GTN April 2023 - Garden Trade News UK

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Gonks are not just for Christmas!

Spring is in theair andfive newGonk families areheretoshowjust what aspring makeovercan do

Tinkling Toadstools

Garden favourites for bright borders.


chimes for relaxation &mindfulness

Agardenkissed by sunshinewith pure, perfectlytunedmelodic chimes carried on the gentle breeze is the most perfectplace forpeace and tranquillityonearth.

Wall Art on thewing

The pureperfection of nature’scolours as lifelikebutterflies, ladybirds, bees anddragonflies rest awhile on garden walls and fences and become most welcome year-round visitors!

Come andvisit us at Glee (Stand6J20-20A21)

We arealso at HarrogateHome& Gift (StandB1) and Birmingham Autumn Fair (Stand 6A25)

Please turnoverfor areminder of our other brands

Formoreinformation please email info@fountasia.comorcall 01303873311
APRIL 2023

Singing and dancing characters

3D model kits

Wooden play sets

Formoreinformation please email info@fountasia.comorcall 01303873311
PERRYWOOD PROFILE Simon Bourne Interview BRITISH PLANTS Retailers securing supply Advice &information for garden centreprofessionals SALES IN THE SUN Spanish garden centrevisit APRIL 2023 Garden Re-Leaf Day 2023 FUNdr MARCH SALES SUFFER GTNBestsellers Analysis Re-Leaf Day 2023 FUNdraising for Greenfingers hits new heights
Getyourfreeticket! Grow your offering with Glee… Browse 1000sofproducts, from 400+ exhibitors,across 10 sectors

What if the sun weretoshine?

It’sdifficult butweall need to be patient about the gardening season really getting going this year.We’ve all been praying for warmweather andsunshinebut so far we’vehad colder than normal temperatures and morerain, it’snot very conduciveto spending time outside in the garden.

But we should not despair because although things areslowatthe moment theyare no wherenearasbad as March April and the start of May in 2018.Then “The Beast from the East” really put afull stop to gardening sales for weeks and weeks.

Back in 2018atthe end of week 16,the third week of April, the GTNBestsellers All Products Index was13% down on the same period for 2017 but after some great weatherinlateMay,

June and July the year endeduponly 1% down.

So far this year our All Products Index sits at 4% down on 2022, and thereare signs of summer actually coming in the met office forecasts, so we have plenty of opportunity to still haveagreat year

This years volume sales to dateare 32% ahead of wherewewerein2018and 18% ahead of 2019,soit’sstill evident that the post covid growth is still with us, the newgardeners just likethe older ones just aren’tactiveright nowdue to the weather

If we follow2018sales patternsthen plant sales will roll on longer intothe summer as will leisuresales, especially if the economic uncertainties starttofadeaway

Throughrose tinted glasses, as ever!


Garden Trade News

Potting Shed PressLtd DairyDrove ThorneyPeterborough PE6 0TX Tel01733 775700


Editor Trevor Pfeiffer

Advertising Sales Alan Burdon

Features Editor Anisa Gress

Digital Editor Neil Pope

Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer

Design &Production AT Graphics Ltd

Kirsty Craner –Design

Alun Jones –Production Manager

RobertTipping –Managing Director James Tipping –Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd

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Potting Shed PressLtd

Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed PressLtd who also publish: GTNBestsellers, GTNXtra, Glee Daily News and the Glee Catalogue, and the Solex Sun. Potting Shed Pressalso supply Garden Radio to over100 garden centres acrossthe country.

Director Trevor Pfeiffer

SMALL PRINT:All material ©Potting Shed PressLtd 2023 No partofthispublication may ereproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the expresspermission of the publishers. The information supplied in this publication is published in good faith and everyefforthas been made to ensure its accuracy.Potting Shed PressLtd cannot acceptresponsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligenceorother damage caused by relianceoninformation contained in this publication or in the vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company,individual or firmmentioned, is herebyexcluded.

1 Fountasia –First to market designs 6 Perrywood Profile –InterviewwithSimon Bourne 10 Green Solutions –Making the crossing from Europe easy 12 Tramontina –LOFAMember Profile 14 Solex2023 –A celebration of summer 16 Gardening in the sun –GTN visits aSpanish garden centre 19 Garden Re-Leaf Day 2023 –over£70,00raisedand counting 22 March and Easter Garden CentreSales –GTN Bestellers Analysis 26 British Plants –Retailers securingtheir supplies 28 What’sNew forPets –NewsfromPATSSandown 29 Looking for clarity –HTA Column 30 Newsalvias and retired roses –GTN’sPlanteria column 31 Packed schedule for GIMA –GIMA Column AdvertisersinthisIssue 4 Glee 2023 9 STVInternational 12 Fordingbridge 13 Hartman 18 Handy Distribution 18 Durstons 24 Bathgate 25 GIMA Awards 32 Solex 2023 April 2023 5

Ready for the seasons ahead

Simon Bourne, Retail Director of Perrywood Garden Centres, takes GTN on a tour of his family’s centre at Tiptree in Essex.

With an additional 88 car parking spaces opening up this spring, g bringing the total nowtomore than 400, Perrywood Garden CentreinTiptree is ready to invite even more peopleto fall in lovewith gardening

In his role as RetailDirector,Simon Bourne is involved with the Tiptree site,with its attached nursery, and a second garden centre at nearby Sudbury Having the nursery is one of Perrywood’s unique selling and point of differences

Below: Furnitureisdisplayed throughout the storeand dressed to showwhat it might look likeinthe home.

hanging baskets plus edibles and herbs being grown It allows the businesstogrowwhat it wants and when, plus with low travel miles, theranges fitsnugly intothePlant Hopemessage. “Thereare absolutely terrificsuppliersof plants outthere, and we’reusing mostofthem,”saysSimon, citing Farplants and Allensmore for their ranges of edibles “But [with the nursery] we can decide what we want to grow for our customers, and they can tell us what they want We don’t always get it right, but I think our primulas are the best ones I’ve seen.”

For spring and summer sales, the planteria at Tiptree is changed. Many of the benches aremoved aside to makeway for more inspirational island displays designed to show how plants and other products can work together in a garden, and outdoor settings. This makesthe spacemoreopen and inviting for people to wonder through, as well as encouraging customers to visit moreparts of theplanteria. Lights, furniture, large pots andstatues all become partofdisplays helping to attract spontaneous sales. Forexample, aspecimencamelliaseen in full flowerismorelikely to sell as partofadisplay than it is in arow of other shrubs.

“You mightask, well what arethe displays actually selling? But theyare stopping people becausetheyare interesting.Once

6 April 2023 Garden centre profile
ThePerrywood Tiptreeteam.

Above andbelow: Artificial foliage and flowerskeep the garden theme running throughout all departments.

Theideaofdisplaying pots on awall has been adopted from aDutch garden centre.

Below: Perrywood Tiptree offers an enviable rangeof houseplants.

April 2023 7 Garden centre profile
Plants arethemed to help customerschoose.

theystoptheymight turn round and pick something up –the moretheylook,the more they findofinterest,”says Simon. “Occasionally someone will come in andbuy the whole display, but moreoften thannot,theyfall in love and buy one of the individual items.”

These displays arealso used to offer some highticketand more select items suchasthe newcomposter from Wilstone. It givesSimona chancetoexplain that gardeners can get pretty mucheverything theywant from Perrywood centres, but online offerings havemade someproducts, such as thosesold on bulk rolls,not worthstocking. “Whatwecan offer is different and special,”hesays.

At Tiptreeyou will also find some of the larger potsplanted up makingiteasyfor customers to see howtheycan actually look. Simon doesn’tthink pot saleswill be as high as they were in 2020-2021,but believes theywill always be strong,especially in urban areas, as smallergardens become the norm.

Sadly, theweather so farhas done nothing forbarbeque salesbut furnitureisdoing well. “The big sets aregoingwell andsoare the bistro sets whichI don’t understand.Normally bistro sets startselling sometime in Juneand Julywhenit’s sunny andpeople identifya spotinthe garden for them but theyare selling now!”

Located nearthe planteria, butunderglass, is the Garden Café, which has nowswitched to anew menu offeringsomething slightly different, such as sourdoughbaguettes,tothe main Restaurant.It’saquieter spacebut still busy proving that garden centres continuetobea popular destination for agood lunch. Currently the restaurant doesn’toffer table servicebut if it did, a trial wouldfirstberun at the Sudburystore.Ifthatworked, says Simon, it couldbeconsidered for Tiptree. “Butweare alwaysso busy,whenwould we makethe change?” he wonders.

Arecent change of sitefor houseplants to the atrium has given this sector a boost and helped createa ‘wow’ factor “We’ve made ita destination for houseplants and themed plants by right plant,right place. So we’ve got the hotand dry plants and light and bright shade And there’s some quirky things in there along with other products,” says Simon This has also been a great solution for the space which has nine doors leading from it and lots of customers passing through from one area to another AlthoughSimon can’tsay for sure if ‘the new l houseplants has led to an increase in sales, he’s ho new epos system from Corby + Fellas will enable hi dive intothe figures. He saysmovingall thedataove bigproject. “But we changedour processesbecause quitefrankly,weren’t good enough. Thenew system to be abit morecontrolled, have moresteps in plac outwhat’sgoing on in more places. It’spointless ha on theshelvesthat’snot selling.”

Although Simon can’t say sure layout for to an hoping the + him to deep into the says moving all the data over was a big project. changed our processes because some, quite frankly, weren’t The new allows us a bit more controlled, have more steps place and find out what’s going on places It’s pointless having stuff

More data will also with fashion and toys – two departments currently doing well. “What’s changing in toys at the moment,” says Simon, “is the range of products

Moredatawillalso help with fashion and toys–t departmentscurrentlydoing very well. “What’scha toysatthe moment,” saysSimon, “isthe rangeofp we areselling.”

Traditionally Perrywooddoes very well with educ pre-school toysand those with awildlife or sustainabl theme,but recently teenagers andevenadults haveb makinga beelinefor thegarden centre to seeits ra Jellycat toys. These soft toysare hugely popular on mediaand havecreated astrongfollowingascollecta PerrywoodTiptree hasawall of Jellycat toys displa books and other toyswhichisadrawfor customer to seethe latest introductions.

Traditionally Perrywood does well with educational, toys and a wildlife sustainable theme, but and even adults have been making a beeline for the garden see its range of toys. These toys are on social media and have created a strong following as collectables. Perrywood Tiptree has a wall toys displayed with toys which is a draw for customers flocking

8 April 2023 Garden centre profile
Pots planted up to givecustomersideas of what theycould achieve at home Handwritten signage throughout offer nuggets of information. Simon Bourne
OUR BEST-SELLERS Make sure you re ready and in stock of ourbest-sellers ’ANTS EVERYWHERE W QUOTEANT23L 20% OFF RRP ✔ Fast action ✔ Kills nests ✔ Prevents reinfestation GREATDEALS ON +44(0)1953 881580 ||

Makingthe crossing easy

Green Solutions takes the headache out of importing plants by easily and smoothly offering British garden centres the very best plants from Europe

WeknowUKgarden centreshavehigh expectations when it comes to plant range and quality and understand it’sapointofdifference compared to other plant retailers. At Green Solutions, we want to help garden centres stand out further and by tapping intoour network of suppliers across Europe theycan access an extensive range of indoorand outdoor plants quicklyand easily.

With aPlaceofDestination in Spalding, Lincolnshire, and an IT system honed overtwo decades, we efficiently bring plants intothe UK and takecareofcustoms regulations, phytosanitary documents and UK plant health inspections prior to despatch to garden centres. This means plants don’t need any further checks so,whentheyarriveatthe garden centre, theycan be unloaded and immediately put on sale. With our help,garden centres can then truly focus on what theydobest…..selling plants.

Why work with Green Solutions?

• Our buying team haslong-runningrelationshipswith suppliers in TheNetherlandsand the rest of Europe so we have knowledge of business and trends.

• Our logistics ensures we canhelp youoffer quality and range to your customers. Orders beforeThursday 10am aredelivered at the beginning of the next week, while those beforeMonday10am will ensurefresh plants forthe weekend.

• We offer smallminimumquantitiesofsingle trays and youcan order twiceaweek. Our warehouse team handles orders efficientlyand with great caretoensure quality andfreshness.

• We take care of currencyrelated matters. Operationally dealing with GreenSolutions Ltd, aBritish registered company,isidentical to dealingwithyourlocal nursery. We invoiceinpounds so there arenoexchange

10 April 2023 Company profile

risks or hidden costs. We secureaset exchange rate pre-season.This enables youtoplan ahead and budget without in-seasonpricefluctuations.

• We ensureall laws,regulationsand plant health certifications areinplace.Bybringing your order into ourPoint Of Destination, we makesureall plant health inspections arecarried out and areunder our responsibility.This way oncethe deliveryarrives, youcan putplants straight outfor sale. Thereare no further inspections and no inspection fees either We also provide authorities with traceabilitywithUK plantpassports.

• Our webshop runs on afully automated, 24/7 live connection to the stock availability of our growers, your orderand filing historysoyou can order wheneveryou want, wherever youare.Weevenprovide atablet so you can makeyour orders up within your plantsales areasor at home at your dining table

• Indoor andoutdoor plantscan be combined on one (singletrolley) delivery.

• Our pricelabels containwrittenbasic careinstructions such as sunlight, wateringand feeding for indoor plants, and pruning,plantingand soil typeinstructions for outdoor plants.

Our serviceisthe same nationwide:

• Wherever you’re based you can order twiceaweek.

• Wheneveryou like, you can order from our shop.

• Whatever your question is, you can reach our customer supportteam.

• However, if you areordering in volume (7cc trolleys or moreinone delivery) we believe you should benefit from adiscount taken offatthe bottom of the invoice.

Green Solutions, based in The Netherlands, is abusiness partner for retailersincluding garden centres, sourcing the best quality plants from anetwork of suppliersand logistics partnersacrossEurope. It also offers excellent data-driven advice, efficient processes and online opportunities


Email: sales

Phone: 0031 172 235 949

April 2023 11 Company profile

Tradition and passion areatthe forefor us at Tramontina and, it’snot just about the product but also the pleasurethe product can bring. Over the years, we have evolved an ethos of bringing Brazilian hospitality to the global market wherepeople get together to enjoy good times and create lasting memories. Our portfolio is brimming with quality and innovation across wooden furniture, bistrosets, cutlery,knives, BBQutensils, Churrasco/Barbeque and much more.

Get in touch now to findout how we, at Tramontina, canwork with you, for you. |+(44) 0203176 4558

Stand 6G61 From Growers to Garden Centres, Fordingbridge has you covered 01243 554455 With over 55 years experience in supplying Garden Centreand Retail business, we areproud to apply designs to help your business grow Our broad portfolio covers plant area canopies, sustainable buildings, trolley bays,and covered walkways.The possibilities areendless. We wouldlovetodiscuss your plans and seewhat we can bring to your business



Pre-SOLEX 2024 Season NewProduct Showcase

Gain abuying advantage and book your appointment to viewthe stunningnew ranges introduced intothe 2024 Hartman collection.

Thenew productshavebeen meticulously curated with Comfort. Design and Quality in mind.

Opulent newfabrics, extra thick cushionsand stunning newtable topfinishes offer buyers an exciting point of differencewhen selecting your collection.

Book your appointment today to be the first to viewthe stunning newcollection.


Hartman Showroom, Hortonwood 7, Telford


Date: 12/06/23 -30/06/23

By appointment only, contactyour area sales manager to bookyour visit,oremail

SOLEX 2023

acelebration of summer

Are youapartofthe outdoorleisure industry? Do youwanttocheck out the hottesttrends in outdoor livingproducts?

If so,then youwon’t want to miss SOLEX2023– a celebrationofsummer.

This three-day eventunitesthe most prestigious luxuryoutdoorbrands,givingquality buyers and visitors an opportunity to explorewhat’snew in both retail andcontract markets. From trendsetting designs madewithaneye towards sustainability,to making newrelationships within theindustry, SOLEX is theplace to be!

What can youexpect at SOLEX 2023?

First off,thispremier event allows keyindustry buyers to discovernew products, witnessinnovations in design, and exploreretail and contract market solutions all under one roof.Inaddition, SOLEX offers arelaxed andfriendlyatmospherewith aprofessional focus on both retail and contract markets. As such, it gives businessprofessionals and buyers alikeachance

to establish newrelationships within this vibrant industry. Lastly,itenables buyers to check out the hot trends for shop floors in spring/summer 2024

At SOLEX2023, youwill find some of the finest luxury outdoor brands from around the countryshowcasing their products. Youwill also find out moreabout sustainable initiatives being taken by these prestigious companies as theylooktowards providing better products for the marketplacewhile caring for the environment at the same time. With so much innovation on display at this event, it is suretobeanexciting experiencefor all who attend.

The SOLEX team understands the needs of retailers who arepassionateabout outdoor living,offering nine distinct product lines to discover—Garden Furniture and Shading for that perfect aesthetic touch; Barbecues to entertain with confidence; cleverGarden Decoration ideas for creativeflair outside your home;delightful LeisureBuildings for extraspaceinthose special spots around your garden. Outdoor Spa and Heating products to stay cosy outdoors on cooler evenings, and Outside Entertainment solutions which guarantee lasting fun!

What areyou waiting for?

Register todaytobepartofthe only outdoor living exhibition organised by the industryfor the industry!

SOLEX 2023.Monday10JulyWednesday12July.


14 April 2023 Promotion
Bringing together everything that is great about the outdoor leisureindustry

Whether you’re looking for trendsetting designs or sustainable initiatives in outdoor living products, makesure youvisit SOLEX2023—the placewhereoutdoor leisurebuyers come together.Immerse yourself in beauty and innovation as youexplorewhat’snew in both theretail and contract markets. With itsrelaxed atmosphereand professional focus on attendees from multiple and independent garden centres, high street and department stores, online retailers, DIYstores and other industryprofessionals, this premier eventoffers boundlessopportunities for everyone involved. Don’tmissout –registertoday!


SOLEX2023ispleased to announceits ongoing partnership with BBQ Magazine,which is hosting the Loving Outdoor Living area at this year’s event. Visitors will be able to sample an array of delicious dishes and treats from our incredible BBQ brands that aresure to leavetheir tastebuds tingling.Besuretocheck out theLoving Outdoor Living area for amouth-watering experienceyou won’twant to miss!

Newfor 2023,SOLEX is proud to partner with The Landscape Show,the UK’s premier exhibition for garden and outdoor design. As partofthis collaboration, a team from The Landscape Showisbuilding alandscape featureareaatSOLEX. The Landscape 2023 Show Garden at SOLEX will allowvisitors to experiencethe best natural concepts from leading landscape and gardening companies acrossthe UK

SOLEX2023isproud to be collaborating with Perennial and LOFA in the roll out of its new“Promote Health Campaign”. The InteractiveHealth Kiosk, sponsored by LOFA,providesaconfidential wayfor individuals to get aquick assessment of their physical health. This includes measurements such as Wellbeing Age™, weight, BMI, body fat content, blood pressure, and heartrate–all of whichwereidentified in Perennial’s research as being critical issues. At SOLEX 2023 we believe that taking careofone’shealth should be paramount and with this campaign we arehopingtoencourage just that. Taking afreehealth MOTcan takefromaslittleaseight minutes enabling exhibitors and visitors to self-test key indicators of their general health and well-being and walk away with apersonal confidential printout of their results with acomparison to medically accepted standards. These free health checks will help contributetowards helping those who work in our industrystay healthy and safe.

Register today for SOLEX 2023….. …and be in with achanceofwinning a£200 voucher for Virgin ExperienceDays. Youcan takeyour pick from over 1,000 fantastic experiences that are£100 or less. From getting behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, relaxing in style with your partner or friend in aluxuryspa, or enjoying aJapanese whiskymasterclass, it’suptoyou!

PLUS,there arethree Fortnum’sSummerPicnic Provisions Boxestowin –each packed with enough delicious food to satisfy four hungrypicnickers. See youthere!


Garden Furniture, Shading,Outdoor Living Accessories, Barbecues, Garden Decoration, Garden Leisure Buildings, Outdoor Heating,Outdoor Health, Outdoor Entertainment Brands on display

4Seasons Outdoor UK, Alexander Rose, Ascalon, BBQ Gourmet, Beefeater, Bramblecrest, Celtic Spa, Charbroil, Cheeky Charlie Ovens, Daro Trading,Extreme Lounging,Firepits

UK, Gardeco, Garden FurnitureGlobal, Glencrest, Garden Impressions, Hartman, Hex Living,Innovators International, Kaemingk, Kamado Joe, Kettler,LeisureGrow, Lifestyle Appliances, Lifestyle Garden, MercerAgencies, Minster Stylish Living, MunroImporters, Norfolk Leisure, Outback International, Pacific Lifestyle, Quest Leisure, Supremo, Tobs, Tramontina, Tripod Home, Woodlodge

April 2023 15 Promotion

Gardening in the sun

LosPeñotes in Madrid is one of the 19-strong Verdecoragarden centregroup celebrating aperiod of expansion and arecordbreaking turnover in excess of £40m.

TTheVerdecora chain stretches across Spain, with gardencentres reachingmorethan2 million customersfromVigotoBarcelona and Malaga to Madrid. Sites range from large edge of towncentres to busy florists and there aretwo urbanstoresoffering a convenient wayfor city dwellers to keep theirbalconies alive with plants. The largest gardencentregroup in Spain, it has been thrivingfor three decades andits own brand of garden sundriesincluding growing media, seeds,plant food, accessories and pet products is well knownand valued by its customers.

Renaud Lagarde, Director of Expansion, says Verdecoraaimstoinspire its customers with apassion for nature,plantsand animals and be their first choice when it comesto

buying product andseeking advice. It prides itself on itsexcellentcustomer serviceand the comfortable shopping experienceit provides. “Wehavealoyal clientelewhich we knowfromour repeatpurchase rate,” he says. “Thereare tworeasons –the firstisthe qualityofour products and thesecondis the greattechnical knowledgeofour teams.”

Plants and pets

Spain’soften extreme climatemeans the range of plants available to buyismore limited than in the UK,but the company’s buyers have beenworking to increasethe amount of home grownproduct. Today it secures 65%ofits plants from Spain which in thelocal economical climate of high transportcostshas beenvaluable Qualityisensuredasbuyers regularly visit

16 April 2023 Garden centreprofile
Artificial flowers and plants are big sellers. Below: Renaud Lagarde.

their growers and havehelped to set the high standards required for retail sale. Floristryisanimportant partof Verdecora’sbusinessand LosPeñotes has its ownareadedicated to fresh cut and dried flowers. Silk flowers tooare big businessthroughout the storeand houseplants takecentrestage at the entrancethe store.

Dogs areaparticularly favoured pet, and Renaud says it’sthought there aremorepets in Spain than children! Theyare welcome in Verdecora’spet departments whereowners can take advantage of the dog washing,grooming and agility areas. Animal careand welfare is central to Verdecoraespecially for the small animals (birds, fish, reptiles)itsells and it regularlyhosts ‘adoption days’ when local pet sanctuaries bring dogs and cats to the centres that areneeding new homes.


Another of Verdecora’saimsistobethe leader in theindustryfor social commitment andenvironment. Likemost business it is reducing itsrelianceonplastic andeliminating plastic bags andwrapping.Itrelies 100%on renewable energy andit’snew stores in Vigo andBarcelona have been built with rainwater harvesting systems.Ithas also enabledthe Malagastore to reduce its relianceonmains waterby30%.A ‘too goodtogo’ scheme is also in place forproductsnearing their sell by date

Policiesensuredisabledpeopleare refugeesare welcomed to the teamsand allstaff areencouragedtocome up with ideasand eventstorun in their centres. Aprogressionplan is in placefor staff to developtheir careers and80% areona permanent contract


Verdecora’ssocialmedia channels are strong with communicationand campaigns coordinated acrossall platformsfor all centres. An apphelps customers choose the products theyneed forany project and there is the opportunitytotalk to specialistsatthe centresonline. Blogs andtutorialvideosare hostedonthe website.

Verdecoraisa growing businesswith a €46m turnoverin2022– up 30% on the previous year.Renaud says this model of garden centreisstill quitenew to some but customer numbers areincreasing

April 2023 17 Garden centreprofile
Dedicated floristryareais enclosed and temperature controlled. Creative houseplant and indoor living displays. A riot of colour for those with garden space Bonsai arepopular with balconygardeners.

Amazing compost backedupbyunrivalled customer service

Asthe spring gardening season finally finds its stride, garden centresneed look no further for an outstanding compost offer from areliable,family-run business. Durston Garden Products Ltdhavestockonthe ground,ready to go to help retailers react to spikes in demand,asthe sun makesanappearance andgardeners areout in theirmasses.

It’s been awet startbut,asretailers prepare themselves forthe inevitable rush on growing media nowthe weatherispicking up, British supplier Durstons reminds garden centresthat they provide acomprehensive offer –fromMulti-Purpose Composttopeat-free vegetable planters,plus everything in between –supported by shortleadtimes andunrivalled customer service

Best of British

Following afantastic 2022, withanamazing response to exciting new launches as well as existing products,Durstons arearmed andready to help givegarden centres’ compostsales asignificantboostthis year.The 150-year-old business,based in Somerset uses locally-sourced materialfor itsimpressiverange of composts,growbags,top soil andsoil conditioner With their ownlorries out on theroad andaconvenient UK location, Durstons offer great lead times,added flexibilityand reliable service,helping retailers to reactquicklytoincreases in demand


Durstons boast an impressivepeat-free collection, whichhas been developed to create new opportunities around thecategory. These exciting products join awell-established andcomprehensivegrowing media offer With a22-strong productportfolio, including severalbrand-new launches forthe 2023 gardening season, Durstons canhelp retailers buildanoffer that satisfies theneed of gardenersofall skillsetstosupportthem in awide range of growing endeavours

Within this qualityline-up is ahostofbest-sellers,including arange of multi-purpose composts that areguaranteed to drivesales andbecome a staple line forretailcustomers.Included in this range is Durstons’Multi-

Purpose Compostand Multi-Purpose CompostwithJohnInnes (50 litre pack),bothofwhichprovide excellent nutrient content anddeliver consistently outstanding resultsthankstoDurstons’ unique performance-enhancing ingredient,GRO BOOST

Also providing great value in this categoryisManor Farm Multi-Purpose Compost, another firm favourite with garden retailers,who hail therange as an excellent value multi-purpose compostthat promotes healthy growth forall plantsand vegetables

This competitively-priced compostis complemented by Manor Farm PeatFree Multi-Purpose Compost, which enablesstockists to offer apeat-free compostatagreat-value price point,making greenerproducts more accessible to awider crosssection of consumers.

Durstons’comprehensiveproduct portfolio includes awide range of composts,plus Enriched TopSoil, Soil Conditioner,FarmyardManure, DecorativeBarkand Grow Bags

Dan Durston says: “Wework closely withour customers andlisten to what they need from us.Weare constantly evolving our offering to meet demand,giveretailers choice andensureweare providing high-quality products that deliver impressiveresultsand keep gardeners flocking backto garden centresfor more!Weare investing backinto thebusiness,increasing bothour capacity andstockholding,all so that we can continue to offer exceptionalservice and supply to thegarden centre sector.”

Formoreinformation call 01458 442688 or visit www.

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Going thatextramile for Greenfingers

Suppliers, garden centres, staff and customers pulled out all the stops this year and raised in excess of £70,000 for Greenfingers.

Congratulations to everyone who took partinthe annual Garden Re-Leaf Day in March to raise money for the Greenfingers Charity.Anamazing £70,000 (and counting)was raised from walking,cycling,coffee drinking,cakebaking and quizzing.Linda Petrons, Greenfingers Director of Fundraising &Communications says: “Wewill neverstopbeing amazed by the phenomenal effortand dedication our supporters showusonGarden Re-Leaf Day and throughout the year.Fromthe bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of all those that spend time in Greenfingers funded gardens, thank you. Youreally arethe best friends we could ever askfor!”

April 2023 19
Garden Re-Leaf Day
Forthe first time, the Garden Re-Leaf North Walk wasorganised with a routethatincluded some spectacular scenery.

Wonderful walkers

Duringthe north and southSponsored Walks,atotal of 1516 miles was coveredby 135walkers. Choosinga10or20milewalk which startedand finished at Tring Garden Centre in thesouth, or a13milewalk in thenorth kickingoff in Holmbridge, West Yorkshire, around 3.5millionsteps were taken. From Woodlodge, SimonNeale, Neil Blake and Graham Park,werejoined by Blue Diamond’s Heidi Towse on thesouthern walk. Just nine dayslater,Simon, Neiland Heidi, alongwithSTV’s KatyBoyd,took part in theLondonLandmarks Half Marathon.

20 April 2023 Garden Re-Leaf Day
Cyclistsaimingtocomplete100 miles also set off from TringGarden Centreand, along with thewalkers, were serenadedby the Rock Choir.

In garden centres and offices around the country

Around 100 garden centreshostedexciting events scheduledtoboost fundraising totals. Participating garden centres included British Garden Centres, Haskins, The KlondykeGroup, Aylett’s, Brookfields Garden Centre, Longacres, St Peter’sGarden Centreand Millbrook. The Old Railway Line hosted 120 people for aQuiz &CurryNight andraised a£1250,while at Perrywood, congratulations go to the Let’sGet Quizzical team which wonthe Greenfingers

Charity Quiz Night which raised £1500 Husqvarna Group,Rolawn, and Woodmansterne made suretheir office-based staff enjoyedGarden Re-Leaf Day by holding ahostofevents at work including cakesales and raffles.The Garden Design Company supportedwith hands-on learning sessions for its garden club members, wherea £50 donation gavethem unrivalled insight into howtogrowtheir ownedibles. Primeur held a

Charity FunDay at its office in West Yorkshire. Carnival type games, raffles,aBBQ,acakesale and atreasurehunt with the prizeofaday’s holiday generated astaggering £5200

GARDENA UK, aGreenfingers Charity Silver Supporter, held a‘Go Green for Greenfingers’ day and raised £4200 through activities including astaff sale of watering products, tools and mowers from GARDENA, Flymoand McCulloch. Arafflealso had prizes including tworobotic lawnmowers.

QVC’s Garden Re-Leafspecial took place on 4th March, selling ahost of garden products. RichardJackson’sGarden, De-Jager, Plants2Gardens, Park Promotions, Hayloft Plants and Greanbase collectively raised £14k from sales on the day

Thanks to Garden Re-Leaf sponsors: AMES UK, SBM Life Science, British Garden Centres, Evergreen, Mulch, Primeur,Jane

April 2023 21 Garden Re-Leaf Day
Lawler Associates, Tring Garden Centre, Kings Farm Shop,The Gardeners Retreat and Garden Trade News. Perrywood’scoffeeshopteam enjoying the GreenfingersCharity Quiz Night. Above:Winners of the quiz at TheOld Railway Line. Below: Amini duck race wasone of the activities of Primeur’s Charity FunDay Some of Primeur’s delicious raffle prizes.

March and Easter hit by poor weather

Let’sstart with Easter: GTNBestsellers gardencentre Eposdataanalysis of volume sales over the Easter fortnight reveals that total volumesales were 11% down on Easter 2022 but 4% up on Easter 2019 and 44%uponEaster2018whenwe experienced the “Beastfromthe East.”

Withinthosetotal sales volumes, plant sales were down on Easter 2022 and2019by 21% and15%, butupon2018by45%

Theproblem with comparing Eastersales is that it movesaroundsomuch; from late March in 2018 to the endofApril in 2019.As Easter this year was one week earlier than in 2022 we won’tbeabletosee atrue year on year trading comparison.

The currentyear to date GTNBestsellers All Products Index, at the endofweek endingSunday16th April 2023 is down 1.7% on 2022 but up 19%vs2019. Thatfits well with reports that footfall andrestaurant sales have beengood. The cold andwet weather has,however had abiggereffecton plant sales.

To dateplantsalesvolumesare runningat 11.6%downon2022. Thankfully thisyear’s weather has not been as badas2018; the GTNBestsellersAll Plants index is currently 43% higherthan 2018

Those with good memories and records will recall that even afterthe disastrous Spring of 2018,plant sales and all garden sales volumes recovered to be 8% up on 2017 by the year end for plants and only 1% down on 2017 for All Products Sales volumes.

March BestsellersCharts and Volume trend analysis

The volumes of all items sold, including plants, in the GTNBestsellers Garden CentreEPOS data for March, shows adrop of 9% year on year and 27%downonthe peak of 2021.However,all sales volumes for the month were 12% up on March 2019 and 53% higher than March 2018

March Plant Sales

All Plant Sales Volumesfor March2023inthe GTNBestsellers EPOSdata were down 27% on 2022 volumes and down 9% on 2019 levels.

Comparedto2018’sBeast from theEast sales March 2023 fared 42%better.

Here’sthe Top50Bestselling plants for the month:

The UK Garden CentrePlants BestsellersChart

March 2023,Weeks 9-13

22 April 2023 GTNBestsellers Volume Sales Analysis
As we all know,March and Easter garden centresales this year werehit by the poor weather,but howdothey comparewith pre-covid levels, and the sales we saw in 2018 when we suffered “The Beast from the East”?
This Month Plant
1 Primula 2 Tomato 3 Dianthus 4 Zonal Geranium 5 Petunia 6 Pansy 7 Narcissus 8 Fuchsia 9 Viola 10 Strawberry 11 Lathyrus 12 Erysimum 13 Hebe 14 Rose 15 Calibrachoa 16 Begonia 17 Lavandula 18 Verbena 19 Orchidaceae 20 Ranunculus 21 Lobelia 22 Osteospermum 23 Bellis 24 Pepper 25 Prunus 26 Allium 27 Surfinia 28 Campanula 29 Ericaceae 30 Rhododendron 31 Anemone 32 Helleborus 33 Hedera 34 Thymus 35 Senetti 36 Hydrangea 37 Paeonia 38 Photinia 39 Spathiphyllum 40 Azalea 41 Cucumber 42 Lupinus 43 Rosmarinus 44 Cordyline 45 Clematis 46 Saxifraga 47 Tillandsia 48 Mint 49 Bacopa 50 Vinca

Garden Products Sales Volumes

The GTNBestsellers Garden Products Top50Chartssales volumes for March 2023 were only down 3% year on year but wayoff thehigh of 2021.Measured against pre-covid sales volumes the GTNTop 50 index wasup7%compared with 2019 and 28% up on 2018

The GTNBestsellersGarden Products Chart March 2023,Weeks 9-13

Growing Media

Sales Volumes

The GTNBestsellers Growing Media sales analysis for March reflects clearly the drop on gardening activity due to the poor weather.The GTNBestsellers Top50 Growing Media Products volume index wasdown 18% on 2022, down 45% on 2021,but up 6% on 2019 and 92% higher than levels seen in March 2018

The GTNBestsellersGrowing Media Chart March 2023,Weeks 9-13

April 2023 23
This Month Product Description Barcode 1 Doff Liquid Seaweed 1L Concentrated 5013655006513 2 SmartSolar St.Helens Lantern 5050642086646 3 Evergreen Garden CareLevington Tomorite1L+20% ExtraFree 5010272191929 4 Westland Lawn &TurfDressing 25L 5023377844881 5 Algon Organic Algae RemoverPatio Cleaner 5060028700011 6 SBM Baby Bio Original 175ml 50371280 7 WoodlodgeTerracotta PotFoot 5021346486261 8 Evergreen Garden CareMiracle-GroEvergreen Complete360 sq m+ 10% 5010272183320 9 Westland Fish Blood &Bone 4kg 5023377007873 10 Evergreen Garden CareMiracle GroAll Purpose Plant Feed 5010272185447 11 Apta PotTopper 1kg Bag 5022413560761 12 Westland Gro-SureFast Acting Lawn Seed 10 sq m+ 30% Free 5023377011290 13 WoodlodgeTerracotta PotFoot Large5021346486278 14 Growth Technology Orchid Focus Drip Feeders 38ml 5025644916376 15 SmartGarden TomatoGro-Box, pack of 35050642060387 16 Kelkay Weed Blocker 10m x1m Twin Pack 5055066424487 17 Growth Technology Houseplant Focus Drip Feeders 38ml 5025644918592 18 Evergreen Garden CareMiracle-GroEvergreen Complete80sq m +25% 5010272200072 19 WoodlodgeSpang Pot5inch Standard5021346492941 20 Evergreen Garden CareMiracle-GroPremium All Purpose Continuous Release 900g 5010272192285 This Month Product Description Barcode 1 Westland Erin Multipurpose Compost 50L 5012122977677 2 Westland Top Soil 30L 5023377014574 3 Westland Jack's Magic All Purpose Compost 50:50 50L 5023377014444 4 Westland FarmyardMaure 50L5023377014581 5 Westland Multi Purpose Peat Free Compost +John Innes 40L 5023377022463 6 Evergreen Garden CarePeat Free Miracle-GroGreenfingers Compost 40L 5010272192841 7 Westland Peat Free Multi Purpose with John Innes 50L 5023377017018 8 Evergreen Garden CareLevington Organic Tomorite Compost 40L 5010272192247 9 Westland Multipurpose Compost with John Innes 50L 5023377855566 10 Evergreen Garden CareLevingtonMulti Purpose Compost 40L 5010272186734 11 Evergreen Garden CareMiracle-GroPeat Free All Purpose 40L 5010272186246 12 Westland LandscapeBark 100L 5023377851230 13 Country CareHorse Compost 50L 5060211670015 14 Westland John Innes Peat Free Seed Compost 28L 5023377019845 15 Westland NewHorizon Veg Compost 50L 5023377007477 16 Bloomin Amazing 3in1Soil Improver50L 745110458869 17 John Innes Peat Free No 3MaturePlant Compost 28L 5023377019906 18 Evergreen Garden CareLevington Multipurpose Peat Free +John Innes 50L 5010272190687 19 MelcourtSylvaGrow Peat Free Multipurpose 50L 5060157810292 20 Evergreen Garden CareLevingtonMulti-Purpose 40L 5010272189698
GTNBestsellers Volume Sales Analysis
Apta PotToppersatNo11 in March 2023.A perennial bestseller despitemuch more competition. Westland Peat Free Multipurpose with John Innes at No 9. New Horizon All Purpose 50L at No 21.

Wild BirdCareVolume Sales

Interestingly the weatherduringMarch 2023 wasn’tbad enough to see aspikeinWildBirdCareSales, wherethe economic situation may also havehad an impact. Volumes for March 2023 were down 7% on 2022 but also down 27% on 2018 when therewas abig rush to feed wild life during “The Beast from the East.”

The GTNBestsellersWild Bird&Wildlife CareProducts Chart

March 2023,Weeks 9-13

24 April 2023 GTNBestsellers Volume Sales Analysis Contact us: 01270762828 Produced withthe finest ingredientsusing the latest technology to provide precision blended, consistentproducts. Ourpopular peat free rangecombinesgreat valuewithexceptional results forgrowers withsustainabilityconcerns. Made in Britain from responsiblysourced materials. Quality top-performing horticultural products Growing Together This Month Product Description Barcode 1 Henry Bell Superior Seed Mix 1kg 5026132030864 2 Westland Peckish Natural BalanceEnergy Balls 50 Box5060235445323 3 Gardman Seed Mix 12.7kg 5024160782168 4 Westland Peckish Natural BalanceEnergy Balls 50 Tub5060235442384 5 TomChambers Classic Seed Blend 3.75kg 5022506004066 6 Henry Bell FatBalls, Boxof505026132034589 7 Westland Peckish Xtra GoodnessEnergy Ball, Pack of 6plus 6Free 5060235445286 8 TomChambers NiceNuts2.5kg -25% extrafree5022506007104 9 TomChambers SunflowerHearts 2.5kg 5022506023951 10 Marriages Honeyfields Pick &Mix Refill 5011259995042 11 TomChambers FatBalls 10 Multi Seed &Nut 100% ExtraFree 5022506029472 12 Johnston &Jeff Calciworm 1kg 5031871987768 13 CJ WildbirdFood Wild BirdPeanut Butter Jar 5051054283609 14 Gardman Peanuts 1kg 5024160781505 15 Gardman Seed Mix 2kg 5024160782106 16 Gardman SunflowerHearts 2kg 5024160845849 17 TomChambers Seed &Nut Mix, 3kg +50% 5022506027058 18 Gardman Seed Mix 1kg 5024160782083 19 Gardman Whole Co-CoFat Feeder 5024160605832 20 Gardman No Grow Seed Mix 2kg +25% 5024160866141
6inthe GTN Chartfor March 2023
HenryBell Wild BirdCare products at No

The GTNBestsellersVeg 2Gro Chart March 2023,Weeks 9-13

GTNBestsellers Volume Sales Analysis

Veg2Gro Volume Sales

The lack of time being spent outside gardening accounts for the drop in volume Veg2Gro sales during March, howeverthe fall wasnot as bad as seen in 2018 The GTNBestsellers March 2023 Veg2 GroTop 50 Index wasdown34% on 2022, up 8% on 2019 and morethan double the sales in 2018 at 106% up

ForevenmoreGTN BestsellersVolume sales analysis of garden centreEposdata watchout forthe newGTN Bestsellers e-mail newsletter.Subscribe today, for free, to GTNXtraand GTNBestsellersat

April 2023 25
This Month Product Description Barcode 1 Cheers TomatoGardeners Delight 9cm 5060452800936 2 Cheers TomatoBlack Cherry 9cm 5060452800912 3 Cheers TomatoTumbler 9cm 5060452801025 4 Cheers TomatoAlicante9cm 5060452800899 5 Cheers TomatoMoneymaker 9cm 5060452800943 6 Quantil TomatoGardeners Delight 8cm 5060033672280 7 Taylors Onion Sets RedBaron 5015882214129 8 Taylors Onion Sets Stuttgarter5015882108138 9 Cheers TomatoSweet Million 9cm 5060452801018 10 Taylors Seed Potatoes Taster Pack Charlotte 5015882110230 11 Taylors Onion Sets Sturon 5015882108121 12 Cheers TomatoAilsa Craig 9cm 5060452800882 13 Cheers TomatoTumbling Tom Red9cm 5060452807287 14 Quantil TomatoMoneymaker 8cm 5060033672303 15 Cheers TomatoHoneycomb 9cm 5060452807317 16 Taylors Onion Sets Centurion F1 5015882108091 17 Quantil Strawberry Elsanta Strips5060033671870 18 Taylors Onion Sets Hercules F1 5015882108626 19 Quantil Strawberry Symphony Strips5060033671900 20 Quantil Sweet Pepper Red8cm 5060033672211

Guaranteeing British plant supply

In the space of just 10 weeks, two garden centregroups announced they had purchased nurseries. GTNfinds why this is good for the centres and for consumers.

Atthe end of 2022, Squires Garden Centres, with 16 stores, announced it had acquired Barnsfold Nurseries in West Sussex. A shorttime later in mid-March of this year, British Garden Centrestook the keys to asitefromHawkesmill Nurseries in Warwickshireunder alease agreement. Between them, these twolarge groups sell millions of plants ayear and in the case of BGC,the 8million plants it sells account for nearly 30% of its business.

&PRDirector, says the Hawkesmill site, to be renamedTemple Nursery, will be thegroup’sthird production site adding to Woodthorpe NurseryinLincolnshire and Fretherne Nursery, Gloucestershire. “While this additional unit will giveus the potential to produceanother 2 million retail readyplantsayear, it won't takeawayanything from our other UK suppliers as our rate of growth, combined with our planned move towards moreBritish plants, will absorb these plants and more." Boyd can easily see atime when BGC will be selling more than 10 million plants.

Forthe Squires centres, which began as anurserybusinessin1936, the acquisition of Barnsfold Nurseries marks awelcomed return to offering more home-grownplants. It is anticipated that supply from Barnsfold to Squire’s Garden Centreswill remain broadly as it has been the same for the last few years. It supplies core beddingplant lines and has worked with Squires to createthe centre’s own‘added value’ range including primula arrangements, known to customers as ‘Rustic’, ‘Cheerful’ and ‘Harmony’. It also supplies ranges including patio plants, begonia, cosmos, erysimum, osteospurmum, primrose and ranunculus.

“Atleast 85%ofthe plants we sell areUKgrown, with many grownvery locally to our garden centre locations,” says Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squires Garden Centre.“Theopportunity to acquireBarnsfold fits well with that commitment, supports the local economy and reduces plant miles.”

BGC’sTemple Nursery, with 100,000sqft of glass, multispan tunnels and outdoor beds will be run by ateam

26 April 2023 Industryperspective
TheSquires ownrange of spring bedding planterscreated with Barnsfold Nurseries.

of fiveand thefirst plants to be grown therearrived in earlys of April. It will produceperennials, shrubs, herbs, veg plants. “Essentially,” says Boyd,“our nurseries havejustthree customers –our plant buyers –orwhatwehavenow called ‘plant hunters’.”These work with nurserymanagers to decide what can be grownwhere, when and howmuch. A keyistomakesureall theplants retail, so Boyd says if the plan is to sell 3,000 plants then the nurseries will grow 2,5000.“This way we makesure100%of the plants havegone out,”headds.

Squires has aslightly different approach in that Barnsfold Nurseries will continue to serve itsother customers. Sarah explains: “Barnsfold will continue to supply their existing customer base for the foreseeable futureand hopefully some newcustomers too. TheBarnsfold team takes pride in producing superb quality plants for all their customers and will continue to do so.Itisverymuch businessasusual.”

Logistics is relatively straightforward for the Barnsfold. Its closest Squires centreis13miles, the furthest being 40miles. ForBGC however, getting plants to its60plus garden centresismoreof achallenge but its transporthub on the M40,near Stratford-upon-Avonismaking things easier.Plants from acrossthe countryarriveheretobeconsolidated and reloaded ontoanother lorrytobe takentotheir final destination. This helps the centresasitallows them to receive orders ‘little and often’ but has other benefits allowing BGC to securesmall orders from specialist nurseries around the country. “Werealisedweneeded to engage morewith smaller growers but were conscious of the logistical challenges. Our transportnetwork means we can takejustone trolly at atime,” says Boyd.It’sthisability to develop relationships with smaller growers that leads to the opportunity for certain centres to offer consumers exclusive lines such as Hydrangea ‘Red Butterfly’ introduced last summer

Being able to haveacertain amount of controloverplant supply is certainly abenefit especially in this eraofpostBrexit trade. It is also helps reduce biosecurity risks and brings retailers a step closer to managing the reduction of peat theyuse. Customers arealsokeen to see and buy morehome-grownplants on the shelves knowing theysupport the UK economy

“With 51% of the plants we sell coming from British nurseries, we aremoving in the right direction,”says Boyd SarahSquiresays: “Together we will meet the challenges that all horticultural businesses face, from the weathertothe economic outlook, with acollaborative approach and huge respect for the knowledge and experiencewithin both businesses.”

April 2023 27 Industryperspective
TheBarnsfold Team with Sarah Squire. UK grownand on sale at BGC’s BriggGarden CentreinNorth Lincolnshire. Multi span tunnels and glass at Temple Nurseryare nowbeing filled with plants forBritish Garden Centres. BGC's own-grownprinmulas.

What’s new forpets?

Innovation, design, quality, packaging, value for money and sustainability, wereconsidered by ateamofindependent pet retailers when judging winners of the PATS Sandown New Product Showcase Awards 2023.

5. Dog Harnesses, Leads and Clothing

Comfort Rope Lead withNew ScrewLock from

Paws.Comfortablefor use,this producthas agreat safetyfeature,making it extrasafefor walking.

6. Small Animal and BirdProducts

LittleOne Range of TastyMazeTunnelsfrom MealberryGmbH.

Agreat ideathat hasn’t been seenbeforeand availableina choiceofflavours andsizes

7. PetCareProducts

Petfirst aidkits personalised to pet businessesfrom ProTrainings Europe Ltd.

Every pet home should haveone.Thisproduct is agreat idea, offering businesses thechanceto personalise it

8. Best NewGrooming Product

OatmealDog Shampoo from Buddycare Afragrance-free, vegan and cruelty-freeproduct with eye-catching branding

28 April 2023
1. Cat Food and Products Carnilove True FreshCat Foods from Carnilove Asupernutritionalproduct with good ingredients presented in appealingpackaging. 2. Dog Food Products Vets Menu Tasty GravyToppers from MacahlAnimal Health. Containing natural ingredients, this product promotes good dog health and is great for fussy dogs. 3. Dog Treat Products Doodle’s Deli Natural Treats from Pedigree Wholesale Withsustainability high on consumers’needs,this product is 100% natural, eco-friendly andwell-priced. 4. Dog Accessories and Toys Henry WagEasy Roll Travel Bed from 3P Enterprise. Judgessaid:“We’venot seena product like it. It’s perfect on daysout forownersand theirpets. Compact andwell-priced.” Long
PATS Southdown 2023
12 4 3 5 6 7 8

Looking for clarity

Alan Down, HTAPresident

Atlast, the sun is out, and the incessant rain herein South West England has stopped. Hopefully,this will havethe tills ringing,plant trollies rolling,and drygoods moving through at apace! And for growers of field-grownstock, achancetocatch up with planting futurecrops in the open.

Although it has been averywet March for some, following arecord dryFebruary, Iknowthat the threat of hose pipe bans still looms. Undoubtedly,weall need to use watermorewisely in the future, and the HTAhas been engaging with the national drought group and regional waterresource plans on this issue.

We arestill reeling from the shock Defraannouncement that brought the end of peat use for most crops forward by four years. Thereare many unanswered questions about crop exemptions and containers and no clarity on howthe UK’s ban will affect the importation of plants growninpeat. The end of 2026 will be really challenging for the industry. Bringing the dateforward reduces the time to find and trial sustainable alternatives. Iknowgrowers areindifferent places along the routetoadapt to peat-free. Some havealready made great progress, whereas others arenow facing decisions on alternatives sincemany crops planted nowwill not reach their marketable stage until the main cutoffdate. Rest assured the team at the HTAisworking hard to avoid acliffedge and for clarity on these vital issues.

On acheerier note, I’mpleased to say our engagement with the House of LordsHorticultural Select Committee is going well and that the HTAChairman James Barnes gaveoral evidencelast month at an inquiry. Amongst the many pressing issues we face, he emphasised the importanceofhorticulture to health and wellbeing,asamply demonstrated during the Covid lockdowns. He also stressed that our industryunderpins at least 50% of the Government’senvironmental plans. The Committee is spending the whole year looking intoour industry, and we arehopeful of many constructiveoutcomes.

At the end of March, I, with our CEOFranBarnes and Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Pheasey, visited The Farplants Group in West Sussex. This provided us with the opportunity to discussmany issues that the industryfaces. In particular,we discussed the peat ban and extended producer responsibilities. Visit such as these areinvaluable, allowing us to see great crops as well as the impressivehandling of orders and dispatch.

Other visits areplanned in the futureto member businesses of all sizes.

I’ve also continued to drop in on HTAmembers when in their area and my most recent visit was to the excellent Riverside Garden Centreonthe edge of Bristol. This centrecaters very much for city gardeners and wasgeographically aclose rival to my old business. It was hardtofault any partofthis great garden centre, which together with its team is certainly ready for spring!

Find out more

TheHorticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’sleading membership organisation and welcomes all sectorsofenvironmental horticulture. To learn or email:

our industry underpins at least 50% of the Government’s environmental plans
Alan with the team at Riverside Garden Centre which is definitely all ready forspring.

Hello to new salvias and goodbye to retired roses

Recent introductions and results from re-trialling keep plant sales benches filled with bright,healthy stock.

Ina move to continue to only sell thebest qualityplants to the next generation of gardeners, David AustinRoseshas takenthe decision to ‘retire’ some cultivars now superseded by healthier andmore robustvarieties. The decisions, it says, were notmade lightly and arebased on resultsfromits regular re-trialling programme. While these plants may continue to do well in some places, the changing environment with its evolving pests, diseases andweather patterns meansalternative varieties arebetter suited and display superior performance.

Paul Constantine, Marketing Manager says the decisions arenot

based on sales figures and in some cases may lead to alossofrevenue “Decisions areled by quality,” he says. Retired varieties will be kept as partofthe heritage of David Austin Roses and continue to be used within its breeding programme based on the attributes in which theyexcel, for example fragrance.

The David Austin Roses website suggests helpful alternatives should customers request varieties that areno longer available. These arenot ‘direct replacements’but arebased on how theyperform in ‘Best For’ situations which link to David Austin Roses point of sale, websiteand garden centre trade brochures.

Retired Alternatives

Munstead Wood

Lady Emma Hamilton


Gabriel Oak or Thomas aBecket

Dame Judi Dench, Lady Gardener,Roald Dahl

Gabriel Oak or Thomas aBecket

Plants for Perennial

Four growers havejoinedforcestosupplyaselection of plants to garden centres which will supportthe work of Perennial. This charity helps people working or who havepreviously been employedinhorticulture.

Ready for ordering nowunder the banner ‘Plants for Perennial’ aretwo newsalvias introduced at the HTA Plant Showlast year and grownbyWyevale Nurseries. Salvia gregii ‘Cuello Pink’and Salvia gregii ‘Cuello White’ will be ready for consumers to buyinmid-June and as theyboth reach aheightof70-80cm, areperfect for planting in containers or borders. Theyare available in taupe kerbsiderecyclable pots and branded with a Plants for Perennial linked picturelabel

Also partofthe promotion areDianthus ‘Pink Celebration’ from AllensmoreNurseries; Nemesia ‘Peaches and Cream’ from The BransfordWebbs Plant Company; and Clematis ‘PrinceGeorge’ from NewLeaf Plants.

30 April 2023 Planteria
An alternativetothe old favourite rose ‘Munstead Wood’ (above)is rose ‘Gabriel Oak’(right). Delicatetwo-toned salvia ‘Cuello White’ and ‘Cuello Pink’will be ready forgarden centres to sell in June. Asuggestion instead of the nowretired rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (above)is rose ‘Dame Judy Dench’ (right).

It’s another packed schedule for GIMA&its members

Trade associations arewell known for adding value for their members but what does this really mean?

At GIMA it means, as 2023 has shown, apretty packed event schedule. We might only be afew months in, but we’ve already travelled the length and breadth of the countrymeeting with members newand old, while also attending events, exhibitions and skills workshops.

Quarterone saw GIMA busy hosting the Garden PressEvent alongside the HTA. This event provided aplatformfor over400 membersofthe gardening pressand social media community to network with brands wanting to gain moremedia coverage in the coming months. Athriving event, this year’s Garden PressEvent demonstrated the value of face-to-faceevents.

Hot on the heels of the Garden Press Event wasour annual Day Conference, whereindustryjuggernauts Dobbies and British Garden Centresheadlined our agenda for the day.Outlining their plans for the futureand theimportanceofsuppliers within this vision, these sessions drew in the crowdsincluding those wanting to better understand howthese market leaders areshaping thenext chapter of garden retail. Delegates also learned moreabout thethree newtypes of consumers, the business-critical differencebetween data and insight, and gained an understanding intothe so-called ‘War on Talent’.

Three GIMA Knowledge Exchange workshopshavealso taken place since the startofthe year,arming delegates with tangibleand relevantadvice to build vital skillsets. From sales development and key account management to influencingskills, these one-day sessions –led by corporate trainer,Cedar Associates– have helped dozens of employees within the garden retail sectorbroadentheir career prospects,gain newskills and build their confidence as they progressintonew rolesand businesses

launched newinnovations from June 2022 to May 2023.The deadline for submissions is 2nd June and we’realready receiving some very strong entries, so who scoops one of the 16 awards up for grabs this year is anyone’sguess!

We’realsotaking bookings for the GIMA Charity Golf Day on 8th June, with sponsorship already being snapped up from brands that want to gain extra exposureduringthe day. Thereisalso a strong webinar programme incoming with sessions set to featureAspin, Euromonitor, RT7Digital, Xenia, and Dascher.Not forgetting the annual trend presentation from Scarlet Opus in September

Quarterone has also seen GIMA’s membership grow,with 12 newmembers signing up.Brands taking advantage of our extensiveportfolio of member benefits include Fandango FireTools, AHS,Evolution Packaging,Maze, Patterson &Rothwell, Pioneer Brushes, SayGrass, The Natural Plant Food Company,Westminster Stone, Yardforce,RT7Digital, and XeniaBroking

But what about the rest of theyear?

We’recertainly notonestorest on our laurels. The annual GIMA awards areset to return on 19th October and entry is nowopen to all our members that

GIMA dates for the diaryfor 2023

• GIMAAGM, 12th May, virtual event

• GIMAGolfDay, 8th June, 2022, Belton Woods, Grantham

• GIMAatGLEE, 27th- 29th June, NEC, Birmingham

• GIMAAwardsJudging, 11th -12th July,Warwick Racecourse

• GIMAAwardsGala Dinner, 19th October,CelticManor Resort

Plus look out for moreskills-based workshops, market data, Buyer Connect sessions, and various webinars on ahost of differenttopics.

And of course, we haveGlee very much on the horizon with June getting ever closer.Aspartofour programme to ensureour members get as much out of the showaspossible, GIMA will onceagain be running hosted meetings within the GIMA Lounge. These speed networking sessions areoften an invaluable resource and haveresulted in many newretail partnerships being formed. With so much on the to-dolistfor the remainderof2023, it hardly seems surprising that GIMA is currently recruiting foranew Membership and Marketing Co-ordinator! This newteammember will be an integral partofGIMA’s growth plans and will shareresponsibility for implementing ongoing member initiatives. Viewpoint April 2023 31
Quarter one has also seen GIMA’s membership grow,with12new members signing up
Celebrate Summer at Solex Be inspired by new products & new ideas 10-12 July 2023 Hall 5. NEC, Birmingham 01952 977569 |

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