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W el com e

WELCOME TO...

Garden Centre Retail A

s a child, one of my favourite things to do at this time of year was visit the local garden centre with my parents to browse the Christmas trees, lights and displays. Since becoming a parent myself, this yearly activity has once again become one of my favourite Winter pastimes. It’s such a huge event in the garden retail calendar – the opening of the Christmas departments. It signals the start of an extended busy period at a time where many people’s gardens are the last thing on their mind. Diversifying is a key weapon in the garden retailer’s arsenal. Adding extra lines, offering more than a vending machine coffee and introducing play areas and the likes has seen the garden retail market vaccinate against the viruses that have swept through the high streets. But it’s not only the offerings that need diversity – diversity in the workforce is also key. So much so, we’ve explored the HR perspective on ensuring diversity and inclusivity on page 23. If this is something you excel at, I’d love to hear stories of your diverse workforce. We’ve also taken a look at mental health within staff, radio communication between colleagues and we have a wonderful interview with Gerald Ingram of Planters Garden Centres, who credits his people for the success of his business. utside of staffing articles, we’ve got a lee show roundup, a look at the latest products in garden care and garden clothing, and a feature on a Christmas favourite, the poinsettia. Enjoy your read,

CONTACT Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Managing editor – Joe Wilkinson joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 577 Head of content – Nina Mason nina.mason@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 Content and events assistant – Hannah Armstrong hannah.armstrong@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 Subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

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

ADVERTISING Head of sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 587 Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough Tel: 01903 777 570 liam.colclough@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kara Thomas, Kirsty Turek

It’s such a huge event in the garden retail calendar – the opening of the Christmas departments

Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Amber Bernabe amber.bernabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 581 Subscription enquiries – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 587 Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2019 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, non-commissioned photographs or manuscripts.

Joe and the GCR team

GCR APP

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

@GardenRetailUK Garden Centre Retail Garden Centre Retail www.gardencentreretail.com

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.

Cover image ©Stars for Europe www.gardencentreretail.com

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2-6 February 2020 NEC Birmingham UK Glee at Spring Fair presents a second exciting touch point in the year to network and do business with new, existing and influential buyers. Glee at Spring Fair will sit alongside the Cook & Dine; Floral; and Living, Accents & DĂŠcor sectors proving a natural fit for the sector, and allowing suppliers to benefit from the fantastic crossover of visitors. Say hello to new connections, ideas and opportunities.

Find out more about exhibiting at www.springfair.com

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Contents

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 46

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

October/November 2019

Poinsettias

I S YO U R W O R K PL AC E D I V E R S E?

FOR CHRISTMAS

CO NTE NT S NEWS

BUSINESS

06 NEWS

08 OUT AND ABOUT

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS YEAR’S TRADE SHOW

8

35 PLANT FOCUS

17 SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA

37 GIMA

20 MENTAL HEALTH

39 GLEE PRODUCTS

23 DIVERSITY

41 GARDEN CLOTHING

27 RADIO COMMUNICATION

42 GARDEN CARE

Staff wellbeing: what to consider How to build a diverse team Best deal on two-way radios

SELLING TO MILLENNIALS

MENTAL HEALTH KEEPING UP WITH GARDEN CENTRE STAFF WELLBEING

APPEALING TO A VITAL GENERATION

20

28

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019

12 INTERVIEW

Squires Garden Centre talks marketing

Catch up with Glee 2019

PLANTERS GARDEN CENTRES

GLEE ROUND UP

PRODUCTS

Gerald Ingram, Planters Garden Centre

A round-up of the latest news from the sector

AN INTERVIEW WITH

GERALD INGRAM

Poinsettias – a Christmas powerhouse Members talk soils and sustainability The latest from Fiskars and Durstons Garden apparel with great appeal The latest in maintenance products

28 SELLING TO MILLENNIALS

12

Value of the millennial market

30 CATERING FOCUS

Table or counter service?

41

27

35 www.gardencentreretail.com

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42 Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

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N ew s

NEWS CENTRE

Perrywood Sudbury celebrates rst birt day

A i brands boo ed or anuary urniture o

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ig name gift and accessory brands are returning to the January Furniture Show 2020. The four-day trade show, held at Birmingham’s NEC, runs from 19 to 22 January 2020, and features over 500 UK and international brands in total. Gifts and accessories are a vital element of the show, with many big name brands launching their collections for the year ahead at the event. Art Marketing,

Artko, Blue Bone, CIMC, Culinary Concepts, FiftyFive South, Final Touches, Gallery Direct, Hill Interiors, Kelston House, Libra, Malini, McGowan & Rutherford, Mindy Brownes, Minster tylish iving, acific ome, Pharmore, Scatter Box and SHH Interiors are all wellknown, big name brands launching new collections for 2020 at the January Furniture Show. anuary urnitures o com

garden centre saved from uncertainty last year is celebrating its first anniversary. Since Perrywood took over, it has created 13 additional jobs. They’ve also increased contractual hours for nine members of the ex-Wyevale team. During the last year, the team has turned the centre around. It has focused on improving the offering and bringing a Perrywood feel to the store. Perrywood has invested more than £100k in a new kitchen and coffee shop. The centre reopened as a destination for customers looking for home-cooked

food and Perrywood’s famous scones. Simon Bourne, garden centre manager at Perrywood, says: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our first year in Sudbury. “The community has been so welcoming to us and has supported us since we took over. We have some regular and very loyal customers, so we want to see as many as possible in store to help us celebrate.” As a £10m turnover business, the company employs 164 staff. It’s ranked at number three in the GCA league table of UK garden centres. perry ood co u

erry s urseries su ers dama e in torrential do npour

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erry’s Nurseries in Leicestershire has suffered damages as a result of floods. It will cost them around £4,000 to their business. Alan Dayman has owned Derry’s Nurseries in Cossington for 43 years. He said that, despite heavy flooding in , he has never seen anything quite as bad as this before. “The water was about six to eight inches inside the shop,” Alan said. “We had about 20 minutes to get everything up off

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Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

the floor and put cardboard down. It was so quick.” By around 9.30am, Mr Dayman said that the store was completely flooded and he had lost some stock as a result. He also said that because the flood was so quick, they didn’t have time to put down sand bags and chose to prioritise saving the stock inside. Mr Dayman estimates that the cost of cleaning and repair to the building will cost around £3,000.

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N ew s

Boyd Douglas-Davies appointed as HTA President

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oyd ouglas avies, C of illview arden Centres, has taken over as A president from Adam aylor of aylors ulbs, who has come to the end of his two year tenure in the role and moves to the role of immediate past president. oyd has over years of experience in garden retail. After training at ershore College, he spent years

at ebbs of ychbold, during which time the business continuously grew and was recognised as one of the ’s best garden centres. As C of illview arden Centres, he operates eight garden centres across middle ngland. A well known figure in the industry, oyd is a trustee of the reenfingers Charity and founder of arden e eaf ay. www.hta.org.uk

Phase one of Van Hage renovation complete

T

he first phase of the renovation of the an age arden Centre at reat Amwell has been completed ahead of schedule. miemans ro ecten has replaced a ma or part of the , m2 old roof with

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minimal disruption to its shopping customers. As well as renovating the roof and air vents, the entire screen installation has also been replaced. he new computer system that has been installed will control the internal climate. he ma ority of the renovation is now done at the flagship store for an age. he second phase starts in anuary, then the roof of the entrance and the roof behind it will be replaced. www.vanhage.co.uk

Newbank completes purchase of Trebaron Garden Centre

N

ewbank arden Centre has completed the purchase of rebaron arden Centre in ewton le illows. he family run company, based in ury, now has five centres in its group. he ewton le illows site oins a centre in oyton, obcross, alifax and adcliffe. on ottomley, commercial director, said e were in negotiations for a couple of yevale stores. t became clear that we were being used as backup to them for when the phone stopped ringing. aving close ties with ike ithers, former owner of rebaron

arden Centre over the years, approached him to see if a deal would interest him. e’re hoping that we can double the turnover in three years. t would be great for it to be on turnover parity with our ury flagship store. t’s an ambitious target, but it’s achievable newbankgardencentre.com

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N ew s O ut and A b out

OUT AND ABOUT GLEE 2019

The Blumen stand

Gardener’s Pick and Mix stand from Treadstone Products

A busy Apta stand

Visitors taking a look at family-run business Adobe Wholesale’s stand

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O ut and A b out N ew s This September, the NEC in Birmingham played host to Glee 2019. s usual, the who s who of the garden retail industry o ed in their numbers to the e ent to see the latest trends, produ ts and ser i es set to ta e the industry by storm in here were ďŹ e halls pa ed to the rafters with inno ati e produ ts, and the isitors too their han e to see what the garden entre industry will be offering ne t year

Beautiful giftware on APAC’s stand

The Woodlodge stand

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A display of books from Abacus

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019

BUSINESS 12

THE INTERVIEW Gerald Ingram, founder of Planters Garden Centre

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SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA Squires Garden Centre

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MENTAL HEALTH What to consider regarding staff mental health

23

DIVERSITY How to build and maintain a diverse team

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RADIO COMMUNICATION Getting the best deal on two-way radios

28

SELLING TO MILLENNIALS The value of the millennial market

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CATERING FOCUS Table or counter service?

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AN INTERVIEW WITH

GERALD INGRAM PLANTERS GARDEN CENTRE Gerald Ingram, founder of Planters Garden Centre, discusses how his business started, and the transformation and growth it’s gone through since

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lanters Garden Centre was formed in 1990, after founder Gerald Ingram left school with the goal of working for himself and setting up a wholesale nursery. The only thing Gerald knew he wanted to do was to work for himself. Gerald says: “When I came to leaving university, I had a few half-hearted interviews with a couple of companies, not connected to garden retail. I failed to get both jobs, so I decided to set up a wholesale nursery. I could’ve kept on interviewing, but I didn’t

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really want to work for someone else, and I didn’t want a big corporate career path. I came home, told my parents I was going to set up this nursery, and they were delighted to have me home.” Garden centres weren’t even on his horizon at this point. Even retailing wasn’t his idea. “My intention was to become a wholesale nursery. I left university in the May, so I had the summer to get the business up and running. To get a bit of cash in that Christmas, I bought 300 Christmas trees that I’d seen advertised in

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I nterv i ew B usi ness

the Farmers Weekly magazine. I retailed them from the farm. They all sold out, so for the next few years I bought in bedding plants to retail instead of wholesale. I retailed those, the hardy stock I grew myself, and the Christmas trees from the farm on selected weekends of the year. I made a bit of a living out of that. “I had people coming to me at the farm and telling me Tamworth needed a garden centre. We managed to get planning permission in January 1990 for a very small garden centre. It was 2,000sq ft which is about the size of an average high street store. That was a glasshouse, and we had a plantarea off the side. That was a success straight away. We’ve developed the garden centre nearly every year since.“ Growth Growth has been at the top of Planters’ business plan. Year two saw the inclusion of aquatics, and additional facilities were then added on a yearly basis. The year 2000 was a crucial year for the business. “We purchased our second site,” Gerald explains. “We bought Garden King garden centre in Swadlincote, which was a 20-minute journey away from the original Tamworth centre.” The business also developed its catering option, taking back the tearoom which was held by a concession, as well as creating a 120-seater restaurant. Fifteen years later, this was also demolished to make way for a 400-seater restaurant. In 2005, the business expanded further. Gerald says: “We bought Bretby Nurseries, which is just around the corner from Garden King. That’s now called Planters at Bretby, which is a similar garden

centre to our Tamworth one. It’s not the same size, but it’s a similar concept.” The chains Midway through last year, Gerald and the team at Planters entered into the bidding for 15 of the Wyevale garden centres. “We did put in a bid on 15 of the centres, but we got re ected in the first round. I was happy with the bids that we put in. I’m not saying that anyone has overpaid for Wyevale centres, but they were fully valued,” he says. Gerald wasn’t surprised that the Wyevale centres were sold off. “Whenever you get a lot of outside money coming into this trade, they obviously want a high return. Garden centres have proved to be unsuccessful when they’re in the hands of investors. I wasn’t too surprised, but Wyevale were very brave in what they did. Clearly, they must have tried to market it as a whole, but they didn’t get any takers.” Competition It has changed the local competitive landscape, though. Previously, Planters was competing against two Wyevale stores and a Dobbies centre. Now, it has two Dobbies centres and Blue Diamond has entered the fray. On his new competition, Gerald says: “I like the Blue Diamond operation. They do a good job at bringing in products you don’t see in other garden centres. Alan Roper has done a good job of it.” Other centres that Gerald admires are Bents, Barton Grange, and more locally to them, St Peters and Poplars. Gerald says: “It’s possible to concentrate too much on what

Bretby

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Gerald and Christine

We’ve had a record year in all three centres for turnover and for ofit t ea n that we can do that other people are doing and not enough on doing your job right. We do visit other garden centres. “To be honest, if you’re doing your job right, it doesn’t really matter what other people are doing to a certain degree. The high street or the retail parks can give us as much inspiration as other garden centres.” Back in the early days of the business, Planters joined the HTA organised Retail Business Improvement Scheme (RBIS). Gerald explains: “At that time, we were the smallest garden centre in this group. It would amaze me that people like Graham Bicker who was the owner of Melbicks Garden Centre before it changed hands, and others who were running much bigger operations that ours, would spend time in my business advising me on my operation which was minute compared to those. Equally, when I went to their centres, they would take my advice as well. “We’re now the largest player in our local RBIS group, and it still works both ways. I’m learning about what the other guys are doing. You’re never too big to learn from smaller players. You can look to the big players, of course, but you can learn just as much from the smaller ones.” Success Gerald attributes the success of the Planters business to the people, staff and customer within the business. He says: “It’s all about our people, and how our staff and managers interact with the public. We try to be a friendly, local centre in every case. People get to know you. 

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B usi ness I nterv i ew

Tamworth restaurant

We have people coming into our restaurants for their meals nearly every day. We’re part of the local community. “It’s about giving a good, friendly service and having product on the shelf. That could be one of the downfalls of a lot of the chains – they think they don’t need a certain product at a certain time of year, and customers soon get weary of turning up and not seeing the product a couple of times. We’re a garden centre days a year. t might be difficult to see that when you come in and see our Christmas decorations, but we are.” He also believes that garden centres are now part of the entertainment sector. “We’re putting on weekend events, giving customers the best cup

Coffee Shop at Tamworth

We’ll see a growth in the entertainment side of garden centres, with more restaurants entering the arena of coffee or a nice meal, and able to entertain children for two hours in school holidays. It’s all those sorts of things that bring people through our doors,” he says. Challenges Like most businesses, Gerald says it is the increasing costs of running a business that

Tamworth from above

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is the biggest challenge for his business. is staffing costs have increased, from approximately 15 to 16% on sales, to nearer 20% over the past six years. He says: “We must maintain our profitability. f we are not profitable, then the whole business falls. Fortunately, this year has been a good one. We have had a record year in all three centres for turnover and for profit. t is reassuring that we can do that.” But it is not all bad. Unemployment is low in the area and Planters is a desirable workplace for staff. It is also a good employer that is able to attract the type of people that it and the industry is looking for. The future It seems as though the drive for business growth is unlikely to subside, too. Planters is an ambitious business, and the business is looking to maximise turnover at each of the three sites. “We know that’s the way to make them more profitable and to guarantee their existence as the costs keep going up. We’re not averse to looking for other sites in the midlands if the right site came up. I haven’t done this alone either. My wife Christine has been with me and we have developed it together,” he says. In terms of the future for the industry, Gerald says we will see a growth in the entertainment side of garden centres, with more restaurants entering the arena. He also says that gardening will come back to the core of businesses, believing that this angle can’t be lost as it’s the reason that garden centres have been so successful, when dark days have hung over the high street. ◗

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

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ow! out n day e r u y to broch New ur free cop yo Order

Helping garden centre retailers grow for over 50 years We are incredibly proud of our work within the Garden Centre industry. Whether you are looking to refurbish your existing site, expand your customer offering or tie in your brand for an expanded portfolio, we would be delighted to help.

www.fordingbridge.co.uk info@fordingbridge.co.uk 01243 55 44 55

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S oci al M edi a B usi ness

SUCCESSFUL

SOCIAL MEDIA The Squires Woking team created a lovely display in September using an old Mini

Karen Smith of Squire’s Garden Centres discusses the importance of social media and potential ways to attract and engage the public to your business The garden centre retail industry is an ever-changing business. With products and services constantly shifting in tandem with the seasons, this provides rich content for social media. Successful social media content is reliant on a variety of factors. There is a need to make content relevant and inspiring – highlighting passion, expertise and knowledge proves popular. We talked to Karen Smith, head of marketing for Squire’s Garden Centres, to to help understand what makes content successful. She explains: “We make sure that there are not too many sales-driven posts. If you are selling things all the time, people will switch off. We make our content varied and people are very receptive to it.”

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If you are selling things all the time people will switch off. We make our content varied and people are very receptive to it The benefits of social media for garden centres We currently live in a world in which traditional advertising is no longer competitive. Social media not only allows for incredible outreach and networking, but also allows for interactivity that can be very valuable for trades. 

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When used correctly, it can help businesses drive footfall and sales as well as helping to get across the breadth of a companies offering and expertise. It’s a cost effective and easy way to communicate and interact with customers. Karen says: “All our centres have their own Facebook location. This means that we can make our messages relevant to the areas where customers live. For example, our centre in Badshot Lea recently had a refurbishment with a new plant canopy and toilets. During the building work we had to temporarily close the play area, but we were regularly able to update our customers – who later commented that they really appreciated being kept informed.”

Businesses need to have multiple social media ideas in their back pocket to keep their customers engaging with their posts Deciding what to post The toughest part of running social media is coming up with new ideas. Followers expect content and businesses are expected to deliver. Garden centres need to have multiple social media ideas in their back pocket to keep their customers engaging with their posts. Within garden centres, beautiful plant displays are always well received. “Our Woking team did a lovely display in September using an old Mini Cooper. The posts were a great success. It also started conversations with customers and drove people to the centre,” she explains. Competitions and events are always popular on social media. They provide great opportunity for interaction, can spread online very quickly and are a brilliant way of telling your customers about products. Measuring your success aving data at your fingertips is the prime reason that social media has taken the lead within the marketing industry. It allows your garden centre to get to know the audience and reach your local community, immediately allowing you to see what posts are successful and what your audience chooses not to interact with. Karen explains that ROI (return on investment) is a great way to

18

track success: “Referral to our website, click through rate and conversions. Although our website is not fully e-commerce, customers can buy things from our site. So, tracking the conversion rate from social media ads is really important.” The best performing platforms Social media sites for business is one of the cheapest forms of marketing available. But deciding what social media you invest in can get confusing. Do you invest in all of them? And which social media sites will provide the most ROI? With the total number of active social media users closing in on three billion people, no matter which social media sites you decide to invest in, you have a high chance of reaching customers that you may not have reached otherwise. People purchasing from business on social media are now spending approximately 20% to 40% more money on companies that are using social media. Karen says: “Facebook performs best for us now, providing the strongest reach and engagement. Interestingly, around 90% of the people that our posts reach and engage with are female. We also know that Instagram is a growing channel for us, and something that we are focusing more attention on.” ◗

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Squire’s social media www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk www.facebook.com/SquiresGC www.twitter.com/SquiresGC www.pinterest.com/SquiresGC www.instagram.com/squires_gc

ABOUT Squire’s Garden Centres is a successful family-owned horticulture business that serves the local community. There are 16 Squires’ Garden Centres to discover across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, West London and Berkshire. Squire’s offers a wide range of quality plants and garden projects together with an extensive selection of garden furniture, houseplants and gifts. They continue their drive towards customer excellence with their highly qualified and experienced horticultural staff on hand to help with plant related questions. www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk

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7/19/A

5/18/A

2130cm POSITION: Full Sun (8-12") SOW: Jan-Dec

The ultimate 'easy care' houseplant

1-10cm POSITION: Full sun (1/3"-4") SOW: Jan-Aug

COFFEE PLANT

HOUSEPLANTS MEXICAN CIGAR PLANT

HOUSEPLANTS

Blaze Collection

BAT FLOWER

LITHOPS (Living Stones)

Grow your own coffee plant!

Exotic tubular flowers

An astonishing array of colours

Unusual bat shaped flowers

Multi-coloured living stones

Barista

Cuphea ignea scarlet

HOUSEPLANTS

COLEUS

Gem Stones Collection

HOUSEPLANTS

HOUSEPLANTS

30POSITION: Partial Shade 40cm SOW: Jan-Dec (12-16") FLOWERS: Mar-Sep

Beautiful 'feathery' leaves

ASPARAGUS FERN HOUSEPLANTS

SUTT

SUTT

14 20 51

14 20 49

14 20 52

Contains

5

Contains

10

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

Seeds

LITHOPS (Living Stones) Gem Stones Collection

150 Seeds

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

COLEUS

45

Sow

Plant out

14 20 47

Average Contents

Seeds

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

COFFEE PLANT Barista

Sow

Flowers

100 Seeds

Sow

SUTT

SOWING AND GROWING

Sow in a propagator on a windowsill at approx. 18-23°C (6473°F) into good quality moist compost. Do not exclude light or let them dry out, but avoid direct sunlight. Germination up to 3 months. Transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3") pots and grow on. Cacti seedlings are very slow growing, so may look similar for several weeks. Grow on in a sunny spot and your cacti ma pro uce an attracti e o er.

HELPFUL HINT

HELPFUL HINT

HELPFUL HINT

Plants are unlikely to produce coffee beans in the UK.

Requires well-drained soil

URBAN CACTUS COLLECTION • Create a modern 'chic' look • Grow in lots of containers • Perfect for a sunny windowsill

Flowers

SOWING AND GROWING

SOWING AND GROWING

Soak seed for 24 hours prior to sowing. Fill a pot (approx 13cm (5") deep) with moist vermiculite or compost. Place one co ee ean, at si e o n in the centre o each pot approx 2.5cm (1") deep then gently cover with vermiculite. Cover with clear plastic to retain moisture. Keep moist. Keep temperature at 24-27ºC (75-80ºF). Germination takes approx 60 to 120 days. Pot on when the roots come through the base. Note: Coffee plants are slow growing and can take up to 9 months before really beginning to establish.

Sow in a propagator at 18-20°C (64-68°F) into moist welldrained seed compost. Cover lightly with compost as light is needed for germination. Germination takes 7-21 days approx. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle to in i i ual cells or cm ( ") pots, an then finall trans er to 15-20cm (6-8") pots. Plants can also be used as exotic bedding plants during summer. Plants can be kept at 20-30cm (8-12") tall with light pruning.

Group plants together in different pots for a modern look.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

14 20 52

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10

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

Seeds

MEXICAN CIGAR PLANT

• Luscious, green leaves • Clusters of scented white flowers • Glorious red berries

• Perfect to grow on a sunny windowsill • Well-branched plants • Flowers resemble lit cigars

Sow

SOWING AND GROWING

HELPFUL HINT Pinch out to produce a branching habit. Darker colours can tolerate more sun.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

Contains

Average Contents BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN SEEDSMEN SUTTONS CONSUMER PRODUCTS LIMITED

Blaze Collection

• Brightly coloured houseplant • Variety of different leaf markings • Year round colour

Flowers

SOWING AND GROWING

Sow in a propagator on a windowsill or in pots or trays at approx. 15-20°C (59-68°F) using a good quality, moist compost. Do not cover as the seed needs light to germinate, but keep away from direct sunlight and maintain moisture Germination up to 21 days. Transplant seedlings into 7cm (3") pots and grow on in good light. Finally when plants are large enough, pot on to their final 12-15cm (5-6") pots.

HELPFUL HINT Plants prefer high humidity, so either a warm bathroom or in a tray of gravel, filled with water.

14 20 48

14 20 53

Average Contents

Seeds

BAT FLOWER • Long, attractive 'whiskers' • Alternative to growing orchids • A focal point in any room

• Easy to care for • Always a talking point • May produce 'daisy-like' flowers

Sow

Sow

SOWING AND GROWING

Soak seeds in luke warm water for 24 hours before sowing. Sow on the surface of good quality seed compost and lightly cover the seed with compost. Keep in a propagator at around 25-27°C (77-81°F) or seal in a polythene bag and keep in a warm place. The soil temperature must remain high and steady to aid germination. Germination can take up to several months, so be patient. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into individual 7.5cm (3") pots of good quality compost with 10% added grit. Mist plants regularly.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

SUTT

...for brighter gardens

HELPFUL HINT Seed is very small, almost dust-like. Be careful when opening the packet.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

14 20 51

SUTT

S ON

Sow indoors from Jan-Aug onto a free draining Cactus compost. Lightly cover with compost or sand and place in a propagator at 20-23°C (68-73°F), or cover the seed with a sheet of polyethene or glass to maintain humidity. Germination up to 3 months. Once germinated, remove from propagator to prevent the seedlings damping off. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle to small pots and grow on indoors. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering lightly.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

06/06/2019 08:50

SUTT

...for brighter gardens

14_20_52.indd 1

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

14 20 48

14 20 53

06/06/2019 08:53

SUTT

S ON

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

...for brighter gardens

4/16/A

14 20 47

4/16/A

4/16/A

S ON

14 20 49

...for brighter gardens

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

S ON

...for brighter gardens

14_20_51.indd 1

...for brighter gardens

4/16/A

S ON

4/16/A

...for brighter gardens

4/16/A

S ON

S ON

06/06/2019 08:51

14 20 50

Average Contents BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN SEEDSMEN SUTTONS CONSUMER PRODUCTS LIMITED

20 Seeds

ASPARAGUS FERN plumosus nanus

• Perfect perennial with attractive leaves • Greenish-white bell-shaped flowers • Perfect to grow in a shady spot Sow

Flowers

SOWING AND GROWING

Soak seeds in lukewarm water for 24 hours before sowing. Sow in a propagator at 20-25°C (68-77°F) in pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover lightly with compost or vermiculite. Alternatively, seal in clear plastic bag to encourage humidity which is needed to aid germination. Germination up to 28 days. Once seeds have germinated, remove from the propagator or bag and grow on until large enough to handle. Pot on into individual pots of your choice and grow in a semi-shaded spot in a warm room. Avoid growing directly above a radiator.

for 2020

EXCLUSIVE HELPFUL HINT

Ideal to grow on a shady shelf.

Quality Control: This seed has been carefully tested to ensure high germination. Prior to use, store in a dry cool place.

NEW &

SUTTONS SEEDS PAIGNTON, ENGLAND www.suttons.co.uk

14 20 50

4/16/A

Introducing the new Suttons A-Z seed range, including our on-trend House Plant Seeds


B usi ness M ental H eal th

IS YOUR GARDEN CENTRE DOING ENOUGH TO

TACKLE MENTAL HEALTH? Garden Centre Retail discusses the ways in which employers can keep a closer check on the wellbeing of their garden centre staff

T

he WHO predicts that by 2020 depression will be the secondlargest single cause of ill health in the world. It’s expected that one in four people will experience mental health problems. We can all experience the overwhelming feeling of life, whether that’s work-related, or due to personal circumstances. For most of the population, work is a major part of our lives. aving a fulfilling role can be beneficial for not only your mental health, but also general wellbeing. Work can very quickly feel overwhelming, and in times of stress this feeling will only be multiplied. For many, colleagues are valued friends, and often rely on one another to meet targets, stay positive and be productive. Thus, it’s vital that we protect that value by addressing mental health at work. Mental wellbeing in garden centres It’s recognised that the environment in which garden centre employees work can often go against the grain, and overturn

20

the evidence that nature and green space are beneficial to health and wellbeing. The nature of work and isolation within the industry can lead to mental strain. However, as an industry, garden centres can be conduit for change. Your business will undoubtably feel the impact of mental health problems when they arise. Whether you’re an independent garden centre or a large landscaping operation, there’s a plethora of ways that the stigma surrounding mental health can be tackled. Independent businesses are in a unique position where they’re more likely to connect with their employees on a more personal level. Working in proximity daily allows employers to notice subtle changes in the behaviour of employees, meaning that if there’s a potential issue, they can simply ask: are you okay? This is far from a solution to deeper issues, but an important first step to getting on the right track. With larger garden centre chains, this may not be possible, but there are alternative ways to confront these issues. An HR manager should be readily available for workers to speak with when necessary, and having systems that allow staff to feel at ease is crucial. Garden centres should be focusing on understanding the diagnosis, making any reasonable adjustments, and directing staff to seek professional support if needed. Meetings and appraisals also lend themselves perfectly for discussing personal issues

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

mental health kr.indd 20

potentially affecting work. It’s important to create a secure environment where employees can talk in confidence and be met in a nonjudgmental way. If leaders of the industry can open up about their own feelings, it can reduce stigma and

Garden centres should be focusing on understanding the diagnosis, making any reasonable adjustments to work encourage others to do the same. Garden centres should encourage an open-door policy, permitting staff to talk in confidence to their line manager. roviding mental health first aid training can also be successful. It raises awareness and gets employees conversing with each other around the issue. Creating a culture of openness in the workplace and providing relevant training can also lead to positive action being taken, encouraging those who may be struggling of anticipants to consider seeking help. Furthermore, an unhealthy work-life balance can add to the pressure of our demanding work culture. A recent Mental Health Foundation survey found that 40% of employees neglect other aspects of their life due to work. Promoting a healthy work-life balance is vital, particularly within the garden centre trade, as work can be incredibly demanding. It’s important to ensure employees are ‘working smart, not long’, and for employers to encourage an open workplace culture, identify particularly stressful elements of roles and put mechanisms in place to discourage detrimental effects of the workplace. ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

17/10/2019 10:41


Here you’ll find the widest range of seasonal and festive decorations. We look forward to seeing you! christmasworld.messefrankfurt.com

info@uk.messefrankfurt.com Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

Advert template.indd 15

England DU: 26.09.2019

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Seasonal Decoration at its best

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leading innovation, indoors. Innovating House P lant Technology with our water based resin spray that fixes gravel firmly in place. no more mess, no spills, fully permeable and kind to plants.

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17/10/2019 09:56


Eco-friendly fire logs, made from recycled coffee

www.coffee-logs.co.uk

100% recyclable packaging

01458 442688 www.durstongardenproducts.co.uk

Advert template.indd 16

DURSTON GARDEN PRODUCTS LTD, AVALON FARM, SHARPHAM, SOMERSET BA16 9SE

17/10/2019 10:48


D i v ersi ty B usi ness

BUILDING A

DIVERSE TEAM Gemma Murphy, director of ViewHR, explores how to embrace diversity goals and why diversity is an essential part of any business

D

iversity and inclusion are very broad concepts that cover so many aspects of who we are, what we do, how we do it and why. Discussing HR’s impact on diversity in the workplace can be a conversation on anything from recruitment, performance, training, development, strategy or growth. The most immediate concern for businesses is to ensure that they are operating under a legally compliant

Diversity and inclusion are very broad concepts that cover so many aspects of who we are, what we do, how we do it and why framework. It is critical to have the right policies and procedures in place to ensure that both the employer and employees are educated and protected when it comes to diversity.

www.gardencentreretail.com

Diversity in a garden centre.indd 23

Following this, the next step is to review and implement strategies to ensure the employee population within the business represents varied cultural, academic and professional backgrounds. Also, businesses must ensure that there is a natural balance of gender, age and race being represented. Culture Building a diverse team is a great starting point to delivering on diversity goals. Ensuring that you approach your recruitment with diversity in mind can seem challenging. However, there are three simple steps to take. Firstly, write a clear job description covering all aspects of the role. Secondly, ensure that you post the role in the appropriate places to attract diverse talent. Thirdly, make sure your selection processes increase (rather than decrease) talent variance. Turning your diversity process into an inclusion strategy takes a little more effort. For an employee to feel included in their workplace they need to have the 

DIVERSITY

ACCORDING TO

THE CIPD The moral case for building fairer and more inclusive labour markets and workplaces is indisputable: people matter, and organisations must ensure their people management approaches do not put any group at a disadvantage. It’s also vital for the sustainability of businesses and economies. Everyone stands to benefit when we embra e and value the diversity of thoughts, ideas and ways of working that people from different backgrounds, experiences and identities bring to an organisation. It helps people grow and learn, tackles underutilisation of skills by enabling people to reach their full potential, improves decisionmaking, boosts engagement and innovation, and enables businesses to better meet the needs of a diverse customer base.

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

23

17/10/2019 11:04


B usi ness D i v ersi ty

confidence that they will have equal opportunities during their entire employee lifecycle from the obs advertised, the employer brand, fair treatment in the hiring process, how they are managed, trained, developed, evaluated and promoted. hen on to how they are governed, structured and protected under the letters of the law. aining your employee’s trust and confidence is achieved through developing these inclusive strategies, openly communicating with your employees,

For an employee to feel included in their workplace they need to have the confidence that they will have equal opportunities during their entire employee lifecycle

welcoming feedback, acting on that feedback, and most importantly, delivering on your promises. he difference between a business with a diversity policy and a truly inclusive business is that you can hear the diverse voices at every point of engagement, through its bottom line performance, its people and its plans for future success. eal diversity around your table would enable such capability and creativity, that it is hard to imagine. ◗

An interview with GCR’s HR business partner Matthew Trussler Do we have an equality and diversity policy? e do indeed. t reflects a lot of what we do as a business, from the way we recruit to how we train, develop and reward our staff.

applying for. his form is kept anonymous but enables us, as a business, to review and analyse the data collected to ensure we are compliant with our own equality and diversity policy.

What do we do to make our job adverts as neutral as possible? All our ob adverts follow a similar template, the language used is simple and does not contain much unnecessary corporate speak or technical argon, unless it is specific to the role. he tone used is as neutral as possible, therefore reducing the risk of being too masculine or feminine as this potentially discriminates against those who identify otherwise.

Has technology helped our company with regards to bias in recruitment? As a relatively small business, we do not have any specific software or technology to aid with reducing bias within the recruitment process. e always aim to have at least two interviews with each candidate, with two members of staff present at each. his gives at least four members of our team an opportunity to make an assessment of the suitability of the candidate based on a wide range of questions and scenarios. his is with the aim of understanding how well they will fit within the business and eliminating any conscious or unconscious bias throughout the process.

Do we monitor the diversity of applicants? A form is sent to applicants for them to complete prior to their interview, detailing their characteristics and the role they are

24

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

Diversity in a garden centre.indd 24

How do we ensure that applicants for job roles understand that our company is an equalopportunity employer? All employees have access to both of our equality and diversity, and equal opportunity policies. his is sent out to all successful candidates before they oin, along with their contract of employment. t is also available on our for all to access. ine managers are trained on all of our policies and also involved in their formulation to ensure complete clarity and understanding. How do we ensure our workforce get equal opportunities for training? taff training is based very much on the business’ operational requirements. herefore, it does not matter what level, length of service or pay grade staff are on to be given training. f the

employer and or employee can ustify the training is needed, whether that is re training or training in a new area, either internally or externally, we will support it. What do we do to make sure your staff (both current and potential) are aware of our policy? All staff are issued with a copy of our staff handbook along with their contract of employment, this is sent out to them prior to them oining the business to ensure they are aware of our policies and our views on . ur also gives employees access to all of our current and previous policies, they are asked to confirm once they have read these policies and they are all aware of who to speak with if they have any concerns or wish to seek clarification on certain aspects.

www.gardencentreretail.com

17/10/2019 11:05


TEMPORARY AND SEMI-PERMANENT STRUCTURES – A QUICK WAY TO MAXIMISE YOUR BUSINESS POTENTIAL. DESIGNED TO FIT AROUND YOUR EXISTING PREMISES

WHETHER YOU REQUIRE ADDITIONAL RETAIL SPACE OR INCREASED CAFÉ CAPACITY WE CAN PROVIDE THE COMPLETE SOLUTION

INCREASE YOUR RETAIL SPACE TO MEET SEASONAL DEMANDS IN A MATTER OF DAYS

IF EXPERIENCE, CAPABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY ARE VITAL TO YOU, YOU’D BE MUCH BETTER OFF LOOKING WORLDWIDE... T: +44 (0) 1672 565 060 M: +44 (0) 7875 027 369 E: enquiries@w-sl.com W: worldwide-structures.com

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FOR SALE FREEHOLD

FREEHOLD FOR SALE Successful Plant Centre With Coffee Shop Circa 2.65 Acres

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Substantial Opportunity To Increase Turnover & Profitability 3 Bedroom Bungalow

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Attractive Plant Centre Established Successful Business

New 50 Year Lease Circa 7 Acres With River Frontage Good Range of Nursery & Garden Centre Buildings Modern Restaurant

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With or Without 3 Bedroom Home

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quintonedwards.co.uk

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sales@quintons.co.uk

17/10/2019 10:00


Bathgate offer retailers a comprehensive range of high-quality horticultural products supported by attractive point-of sale material to help boost sales.

Nationwide delivery from a single pallet to a full load

01270 762 828 sales@bathgatesilica.co.uk

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We love simple, 828 we 01270 love762 unique!

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From simple header boards to complicated POS

SHINE A LIGHT ON YOUR GARDEN CENTRE BEAUTIFUL GRAPHICS FOR SIGNAGE, WAY-FINDING, RETAIL DISPLAYS, POS & SALES BOARDS

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•

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A well placed canopy, or covered walkway, can transform your outside sales space from a seasonal to an all year round destination for your customers. Call us today for a free no obligation quote on 01622 873907 www.clovis-canopies.co.uk info@clovis-canopies.co.uk

17/10/2019 10:03


R adi o Com m uni cati on B usi ness

FOUR THINGS

TO CONSIDER TO GET THE BEST DEAL ON TWO-WAY RADIOS John Walden, managing director of InTouch Ltd, discusses what you need to consider when looking for a new two-way radio supplier

T

he majority of garden centres in the UK are large enough to benefit from two way radio communications for employees. ith these, teams can communicate with ease across any given garden centre, from the payment areas across to the manager’s offices, and over to the back storage areas. t is tempting to utilise small, off the shelf models, but short range and low durability mean these often just aren’t up to the job. f you’re seeking a great two way radio, there are four essential things to consider to walk away satisfied.

1

Take advice on the right product for your needs

wo way radios are available in both analogue and digital varieties, with a range of models available in each type. A good service provider will advise on the most suitable product for your particular needs. This might not be a top of the range model for a small garden centre, for example, so the advice should be bespoke for your requirements. wo way radios can also offer additional functions, such as a lone worker mode, group calling, individual calling, or calling to a mobile phone.

2

Make sure you have a flexible contract

ith seasonal industries like garden centres, it is important to ensure that your two way radio contract can be altered easily, as employee numbers might change rapidly. Christmas is always a busy time in the garden centre industry, so it’s a good idea to make sure your supplier can increase your number of handsets from October to January, and then is happy to reduce them again.

www.gardencentreretail.com

Radios.indd 27

3

Ultra-speedy replacements

It is also prudent to ensure your supplier can replace broken or damaged handsets within hours. Busy locations cannot do without working handsets at peak times, so ensure that your supplier is able to offer swift replacements for broken handsets. wo way radio handsets do take a bit of a battering people are going to be using them in fairly stressful situations and, at best, they will inevitably be dropped. They need to be usable outdoors in all kinds of weather and absolutely have to be hard wearing. ou can always ask your supplier upfront how often they replace handsets for customers. Having a replacement every two years is about right to get the best out of your radios. They should also offer quick and free battery replacement. otorola is the industry standard handset provider and offers a huge range of options.

4

Good customer service

t goes without saying that you should look for a supplier that excels in customer service – don’t just compare companies on price. Ask who your account manager will be and get to know them, as they will be able to help you whenever you need assistance with the handsets.

All of these points can make a real difference to how efficiently your garden centre business can communicate and solve customers’ queries. umerous companies offer two way radios explore all of these to ensure you have the best service for your business and the most appropriate agreement moving forward. InTouch Ltd is a leading supplier of two way radios to the garden centre and horticulture industry, servicing and maintaining more than 12,000 units across the UK. Contact sales@intouch-ltd.com or 01524 833 588 for more information, or visit www.intouch-ltd.com. ◗

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

27

17/10/2019 10:50


B usi ness S el l i ng to M i l l enni al s

THE

MILLENNIAL EFFECT

ON YOUR GARDEN CENTRE

The millennial generation might not seem the typical garden centre clientele, but with growing awareness around the benefits of nature, they might just help to boost your business

A

sk millennial ‘plant parents’ about their collections, and they’ll gush with such pride that you’d think they were talking about their child. Typically, millennials are digitally obsessed and socially charged. The generation more valuable than their purchasing power would indicate, due to their aptitude for influencing customers. Many of those in their twenties and thirties say they would like to grow fruit and veg, with a focus on wanting to expand knowledge of sustainable gardening. This offers a unique opportunity for garden retailers – developing reach, footfall and turnover. While this age bracket may not be your ‘average’ garden centre client, they’re a cohort with exceptional influence and an ever-growing purchasing potential. A generation prioritising the environment and social issues is becoming a key demographic in the garden retail market.

Succulent social media Millennials are a group that traditional methods are no longer used on as far as marketing is concerned. No longer connecting so much in person, but on social media. So, ensuring your garden centre is making use of this tool is an essential advertising instrument. This is the generation that’s involved in what

28

you have to offer – how you can make the future greener and cleaner. Millennials are all over social media, and if your garden centre isn’t there too, it’s missing the boat – many are already beginning to abandon platforms like

Plants resonate with millennials as an antidote to this insane connectivity Facebook due to unethical practices, amongst other issues. Using and understanding their knowledge of social media is necessary to drive footfall to your centre. Share your knowledge Lawn and Garden Retailer has recently expressed that millennials are taking their first forays into gardening, and actively searching for useful information. If there was ever a time to serve as a point of information and value, it’s now. If you can make yourself and your advice easily accessible, then you’re on the right track. illennials are often defined by their relationship with instant-speed convenience. But after trawling through photos and walking into a garden retailer with a head teeming with ideas, these customers can be overwhelmed. Making the journey through your store interesting and interactive will appeal to this generation and guide them towards putting their ideas into practice. Garden centres can be unfamiliar territory. It’s a

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

Millennials.indd 28

world in which they may need assistance with finding their feet. The wellness generation “Plants resonate with millennials as an antidote to this insane connectivity,” said Eliza Blank, founder and CEO of plant retailer The Sill, in a recent NBC interview.

The majority of millennial gardeners turn to the internet for gardening advice and have a significant focus on keeping plants in their rooms, especially when compared to over 65s. Also, due to the intensifying costs of getting onto the property ladder, marriage and children, millennials are investing their time and money elsewhere. In a conversation with HuffPost UK, Lucy Ewing, therapist, millennial and plant enthusiast, said: “People are designed for connection and nurturing, but with more millennials waiting until later in life to settle down, we are turning to plants.” Plants necessitate less care than other living things, yet still deliver the chance to nurture, comfortably giving this generation a sense of contentment and purpose. he spending potential and influence of those in their twenties and thirties can be of great benefit generating business, having the chance to work with a new market, as well as passing down old tips and tricks to a new generation. ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

17/10/2019 11:20


EGC64091 Garden Centre Retail Ad.pdf

1

13/08/2019

14:12

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Miracle-Gro速 Performance Organics To meet the growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly options, Miracle-Gro速 has extended its full range, covering all growing categories, compost, plant food and lawns into the organics category.

Performance Organics from Miracle-Gro速 is the new breakthrough range of 100% natural and organic gardening products that still grows twice as big and is guaranteed to inject excitement into the gardening category. Gardeners can, for the first time, use organic products without having to compromise on results, meaning they can be proud of not only what they grow but also how they grow it.

NEW DESIGNS FOR AUTUMN/WINTER 2019 Please contact us for our trade catalogue: Tel 01460 75686 www.classiccanes.co.uk

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17/10/2019 10:28


B usi ness Cateri ng Having a clear food focus – Garden Centre Retail compares pros and cons of table and counter service at garden centres

W

hen it comes to garden centre catering, there are two popular approaches: table service and counter service. Each comes with its own distinct positives and negatives, as well as the ever-valuable opportunity for a business to bring a personal touch to the dining experience. From intimate coffee shops and traditional British cafes, to elaborate set-ups, indistinguishable from high class dining, garden centres have plenty of ways to mould these offerings as they see fit.

Table service By offering a table service, garden centres can bring a slightly more personal touch to the dining experience. This service could be the classic cafe offering, serving English breakfasts, sandwiches and tea, or it could instead be a much more formal offering with a la carte three-course meals. Some even delve into authentic international and gourmet cooking – Petersham Nurseries’ The Teahouse has offered up some of the most decadent examples, with choices like risotto and parmigiana di melanzane. Garden centres typically have opening hours that lend themselves very well to serving rotating menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Particularly in more casual setups, options for afternoon tea, English

Maintaining tables is a balancing act that is essential for providing a great service breakfasts and brunch provide both muchloved offerings throughout the day with quick turnarounds. Children’s menus and creature comforts like roast dinners or

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pizza are great choices for those seeking family-friendly appeal. While this option can lead to impressive results, it can also be much harder to successfully pull off. Great front of house staff is a must, and if the menu lends itself to a high class experience, you’ll be aiming for a low waiter to table ratio to ensure customers leave with their expectations satisfied. n top of this, kitchen staff need to be able to keep up with the service – as offerings get more elaborate, each cover becomes more challenging. Each business must consider how they balance their menu and staff to be certain they can comfortably deliver a great service. Table service also lends itself well to hosting events. Some garden centres cater for private dining, wedding receptions, workshops and themed courses. While this can be particularly challenging, the potential gains cannot be ignored. These

Haskins, Roundstone, West Sussex

Groves Nurseries, Bridport

can also provide regular, recurring events worth promoting, giving customers a reason to return or even encouraging new customers to explore a centre’s offerings. Counter service Counter service catering provides a much more casual option, with customers making their way to a till to purchase food. Diversity is perhaps the counter service’s greatest strength, with many centres using this to provide a plethora of different options. For example, Twenty Pence Garden Centre in Cambridgeshire features a food hall complete with a coffee bar, fresh bread and pastries, condiments,

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

Garsons, Esher

meal deals and, uniquely, a ‘ lde nglish’ sweet shop. reat staffing is still essential maintaining tables is a balancing act that is essential for providing a great service. Cover turnarounds will be much faster than table service counterparts. The food

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17/10/2019 15:44


Cateri ng B usi ness

CATERING FOCUS

TABLE SERVICE VS COUNTER SERVICE offerings at counter service operations are typically easier to put together, consume and then clean. However, in comparison to table services, the waiter to table ratio is much higher as orders are actively being taken at the counter. Generally, a garden centre with this style of catering requires a lower staff count, and less skilled members of team are required, reducing the cost of running. Combined with the fast turn-around, counter services can have a huge price point advantage. There are some challenges to this more relaxed approach, however. Maintaining displays is imperative as customers will often be browsing these to decide what to purchase rather than reading off a menu. Along with this, queuing can quickly lead customers to frustration, so an effective service is a priority to prevent disappointment. Dependent on the selection available, hot food can cause issues as they must be kept hot to prevent deterioration. Other considerations With both options, there are some concepts that can potentially make a huge difference to the success of your service. Perhaps the most topical one is the value

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of utilising reputable, sustainable local suppliers. If a centre can take advantage of a high-quality source of ingredients, then they can promote the great value of this. For example, Rosebourne’s Aldermaston location features a host of local suppliers that bring a great sense of worth and authenticity. Its gamut of independent producers include fishmongers, butchers,

Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree

A smart garden centre can play to its strengths and adapt these to best serve its goals honey suppliers, winemakers and brewers. Obviously, this option may not be viable for all, but is certainly worth exploring. Sustainability is a hugely important quality for any garden centre, and this will certainly appeal to customers who place significant value on trusted suppliers. Similarly, workshops and themed events can be a great success. As mentioned, table service offers a perfect setting for specific meals and workshops, but counter service can still capitalise on this. This can

be something as simple as Halloween or Christmas-themed sweet snacks in your bakery offering. For example, Petersham’s Covent Garden branch offers events like wine tasting nights afternoons and pasta making experiences in its delicatessen. Ultimately, both offerings have some clear positives and their own innate difficulties. owever, a smart garden centre can play to its strengths and adapt these to best serve its goals. For example, table service can be extremely casual or highly formal, and counter service can serve up anything from hot drinks to gourmet meals. Having a clear focus does a lot for both approaches, and balancing this with appropriate menus and staffing is a great path to success. ◗

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019

PRODUCTS 35

PLANT FOCUS Poinsettia: the traditional Christmas plant

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GIMA Members talk soils and sustainability

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GLEE PRODUCTS Product updates from Fiskars and Durstons

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GARDEN CLOTHING Garden apparel with great appeal

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GARDEN CARE The latest in maintenance products

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17/10/2019 15:51


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17/10/2019 14:59


Poi nsetti as Pl ant F ocus

A

s Christmas is around the corner, there is perhaps no plant more important to consider than the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), a red and green floral symbol of the holiday season. A small tree or shrub with a brightly coloured blossom and a somewhat star shaped leaf pattern, it’s perfectly suited to bring a natural, seasonal touch to a space. eights of poinsettia plants range between . and 4 metres, and an ever-growing spread of varieties on offer make it a versatile plant. With an appearance that ties the species so well to the holidays, it’s no surprise poinsettia has become an essential part of Christmas floral displays, with a history that dates back to the s. Despite deep ties to one of the most wintry times of year, poinsettia has a backstory based in a country known for its tropical and temperate climate. The plant indigenously thrives across the tropical forests found on the acific coast of exico, as well as the much drier Guerrero, axaca and Chiapas forests. nitially cultivated by A tec ndians, a th century exican legend which sees a young girl collect the plant and place it on a church altar seemingly cements the plant as a religious gift. he Spanish conquest led to the use of poinsettia in Christian traditions, and by the time oel obert oinsett distributed the plant across the United States in the th century, it was well on its way to being, in essence, the official plant of Christmas. oday, poinsettia is recognised as being a

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Poinsettias ‘Tis the season! Garden Centre Retail discusses the traditional and well-loved Christmas plant, Poinsettia

quintessential part of the winter season, an instant link to the ecember holidays for the general public. imon avenport, secretary for the ritish rotected Ornamentals Association A , explains he poinsettia is emblematic of the Christmas season. t is very dramatic in appearance, often

being a rich red, although other colours are available. In modern homes with central heating, poinsettia keeps well and can have a long shelf life in these environments that match its native habitat in exico. oinsettia production is estimated at million plants throughout Europe, with eight million sold in the UK. It is second only to Phaelaenopsis orchids, which sell around million plants year round. owever, such is the popularity of poinsettia that the whole crop is sold over four to six weeks in ovember and ecember, notes imon. iven that oinsettia is produced at half the rate of Phaelaenopsis – but for a sales period that is essentially six times shorter – it’s impossible for the garden centre industry to ignore the immense significance of

the shrub. As a go to spot for those seeking quality plants, it’s integral for any garden centre to have a solid offering of the plant, and if possible provide variety for those looking for something a little bit unexpected.

Poinsettia production is estimated at 100 million plants throughout Europe, with eight million sold in the UK ut how can garden centres ensure their poinsettias make the ourney from breeder to end user? Simon has a great starting point for display considerations ver the years, retailers have promoted a standard cm plant with five heads by showing the diversity of colours, forms and pot si es in which the poinsettia can 

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All Photographs ©Stars for Europe

cared for from the nursery right through to the retailer. Fairtrade schemes ensure that everyone in the supply chain is looked after. Sustainability is important in all aspects of

grown, everything from a 6cm mini to a 10L pot with a standard plant of 1.5m height. The range of colours from white, pink, marble, flecked, frosted and various shades of red and that are sometimes ‘enhanced’ by the application of glitter or blue paint sprayed over the bracts. “To keep poinsettia looking good, protect poinsettia from temperature changes and fluctuations in moisture status of the potting soil. Keep the plants in a light situation. Move the plants through the retail cycle as quickly as possible and deliver them to the final home situation where they can then settle and adapt to the environment. It is recommend to customers that they be kept around 20°C, and in bright, but not intense light.” Along with this advice, Simon recommends looking online for advice for enthusiasts seeking decoration and arrangement guidance. For those seeking further promotional assistance, Stars for Europe (SfE) have returned with new point of sales materials to take advantage of for 2019. Simon points out that many of their online videos, instructional guides and image banks can be of use, and their YouTube

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account (MyPoinsettia) provides plenty of content to explore in myriad languages. When it comes to the poinsettia’s festive value, Dr. Susanne Lux, campaign director for the SfE, says they are all about Christmas, explaining that they bring “abundant colour to a colourless season”. She also suggests that the SfE’s

campaign for poinsettia is not just about plant sales but about the industry uniting under one strength: “Promoting poinsettias through the campaign is about the green industry working together in the field of generic marketing, bundling its strengths by focusing on one of the most beautiful products on earth,

Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019

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and enthusing the consumer about it. It is not about competition on poinsettia’s share of wallet, but bringing joy to the consumer through plants. The reality is that consumption of flowers and plants is decreasing – they are a mass product that are being replaced by other goods, even plastic ones.” 2019 has been the year that sustainability came into sharp focus. Susanne notes that this is a challenge that is improving throughout the supply chain, from Fairtrade poinsettia cutting production in Africa over to promoting sales specifically to regions local to sellers to reduce carbon dioxide, something which is only heightened by poinsettia’s sensitivity to the transportation process. Felicia van der Weiden, brand manager for plant breeder Syngenta, noted that this extends to the choices made by retailers. “People should buy poinsettia from a reputable supplier to ensure they have been

The poinsettia is emblematic of the Christmas season poinsettia production – many of the new varieties need very little application of growth regulators, and there is the opportunity to use plastic pots that can be recycled.” Poinsettia is an essential part of any garden centre’s Christmas offering. While it’s been a part of festivities for centuries, it is far from being exhausted of value. 2019 has brought the most varied, sustainable and accessible poinsettia offering yet – Susanne notes that newer, more autumnal varieties like “Cinnamon Star”, “Lemon Snow”, “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Sun” have been particularly exciting. Through developments in the production process, promotional initiatives like SfE and inextricable links with Christmas, a timely highquality poinsettia offering and display is a must-have for any garden centre. For more information, please visit: www.starsuniteeurope.eu and www.sfe-web.com ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

17/10/2019 13:04


S ustai nab l e M ateri al s GI M A

SOILS AND

SUSTAINABILITY Bloomin Amazing

From paving to pebbles, weed prevention to water features every aspect of landscaping is under scrutiny as shoppers go the extra mile to track down solutions to help them create outdoor spaces without impacting the planet. his issue, we look at how A members are gearing up to meet demand in , with a focus on how sustainability is shaping the market for decorative aggregates, landscaping materials and soil improvers. ecorative aggregates specialist, Kelkay, explains that a softer, more tactile design has driven the transformation of its brand for . t says elkay understands that being market leader isn’t ust about marketing, so we’re introducing a minimum of recycled content across packaging. elkay is now trialling a new bag made from compostable plant materials for its Feature ebbles range. andscaping specialist and decorative aggregates supplier Deco-Pak is also launching a line of recycled, sustainable products. he new co tone range comprises new decorative aggregates made from recycled tyres, televisions and waste shells. Deco-Pak director Craig Hall said e are committed to reducing environmental impact, reusing materials and recycling. hile all of our packaging is recyclable, eco ak intends to become reusable or compostable by . Primeur, winner of the coveted word of xcellence A Awards, says its recycled

rubber borders and stepping stones are filling an ever growing desire for environmentally friendly materials. Primeur’s project manager Sarah McLafferty, says that the borders are durable and hardwearing, with flexibility that allows them to curve around the lines in any garden . rimeur also reports strong demand for its rubber mulch, made from recycled tyres. ith consumers increasingly regarding gardens as an extension of their home, horndown is focusing on exterior wood paints that help gardeners achieve the right outdoor look. Thorndown director Caroline Thornborough says andscape design fuses hard landscaping with planting, and colour choice brings these component parts together. horndown’s wood paint delivers great results from a high performing paint with architectural exterior grade C free colour pigments, and uses raw materials that are environmentally considerate water based technology. estland is focusing on its weed stop decorative ground cover, which prevents weeds taking hold, rather than treating unwanted invaders. t explains he blend of wood fibre and bark fines provides a decorative ground cover for natural weed prevention. t delivers better weed prevention than bark, and better coverage. oil conditioners are a vital element of retailers’ landscaping offering, and a new generation of eco friendly

Kelkay POS Aggregate Corner

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GIMA members reinforce their green credentials as sustainability tops the landscaping agenda

products are coming to the fore. Natural Grower owner Charlotte Beaty says atural rower soil conditioner contains slow release nutrients. t provides long term benefits for the soil structure, increasing aeration and water holding capacity, while loosening up compacted and clay soils. Another green brand Natural Grower Natural Soil making inroads Conditioner for Organic Growers is Bloomin Amazing, which is sourced from renewable by products from the production of biogas. As it explains ts multi purpose uses are a powerful selling point. t’s an ideal mulch, weed suppressant, soil conditioner and plant food with extra moisture retention. ecent coverage on the peat debate ignited interest in sustainable peat alternatives. Dalefoot Composts’ business and development co-ordinator, Lizzi Meth-Cohn, points out he peat free debate is gaining momentum, and we have produced a peat free mulch that’s made from sustainably sourced potash rich bracken. akeland old boosts nutrients, whilst improving drainage and soil texture. For further information please contact A on 01959 564947, or by email at info@gima.org.uk ◗ ABOUT

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

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17/10/2019 11:08


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17/10/2019 15:00 11:47


GLEE PRODUCT UPDATE

GLE E Products Two thriving companies, Fiskars and Durstons, are developing their businesses by introducing a new direct sales channels and producing ‘greener’ packaging

FISKARS

Fiskars Norden axe family

BUILD BUSINESS WITH FISKARS – ALL NEW FOR 2020

F

iskars is preparing for a prosperous 2020 as it announces a new direct sales channel for its retail partners. It’s launching a sales-driving marketing campaign, which guarantees 100% happiness and further enhances its existing comprehensive product portfolio. Go direct In early spring, retailers will be able to take advantage of a newly created direct sales channel from Fiskars. The new route will offer retailers better value, a more personalised experience and direct access to Fiskars’ expertise, knowledge and support with merchandising. Avoiding the requirement to order via a wholesaler, retailers need only contact their local Fiskars’ representative to directly access a broad range of the latest, market-leading gardening tools. With a minimum order value of £150, the market’s lowest manufacturer minimum order value, there has never been a better time for retailers to partner with Fiskars. Fiskars intends to support the trade during 2020 in a number of ways, including an innovative consumer focused marketing campaign called ‘0% Stress, 100% Happiness’. Following consumer insight into gardening and its beneficial effect

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GLEE Product roundup KR.indd 39

both on physical and mental wellbeing, the campaign centres on promoting gardening as an escape from busy lives, and a means to help people to relax and find happiness.

Fiskars PowerGear X Tree Pruner UPX82

New products, new opportunities Continual investment into the product range sees new collections added during 2019, as well as further enhancements to existing popular selections. 2019 Garden Light range Fiskars Garden Light collection for 2019 has been extended, bringing more accessibility for gardeners of all ages and strengths thanks to lightweight and durable tools. All new items in the Light range are made of lightweight, FiberComp and anti-corrosion material, to help make gardening tasks easier and more enjoyable. The tools being added to the existing portfolio for the new season include nursery tools, cutting tools, cultivators, leaf rakes, a weed puller, patio broom, forks, spades and a tree pruner. Xact™ range extension Popular amongst both novice and expert gardeners, Fiskars is building on the success of the Xact™ selection of tools by

announcing an extension of the range and helping retailers to focus on an increased offering in the premium sector and significant new turnover opportunities. Joining the Xact™ portfolio of digging spades, forks, a shovel, compost fork and the infamous weed puller, new additions include leaf rakes, soil rakes, cultivators and nursery tools, each expertly crafted using advanced technical manufacturing and materials. Hardware and hammer range Following extensive research, the hardware and hammer collection from Fiskars has been designed and developed with professional tradespeople in mind, whilst additionally providing retailers with the potential to increase sales. The new range consists of hammers, club hammers, axes, scissors and knives, all of varying sizes and designs, in addition to a clay pick and garden saw. With a variety of features designed to help the users as much as possible, the collection offers less shock, greater durability and maximum striking control. 

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17/10/2019 11:58


Products GLE E

DURSTONS TO BOLDLY GROW WITH DURSTONS

V

isitors to the Durstons’ stand at Glee this year, were well and truly given a galactic welcome by model, Alice, in her futuristic costume, and the message to the trade was twofold. The first, about the new, modern packaging from urstons which was recently shortlisted at the GIMA Awards for its design element. And secondly, a campaign close to urstons heart plastic recycling. By creating a futuristic character, Durstons wanted retailers to know that everything they do, both as a company and a supplier, they do with a conscience, and are constantly looking forward at ways to improve their work ethic and practice in line with everyday environmental issues. ne of the company’s recent recycling pro ects involved looking at how its own plastic packaging was being produced. y simply making a one off change to the over printing, the sacks into which its compost is packaged, (literally overnight) became 100% recyclable. It was such a simple change that Durstons then went viral in a plea to other businesses in the trade to follow suit – and sure enough the campaign quickly started to gather momentum. hilst this may be classed as only ‘one small step for retail’, if we all pull together and do our bit, it has surely got to be, ‘one giant leap for the environment’, says company spokesman an urston. After all, until a realistic alternative to this toxic material has been discovered, we are all basically stuck with it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reduce, recycle and re use plastic wherever we can. o surely it’s down to us all to do our bit . urston arden roducts is a modern, forward thinking company whose knowledge and expertise on the sub ect of growing media is well respected. At its omerset base, here in the , the company has a long history of managing its land with the environment in mind and continuously works hard to give back to nature whatever it takes out. n top of that, the quality of the growing media it produces, and the value for money its products offer, is well documented. hat’s more, you won’t find urstons products cheaper in any of the supermarkets, let alone in outer space. ◗

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www.gardencentreretail.com

17/10/2019 12:00


Cl oth i ng Latest Products

GARDEN CLOTHING Kent and Stowe Premium Comfort Gloves Gardman Crest • Ultra-soft hard-wearing glove • Multi-feature for carrying out general gardening tasks in maximum comfort • Foam knuckle and palm padding for added protection with breathable fabric back • Adjustable velcro wrist with closed cuff for a snug fit and debris prevention • ouchscreen thumb and index finger Launch date January 2020 RRP £12.99 www.kentandstowe.com Peter Rabbit Clogs Treadstone Products • Peter Rabbit themed outdoor adventures range for children, boosted with the addition of a new collection of garden clogs in both boys’ and girls’ styles • Garden clogs available in both Peter Rabbit and Lily Bobtail designs • This range is based on the TV series which appears daily on CBeebies • Comfortable EVA clogs • Foldable ankle strap ust flip away if not required • Easy to clean Launch date Available now RRP £8.99 www.treadstoneproducts.com

Shock Absorber ClipGlove Treadstone Products • Shock absorber provides padded protection and comes complete with the clever carabiner clip • Aluminium carabiner clip holds the pair together. Clip them to a belt Gardeners will never misplace their gloves again • Synthetic leather palm provides durability and protection • Foam padded palm, protects from jarring, ideal for digging and pruning jobs • ined spandex back provides comfort and flexibility • ook and loop strap to provide the perfect fit • Neoprene cuff for comfort and protection • Ideal for heavier duty gardening jobs such as digging, mowing, heavy pruning and landscaping • Winner at the GIMA Awards – Gardening, Clothing and Gifts 2019 Launch date Available now RRP £14.99 www.treadstoneproducts.com

www.gardencentreretail.com

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Latest Products Garden Care

GARDEN CARE Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance Johnsons Lawn Seed

MO Bacter Instant Lawn Tonic DJ Turfcare (Viano)

• A unique, new product that has been specially formulated to banish the problem of yellow patches and dead areas of grass caused by dogs urinating on lawns • Scorched patches in lawns will be consigned to history without consumers having to change their dog’s diet or behaviour. Even if slight discolouration occasionally occurs, grass will recover • Creates dog-resistant lawns that are tough enough to stand up to the wear and tear of family use, while lawns also have excellent resistance to low temperatures and snow, with drought-resistance, too • For consumers who are unable to renew their entire lawn, existing turf can be overseeded with dog patch resistant grass seed in autumn or spring, which will gradually introduce dog patch resistant grass into established lawns • Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance is 100% natural and safe for family use – the product contains 100% grass seed and nothing else

• 100% organic • Kills moss and moss spores within 24 hours, eradicating the moss problem • Child and pet safe, plus won’t burn plants • Reseeding can take place immediately after use, just rake out the dead moss and reseed • A single two-litre bottle will treat an area up to 200m2

Launch date September 2019 RRP £4.15 (250g pack), £7.25 (500g), £16.99 (1.5kg pack) and £44 (5kg pack). www.johnsonslawnseed.com

• Approved by the Soil Association as an organic input and by the Vegan Society as free from animal by-products • Slow release fertiliser with a balanced NPK, providing long -term nutrients for all plants, fruits and vegetables. Ideal to use over the autumn and winter when planting bulbs and plants to give them the boost they need in spring. • Improves soil structure and condition, promoting longterm soil and plant health • Chemical-free, peat-free and produced from a sustainable process as the by-product of a renewable energy plant • Helps to retain moisture, so perfect for hanging baskets and potted plants

Launch date September 2019 RRP £29.99 www.djturfcare.co.uk

Natural Soil Conditioner for Organic Growers Natural Grower Ltd

Launch date February 2019 RRP £17.99 www.naturalgrower.co.uk

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www.gardencentreretail.com

17/10/2019 10:44


Garden Care Latest Products

Weed Stop 90L Westland

Performance Organics Range Miracle-Gro

• Prevents weed growth and protects plants • 75% weed prevention than bark • 50% better coverage than bark • A unique blend of wood fibre and bark fines • Provides a decorative ground cover for 100% natural weed prevention

• Made from sustainable renewable resources • Heritage British manufacturing • Strong and durable choice • Award-winning product

• For the first time, gardeners will no longer have to sacrifice efficacy and performance when using sustainable gardening products • The new range targets gardeners wanting to grow bigger, healthier and more beautiful flowers, plants and food crops, but who are also increasingly concerned about the environmental impact and sustainability of the products they use • The new Miracle-Gro Performance Organics range covers all growing categories, compost, plant food and lawns • Over 40 different natural and organic materials were tested and used on over 1,000 plants to create the unique, perfect blend found in the new Miracle-Gro Performance Organics range • The Performance Organics blend provides maximum nutrient release in the right form at the optimum time for plant uptake

Launch date 2019 RRP From £3 to £9 www.twool.co.uk

Launch date 2020 RRP From £5.99 www.miracle-gro.co.uk

Launch date January 2020 RRP £9.99 www.gardenhealth.com

twool twool

Nature Safe Lawn Feed 10kg Hygeia

Gardeners Pick and Mix range Treadstone Products

• 100% plant-based, organic (vegan friendly) • Feeds lawns and enriches soil • Thickens lawns • Naturally suppresses weeds • Promotes healthy ecosystem

• Reduce your single-use plastic packaging use with the new Gardeners Pick and Mix range, featuring 20 best-selling garden accessories • Offers a ‘mouth-watering’ way to sell garden sundries • Consumers simply fill the ‘pillow pack’ boxes with accessories that they want for a fixed retail price. The concept provides a stunning addition to the shop floor and also eliminates the need for plastic retail packaging because the cardboard ‘fill boxes’ provided are 100% recycled and recyclable • The pick and mix timber display stand holds 20 display boxes and features stunning, stylised chalkboard graphics

Launch date September 2019 RRP £24.99 www.mygardenexpert.com

Launch date January 2019 RRP £6.99 www.treadstoneproducts.com

www.gardencentreretail.com

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Garden Centre Retail October/November 2019  

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