GTN August 2021 - Garden Trade News, UK

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Advice & information for garden centre professionals


Advice & information for garden centre professionals

Rock on, Antony Harker is



Garden industry ryy investor embarks on a new venture with Altico

AFTERNOON TEA EDWARDIAN STYLE Alan Roper’s new dining concept


Boyd Douglas-Davies


t a u o y e e S stand 4 4 F 20

Committed to helping garden centre retailers grow With over 55 years experience in supplying to horticultural retailers, Fordingbridge are dedicated to helping our clients trade whatever the weather. Our design & build experience can help you open new opportunities for your garden centre throughout the year.

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01243 55 44 55


For peats sake, please can we have come facts?


ince we published our Peat Issue back in June we’ve spoken with many people across the industry and the overwhelming feedback is that of serious concern about how the “gap” of peat free material can be filled, serious concerns about performance and consistency, and still a big question mark over whether a ban of peat sales for home gardening will actually have significant impact on climate change. In answer to that last point, we’ve been trying to dig deeper and check the facts regarding the carbon impact of peat. In the May/June issue of GTN we reported that a hectare of drained peat bog emits 6 tonnes of carbon as CO2 per year, but what we can’t get to the bottom of is how much relates to the average purchase of 3 bags of a peatbased compost. An internet search readily tells us that the carbon footprint of a Big Mac cheeseburger is 4 kg of CO2 equivalent gases, which means a cheeseburger has the same emissions as about 1/2 a gallon of petrol.

In this issue...

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Patio Black Spot - Bloomin Marvellous on Patios Antony Harker is back, launching Altico at Glee Made to measure merchandising from Primeur Meadow View Stone Delivers Miss Marple Afternoon Tea – Alan Roper’s new dining concept

So, what is the equivalent statistic for a peatbased compost? Is it more or less than a Big-Mac? Whilst we might not all like Big Macs, I don’t see them being banned by the government just yet. Does this fact not exist because the carbon impact is so low it wouldn’t help the environmentalists’ arguments? Or is it so high we’ve been keeping it quiet so as not to shine a light on the issue? As an industry we’ve known for years that the use of peat has been a target of environmentalists and government for well over 10 years, surely someone somewhere has worked out this rather crucial fact? If you are that someone reading this issue of GTN, who knows the answer, or has some information to point us in the right direction to find the answer, please do let us know. Answers in an e-mail to, and we’ll spread the word to all working in garden centres across the country who are still unable to properly answer customers questions when it comes to growing media and the move to peat free.

Trevor Pfeiffer

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Garden Trade News Potting Shed Press Ltd Dairy Drove Thorney Peterborough PE6 0TX Tel 01733 775700 THE GTN TEAM Editor Trevor Pfeiffer Advertising Sales Alan Burdon Associate Editor Mike Wyatt Digital Editor Neil Pope Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer Design & Production AT Graphics Ltd Kirsty Craner – Design Alun Jones – Production Manager Robert Tipping – Managing Director James Tipping – Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd Do you qualify for a copy of GTN?

If you’d like to be added to the GTN distribution list, please send your details to to see if you qualify to be included. Alternatively, if you prefer your Garden Trade News digitally, sign up for GTN Xtra, our weekly e-mail newsetter at And, if you want the fastest garden centre sales analysis, take out a subscription to GTN Bestsellers our printed weekly sales data newsletter. For just £145.00 per year you get Top 50 sales charts created from weekly garden centre epos data. Contact trevor@ for more details and to subscribe.

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Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd who also publish: GTN Bestsellers, GTN Xtra, Glee Daily News and the Glee Catalogue, and the Solex Sun. Potting Shed Press also supply Garden Radio to over 100 garden centres across the country.

Director Trevor Pfeiffer

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Blue Diamond Springfields, GTN Photo Tour Downtown Grantham, GTN Photo Tour Glee 2021 is ready to refuel retail HTA Column – Job for life? LOFA Member profile – Traeger GIMA Column – A Celebration of newness

SMALL PRINT: All material © Potting Shed Press Ltd 2021. No part of this publication may e reproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the express permission of the publishers. The information supplied in this publication is published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. Potting Shed Press Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by reliance on information contained in this publication or in the vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company, individual or firm mentioned, is hereby excluded.

August 2021 5


Rock on, Antony!

Yes, he’s back – back again! Garden industry investor Antony Harker embarks on a new venture with Altico


aving worked in the garden industry since he was 15 Antony Harker sold Kelkay, the aggregate business he had built from scratch in 2018. Having invested some of the capital raised back into the industry through the purchase of a number of centres you may think it was time to take it easy. But no, Antony and his team are back and planning to launch their new company, Altico, at Glee. Antony Harker has the garden industry in his blood, and it’s always been a family affair. His parents built Tong Garden Centre, situated between Bradford and Leeds in to 80s, with Antony doing a bit of everything, including running the onsite aquatic centre for 3 years. Then in his mid-twenties, he, and his partner Hayley (who started working at the garden centre at the age of 15) started to run the centre on a day-to-day basis, with his Dad semi-retiring. Antony comments, “The thing is with garden centres, once you are in them you love them. They are really hard work because they are non-

6 August 2021

stop and the seasons never end, but you always look back with pride. Much of the reward comes from the people - having a special rapport with those you meet and work with and who all love it just as much”. In early 2000, following over 15 years at Tong, Antony wanted to branch out on his own and with savings of £15,000 he and Hayley set up Kelkay – named after daughters Kelsey and Cally. Antony explains, “At the time aggregates was something that everyone wanted because there was a lot about them on the TV with Alan Titchmarsh and the Ground Force team. They were using gravels, building ponds and adding decking. As I describe it consumers were beating a path to gravels but the supply of it wasn’t advanced. The two big players at the time were Cem Pak (who had just been bought out by Tarmac) and Supamix. The bags simply had tick boxes on to identify what was inside and were being sold loose, so we felt there was a golden opportunity to apply a different logic to selling them.”

Kelkay began life as an extremely modest operation. The business started from a yard that was rented with a borrowed forklift and money borrowed to purchase a bagging machine. Attending Glee with a polished professional stand and having a great looking brochure, customers would have been unaware of the yard with the portacabin and 2 laptops as their mainframe operation in the early days. Antony comments, “We knew there was a lot of work to do, but we focused on the founding principles from the outset. Understanding the retailer perspective really helped us to address key issues and turn them in to solutions, like having strong packaging, offering point of sale and being flexible. The team all came from garden centre backgrounds too, so the industry was in our DNA and that know-how from day one proved to be a huge part of our success story. “Garden centres were finding that customers were buying more of the product because it was nicely presented, better packaged and


we made the whole buying process simple for Garden Centre teams and the customers but garden centres. have missed being a supplier too. I feel very “I sold Kelkay in 2018 and it was always part of fortunate to be able to continue to invest in my plan to stay in the industry and invest further the market in different ways. I enjoyed what with a business model of buying centres and we stood for as a supplier and very proud of leasing them back to Garden Centre Operators. the principles we had – so that’s a big part of This business developed at pace with me why we’re doing it again now. We’ll have an purchasing a number of centres, experienced leadership team from For me the offset, who will each have a 8 of which are leased to British Garden Centres. This side of the it is simple shareholding in the Altico business, business continues to grow with which is really exciting. – I just love various operators across the “We purchased The Stone and the garden Garden Company, a small aggregates industry. I also hold an investment as a minority shareholder in the business in May 2021 and are now in industry! newly formed BGC South Ltd, the process of setting the foundations however I’m not a Director or for Altico, our new company name. It involved operationally, so I’m an informal advisor. involves a lot of preparation for launch at Glee This gives me a deeper appreciation for the to ensure all our systems and processes are in customer and their needs.” place for next year. For me though it’s about So, with all that going on you may think that investing in the right people and being part of that was enough – apparently not! the industry. A key element of our culture is Antony explains, “I love the interaction with the people – trustworthy and honest. This is

essential for a good business as people buy from people. It is very much still family orientated too with my partner Hayley, daughters Kelsey and Cally and son Owen all involved in Altico. “I feel very blessed to be part of the industry that we are in, and I am proud that my kids are already part of it too. If you look back to last year nobody knew how it would pan out at the beginning and then for garden centres to go on and have the year they had is unbelievable. “I feel that there will be further interest in gardening over the coming years. The industry is at the heart of this with many people putting a lot of time and effort in. For me it is simple – I just love the garden industry!” Talking of the new business, Altico, Antony describes a culture of shared experiences, lessons learned and having a down to earth approach that comes from being confident in their abilities and clear in their goals. “Results for us will be about setting ourselves targets to tick all the right boxes

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Interview with our customers – service level agreements, availability, transparency, strong communication and marketing excellence. If we do all this right, I’m sure we’ll create successful business. “In terms of our offer, we are looking to move the category forward – you have to keep evolving and innovating. There have been many changes in the market over the past few years – with new gardeners coming on board through lockdown and many of the new homes being built having much smaller gardens. Online Keeping it in the family. Children Cally, Kelsey suppliers continue to be a threat to and Owen Harker all join garden centres too, especially when it Antony in the new Altico comes to aggregates, but the pandemic business. has resulted in most garden centres either in this category – location the business, with a wealth of experience under having their own online offer or moving is everything and you have their belts in our core markets. towards one. We have no interest in competing to be good at logistics. “Having had the benefit of seeing both online and won’t be retaining the existing website “We are setting ourselves sides of the coin during my many years in offer Stone & Garden have today. Instead, we are up for very high service levels. A big part of our garden centres, and as a major supplier, I can looking forwards to directly supporting garden remit is about having the stock available on the see the opportunities ahead as well as the centre retailers in this area - both at store level ground and ensuring customers have stock potential pitfalls to watch out for. My role is and via their online developments.” delivered in the same week. More really, therefore, is to inspire Talking of Altico’s location, Antony adds, “One about this will be revealed at Glee and support the team to take The best of the main reasons for buying this new company but with Altico we are doing in 6 responsibility for creating results happen Altico’s future. Better said, to is the infrastructure it gives us and it’s proximity. months what we did in 12 years Situated near junction 4 of the M18, on the edge previously. Whilst it’s too early to when we work me, it’s their business to shape, of Doncaster, Altico has a large site, right in the announce specifics, I can tell you but we all understand that the together to middle of the core decorative aggregate country. that we’re building a superb Altico best results happen when we Transport and logistics play such an important role team, who each bring credibility to achieve them. work together to achieve them.”

Starting as they mean to go on. The Altico team are busy preparing for their launch at Glee.

8 August 2021





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Made to measure merchandising from Primeur

Primeur’s Eco Garden merchandising displays have been proven to help retailers maximise sales in-store, however now the company is enhancing this even further by working with retailers to tailor their display content to ensure that the tills keep ringing throughout the season. Here Primeur’s Sales Director, Jenny Douthwaite explains more. Working with retailers to tailor content

A new look at merchandising options

No two retailers sell the same amount of anything, instead where one retailer might see sales of stepping-stones skyrocket, another might be the epicentre of garden border sales. As such Primeur is working with retailers to ensure that their stock holding is reflective of their individual sales patterns. “The aim of this tailored approach is to increase sales amongst those products that appeal most to their customers. There is no point in us just providing a pre-stocked unit only for certain products to flounder as others thrive. This is not cost-effective for our customers, nor does it look great at the point of purchase. Instead, we want to work with our retail customers to identify their bestsellers and ensure that the stock density is there for them when it is needed most,” said Jenny Douthwaite.

Primeur recommends that bestselling ranges are merchandised on its large pallet display units. Supported by bright and informative point of sale info which draws the eye from cross the shopfloor whist highlighting the products’ USPs, these display units can house multiple products across three shelves. To maximise these units further, Jenny recommends moving away from a wall location and create an island design by positioning two units back-to-back. She explains more: “Freeing up wall space and creating an island unit not only increases the amount of product that can be displayed but it also creates an eyecatching display that benefits from double-sided branding to draw interest from multiple locations across the store. “Those customers that have introduced an extra stand have remarked that the investment of additional floorspace has certainly delivered in increased sales.”

A brand-new offering, ideal for the garden centre and DIY market, will also be exclusively launching at Glee. Details are currently under wraps but watch this space for more information!

New Pallet Display Units Supporting Primeur’s existing merchandising options are the all-new pallet display units. Dedicated to showcasing the application and eco-credentials each of the Eco Garden products merchandised, these new display units are a great way to start the season and top-up stock holding ahead of peak sales, in doing so ensuring customers can access the right amount of material to complete their garden projects. Jenny added: “Products such as garden borders and stepping-stones are not a singular purchase, instead consumers are looking for sufficient stock to complete their garden upgrade. A display unit only half stocked or running low will cause consumers to look elsewhere as they won’t want to buy what is needed over an extended time period; instant gratification is key. A fully stocked display unit is also more likely to tempt impulse purchases, whilst driving consumer confidence and loyalty.”

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Above: Primeur Sonata Trough

Primeur’s 2021 Merchandising M h di i Di Display l


Don’t leave it too late A simple statement but one that Jenny says is hugely important to remember. She said: ”So often retailers leave reordering to the last minute, resulting in potentially empty shelves. We currently operate sevenday delivery schedules and are doing all we can to work with our retailers to ensure that stock gaps in-store are avoided. However, it remains the responsibility of the retailer to assess stock levels ahead of time, making it easier to forecast when stock is required.”

Above: Primeur Carolina flexible border edging

Co-locate to drive up average basket spend Primeur’s Eco Garden merchandising displays have been designed to be entirely freestanding, meaning they can be easily relocated around the retail environment to keep displays relevant by co-locating alongside complementary product categories. Jenny offered some simple advice for retailers. She said: “A relocation of the display to coincide with key sales peaks of these and the complementary product groups will work to increase the average basket spend, and potentially capture customers who might not ordinarily come across the display if it is located in the same position year-round.”

Primeur’s POS: the silent salesperson

See Primeur at Glee 2021

Primeur is pleased to confirm its return to the annual Glee exhibition this September (14th – 16th September, NEC Birmingham). Located in Hall 20, stand C40-D41, the team will be showcasing its existing Eco Garden range including a number of new additions to its Tierra Verde self-watering planter offering, as well as new designs and colourways within its multiaward-winning landscaping range made up of garden borders, stepping-stones and decking. A brand-new offering, ideal for the garden centre and DIY market, will also be exclusively launching at the event. Details are currently under wraps but watch this space for more information!

One of the biggest attractions of the Primeur Eco Garden collection is its eco-friendly credentials. Made from recycled rubber tyres which would otherwise take upwards of 80 years to decompose in landfill, each product benefits from characteristics of rubber including lightweight, UV-stable, and all-weather durability. Thanks to Primeur’s newly updated POS itt has never been easier for consumers consu any features and benefits of the to understand the many o convert products, helping to as ases. interest into purchases.

Below: New Pallet Display units from Primeur

Find out more re

To find more about Primeur’s i ’ full f ll product d range and nd d to di discuss your tailored product needs, please contact the team on 01274 518800 or email

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Meadow View Stone Delivers Following a very successful year in 2020 that saw Meadow View Stone double their turnover, 2021 has seen some unparalleled challenges for all landscaping manufacturers. We asked Sarah Hill - MD of Meadow View Stone what they were and just how they have coped through this year’s peak season.


hese last twelve months have tested even the strongest supply chain, with national shortages in timber, polythene and even cement, causing us continual headaches and worries,” said Sarah. “Add to this a national shortage of haulage, raw material limitations and escalating container costs, and it will give you some indication of how hard we have all had to work to try and maintain a seamless supply of products. “I am immensely proud that our small team have delivered an OTIF (On Time In Full) statistic of 82% so far this year, while also working hard to improve our multiple production sites and dockside storage facilities which give us more capability than all our competitors. This continued investment will help us keep pace with market demand,

Come and see us at Glee on stand number 6D30-F31. maintain our growth and give new and existing customers Stock arriving at a large Meadow the confidence and assurances that they are partnering View Stone stockist with the right supplier for the future.” With over 25% of the Meadow View Stone product range being exclusive and unique, they have a complete standalone range that can be promoted as a non-conflicting product collection with an ability to upsell in volume at a higher RRP. Their premium collection is also supplied washed to further emphasise the quality of the Meadow View Stone product offer. This ability to innovate in a market that has seen little advancement over Meadow View Stones key many years, while continuing to meet priority has, and always will customer demand and plan for be, to fully and exclusively growth are Meadow View Stones support the Garden Centre key points of difference. industry and its leading annual exhibition - Glee - so come and see us on stand number 6D30-F31 to find out more. www ww gard rden entr trad aden enew uk

3 Core Lines in stock at the Meadow View Stone Southern Site

Bulk shipments arriving at our Rye dockside

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Photo Tour

Alan Roper outside the retail unit that will become “The Parlour” at Springfield’s Outlet Shopping Centre

Miss Marple Aftfternoon t Tea Anyone? Aftfter t being stuck on Guernsey since the end of March 2019, Blue Diamond CEO Alan Roper, has at last been able to travel to the mainland and visit all of his centres. GTN caught up with him on his grand tour at Springfifields i Home & Garden in Spalding where he revealed exciting plans for a new stand-alone restaurant in the outlet shopping centre.


t’s been like a shot of adrenaline each time I’ve walked into the centres,” said Alan, “It’s always been about the people and that’s what I’ve missed most over the past 18 months. “They’ve all done a great job during the pandemic. We have already made last year’s profit this year!” Zoom meetings have been the way Alan has kept in touch with his people across the business: “Days of zoom meetings backto-back have been really exhausting. It’s so much better to be able to meet the teams face to face and travel between the centres.” Not one to keep standing still, Alan has also been using the time on Guernsey to progress new business opportunities with a number of potential garden centre acquisitions in the pipeline and at Springfields in Spalding he has

14 August 2021

been asked by the outlet centre landlords to open a stand-alone restaurant opposite the festival gardens attraction. “After watching far too much Poirot and Miss Marple on TV during lockdown we have created a new “Parlour” restaurant theme to compliment the successful Kipling Pâtisserie & Prose coffee shop concept. Here at Spalding, we will be creating a fully themed 1930’s Edwardian style restaurant that will open in the Autumn. We’ve started trialling the design of the new concept at Weybridge and Cadbury.” Later in his tour itinerary are visits to several venues to find a big enough location for the Blue Diamond Awards 2022. With two years trading and all the efforts of the first lockdown to be celebrated it is sure to be a grand occasion.

We have already made last year’s profit this year!

Photo Tour



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1. The success of Kipling & Prose Patisserie, this one is at Weybridge, has been a big step towards the development of “The Parlour” 2. Blue Diamond retailing is big on exclusives this year, even in giftware where bees feature on many lines. 3. and 7. Colour and plants for purpose theming packs a punch in the small planteria at Springfields. It may be one of the smallest planterias in the group but the space is used well to create a spectacular display. 4. The Parlour theme is being tested at Weybridge and Cadbury. 5. Houseplants continue to be the dramatic welcome to Blue Diamond centres. 6. The Parlour at Springfields will be managed by the same team that run the successful Noshery in the garden centre. There will be a covered walkway between the garden centre an the new restaurant when it opens in the Autumn. 8. They very cleverly get everything you’d find in a bigger Blue Diamond centre into the small gardening area at Springfields.



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Photo Tour


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9. Prairie planting is a very appropriate theme to promote in the expanses of the Lincolnshire Fens. 10. There’s plenty to appeal to parents and grandparents for the summer holidays at Blue Diamond Springfields. 11. Someone has any eye for outside merchandising at Springfields, great to see these artificial hedges used to separate and highlight different landscaping products. 12. This “Shade Loving Plants” display shone out in the covered planteria. Fabulous plant merchandising. 13. Not leaving anything to chance, if you’re looking for late summer colour these Phlox are for you! 14. Blue Diamond have been sourcing their own garden lighting ranges to give them a point of diff fference. f Alan Roper reports that they have been extremely successful as Blue Diamond member promotions. 15. More Bees!



15 16 August 2021

Photo Tour

Everything is waiting for you, Downtown I n the words of Petula Clark’s hit song “Things will be great when you're downtown. No finer place for sure downtown. Everything's waiting for you.” And that’s definately the case at the biggest garden centre on the A1 at Gonerby Foot, Grantham. Apart from a lack of furniture (It’s all been sold before it gets here) you wouldn’t know there are any shortages of products judging by the stock levels at Downtown. But stock is moving so fast, from both in-store and online sales that a lot of the bigger lines get displayed in the packaging, especially BBQ’s, to save time. “We are now the biggest garden centre retailer of Cobra power machinery,” buyer Keith Wilbin explained when GTN visited in July.






The Downtown tartan leads the way to the seasonal display area, garden furniture currently, but also for Christmas.


1. The new food retailing area upstairs next to the table service restaurant includes a luxury hamper service. 2. Indoor pots are stylishly displayed around the houseplant sales area, with plenty of hanging options. 3. The largest garden machinery and tools sales area we’ve seen in a garden centre recently. Cobra, EGO, Sthil, Greenworks, Webb and Bosch form the centre piece with hand tools from Kent & Stowe, Wolf, Fiskars and Darlac around the outside. 4. An indoor houseplant vertical garden greet customers en-route to the restaurant. 5. Hedgehogs will be well looked after by Downtown customers! 6. A wide selection of firepits and outdoor heating products at Downtown to keep people outside during late summer nights.

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Glee 2021

Glee is ready to refuel retail

Events are back, with Glee leading the charge as the first dedicated garden retail exhibition to make its in-person return post-lockdown between 14th – 16th September at the NEC Birmingham.


his year’s Glee will bring together hundreds of brands and thousands of exciting products under one roof, providing garden buyers with the first opportunity in 18 months to ‘shop’ new ranges to boost their retail offering and build on the incredible momentum created throughout lockdown. Reopening in line with government guidelines, Glee will provide a ‘Safe & Secure’ space where, under the banner of ‘refuelling retail’, the garden retail industry can come together to build business and network, as well as gathering inspiration for new product ranges, merchandising and point of sale, social media and branding. A visit to Glee can help fill the void created during the last 15 months where retailers were unable to focus on buying or source innovation and trend-led ranges. Matthew Mein, Glee’s Event Director, said: “We move into the 2021 event with a sense of excitement regarding the future development of our sector following a period of significant growth. Despite the pressures that have been placed on many by the supply chain, gardening has won the hearts and minds of so many and, as such, we are moving into a new chapter supported by a newly expanded ‘gardening army’. From an engaged audience, the ongoing

18 August 2021

potential of the ‘millennial pound’, new tech hitting the market, and a wealth of existing ranges continuing to hit the mark, Glee 2021 will be a thriving hub for the garden retail market, offering unrivalled value for both suppliers and visitors.” Exhibitors from across Glee’s eight product sectors are already busy planning their return to the exhibition. Whilst the pressures of the pandemic have forced suppliers to work differently, for many, new product development continued at pace. Reacting to consumer demand, suppliers are expected to bring to market products with a defined sustainability ethos, products that make life easier for gardeners, including hightech innovations, plus latest design updates to core, volume-driven categories. Garden Care is Glee’s most thriving area, and this year is set to feature everything from growing media, compost, fertilisers, and GYO products to garden machinery, garden tools and accessories, perfect for enticing the three-million strong new gardeners who took up the hobby during lockdown to keep flexing their green fingers.

Glee 2021 will be a thriving hub for the garden retail market.

The Evergreen Garden Care won the Greatest Floral Team Award at Glee in 2019. Who will win on Floral Thursday in 2021?

Glee’s Landscaping and Garden Decoration provides an unrivalled showcase of influential brands and leaders in garden and landscaping design. Featuring stunning displays, this area of Glee is a must-see section of the show, featuring many bestpractice examples of how to cross-sell products in situ. From hard landscaping and aggregates to fencing, garden buildings and decorative accents such as pots, structures, soft landscaping, statuary, water features and timber supplies, Landscaping and Garden Decoration has everything to help garden retailers, builders’ merchants and landscapers to maximise those products that create the framework of every garden. Outdoor Entertaining is the place to source products that really enable people to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and will feature the best from the industry’s leading companies, making it the ideal opportunity for buyers looking to source next year’s ranges and tap into the stratospheric rise in the popularity of these products over the last 18 months. Despite the pressures of the pandemic the popularity of gifts, homeware and outdoor clothing shows no sign of abating, helping to keep the tills ringing year-round as consumers look to optimise key gifting events as well as adding value to their homes and garden with stylish accessories. Post-lockdown, a shift towards UK-grown talent and production is coupled with an increased average spend as consumers look to treat themselves and loved ones more than ever following a year of enforced distance. As such, Glee’s popular Home, Gift & Clothing category is set to welcome a range of brands offering everything from outdoor clothing ranges and picnicware to seasonal decorations, games, toys and books. Glee Plants, the Green Heart in the Atrium area, is where buyers can shop for the best in nursery stock, bedding plants, trees and shrubs, as well as houseplants which has seen annual sales boom to over

Glee 2021

Floral Thursday

Back by popular demand, Thursday is your chance to join in some lighthearted Floral Fun as we get all floral to raise money for Greenfingers. Just come to the show in your brightest floral gear, buy a Floral Thursday raffle ticket and be a part of a record breaking floral gathering!

£4 billion as ‘urban jungles’ and ‘plant parents’ become the norm. Any garden retailer wanting to maximise the profitability and efficiency of their own store, won’t want to miss the wide range of retail support suppliers within Glee’s Retail Experiences & Services and the dedicated Food & Catering sectors. Finally, Glee’s PAW (Pet & Animal Wellbeing) sector will offer access to leading brands covering product sectors such as grooming, pet food, pet accessories, wild animal wellbeing, bird feeders, pet toys and wildlife gardening. This dedicated section of the exhibition will be a true destination for retailers who want to tap into the potential of this £6.2 billion industry (Statista report June 2021) and create a truly unique and personal customer experience. Retailers wanting to nurture grass root

How to get to Glee

Glee takes place at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, and is easily reached by car, rail and air. If you are arriving by car, follow regional signs to the NEC where visitor car parking is plentiful and free. All halls are within walking distance, but a free shuttle bus service is also available from car parks to the Halls. Rail travel is equally convenient with Birmingham International railway station located on the NEC site. For international visitors Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is linked to the NEC by the free SkyRail, departing every few minutes and taking just 90 seconds. National Express Coaches run a regular service to and from the NEC covering most UK locations.

Entries are flooding in for the Glee New Product Awards. Who will be the winners in 2021?

businesses will be sure to make a stop by Glee’s Innovators Zone. Since its launch in 2009 the Innovators Zone has already helped more than 275 companies break into the garden retail market. This special area is designed to help nurture fledging product development and one-off design ideas, whilst also bridging the gap between market-ready new product launches from established companies and pre-commercial product ideas.

What else to see at glee Glee New Product Showcase & Buyers Power List Glee is a celebration of the best products and best practice on both the supply and retail side that our industry has to offer, and the forthcoming edition of the show will incorporate two major industry awards ceremonies which reflect this. For suppliers, there is the GTN sponsored New Product Showcase, which celebrate the best new product innovations as well as tried and tested favourites which have stood the test of time. This year’s showcase will see shortlisted entries make their pitch to the judging panel on September 14th and 15th. The best of garden retailing will also be celebrated at Glee with the prestigious Buyers Power List for 2021, to be held on Wednesday 15th September. The awards recognise the individual

buyers and buying teams who have gone above and beyond to make a difference within the garden retail industry this year. Glee’s seminar content – The Stage As always, Glee will offer visitors a free, three-day seminar programme organised in conjunction with the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association), providing an enriched programme of expert business and garden retail advice to help grow your business through challenging trading conditions. This content will be derived from extensive industry research and is set to tackle key talking points, struggles and successes. Register today Entry to Glee is free of charge to all preregistered visitors. Simply register via the Glee website register. Glee 2021 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from Tuesday 14th to Thursday 16th September and opens between 9.00am and 6:00pm (Tuesday & Wednesday) and 4:00pm (Thursday).

Find out more

To find out the latest news and to register for free entry, please visit For details on exhibiting at Glee, call +44 (0)203 3545 9752.

August 2021 19

Job for Life? I certainly hope so!!! Boyd J Douglas-Davies, HTA President


he backdrop might be a little out of sync with now but the smile has lived on and 46 years later I’m enjoying a life in horticulture more then ever! 46 years from now I’ll be approaching my century, and God willing, I will still be smiling… I wonder what the backdrop will be? The wonderful world of horticulture really is capable of providing a job for life, and a great one at that! Of course, many of you will be thinking you’ve never ‘worked’ a day in your life as you love your job so much it is a pleasure rather than a task. I hope you are feeling that, but I also hope that you, like me, are wondering where the enthusiasts of the future are coming from? Yes, we have got some great young people in the industry but nowhere near enough to ensure horticulture flourishes for years to come. The Young People in Horticulture Association (YPHA) - Uniting

under 35s working in UK Horticulture – is a superb organisation and anybody in your team young enough to belong should be encouraged to do so. Key to their, and our, future success though is an increased flow of people into the industry. I challenge you to think about how you are going to make a difference this autumn. As your local schools and colleges return this September will you have written to them with an overview of your business, the career opportunities it can provide and an offer to speak at any careers fairs they are planning? Do you encourage work placements and invite groups to visit you? When I think back to my school days (yes, I can remember them just!) the school really had no idea what a blooming great career in horticulture could look like. Make sure the next generation make the right decision and choose a career that will grow and grow.

The Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase gave plenty of inspiration for landscapers, growers and retailers.

20 August 2021



NO GROW™ Joint Filling Sand with Natural Weed Inhibitor

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RHS Garden Bridgewater, Salford, Greater Manchester is now open.

Many will be thinking you’ve never ‘worked’ a day in your life as you love your job so much it is a pleasure rather than a task. Days don’t get much better than the one I enjoyed this week…. The morning was spent walking the Ball Colegrave trial grounds followed by an evening at RHS Garden Bridgewater. Two great demonstrations of investment and belief in the future of our industry. Time at Ball Colegrave is always a pleasure as they never fail to have wonderful plants on show. Despite numerous visits there over the years I always learn something, and this year was no different. If you missed the 2021 open weeks do make sure you get there in 2022. Whether you are a landscaper, grower or retailer there is plenty to see and a morning visit really isn’t enough to take it all in. A few hours later, on what was one of the hottest days of the year, I was walking in to the new RHS Garden Bridgewater. WOW! What an investment and fantastic demonstration of how a long-forgotten piece of land can be transformed into something beautiful. An evening there is not long enough to appreciate the gardens and I will certainly be going back soon. The RHS and Ball Colegrave share what they do with as many people as possible, and they are both flourishing. Something to be learnt from this I feel!!

Find out more

The Horticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’s leading membership organisation. It welcomes all sectors of horticulture – to join please contact

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August 2021 21

LOFA Member Profile

Traeger – The No 1 selling wood fire grill in the UK and worldwide Traeger’s smart tech wood pellet grills put tech and taste at the heart of their brand.


ith Traeger’s D2® Technology you can grill from almost anywhere ® using app and Apple Watch Wifire® technology. Traeger’s variable speed fan and efore auger combine to control fire like never before ture – eliminating standard pellet grill temperature ecision n. swings and grilling delicious meals with precision. mean ns Traeger’s patented WiFIRE® technologyy means veringg maintaining precise temperatures and delivering ave the ultimate in flexible cooking. Traeger have ou the the smartest grills on the market, giving you nage their th heir freedom to grill on the go. Users can manage d wherever wherrever grill on the move, whenever they want and ime. they are, delivering perfect results every time. With over 1,500 recipes preloaded and programmable on the Traeger app, grilling to

perfection is easier than ever before. Simply select your y cook and let the app and the Traeger Grill do the rest, re smoothly moving through each step of the grilling grillin process to monitor temperatures, check pellet levels and test internal food temperatures from wherever you are. Traeger Tra Grills use hardwood-fired grilling to provide the ut utmost versatility to outdoor cooking, from BBQ, grilling and smoking, to baking, roasting and braising. And it’s not just the controls that are high-tech with Traege Traeger. Traeger’s new D2 Direct Drive technology means grills gget hotter, faster, deliver delivering superior smoke produ production and bestever w wood-fired flavou flavour. To find out more about stocking Traeger Grills, visit us at GLEE on stand 20E10 - F11. We’d love to show you our range of 7 fantastic grills - RRP from £549 to £2,500.

Traeger have the smartest grills on the market… 22 August 2021


A celebration of newness Vicky Nuttall, Director of GIMA


ith Glee on the horizon and the annual GIMA Awards sneaking ever closer, we are entering a period where we finally get to celebrate the newness that has been so passionately created during the last 18 months, and I for one cannot wait. Despite being flat out during lockdown, suppliers from across the sector have still been investing time into developing new products - a fact which continues to impress! Whether it is advancing existing ranges or developing entirely new concepts, we can rest assured that newness will take centre stage this autumn as 2022 orders are placed. Glee 2021 will be the first place in two years that we’ll be able to see this hard work come together, and as always, GIMA will be supporting the event. We’re excited to bring back GIMA Buyer Connect as an in-person networking event where we’ll bring together suppliers with a range of retailers including garden centres,

DIY chains and e-commerce experts, as well as announcing the winner of this year’s GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund (GISCF). Since 2015 the GISCF, in partnership with Glee, has helped to bring to market a series of brands, many of which are now considered key players helping to drive growth and diversification of the garden retail sector. This year will be no different, with the winner scooping a £6,000 grant to help launch innovative, exciting, never before seen products to the gardening market. The winner is still yet to be decided, and with the closing date (August 20th) fast approaching we may not have yet seen the winning entry. If you know of any fledgling brands that have invented something incredible and need expert support to break into the market, then please point them in the direction of the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund. Being onsite at Glee will also provide us with an opportunity to introduce our latest members. In recent months we have seen an influx in brands coming on board to access our many membership benefits including representation, business advice and insight, industry-wide promotion, networking and making savings on events, services, exhibitions and market data. It’s great to see so many new companies joining us, including new start-ups and established brands, all of whom are helping to create the vibrancy that helped our industry thrive despite the immense challenge to business posed by the Covid pandemic and lockdowns. It won’t just be Glee where we’ll be celebrating newness, though the exhibition will provide a sneak peek at some of the entries to the 2021 GIMA Awards. Back after a two-year enforced hiatus, this year’s awards have already received a record number of entries; entries that gave this year’s judging panel a lot of food for thought. With 10 product, three marketing and a sustainability award to consider, the judging day was a hectic one, but decisions have been made and I believe we have one of the strongest winners’ rosters yet. Details of who has won won’t be revealed until the Gala Dinner on 11th November – places at which are now extremely limited. Any interested parties are urged to book their place now to avoid disappointment.

We can rest assured that newness will take centre stage this autumn…

Find out more

For further information about GIMA, please call (01959) 564947 or email

August 2021 23

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