customers want. Understanding who your customer is and what they want is essential Having a clearly defined proposition that the customer understands helps garden centres 14

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

with standards, processes and overhead management. Differing offers should complement each other – but every garden centre is different. The demographic and needs of the customer need considering here, so understanding who your customer is and what they want is essential. Is the ambience important? Quite simply – yes! Customers want to feel comfortable and processes for ordering need to be easy. What your cafe or retail area looks like ideally needs to reflect and complement your brand and message. Cleanliness is one key aspect to consider, as is lighting and noise, and the décor of the department adds value and clarity, and this should never be underestimated. Do your food retail and catering departments fuse together? I work with a number of garden centres and farm shops across the UK who have really identified the opportunity to maximise

their food offer. I also have been fortunate enough to be the visiting judge as part of the farm retail association awards these past four years and over this time, I have seen a lot of change in standards and propositions, but one thing that jumps out is the simple and effective ‘home-made’ aspects of the food offer. A business that fuses its catering and retail food production areas together, and mixes its cafe menu items with food it retails, can help to create a USP that often has a wow-factor and can help turnover, improve processes, lower waste and drive profit. So, the question is to all garden centres – not if, but how are you maximising this potential? About Andrew Burton Andrew works for Pleydell Smithyman as an associate director, focusing on garden centre and farm shop advice, with an overarching aim of business strategy and development. He provides site development, and commercial and operational support. He sits on the Farm Retail Association Council, and previously on the Garden Centre Association Board.

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“We’ve had our finger on the pulse of the UK garden retail sector since launching Garden Centre Retail magazine in March 2014. Combining these 10 years of experience, with another decade running leading trade exhibitions in the UK, we spotted a gap in the market for a content-led, editorially driven exhibition, bringing together educational, informative and inspirational opportunities for a two-day event” Luke Page, Portfolio director Garden Centre Expo 2024 is an unmissable event; an event which enables business professionals to make strong and valuable connections for the future development of garden retail – from startups, small and growing businesses to large organisations, both groups and independents. You’ll be in good company, with thousands of like-minded professionals exhibiting, attending and speaking. Garden Centre Expo acts as a meeting place and information hub, for you, your colleagues and associates to view the latest products, materials, technology and services that matter to you in your work.

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An interview with




stablished in 1842 with a passion for plants by the Schmitz family and later bought by the Hammelbacher family, Samen-Schmitz is a garden store into it’s fifth generation. Garden Centre Retail caught up with Franziska Geibelt-Hammelbacher, current managing director to speak garden retail in Munich, Germany, and beyond. Samen-Schmitz isn’t your typical garden centre. Nestled in the middle of Munich’s city centre, the 400m2 store, with outside space for displaying a range of plant material, is, in

IF WE PUT THINGS ON DISPLAY, WE REALLY WANT THEM TO BE THE RIGHT THINGS FOR THE CUSTOMER comparison to most, miniscule. This in turn offers a challenge for the business. Franziska explains: “We don’t have much space like other garden centres, so we’re very sensitive with the stuff we put on display because if we put things on display, we really want them to be the right things for the customer. This is I think our daily challenge, to have the right products, for the right customer, at the right time.” But lack of space hasn’t hindered the business. Having been at the same site at 18

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Developments Since joining the business, the main changes that Franziska has seen revolves around the digitisation of the world. SamenSchmitz has improved the digital stock management system, something that Franziska says her grandfather had an early uptake on. Social media has been another huge digital development that the garden centre has jumped on, especially the image-friendly Instagram. Social media has been a great way for Samen-Schmitz to ‘share their narrative’ with their customers, and Franziska believes it’s a great way to create a community. “Social media is the perfect platform for us to connect with our customers emotionally,” she explains. “We also want to involve our staff with this. Our

customers want to get to know the employees here, the ones taking care of the plants. With the lack of space we have, we like to get people involved with the centre, and we do a Christmas lottery to get our followers into the store.” It’s e-commerce that Franziska, her cousin Natalia BanfiHausmann who work together very closely in the family business and the SamenSchmitz team have been working on in more recent times. The garden centre has had its own brand products in the seeds category, and wild bird feed for decades and it’s these brands that have led to also selling well online, as they are able to share guidelines and editorial content to back this up. “What we wanted to do is create editorial content and how-to’s for those that want guidance,” says Franziska. “Every time you go into our online shop, you have a category for example, for tomatoes, you would see

a text that would explain everything you need to know about growing tomatoes.” Franziska says that these have all been created to help the customers that find gardening daunting, and don’t have as much experience with the hobby. “We need to be there for the people who want to get into gardening and acquire some knowledge to then make their own experiences fantastic,” she explains. This has led to a loyal customer base, both online and in store, which has been an important factor for the business as through traffic tends to be 30% tourists. Sustainability A genuine concern worldwide, sustainability is at the top of the agenda for Samen-Schmitz as we move into 2024. With customers becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their actions, people are turning to green alternatives and green initiatives when it comes to parting with their money. “Organic products such as plants and seeds are really a big thing for us” explains Franziska, “our customers are expecting to use less plastic in all sorts of accessories. So for example, if you have a little growing house for the seeds, many


Garden Centre Retail March 2024



the Viktualienmarkt, a tourist hot spot with a lack of car parking, has adapted very well. The best example of this is with their offering of soil and compost. “The classic way of selling soil in Germany is in 60 litre packs,” says Franziska. “Our soil is 3 or 5 litres, something you can carry because at our very individual location we don’t have any parking spots. Our customers need to be able to transport their purchases in the tube and on buses. It needs to be convenient.”



Garden Centre Retail March 2024

customers ask for them to be made out of wood and not out of plastic.” She continues, “Sustainability really is a big, big thing. What happens with the flowerpots after you plant them, because a few customers bring them back sometimes and then we send them back or we dispose of it like properly, not


FRANZISKA AND HER CUSTOMERS ARE MASSIVELY INTO TRADITIONAL ENGLISH ROSES hydroculture has increased in the conversations had with customers, and the staff are increasingly being asked about LED lamps for plant growth. The explanation for this goes back to caring, and taking more responsibility, for a living object. Nature, and having a passion for plants has seen customers work towards a greener lifestyle, and the new technologies available to the mass market have allowed them to nurture their passion into good design that fits in with their daily lives.

in a not in the household garbage. Sustainable production is mentioned by many customers too. Transparency here is important.” Another area that has seen a popularity increase with the customers of Samen-Schmitz are energy-friendly methods of looking after and caring for a living thing. Hydroponics and

UK influence The traditional English Garden is held in high regard around the world. Often accredited with pioneering the gardening movement and lauded for traditional designs, it’s clear that the British influence crosses borders. Franziska and her customers take a significant interest in traditional English Roses, and if space allowed, there would be many more on sale in the store.

But there are other British influences that Franziska looks up to, especially Barton Grange Garden Centre in Lancashire. An account followed on Instagram by Samen-Schmitz; Franziska often takes inspiration from their displays. She shares the source of her interest: “It really is a fantastic centre. The quality of the products they offer and the kind of service they provide is just great!” Franziska believes that the ability British garden centres have for creating theatrical product displays is another stand-out strength of British garden centres. “The flair shown when you go into a British garden centre, wow! I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a really nice experience. It’s not just shopping for something, it’s nice to spend time in a shop that’s there for you to enjoy.” As Franziska and her cousin Natalia take the reigns at the help of this long-standing business, her 92-year-old Grandfather is still very involved with the garden centre, offering helpful advice and passing on a passion. With 182 years of heritage, a loyal and engaged customer based, and a very personable leader, Samen-Schmitz will continue to thrive in an environment that not many would expect. Much like many plants, really. Garden Centre Retail March 2024





ental health is crucial in the workplace for several reasons, as it directly impacts both the wellbeing of individual employees and the overall performance of the organisation. Research by leading charity, Perennial in its Health & Wellbeing Survey (2021) found that mental wellbeing was among the biggest perceived challenges for people working in horticulture. It found that 85% of individuals reported their mental wellbeing as poor or below average. Additionally, 26% of respondents listed depression, anxiety, and stress as critical issues they were facing, whilst 22% admitted to not recognising when they were unable to cope or how to deal with such circumstances. These findings underscore the urgent need for greater awareness, support, and resources to address mental health challenges in the garden industry. Pugh’s Garden Village has several protocols in place to address mental health stigma in the workplace. Victoria Pugh, head of wellbeing at Pugh’s tells us: “Staff wellbeing and mental health are currently among our main focuses, and we are committed to communicating all our initiatives to ensure that our staff is aware of the support available to them. “Eighteen managers and directors have undergone mental health first aid training with


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Cardiff Mind. We are actively planning to refresh this training, with additional staff expressing a keen interest in becoming mental health first aiders. “All 240 of Pugh’s staff members benefit from free and confidential access to Health Assured, an employee assistance programme that provides a 24/7 helpline answered by experienced in-house counsellors, legal, and financial specialists. We’ve also introduced personalised support designed to assist staff members facing challenges in their day-to-day roles. “A virtual suggestion box has been established, allowing staff to freely offer insights and recommendations to enhance their working environment. We also host regular fundraising charity events, such as Pen y Fan walks and rowing challenges, to showcase our team’s commitment to social responsibility. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we organised staff wellbeing events, including free yoga and reflexology sessions across all our sites, promoting holistic health.

The Yorkshire Garden Centre Group consists of four independently owned garden centres in West Yorkshire – Tong, Tingley, Otley and Bingley. They are passionate about workplace culture and supporting employees as Neil Barwise-Carr, head of people and culture explains: “We have 22 mental health first aiders across our four centres. They followed training with an external provider and were recognised for completing the course with a £50 voucher. We also have a dedicated web page for our team to access which is focused on ‘Healthy Minds’. This is a place to find out more about our mental health first aiders, as well as find other sources of information and links to external support. “Each month we focus our employee engagement activities on a specific topic. Our January focus ‘Financial Awareness Month’ included launching an anonymous survey to

learn what we can do to help our colleagues when it comes to their finances, providing links to money-saving tools, and advice on where and how to save money. We partnered with HSBC and members of our team could speak to an HSBC advisor to discuss their financial worries. “In February, we focused on ‘Time to Talk,’ where we launched our bi-annual ‘time to talk’ catchups between employees and managers. In March, we’ll focus on ‘mywholeself’ where we’ll encourage everyone to share something about themselves while celebrating International Women’s Day and Easter. Our highlight of the calendar year is our annual awards evening, where we crown our values champions – celebrating all the great work our colleagues do.” Hillier also values the happiness and health of its team members, and has implemented various initiatives to support this commitment which John Cole, learning and development manager talks us through: “One of the key initiatives is our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), accessible to all team members upon joining. This provides professional care services and counselling to address personal and work-related issues. Garden centre managers undergo training in supporting their teams’ mental health and engaging in supportive conversations. We also have employee wellbeing and safeguarding policy readily available on our Learning Hub. “We have designated 27 mental health first aiders across all levels of the organisation,

employees admit to being unaware of any support provided by their employers in the event of the passing of a loved one and Langlands Garden Centre is committed to addressing these challenges and bolstering its employees’ mental wellbeing during difficult life stages. Fiona Oades, site manager at Langlands Garden Centre, undertook Workplace Bereavement Advocate Training in 2023. “During the training, we gained an understanding of how grief impacts business in terms of financial

DURING THE TRAINING, WE GAINED AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW GRIEF IMPACTS BUSINESS implications, performance, relationships with colleagues, and absenteeism,” she explains. “The training sessions, accredited by CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and endorsed by the CPD Certification Service, are designed to equip participants with the skills to navigate the complexities of bereavement in the workplace.”

Garden Centre Retail March 2024



including key individuals like Emma Fell and Julie Diggens within the head office. These first aiders are trained to recognise signs of mental distress and provide support and resources to help colleagues navigate challenging times.” At Dobbies, several initiatives and programmes are in place to support the wellbeing of team members which interim head of people, Paul Green, shares: “In February 2023, we partnered with Wagestream, offering a financial planning app that allows colleagues to seek financial advice, plan budgets, and access a portion of their salary before payday. Additionally, since 2022, Dobbies has collaborated with The Retail Trust, providing access to digital resources supporting emotional, physical, vocational, and financial wellbeing. This includes the Retail Awards platform, offering exclusive discounts from over 100 providers, and a confidential counselling service added in October 2022. “Earlier this year, Dobbies hosted a session with Adele Johnston, The Menopause Coach, to provide insight into menopause. Dobbies has increased the number of mental health first aiders from two to ten in 2023, along with mental health champions across stores trained to recognise signs and equipped to provide support. In a recent survey conducted by MetLife, it was revealed that almost a third (31%) of


The Young People in Horticulture Association has also expanded its member wellbeing support by introducing three additional mental health first aiders. The move, backed by Perennial, highlights the association’s dedication to member welfare. The newly appointed mental health first aiders include Adam Stewart, director of Utopia Landscapes, George Holmes, horticultural trainee at The MacRobert Trust, and Jess Dabell, brand manager at Meadow View Stone. Perennial’s programme manager of health prevention, Emily McCurrie also shares: “Mental health first aiders offer an invaluable first point of contact in the workplace. Trained to understand mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, as well as the practical skills to spot the signs and symptoms, MHFAiders® are there to step in, reassure and support their colleagues. “The past two years have seen Perennial help to train MHFAiders® as part of a pilot programme delivered in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England. It’s been a pleasure to welcome all those in our horticultural community who have joined our network of trained mental health first aiders. The charity can’t do this alone, and it’s encouraging to see industry workers taking ownership of the mental health agenda and being proactive in taking it forward.”


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Perennial was instrumental in Taylors Bulbs’ decision to implement mental health officers, reflecting Taylors’ commitment to fostering a supportive work environment. Sue Taylor, HR manager, says: “We have prioritised mental health by appointing three qualified mental health first aid officers over the past 12 months.

WE HAVE VARIOUS INITIATIVES IN PLACE INCLUDING WEEKLY MOOD SURVEYS These officers are listed alongside general first aid personnel, ensuring all staff know their availability and are on hand to provide support. “We have also implemented various initiatives to promote a positive workplace atmosphere. These include weekly briefing meetings where department heads provide updates, and minutes are accessible to all staff. Our team also receive

personalised birthday cards from directors, Easter eggs, and Christmas presents.” Alitex, bespoke greenhouse manufacturers, ensures its staff wellbeing approach fosters a supportive, inclusive culture, prioritising personal and professional growth. The business combines internal programmes, external resources, and social responsibility to ensure employees feel valued and empowered. Nelly Hall, brand director, explains: “Our wellbeing initiatives aren’t just about ticking boxes – they’re designed to make our team feel appreciated and supported. We have various initiatives in place including weekly mood surveys, ‘Alitex Champions’ for kindness recognition, and Friday updates with video calls for team connection. Our rural head office offers local walks, green spaces, team lunches with local produce from family farms, and a relaxing garden environment. We promote ongoing learning and skill development through goal setting and support systems like the Nurture platform. “We understand the importance of mental health and have teamed up with Myndup to provide professional counselling, therapy, and life coaching services. This external support complements our internal efforts such as “Feel Good Feb,” which aim to promote wellbeing and camaraderie among employees.”

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New for 2024 Cordless Pole Hedge Trimmer

New Webb Eco-Friendly Cordless Garden Tools Now available to order from British garden equipment manufacturer Webb, is the new cordless Webb Eco range of garden equipment with long-lasting interchangeable advanced 20v Lithium-ion technology, for a more sustainable and versatile gardening experience. Designed for optimal performance with a super-fast battery recharge, the new Webb Eco cordless garden machinery range provides an eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternative to traditional petrol options. Quiet to use and cordless in design, the new range offers complete freedom with no power cables to get in the way or hold you up. Furthermore, as all tools within the range have been designed to be used with the same, easily interchangeable 20v battery, valuable savings can be achieved in running costs.


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Featuring a cutting-edge range of lawnmowers, line trimmers, hedge trimmers, pruners, tillers and garden blowers, the innovative new Webb Eco range incorporates Lithium-ion batteries which hold their charge and don’t degrade in storage, which is an important consideration for choosing garden tools which may not be used daily. Lightweight and durable, all products in the Webb Eco range can be easily stored in a garage or a garden shed, ready to use with minimum effort. With low emissions and lower running and maintenance costs than petrol equivalents and no power cables to contend with, the new Webb Eco range gives you the freedom to complete a range of garden chores easily and effortlessly. To find out more on the Webb Eco range and to purchase direct, please email or visit

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The lineup includes three meticulously designed models - the WEER33RR, WEER37RR, and WEER40RR - catering to varying lawn sizes and user preferences. The WEER33RR, featuring a 1200w motor and 33cm cutting width, offers precision and style with its rear roller, weighing only 7.1kg and equipped with a 30-litre collection bag for easy maneuverability and a tidy finish. Stepping up, the WEER37RR, powered by a 1600w motor and boasting a 37cm cutting width, effortlessly creates professional striped finishes at 8.1kg, prioritising user convenience during operation and storage. Finally, the WEER40RR stands as a powerhouse with an 1800w motor and a 40cm cutting width, offering adjustable heights, a 45-litre collection bag, and a manageable 12.7kg weight, providing precision, power, and versatility for a pristine lawn care experience. To find out more more on the Webb Rear Roller Range and to purchase direct, please email or visit




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Driving growth with banners



n the verdant world of garden centres, where competition blooms as fiercely as the flowers on display, standing out is paramount to cultivating success. Amidst an array of advertising strategies, banners have emerged as a particularly potent tool for garden centres looking to grow their customer base and flourish in a saturated market. This article explores the multifaceted ways in which banners can be instrumental in generating business for garden centres, highlighting their effectiveness in attracting attention, promoting sales, and enhancing brand recognition. Marketing with immediate results Banners possess a unique and dynamic capability to create immediate impact

and generate swift results in the realm of advertising. This immediate effect stems from their vibrant visuals and strategic placement, which catch the eye of potential customers and convey messages succinctly and effectively. Unlike digital advertisements that may be overlooked or dismissed with a click. Banners in physical spaces command attention, making them an unmissable presence in the consumer’s environment. They serve as constant reminders of a brand or offer, prompting on-the-spot recognition and often

immediate action, whether it’s visiting a store, attending an event, or taking advantage of a sale. This direct and tangible presence ensures that banners are not just seen but acted upon, offering advertisers a powerful tool for quick and measurable outcomes. The visual appeal of banners The first and perhaps most obvious advantage of banners is their visual appeal. Garden centres are places of beauty, and their advertising needs to reflect this. Banners, with their bright colours Garden Centre Retail March 2024



and large, eye-catching designs, can mirror the vibrancy found within the garden centre itself, acting as a visual extension of the products on offer. Positioned strategically at roadside locations, near busy intersections, or even within the garden centre, these banners serve as beacons, drawing in plant enthusiasts, casual gardeners, and even passersby who might not have considered visiting before. Food and carvery banners Banners are an exceptional advertising tool for carveries and cafes, thanks to their ability to visually entice potential customers with the promise of a delicious dining experience. By showcasing mouth-watering images of the food on offer, along with inviting descriptions or special promotions, banners can stimulate the appetites of passersby, drawing them in. Their large format and vibrant colours make them highly visible from a distance, effectively capturing the attention of both pedestrians and motorists alike. Seasonal promotions and events Garden centres operate in a highly seasonal industry, with different plants, tools, and garden accessories coming into demand as the seasons change. Banners are an excellent

BANNERS ARE AN EXCELLENT WAY TO PROMOTE SEASONAL OFFERINGS way to promote seasonal offerings, from spring bedding plants and summer perennials to autumn harvest decorations and winter holiday greenery. They can also be used to advertise special events such as gardening workshops, new product launches, or holiday sales, creating a buzz that encourages both new and repeat customers to visit. Cost-effective advertising For garden centres, particularly those operating with tight marketing budgets, banners offer a cost-effective advertising solution. Compared to ongoing costs associated with digital marketing or print media, banners require a one-time 28

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

investment and can be used repeatedly, offering long-term visibility. This affordability does not compromise their effectiveness; on the contrary, banners can achieve a wide reach, ensuring that the garden centre’s message is seen by a broad audience. With 8ft x 3ft banners priced at just £45 (plus VAT) and free delivery when you order two or more, you really can’t go wrong! Flexibility and mobility Another significant advantage of banners is their flexibility. They can be designed in various sizes and tailored to specific marketing campaigns or spaces within or outside the garden centre. This adaptability extends to their content, which can be easily updated to reflect new promotions, products, or events. Moreover, banners are mobile; they can be relocated to different parts of the garden centre or taken to off-site events such as garden shows or community markets, extending the garden centre’s visibility beyond its physical location. Enhancing brand recognition Beyond promoting specific products or events, banners play a crucial role in building and enhancing brand recognition. A well-designed banner that reflects the garden centre’s brand identity – through consistent use of logos, colours, and messaging – reinforces brand awareness each time it is seen. Over time, this repeated exposure helps to build a strong, recognisable brand that customers come to trust and prefer over competitors.

Engaging the community Garden centres are not just retail spaces; they are community hubs where people with a shared passion come together. Banners can be used to engage with this community, inviting customers to participate in events that foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. Whether it’s a banner promoting a local gardening competition, a plant swap meet, or a family-friendly garden craft day, these advertisements help to position the garden centre as an integral part of the local community. Driving immediate action Banners are particularly effective in driving immediate action due to their prominence and visual impact. A well-placed banner announcing a limited-time sale or exclusive offer can create some sense of urgency, prompting them to visit the garden centre sooner rather than later. This ability to generate immediate responses is invaluable, especially during peak seasons or when launching new products. About HFE Signs HFE Signs, a leading UK-based printing company established in 1996, specialises in producing high-quality, custom banners and signs for businesses across various sectors. Renowned for its rapid turnaround, exceptional Trustpilot rating, customer service and innovative online library for promotional ideas. HFE Signs is dedicated to helping businesses achieve maximum visibility and impact with their advertising.


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The Significance of

PEST CONTROL in Safeguarding Reputation



hen it comes to pest control, for many businesses the old adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” rings true. Not only do pest infestations cause serious harm to a company’s bottom line, but its brand reputation, too. Anyone in business will know that their company reputation is of the utmost importance because, quite simply, firms with a positive reputation will attract and retain more customers and better staff. For this reason alone, the most successful brands on the planet will stop at nothing to prevent and proactively manage pests. A failure


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

to do so can devastate not only physical assets, finances, and reputation, but also things like staff morale and, more importantly, consumer perception. Nurture Group’s national operations manager for Pest Control, Dave Perrett, outlines the ways and means in which pest control can safeguard reputation. Poor pest control can have a severe impact on a company’s reputation, especially in today’s digital age where online reviews hold significant influence over consumer decisions. Negative reviews resulting from a pest infestation can quickly spread across platforms like Facebook and Google, tarnishing the brand’s image and leading to a decline in business. For restaurants,

a study by Harvard Business School revealed that a one-star increase could generate a 5-9% revenue boost, emphasising the correlation

MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE PEST CONTROL MEASURES IS ESSENTIAL between online ratings and financial success. Thus, maintaining effective pest control

THE PRESENCE OF PESTS CAN QUICKLY TARNISH THE IMAGE OF ANY ESTABLISHMENT pathogens, allergies, and other health issues. By implementing effective pest control measures, organisations can show their dedication to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for employees, customers, and stakeholders. This proactive approach not only prevents potential outbreaks and illnesses but also reflects a responsible attitude towards public health. Property preservation and pests are also intractably linked. Pests can cause extensive damage to buildings, structures, and valuable assets. Woodworm, for example, can silently erode the foundations of a property, compromising its structural integrity. The presence of pests, visible or not, can lead to costly repairs and maintenance. By implementing regular pest control measures, property owners demonstrate their commitment to preserving assets and ensuring their longevity. This proactive stance safeguards property investments and enhances the reputation of individuals and businesses as responsible stewards of their physical resources. The presence of pests can quickly tarnish the image of any establishment, regardless of

its nature. A major retailer faced national embarrassment in the tabloid press when a rat was found running across the supermarket floor. Pests are often associated with uncleanliness, poor hygiene, and lack of maintenance. Whether it is a restaurant, hotel, retail store, or office space, customers and visitors expect a clean and inviting environment. By implementing effective pest control strategies, organisations not only eradicate existing infestations but also prevent future occurrences. This commitment to cleanliness enhances the reputation of the establishment, as customers perceive it as a safe and hygienic place to conduct business or enjoy services. Many industries are also subject to strict regulations and health codes. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to penalties, legal consequences, and damage to reputation.

Pest control is often an essential component of compliance with health and safety regulations. By proactively addressing pest-related concerns, organisations can highlight that they uphold industry standards and legal requirements. This dedication to regulatory compliance enhances reputation by showcasing a strong sense of responsibility and professionalism. In today’s highly competitive market, consumers have numerous options when choosing products or services. A positive reputation can be a deciding factor in attracting and retaining customers. A pestfree environment creates a sense of trust and confidence among consumers, reassuring them that their wellbeing and satisfaction are a top priority. By consistently implementing effective pest control measures, businesses can gain a competitive edge, build customer loyalty, and establish themselves as reliable and reputable entities in their respective industries. About Nurture Group The Nurture Group is a multi-award winning national service provider consisting of three established companies, providing ‘one-stop’ integrated services to a wide and diverse client base. Its pest control is one of Britain’s leading pest management services to commercial, domestic, and public sector clients, developing environmentally sensitive solutions for the detection, prevention and elimination of pests. The Nurture Group’s aim is to be the UK’s leading green service provider, achieving net zero by 2030, as well as being a carbon neutral business, delivering industry-leading services and building lasting relationships with their customers, colleagues and supply partners.

Garden Centre Retail March 2024



measures is essential to safeguarding reputation and ensuring long-term business success. Turning to the impact on reputation, pests such as rodents, insects, and disease-carrying organisms pose significant health risks to humans. Infestations can lead to the spread of




pring flowering bulbs are just sales. Taylors Bulbs sales team is out on beginning to bloom in our gardens the road now, visiting retailers to book their and in timely fashion the new requirements for autumn 2024. catalogue packed with Ian Clark, Taylors Bulbs national spring flowering bulbs from accounts/marketing manager lists Taylors Bulbs is hot off the Taylors Bulbs “top 10 must stock” press. Spring flowering bulbs spring flowering bulbs: are typically delivered to garden retailers during 1. Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ It’s the one that everybody August/September with knows and it’s the best-selling peak sales occurring spring flowering bulb by a long in October. They are an NARCISSUS way. A garden centre can never important product group, ‘TETE A TETE’ have enough Tete a Tete in stock as it providing a sales boost following always sells through. Tete a Tete is multion from garden furniture sales and headed, short-flowering, and great for pots or leading through to and beyond Christmas 32

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

borders – flowering in March/April. It’s a strong grower and flowers from various bulb sizes. Generally, the bigger the bulb size, the more flowers per bulb you will get from Tete a Tete. A classic planting combination with Tete a Tete would be blue Muscari which gives a stunning display in pots or borders. As you would expect, Tete a Tete has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM). 2. Snowdrops (Galanthus) Who doesn’t love to see a carpet of snowdrops in February to lift the mood? There are several different species to look out for such as G. nivalis, G. nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’, G. woronowii

5. Daffodil (Narcissus) Naturalising Mixed Larger nets of mixed daffodils (larger, taller flowering Narcissus) are still extremely popular. Customers like to buy them as a cost-effective way of filling larger areas. ‘Naturalising mixed’ is a good solution for those after a larger quantity of bulbs as they are assorted varieties that will all flower, multiply and come back each year. Look out for ‘daffodil naturalising mixed’ in 1.5kg, 5kg, 10kg and 20kg nets. 6. Narcissus ‘Minnow’ Minnow is the next bestselling shorter flowering Narcissus after ‘Tete a Tete’. It is a little taller (25cm) with daintier, fragrant flowers and lots of them per bulb, making it ideal for planting in pots near the house to make the most of the fragrance. The flowers have cream petals and a small yellow trumpet. Minnow can be naturalised in borders or in grass where it will flower, multiply and come back year after year.



and G. elwesii. G. elwesii are the earliest to flower, G. woronowii are taller and fragrant and G. nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ have attractive double flowers. Snowdrops look great planted with winter aconites (Eranthis). ALLIUM ‘PURPLE

fantastic garden performance, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ has been awarded the RHS AGM. There are larger flowered varieties such as ‘Globemaster’ and schubertii, and newer varieties such as Allium ‘Ostara’ which has attractive lush green foliage and is shorter flowering making it ideal for pots.

3. Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ SENSATION’ Alliums are great statement 4. Crocus Large Flowering Mixed border flowers. They look fantastic Large flowering Crocus vernus are extremely versatile, being great for naturalising in grass flowering up through herbaceous perennials where they will multiply and spread each year. such as Nepeta. Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ is a great performing variety with decent size They are also fantastic in pots or borders. blooms in May/June; in recognition of its Mixtures of large flowering crocus are the most

7. Tulip ‘Queen of Night’ Tulip ‘Queen of Night’ has long held the title of the top-selling tulip and for good reason. It has dark and dramatic satin, almost black flowers. Tulip ‘Queen of Night’ is classed as a “Single TULIP ‘QUEEN OF NIGHT’ Late” tulip; this group of tulips are typically very tall (Queen of Night flowering at 60cm) and some of the last tulips to flower (usually late April and into May). The dramatic colouring of Queen of Night makes it a great tulip to use in combination with other varieties. An obvious and long-established planting partner would be to combine with a taller white-flowering variety such as ‘Antarctica’, but ‘Queen of Night’ also looks stunning when paired with pink varieties such as ‘Salmon Impression’ or ‘Menton’, and oranges such as ‘Ballerina’. Consider arranging your display with these colours to show the dramatic pictures they can paint in their garden. Garden Centre Retail March 2024



popular format, offering great value and a simple spring solution. Definitely one to have ample stock of, and a strong display.


8. Tulip ‘Red Riding Hood’ Red Riding Hood is another staple of our top 10 spring flowering bulbs. Short stemmed, reliable and with beautiful, mottled foliage, it’s always a popular choice. Red Riding Hood was always thought of as a “rockery tulip” but it is great for fronts of borders. The most common use of Red Riding Hood is for planting in containers either on its own or paired with other spring flowering bulbs in a layered planter. A classic layered planting recipe would be Tulip ‘Red Riding Hood’, Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ and Crocus Large Flowering Mixed. As you would expect, Red Riding Hood has been awarded the RHS AGM. 9. Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) Bluebells are always popular with their fantastic ability to spread and multiply in gardens. Hyacinthoides non-scripta is the native UK bluebell. Bluebells are typically associated with woodland, being well suited to partly shaded areas or beneath deciduous trees. They are equally at home in borders at the base of shrubs where they will quickly multiply to form clumps, coming back and flowering year after year.

Mary Berry’s favourite daffodil when she visited 10. Crocus Species Mixed us in 2021). The second crocus mix in our top 10, Species Our Bulb of the Year is always a big seller, Mixed are typically made up of tommasinianus and chrysanthus types flowering earlier than for autumn 2024 this is Allium ‘Rosy the large flowering crocus and being Dream’ which has beautiful fluffy a little shorter. Species Mixed are lilac drumsticks, flowering at superb for naturalising in grass 40cm. We also have a UK where they flower nice and early Daffodil of the Year, which before the first cut of the spring. for 2024 is ‘June Allyson’. They will multiply and spread Promotions are available (naturalise) and flower every year. for larger orders of our Bulb Clark comments: “Alongside of the Year, speak to your TULIP ‘HILDE’ our top 10, collection packs are account manager for details always popular. These offer consumers and display ideas. a ready-made solution in one pack. Our And don’t forget amaryllis and added value gift. The opportunity for amaryllis most popular collections are our XL Tulip sales is huge. We recommend making a display Purple Rain pack (collection of purple and white of amaryllis and bulb gifts away from the main Tulips), XL Allium Kings & Queens (Allium nigrum/’Purple Sensation’) and Garden Great bulb area, in a hotspot location for maximum Snowdrop Collection. impact. The volumes some of our customers “Our new varieties are always popular. For are selling of amaryllis are really impressive, especially when they make bulk displays of 2024, new varieties to look out for are striking varieties. Top-selling amaryllis are: our front cover variety, Tulip ‘Hilde’, Narcissus ‘King Charles’ (grown ‘Red Velvet’ (red) and ‘Christmas Star’ (striped), by Taylors and named to honour alongside premium varieties such as ‘Marilyn’ our new King), Allium ‘Party (double white) and ‘Mandela’ (dramatic dark Balloons’ (multiple stems with flowers). Top-selling added value bulb gifts are large ball flowers per bulb) and novelty robin and hedgehog planters, along with Narcissus ‘Filly’ (which was the traditional but ever popular Delft bowls.




Garden Centre Retail March 2024

About Taylors Bulbs Taylors Bulbs is a fourthgeneration family business, growing and supplying flower bulbs since 1919. All its products are designed and packed at Taylors HQ in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Taylors has a UK based sales team at hand to help you with all of your requirements.


What makes a good

CHILD-FRIENDLY cafe and restaurant?



ccording to a recent Savills report on the garden centre sector, the cafe and restaurants within garden centres can now account for around 20% of a store’s turnover. As garden centres are increasingly being used as meeting places or areas to spend time for leisure, it’s important for the garden centre cafes to be as family friendly as possible. But how can restaurant managers manage this? Here’s a couple of ideas. Allow for plenty of space The chances of parents using the cafe having a pram or push chair is quite high – especially during school hours where parents are bringing children younger than school age to your store. For many, the temptation will be to get as many tables as close together as possible to allow for more covers, but, if you can, resist that temptation and afford your customers the space to easily navigate to their chosen table. It may also be worth allocating space near the entrance of the restaurant for dedicated

HIGHCHAIRS ARE A MUST FOR ALL RESTAURANT OPERATIONS buggy parking. This will allow you to be a little more careful with the aisles between the tables – but beware that many parents will prefer to have their push chair near them to store the essentials and extras they need for their children. 36

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Highchairs Highchairs are a must for all restaurant operations. Keep them clean, fix or replace any broken ones and make sure they are easily accessible and manoeuvrable. Most parents are fine with finding and moving a highchair, but your front of house staff could offer to help and even remove seats from the table to allow parents to park their little ones comfortably. It’s worth making sure that the highchairs fit up against the tables you use, or alternatively offer highchairs with the removable tray tables that provide children with more access. Entertainment The most common way for restaurants to offer entertainment to their smallest of customers is by having an activity pack, or a double-sided children’s menu with drawing or colouring activities on one side, and your food offering on the other. If you want to go this route, make

sure your staff are trained to supply crayons or colouring pencils alongside the activity – there’s nothing more frustrating as a parent than having the paper, but not the pencils! Menu The menu is the most important part of your child-friendly offering. Children can be fussy eaters, but also, you don’t want the parents of these children to think that the children’s menu was an afterthought. A menu of five or six main courses, a selection of sides and a dessert is ideal – it’s even better if the above is customisable as an option for one set price – for example, your customer can select fish fingers and chips, with a side of vegetable sticks and an ice cream bowl for £7.99. Above all though, making families feel as welcome as possible, giving them a comfortable space and a warm experience is imperative, word of mouth spreads fast at the school gates!

Introducing our Beyond the Leaf range in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Since our collaboration started, we have contributed over £190,000 back to Kew to support their research into bio-diversity and climate change.


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Can a garden centre do

grab and go catering effectively?



t’s becoming more obvious that a good catering operation is vital to the performance of a garden centre. Restaurants and cafes are making garden centres a go-to destination for spending leisure time, as well as retail therapy. So, can ‘grab and go’ add a new dimension to garden centres, or does it go against everything garden centres are trying to be? Grab and go is the process of purchasing ready-made, pre-packaged food to consume

outside of the premises that it is bought. In a fast-paced world, where people are busy, it’s an easy way for a customer to ensure a nutritional lunch whilst carrying out their day to day lives. Often heralded as unhealthy, and mostly synonymous with fast food chains, the grab and go movement has become ever more popular in high street stores, with the Tesco Meal Deal typically crowned as the king of lunchtime cuisine. Garden centres on the other hand have spent time and money on crafting beautiful, peaceful dining areas in store, which encourage customers to spend time relaxing on site, which often accumulates in more impulse purchases

from the retail operation, too. So, should or could a garden centre implement a grab and go offering for those that don’t have time to spend in a restaurant, but are visiting a garden centre during their day for a specific purpose? Stansted Park Garden Centre, a Your Local Garden Centre brand based on the Hampshire/ Sussex border, recently worked with bespoke counter manufacturer Proline to overhaul its cafe area. The new servery includes a highoutput refrigerated ‘grab and go’ section for both hot and cold food including salad, ice-cream and a ‘farmer’s table’ display for ‘help yourself’ cakes. Groves Garden Centre in Dorset, a seventhgeneration family business, is known for its beautiful on-site restaurant, Ivy House. A huge, glass fronted building that invites you in from the main road passing the centre. This building Garden Centre Retail March 2024



and the restaurant inside certainly makes Groves a destination, but the business has also implemented a second catering outlet – The Cabin. By the side of a huge koi pond, The Cabin is the place for Groves’ customers to go for take away coffees, sandwiches, as well as cakes, and it offers ice cream during the warmer months too. The Cabin isn’t open every day of the week, and when this offering is closed, takeaway is available from Ivy House. The Bawdeswell Garden Centre in Norfolk offers a full restaurant offering in the Reeve’s Parlour Restaurant, but also encourages customers to grab a sandwich from the fridges alongside a takeout coffee and enjoy in the site’s Millennium Garden. Another Your Local Garden Centre that has implemented a grab and go offering is Alver Valley Garden Centre near The Solent in Hampshire. Alver Valley was the third garden centre that Tim Mason, project manager at Your Local Garden Centre, commissioned. Mason says: “The brief for the catering side of Alver Valley Garden Centre was to build on what we had achieved at our other garden


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

WE DESIGNED A BRIGHT, SPACIOUS AREA WITH FREE FLOW COUNTERS THAT IS WELCOMING TO ALL centres, but with a view for this new green field site to be more innovative and have new features that would make it stand out from our local competition.” Having worked with HCE on a number of other projects across the Your Local centres, Mason turned to the business again for this overhaul. “We’ve known HCE for many years and they’ve worked with us on several other projects in the past. We’ve always been happy with the final result.” Steve Holley, director at HCE, explains the process that the company went through when

designing the front of house to ensure the flow of the cafe worked for both customers and staff. He says: “Alver Valley’s food offering is all homemade, so we wanted to create a servery that allowed the products to be clearly visible, but which could also cope with increased footfall at busy times. “From our knowledge of customer flow at other sites, we designed a bright, spacious area with free flow counters that is welcoming to all and shows off the food in all its glory. The tills are separate, taken away from the main servery, so when customers go through, they are directed from the counter, and can collect their cutlery separately as well.” It seems as though garden centres are looking to diversify their catering options, catering to those that do want to sit and enjoy the ambience of a garden centre restaurant, whilst also offering an opportunity to those customers who have nipped in for a short amount of time. Grab and go is a recognised way of retailing in the high street, and it looks as though it could become part of a garden centre business. But, the restaurants are here to stay.

Now is the time to recycle your food waste Bagging and binning is no longer the acceptable way, for your garden centre, customers and the planet. Fortunately, MEIKO GREEN Waste Solutions takes a no-nonsense approach to tackling it. We optimise both the environmental and economic aspects, covering everything from the recycling units to the collection tank.

BioMaster - the clever solution for food waste and food scraps A hygienic, economically and ecologically sensible solution for recycling food waste and scraps, converting them into environmentally friendly renewable energy. Used by all types of caterer, small, medium and large... worldwide.


BioMaster ensures a sustainable return for your waste, cuts collection costs, saves labour and floorspace To see how MEIKO can help your garden centre, visit Email: or call 01753 215120

meiko_waste_a4_2023_garden.indd 1

12/10/2023 15:11:01


WHAT’S TRENDING in the pots sector?



recent HTA Market Update published showed a strong finish to 2023, with general garden centre sales up by 2% on the previous year. Indoor plants was the big winner in December 2023, with an increase of 12% of sales compared to 2022. With this information, centres should be buoyed by the add-on sales opportunities presented. Indoor plant pots, to work alongside the houseplants category (which has constantly grown since the pandemic of 2020), offer a perfect companion sale. With customers focused on creating a bespoke home environment to enjoy, design,


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

fashion and style all plays into purchasing decisions. Merchandising has never been more important than it is now in the pots and planters category – customers are buying products that they can visualise in their homes and outdoor spaces, so displaying stock in innovative ways, but ways in which potential customers can relate to or look to replicate are essential when trying to make the most of the sector. There’s a few things to consider with regards to the pots being sold – namely shape, material and colour. Each customer is looking

for something reflecting their own personal taste or values. Colour often has an effect, as does the sustainability of the material. And with different tastes, spanning from minimalistic modern to traditional, it’s important to have a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. With so many options for plant pots, both indoor and outdoor, we ask a selection of manufacturers and suppliers what they have noticed as trends for 2024. Capi Europe “The trend that you really can’t ignore in 2024 is sustainability,” says Kate Ebbens from Capi Europe. “The pots from our Made With collection for example. These pots are not only visually striking but also made with recycled materials. You not only enhance your

Ivyline Martha Bowen, the marketing lead at Ivyline, says: “In 2024, design and nature harmonise with ‘Apricot Crush’ emerging as the Pantone Colour of the Year, infusing warmth and vibrancy into spaces. Sitting perfectly together, the ‘cottagecore’ trend is continuing to enchant with rustic, textured finishes and soft, muted colours. “We’re predicting a lasting love for terracotta planters, evoking a timeless appeal for this quaint aesthetic that is so beloved in Britain. The new Country collection from Ivyline is the perfect blend of natural beauty, traditional style and contemporary design.” Elho David Nicholson, UK sales manager at elho, comments: “In 2024 and beyond we predict that oversized pots are going to be trending. Extra-large plants like boxwood, acers, citrus and olive trees are set to be popular. This means consumers will be seeking sturdy yet stylish large-capacity pots to house their plants, such as elho’s new greenville XXL and vibia XXL.

Available in a variety of on-trend colourways, they are also made from 100% recycled plastic.” The Pot Company “We are experiencing a growing demand for Corten and weathering steel pots and planters and see this as a leading trend in 2024,” says sales manager Gabriele Olivari. “Rich, rust-like aesthetics of these metals elevate any garden or outdoor space, whilst their durability, longevity and maintenance-free upkeep, make them a favourable planter material. “We believe traditional terracotta and clayfibre styles will continue to present a staple trend throughout the year. And the more contemporary styles of polystone and glazed ceramic planters will prove popular amongst those seeking a modern look.” Apta Caroline Elliot, product & marketing director, says: “In a crowded marketplace it is important to offer something that cuts through the noise, and there is no question that all-new Apta Lightweight ticks all the right boxes. With Apta Lightweight we have created something that directly responds to market and consumer needs.

“Representing a new generation of indoor and outdoor pots; made from recycled material and recyclable again at the end of their lifespan, the range has been specifically created to fill a gap that has long existed in the planter category. Offering an improved product hierarchy, multiple user benefits including a 10-year guarantee, and a lower price point than the competition, Apta Lightweight is opening up container gardening to a much broader consumer demographic.” Primeur Jenny Douthwaite, MD at Primeur says: “Whilst chic greys still remain a classic, warm colours are set to make a big impact in 2024, as décor

IN 2024 AND BEYOND WE PREDICT THAT OVERSIZED POTS ARE GOING TO BE TRENDING schemes both indoors and out embrace rich browns, darker oranges and moodier palettes. Dubbed by some trend experts as the ‘new neutral’, light brown allows users to create the pared-back look they want but with a bit more depth than some of the paler neutral shades that have been in the zeitgeist recently. “Primeur’s new soft shades of Oak and Cappuccino tap into this perfectly, particularly when paired with the sleek, modern profiles of our best-selling Octavia and Sonata planters.”

Garden Centre Retail March 2024



indoor spaces but also contribute to reduction of waste. “In the colours black, green, beige and metallic copper, they look beautiful in any interior and will never lose their charm.”



CatFree Concept Research CatFree is part of the range of effective ultrasound animal deterrents, proudly manufactured here in the UK for over 30 years by Concept Research, who also make CATWatch, the only cat deterrent tested and approved by the RSPB. Perfect for the smaller garden, Catfree deters only cats, and is harmless to all species. MOQ’s are low, and Concept Research offer continuity of supply of all their British made deterrents. RRP £24.95

Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap Super Ninja Waspinator UK Ltd Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap is the world’s number one bestselling product for getting rid of fruit flies. Fruit flies are one of the most common pests in UK households with over 60% reporting them as a nuisance. RRP £5.99


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Waspinator Super Ninja Waspinator UK Ltd Waspinator acts as a scarecrow for wasps offering a sustainable way of controlling wasps with no chemicals, no maintenance and no mess. It acts as a visual deterrent by using the wasps’ natural territorial instincts. RRP £12.95 (per twin pack)

Codling Moth Trap Refill Gardening Naturally Codling moth is the major cause of maggot damage in apples and pears. This trap will protect up to five average size trees. With our own branded products, there are no extra costs or minimum order values. Gardening Naturally products use simplistic packaging and a combination of recycled, minimal and recyclable packaging. With excellent customer service coupled with quality, reliability, speedy delivery plus value for money, it is the prime choice for all your natural gardening needs. RRP £9.75

Products BugNet® Andermatt Home & Garden Want to kill pests in your garden, but save the beneficials? BugNet® spray does just that. Pesticide-free with a clever net-like physical mode of action. Makes 30L of spray from concentrate, making it incredible value with far less plastic waste. Can spray indoor and outdoor on flowers, fruit and vegetables. Kills a wide range of pests. Recycled and recyclable bottle with easy pump mechanism. RRP £14.99

Ready-Baited Multi-Catch Live Mouse Trap The Big Cheese The Big Cheese Ready-Baited Multi-Catch Live Mouse Trap has self-setting mechanisms for ease of use and are animal welfare-friendly. Dual settings allow users to monitor vulnerable areas and control as necessary. This product is durable and long-lasting for indoor use. RRP £30.00

Super Rat and Mouse Killer Doff Portland Doff Super Rat & Mouse Killer is a fast acting highly effective bait and poison for control of rats and mice in the home and garden. The wheat-based bait contains difenacoum a second generation anticoagulant as used by professional pest controllers. It also contains denatonium benzoate as a bittering agent to prevent accidental ingestion by pets. Doff Super Rat & Mouse Killer II Refill contains three 25g sachet of poisonous bait which should be placed in a suitable bait station. RRP £3.00

NemaSlug BASF Nemaslug is a natural organic pest control – environmentally friendly and is 100% safe for children, cats, dogs, other pets and wildlife. It uses the nematode Phasmarhabditis californica and controls all common species of small to medium sized slugs. One application of Nemaslug provides 300,000 nematodes for every square metre of soil, giving around six weeks control of slugs. RRP £15.99

Garden Centre Retail March 2024


Strulch was developed at Leeds 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. 13.5kg bags of Strulch are available on pallets of 12, 25, 40 and 48 bags. Delivered within 4 working days. Trade discounts available

01943 863610

Serve Better. Café du Monde Elevates Polhill Garden Centre's Hot Beverage Experience with Grand Cru Espresso Polhill Garden Centre's restaurant has become a haven for coffee enthusiasts, thanks to a collaboration with Café du Monde. The luxury coffee supplier has equipped the restaurant with traditional espresso machines and top-tier coffee grinders, transforming it into a haven of refined indulgence. Café du Monde's 100% Arabica luxury Grand Cru espresso beans are at the heart of this success. Sourced from premium coffee regions, these beans deliver an exceptional flavour profile that has captivated patrons. The choice of Grand Cru reflects Polhill Garden Centre's commitment to offering a toptier coffee experience that complements its picturesque surroundings.

The collaboration has not only met but exceeded expectations. The Café du Monde espresso machines have become a focal point in the restaurant, adding elegance to the dining environment. Customers now enjoy an immersive coffee experience amidst the lush greenery of Polhill Garden Centre, creating a perfect blend of nature and indulgence. "We are thrilled to partner with Café du Monde to bring an exceptional coffee experience to our patrons," says Josh Novell, the Director of his family’s business. "The combination of premium machines, top-end grinders, and Grand Cru beans has elevated our restaurant, making it a destination for both garden enthusiasts and coffee lovers seeking a refined experience."


cafe du monde ltd

As the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air, Café du Monde and Polhill Garden Centre invite visitors to savour the perfect cup amid the serenity of nature. This collaboration is a testament to the power of blending quality, ambiance, and passion, resulting in a dining experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.




SafeLawn Westland Trust Westland, the UK’s number one lawn feed brand, to help your customers achieve their perfect lawn. Westland’s SafeLawn is an all-in-one solution to help maintain existing lawns in a way that’s both child and pet friendly. The fertiliser is slow release and uses natural ingredients, including good bacteria, to help break down dead moss, grass material, thatch and leaves into nutrients, to achieve a thicker, healthier and green lawn in just three days. RRP £9.99

Lawn thickener with Seedbooster® Johnsons Lawn Seed Lawn thickener introduces tetraploid perennial ryegrass, with double the chromosomes of standard grass, enabling quicker germination and establishment. This results in a hardier, drought-tolerant lawn requiring less water and is sowable at temperatures as low as 3°C. Seedbooster®, a dual seed coating initially for professional turf, combines fast and slow-release nitrogen-based fertilisers, enhancing germination rates, promoting offshoots, and creating a denser sward while acting as a pest deterrent. RRP From £10.25 - £23.49

Nutrigrow Feed, Weed and Moss Killer Agrigem Nutrigrow Feed, Weed & Moss Killer is a four-in-one action compound fertiliser with added iron. It’s ideal for use in lawns, turf and grass areas. It will make lawns greener, kill a range of weeds, blacken moss and fertilise the grass for a thicker and healthier looking lawn. This topquality 20kg bag will cover 625m² making it excellent value for money. RRP £32.39

Lawn worm cast suppressant CastClear Castclear worm cast suppressant drives worms away from a lawn naturally without harming them and stops wormcasts. CastClear worm cast suppressant contains a unique combination of nutrients, soil penetrates and organic sulphur, which when sprayed onto the lawn deters worms for 20 days. This treatment is not a pesticide, does not harm the worms or reduce populations, but does deter worms. Apply as a liquid using a sprayer. RRP £9.99

Garden Centre Retail March 2024


Products Nature Safe Lawn Aid Hygeia Nature Safe’s Lawn Aid is a natural and safe lawn pest control solution. It works by generating a 100% natural enzyme (called chitinases) that helps deter the presence of soil and lawn pests such as chafer grubs and leather jackets. The unique wild Atlantic Seaweed (called Laminaria digitata) and chitin blend is enriched with minerals and amino acids that not only helps deter pests but also enhances nutrient uptake and encourages thicker, greener lawns. RRP £24.95

MossOff chemical-free VivaGreen MossOff Lawn Care is the world’s greenest, safest and most advanced product to kill moss in lawns. MossOff Lawn Care is a highly effective moss killer for lawns that provides long lasting results. Unlike most moss killers, MossOff Lawn Care is a chemical-free, natural moss killer that offers peace of mind due to its safety features and provides you with complete moss control of all moss in your lawn. MossOff Lawn Care specifically targets moss growing on lawn areas. The simple application of MossOff makes it easy to target and kill unwanted moss. RRP £29


Garden Centre Retail March 2024

Lawn Clear Vitax A ready-to-use spray, Lawn Clear tackles stubborn broad-leaved weeds without harming grass. It’s a fastacting systemic action, used to treat a broad spectrum of weeds. Contains clopyralid, 2,4D and MCPA. Lawn Clear RTU will kill weeds present at the time of treatment, but does not prevent them from germinating or prevent the re-growth of weeds following application. RRP £7.35

Patch Magic shaker Miracle-Gro Miracle-Gro Patch Magic shaker is the only patching mix that takes care of the seed for you, so you can grow thick, beautiful grass anywhere. Coir is a unique, superabsorbent, growing material which acts like top soil. Miracle-Gro Patch Magic coir absorbs eight times its weight in water like a sponge, and expands four times its volume to surround the seeds in a moist, protective layer. It continues to care for the seeds, providing them with water and nutrients, so they build stronger roots that survive tough conditions. It can cover up to 13 patches. RRP £14.99

Next Issue

What’s coming up...

April 2024

– TECH SPECIAL – Omnichannel retail Smart home and garden products Embracing technology Streamlining catering operations …and more!

With you from 27 March 2024 50

Garden Centre Retail March 2024

NATIONAL FREEHOLD LAND REQUIREMENT 1.2 – 2 acre sites close to major towns on major arterial routes with amenities in close proximity

Over 500 models available from stock

(C2 use). Residential Care Major well-funded and experienced developer and operator Quick decisions and excellent land values

Please send sites to Ian Blackett at or call Ian on 07808 895013 All information treated in strictest confidence

Please contact us for our trade catalogue: Tel 01460 75686

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Ben & Felicity are specialist recruiters for the garden centre industry, recruiting for roles that span the entire business space from senior managerial roles to hospitality roles.

WHY CHOOSE US ? We aim to break the mould of traditional recruiters. We regularly meet clients in person and even work in industry roles briefly to gain unique insights. Our approach prioritises creating meaningful connections between clients and candidates based on our experiences.

Contingent & Executive Search We work with our clients to figure out which search type best suits their needs. Wider Network Access We can offer you access to our extensive network which spans the entirety of the garden centre sector. Industry Insight We help you throughout the whole recruitment process, offering CV advice and interview preperation.


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