GTN August 2022 - Garden Trade News UK

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Advice & information for garden centre professionals

HAVE YOU JOINED THE RECYCLED RUBBER REVOLUTION? Primeur introduces their Mower Edge Border along with other new products and displays


Have you joined the Recycled Revolution? Primeur is thrilled to unveil a host of products ahead of the 2023 season. Fresh additions will join Primeur’s multi-award-winning collections including Tierra Verde self-watering planters, EZ Border garden borders, Eco Way stepping-stones and Easy Tile flooring collections. New innovation for tidy lawn edges

Recycled rubber that won’t let you down

The innovative all-new Mower Edge Border is designed to make grass cutting a breeze. The L-shaped design enables a mower to run true along the lawn border, enabling grass to be cut clean against the edge without leaving a line for which a strimmer would be required, meaning lawn care is easier than ever! Each border comes complete with spikes for installation, and the flexible flexible recycled rubber material – like all of Primeur’s EZ Borders - can curve to fit the shape of your border.

As well as looking great in any garden and giving a great big tick to the ecofriendly box, the recycled tyre crumb material makes Primeur products incredibly flexible and durable (they’re virtually indestructible!), non-toxic, easy to clean and maintain, resistant to mould and mildew, insulating for plant roots during winter, lawnmower and strimmer safe, crack-resistant, UV resistant, lightweight, easy to install and move around in both the garden and retail setting so no more breakage and wastage costs!

Newness across the board Primeur’s award-winning Tierra Verde selfwatering planter collection will see a new steel grey colourway added to the square Citadelle planter and 15cm trough planter. No doubt this update will be music to the ears of retailers who have already seen both these designs fly off the shelves during the early 2022 season. Over in the Easy Tile decking range, new introductions will include extra-large 45x45cm ‘Extreme’ Tiles and 45x45cm Cosmopolitan Decking tiles, plus edging and corners to fit the new extra-large sizes for a seamless fit.

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New merchandising to drive sales in 2023 Co-locating alongside outdoor aggregates Dedicated to making life easier for retailers, Primeur already offers an enhanced range of merchandising support tools, with its pallet display units for borders, stepping-stones and planters proving extremely popular. Debuted at Glee was a new ‘naked’ pallet merchandising displays which are designed to be co-located alongside decorative aggregates to drive up the average basket spend. No longer do consumers have to trawl the store for stepping-stones or garden borders, as these pallet displays – created in the style synonymous with decorative aggregates – will feature informative back boards that enable them to be seamlessly added to these designated product areas. What’s more, these new pallet displays hold on average 60 – 70 products, making them a great add-on or seasonal line that does not require huge stock holding in order to optimise in store. Simply ‘plug and play’ to start inspiring consumers as they undertake their garden landscaping projects.

New pallet skirts Offering the ideal sales support solution for busy garden centres and other outdoor retailers, all Primeur pallets can be supplied fully stocked with Tierra Verde planters, EZ Borders, Eco-Way Stepping Stones or Easy tile Flooring, with an appropriate POS Pallet Skirt that can be attached around the base. The point-ofsale material clearly details the product’s unique features and benefits through easyto-understand iconography, whilst also clearly communicating the vital recycled message to the end consumer. The pallet displays and removable POS skirts, which can be switched according to featured products, as required, are simple yet versatile, meaning retailers can also use them for different products within the range to suit your instore merchandise scheme.

Bespoke stocking to entice YOUR consumer demographic Don’t forget that no matter what merchandising solution you select, the Primeur team can work with you to identify your bestsellers and create a stock holding that best reflects this.


Advice & information for garden centre professionals

Growing, showing and trialing News from Glee and Solex plus flower and peat free trials



After the shows…


hew! That was a busy period trade show period through June into July. And what a great showcase for our industry. The high volumes and outstanding levels of innovation that were on show reflect a market of suppliers who are really getting to grips with what the “new” post covid gardener wants. All those who made the journeys to the NEC for Glee and Solex, plus those who have been to the Summer Spectacular at Ball Colegrave, will be fuelled up with new merchandising ideas and ready to order the best new products for 2023. Having been waiting so long for a warm spell this summer we then get a heatwave and parts of the country are now headed for drought. It appears that the weather is determined to have the final

say on garden centre sales performances this year. As this issue of GTN goes to press total volume sales this year, as tracked by GTN Bestsellers, are now static with 2021 and 16% up on 2019. In this issue we include a story about the Peat Free growing trials carried out at Aylett Nurseries. The team at Aylett Nurseries love to give advice to customers based on their own growing activity and that is a very powerful sales tool. We’d like to share stories of other garden centre staff product trials over the coming issues of GTN. Please send me an e-mail about your experiences: Now, with the show season past us and holidays on the go at the moment, thoughts and action turn to Christmas! Will Christmas 2022 be hit by the economic situation or will we benefit from people

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 Features Editor Anisa Gress 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 for more details and to subscribe.

In this issue... Primeur’s Recycled Revolution


GCA Regional Awards 2022


Farm shop revolution in St Albans


LOFA Column – Thank you for making Solex a success


Growing and retailing plants together at Ball Colegrave


HTA Column – 2030, Here we come…


Glee Review


GIMA Column – 2022, abnormal or normal?


Buyers Power List results

Advertisers in this Issue


GIMA Seed Corn Fund winner


Lifestyle Garden


Winning New Products at Glee


Zest are winners at Glee and Solex




The future of eco firepits – El Fuego




Mrs A’s Peat Free trials at Aylett Nurseries


Hydria Life


Floral Thursday for Greenfingers breaks records at Glee


PATS Telford


Outdoor trends in the spotlight at Solex


Four Oaks Trade Show


GIMA Golf Day 2022




Potting Shed Press Ltd

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

SMALL PRINT: All material © Potting Shed Press Ltd 2022. 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 2022 5


Farm shop revolution

Houseplants and gifts are an expanding category at Carpenters.

Carpenter’s Nursery & Farm Shop in Hertfordshire is building on its history as a traditional farm shop and appealing to a new and growing audience tempted in by the tasty café menu and select garden range.


ertfordshire’s oldest farm shop is soon to celebrate 100 years of trading, and now with James Carpenter at the helm this independent and family run business, which to many has been a bit of an industry secret, is putting itself firmly on the garden centre map. The farm shop is still the heart of the business and one of the few growing a significant proportion of the fresh fruit and veg sold on site. James knows this is the company’s usp and since he took over six years ago has used it as the foundation on which to expand. “We’ve always grown

6 August 2022

Above: James Carpenter.

our own and I remember as a kid in the late 1980s before supermarkets opened on a Sunday there would be a queue of 15 people out of the door coming in here for fruit and veg,” he says. James is honest when he says growing the fruit and veg isn’t a big money spinner now but adds: “It brings people through the door and without that we are just the same as everybody else.” It was James’s great grandfather Fred Carpenter senior who started growing veg here in 1923, when he took tenancy of one of six houses, sharing a 12-acre plot after the first world war as part of the government’s

‘Land Fit for Heroes’ scheme to help exservice men provide for their families. Out of the original six, only Carpenter’s Nursery & Farm Shop remains. The others have gone but James continues to live in the house and be a tenant of Hertfordshire County Council. Fred grew vegetables and flowers which were sold at local markets and on the side of the road and it wasn’t until the 1960s when Fred junior joined the company that more glasshouses were built, the range of plants expanded and the site opened up for people to choose plants directly from the growing area. “It wasn’t really customer


focused, but it carried on like that until the late 1980’s when my father and uncle joined,” says James. “They added a more modern greenhouse for growing but the business stayed a similar sort of model, which was growing plants, fruit and veg on site and selling to local people who could wander round and pick up what they wanted.” James didn’t come into the business straight away. He had a career as an electrician which took him into the world of renewable energy and he also co-owned a wine bar – two skill sets which have since proved to be extremely useful. “When my

dad was a few years off retirement age, I looked at the business. It had a great loyal customer base and is in a good location on the edge of St Albans where houses have lots of gardens, and I thought ‘I can do something with this’. So I invested some money to refurbish the farm shop first to see how that would go and test the water. I didn’t want to frighten people off because some have been coming here since the mid 1960’s.” The investment was a success and this along with the new café, changes to product ranges, an enlarged plantaria with canopy and garden sundries range has meant staffing has increased from six to around 45 in peak season. Technology has helped too. James says it was all ‘pen and paper’ before he joined and the company didn’t even have a website. Solar panels now provide the majority of the power to run the heating, lighting and cooling of kitchen appliances. “I’ve got about ten kilowatts on the roof at the moment and am looking at another 15 kilowatts,” says James. The farm shop was largely open throughout the pandemic which, James says,

Cabbages and courgettes destined for the farm shop. In high season the farm shop sell 15 or more lines of home grown veg.

local people were extremely grateful for. At its peak it was handling 900 transactions a day. Although as expected, customer numbers have fallen since then, business is consistently strong. “We get people coming in once, twice a week, sometimes more, buying their bits and pieces for their meals. We also sell Cook meals and the vegetables to complement them, fresh meat and fish so customers can do their full food shop here now.” Lines are complimented by fresh bread daily from local bakers and a local beer named after Fred senior

The Potting Shed Café With around 60 covers, The Potting Shed Café is full almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The menu offers imaginative specials and uses produce grown on site, which has the bonus of reducing the amount of waste. “We’ve got a really good chef here and he’s got a good couple of other juniors underneath him. It’s a lot of hard work cooking everything fresh, but you’ll see from our website reviews and if you talk to people here it stands out. The dishes are great, fresh and a

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Interview bit different,” says James. Since its been open it has bounced between counter and table service, both of which have been a success. Although like many in the business, James is currently struggling to find staff. “It’s difficult trying to find hospitality staff and very difficult to find good hospitality staff,” he says. The café’s terrace offers fine views of the Hertfordshire countryside and the gazebos set up next to the wildflower meadow offer the chance to buy picnic style food and enjoy eating it amongst the flowers.

The garden shop The glasshouse that grew seasonal bedding now has a new canopy installed in 2019 and is part of the garden centre area where shrubs, perennials, houseplants and gifts are sold – the latter two selling extremely well at the moment. Although space is limited, the range means customers can now buy around 99% of their gardening needs. “I’m always saying we can’t have something that’s not selling. We need to make sure we’re turning stock over quickly all the time because we haven’t got a huge amount of space…and it’s good because it sharpens the mind,” says James. Being an independent business also has its benefits as James and his team can react quickly, like for example, going to another plant nursery and picking up what’s looking good at the time. It also means the range can be tailored to the customer base which at Carpenters is partly semi-rural, offer something

Gazebos ready for picnics next to the wildflower meadow. Set up during the pandemic they have become a customer favourite.

Fred’s Ale – a local brew for Carpenters and named after Fred senior.

different to other garden retailers and stick close to the original ethos of the business which is family, friendly and plant based. This is a key issue as relatively close by are other successful garden retailers. “It’s interesting,” says James, “that three of the most successful retail businesses in St Albans are independent garden retailers - Ayletts Nurseries, Burston Garden Centre and ourselves.” Aware that high streets are suffering, James is promoting the advantages of his independent business, such as it being in beautiful surroundings and having free parking.

The future In the current climate, it’s hard to make large commercial decisions so James is focussing on staffing and back of house systems to make them more efficient. But

in the long term he would like to create more storage to reduce double handling and improve the surface of the car park. Sales are currently growing at around 20% a year…during the pandemic they rose by 50% in the first half of 2020 and James knows that things get harder once a business is successful with a great reputation. “The pressure’s on. There’s only one way you can go, and that’s down so we have to keep the show on the road and keep those plates spinning. Someone always told me you have to keep putting your money into the winners…..but you need the team behind you as well to bring that to fruition. I’m about three-quarters of the way along the journey to get to where I wanted to get to in terms of the size,” says James. “I would like to do a little bit more in the garden shop in terms of the gift and houseplant range and see some improvements with the farm shop. Things don’t stand still in retail, you’ve got to keep ahead.”

The new canopy has been a boon for sales of plants and sundries.

8 August 2022

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Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase

Growing and retailing plants… together A visit to the living catalogue of summer bedding, edibles, shrubs and perennials at Ball’s site in Oxfordshire is proving to be an increasingly effective way for growers and garden retailers to plan ahead for 2023 sales.


ver three weeks in July Ball threw open the doors of its trials inviting the industry to see for themselves new cultivars, additional colours of old favourites and clever ways of merchandising. Stuart Lowen, Ball’s Marketing Manager says the event is still popular with landscapers and local authorities, but visits from retailers and growers have risen sharply. Both are now using the trials to meet and discuss ranges for the coming years. “Some retailers will come up to three or four times with different suppliers,” he says. “This is an increasing audience and it’s great to see both growers and retailers working together.” Showing plants in a range of pot sizes is useful, explains Stuart,

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because both parties can see how differently they perform, for example in a 2-litre pot or a hanging basket, which can help to decide what to grow, how and when to retail. The company is also helping with point of sale, brand awareness and messaging with a current priority being the promotion of a new range of double-flowered bizzy lizzy with high genetic resistance to impatiens downy mildew. Thankfully work behind the scenes has helped welcome this muchloved plant back into our gardens and in 2019 Ball Colegrave introduced Impatiens Beacon®, a single flowered range with high disease resistance. Now ready for 2023 is the Impatiens Glimmer® series with double flowers. “We have two messages,” says Stuart. “One for experienced gardeners who

Stuart Lowen wit h Ball’s concept point of sale.

Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase remember growing impatiens and know how great they are in the garden. We need to tell these people the plants are healthy and to try them again. The second group have no experience of them at all so we need to introduce them to impatiens and show them they are the easiest plants to grow and are effective and flexible in any garden situation.” Glimmer impatiens are available in seven colours, with Appleblossom the benchmark for uniformity and performance, and more will follow in the future. In the years while impatiens were not available, other season plants have filled the gap. Stuart says gardeners seem to have an insatiable appetite for petunias with novelties such as the spotted Sky series and relatives including calibarchoa and BeautiCals® fuelling interest. New cultivar Bees Knees is, according to Stuart, ‘the best yellow ever!’. “Most have a brown or lime undertone, but this one is a clean yellow which intensifies in full sun,” he says. To help retailers keep plant interest high once summer bedding sales are on the wane, Ball has curated ranges of shrubs and perennials to compliment and extend sales. A range of edibles too, sold as Kitchen Buddies, has been chosen to suit patios, balconies, small gardens and windowsills. As well as considering size, with all plants tending to be more compact, plants offer additional elements such as snack sized fruits, thornless stems and, with strawberry Summer Breeze, flowers of attractive cherry red and soft pink.

Versatile Impatiens Glimmer series looking good in pots, patio containers and hanging baskets.

Strawberry Summer Breeze Cherry combines ornamental and edible benefits.

Merchandising support Currently in the planning stage is a new concept for point of sale designed for Danish trollies. Stuart says when retailers are busy it can save time by enabling plants to be sold straight from the trolley or to increase sales areas when space it tight. Flexible, the point of sale is being trialled to help market by colour range, or themes. “Retailers may want their own branding so we can develop a package for them, which can include labels, to improve the trolley presentation even further.”

Below: Petunia ‘Bees Knees’ with examples of merchandising and point of sale. Right: Still in its concept stage, point of sale to help merchandise plants directly from Danish trollies.

August 2022 11

Glee 2022 review

Glee triumphant

With suppliers reporting brisk business and already booking space for next year’s exhibition, GTN can safely say Glee 2022 was a big hit.


The change of date for Glee at the NEC Birmingham from September to June has been hailed as a success for many suppliers reporting positive enquiries. The show bought the industry together to celebrate garden retailing with innovative products, trends and a chance to network and make new connections. “The show gave us a platform for some great conversations with so many people – from large retail buyers to garden centres and buying groups to international distributors. We were able to showcase so many new products from Clever Pots Sow and Grow Kits to our decorative range of space saving and vertical pot holding solutions. We will be back at Glee 2023,” says Alishia Shacklock, Brand Assistant for Clever Pots.

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Looking ahead to 2023

Happy Plants was voted as having the best stand in Glee’s Green Heart – the plant hub of the show. Judges said: “The display is of the moment, plants are topical, colourful and full of quick margin return. It also has impact and would drive sales on any retail outlet.”

Next year’s Glee is set for 27-29 June and the overall footprint of the show will increase. Moving from four to five halls of the NEC, the additional space will allow for key sectors of the show to expand and enable for new growth areas. Home, Gift & Clothing will evolve into a complete village, reflecting the increased popularity of these categories. It will provide the perfect background for retailers looking to diversify their offering and give suppliers the chance to capitalise on new profit opportunities. Glee has witnessed a marked increase in the number of exhibitors from outdoor entertaining categories, as well as greater demand from retail buyers seeking outdoor entertaining products, meaning next year’s

Glee 2022 review Westland Horticulture invited members of the Young People in Horticulture Association along to its stand at Glee to meet its teams and learn more about its products. Assembled too were Rising Stars from the GCA programme to promote skills and careers sponsored by Westland

show will provide a real destination for this combined product offering. DIY will be making its debut at Glee 2023, with this specialist category joining the line-up. To help retailers capitalise on key trends Glee will host a dedicated area for sourcing at the 2023 event, to facilitate better

networking and help more suppliers and retailers connect. The outdoor Fire, Grill & Chill area, which made its debut in this year, for suppliers to demonstrate barbecues and outdoor living products will return and there are big plans to develop this hub with more content and brands joining the line-up.

Find out more

For highlights of the 2022 show, interviews on Glee TV, and to register interest for Glee 2023 visit:

A new development this year was the Fire, Grill & Chill sector where suppliers were able to cook up a tasty menu of barbeque food and offer practical demonstrations. This outdoor space gave visitors a chance to learn about the latest in outdoor cooking g trends, re-fuel and get some sunshine before heading back into the halls.

Thoughts on new products and attracting a younger audience from Matthew Mein, Event Director, as he closed Glee 2022 and turns his thoughts to next year’s event. “It’s been great bringing the industry back together again this year in a shorter timescale, nine months. A highlight for me this yearr is the newness. There was so much mucch at the show that really surprised me. me. With moving the show dates forward, forw w ard, new product development obvio obviously ously was brought ght forward as well we ell broug to be in time readyy for Glee. Glee e. Just the sheer volume of new products to exp plore in the new product area was a real delight. But we've also brought over 180 new exhibitors to the show this year. Seeing what they've


brought, and the quality of stands here as well, has made the look and feel of Glee thiss year phenomenal.” Also encouraging encouraaging to see was the number of much mucch younger people now working in n the industry with buyers coming from high street retailers,, department dep partment stores and ga garden arden centres. “There's “Theere'ss been a real eclectic ecleectic mix of buyers here. herre. It brings bring gs a fresh feel and look feeel and d lo ook and and d itt challenges exhibitors chaalleng ges to think think about about the thee products pro oducts they're theyy're bringing briing ging g out to market.

One of the special moments was the Leaders for Change luncheon on Tuesday lunchtime with nearly 70 leaders from the industry in there. The fascinating part was watching those from the Young People in Horticulture Association having the opening speech, sharing their vision and viewpoint and asking the industry how they're going to work, develop and encourage new people into the industry. “And it was good to see fresh names nominated this year for the Buyers Power List, alongside the familiar names we’ve seen in previous years.”

August 2022 13

Glee review

Crowning the industry’s best buyers Winners of the 2022 Buyers Power List announced at Glee celebrate the efforts and professionalism of those working in the garden retail and wider supply industry.


record 87 entries were received for the 2022 Buyers Power List, the competition to awardbuyers and teamsfor their hard work followingand successfulyear oftrading. Public voting was also at a high with more than 1000 votes cast by readers of GTN Xtra and Glee Daily News in the days leading up to Glee 2022.

Landscape Buyer/Buying Team of the Year Andy Wrightson, Webbs Garden Centres 2nd Andy Harris, Haskins; Dan Kirby, British Garden Centres; Keith Wilbin, Downtown Garden Centre. 3rd David Danning, Blue Diamond

Plant Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Overall Multiple Retailer Buyer of the Year – (hardware, DIY, high street)

The Bourne family, Perrywood 2nd Choice Marketing Team 3rd Plants Team, Hillmount Garden Centre

Dani Loftus, Marie Curie 2nd John Lewis & Partners 3rd B & M

Garden Care Buyer/Buying Team of the Year Matt Shorter, Longacres Garden Centres 2nd Bryn Saysell, Blue Diamond; Amy Green, British Garden Centres 3rd Jackie Cook, Notcutts

Outdoor Leisure Buyer/Buying Team of the Year Nigel Gates, Gates Garden Centre 2nd Jay Bunker, Alton Garden Centre; Keith Wiblin, Downtown Garden Centre; Nick Haydon, Fakenham Garden Centre 3rd Gemma Mercer, Hillmount Cheshire

Home & Gift Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Retail Food & Drinks Buyer/Buying Team of the Year St Peters Garden Centre 2nd Garsons Esher 3rd Bents Home & Garden

Christmas Buyer/Buying Team of the Year Squires Garden Centres - Badshot Lea 2nd The Old Railway Line 3rd Bents Garden & Home

On-line Buyer/Buying team of the Year Crocus 2nd Dani Loftus, Marie Curie 3rd

Overall Multiple Garden Retailer Buying Team of the Year (six stores or more) British Garden Centres 2nd Blue Diamond 3rd Choice Marketing Team

Overall Independent Garden Centre Buying Team of the Year (up to five stores) The Mercer family, Hillmount Garden Centre 2nd Longacres Garden Centres 3rd Aylett Nurseries; The Bourne family, Perrywood

Kati Taylor, Fron Goch 2nd Gates Garden Centre 3rd Rosebourne Garden Centres

Pet Buyer/Buying Team of the Year The Old Railway Line Garden Centre 2nd Paul Williams, British Garden Centres 3rd Polhill Garden Centre

14 August 2022

Gima Innovators Seed Corn Fund

Qwickhose secures Gima innovation funding Leak-free hose connector with ingenious winged-locking mechanism makes its debut at Glee and wins the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund to help bring it to the market.


he innovator behind a hose connector with a different type of locking mechanism than those already on the market has been recognised and rewarded with a package worth £6000 from the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund. The prize will help the team at Qwickhose, based in Hampshire, bring the hose connector to market. “It’s such a great feeling when something we believe in, that has absorbed so much of our time over the past two years, is recognised in this way,” says Michelle Doughty, Qwickhose Product Development Manager. Qwickhose Hose Connector was born during lockdown when the team at Qwickhose put their heads together to come up with simple yet effective solutions to some of the frustrating problems experienced by gardeners when using hosepipe connectors. They focused on problems such as connectors breaking under force, popping of mid-use or simply taking too long to set up. Built to be longlasting and robust, the Qwickhose Hose Connector uses an imaginative patentpending winged clamping system for quick and easy connection. Once the hose has been pushed into the connector’s inner tube it can be secured with wings that clamp shut

and held in place with a nut. As well as being Qwickhose Hose Connectors are made reliable, long-lasting and leak-free, the extraby Rivendale Products, a family-run building long connector also acts as a handle. Products and development business of 20 years. are made from UV-stabilised premium-grade This is its first introduction for the garden recyclable plastics, supported with recyclable industry. “We’re ready to learn and have packaging printed with eco-friendly ink. undertaken a huge research project to “Not only does the Qwickhose create a product that we believe fills a offering provide an alternative to gap in the market and can help to existing hosepipe connectors, increase consumer confidence,” but it is clear from the design says Michelle. “We’d love to see Find out more and construction that this Qwickhose stocked in the likes For more on GIMA Innovators is a product that has been of Dobbies or Blue Diamond Seed Corn Fund visit: passionately and carefully and for our product to I am sure this is become a household brand as seed-corn-fund one product garden and DIY we further extend the range.” retailers will want to see,” says Two other company’s were Vicky Nuttall, GIMA Director.


Cheeky Charlie Ovens, a new concept in charcoal cooking which takes the principles of professional ovens to create an exciting new chapter for al fresco dining, and Seedbooks which combines a story book with six types of seed, supported with recipes and growing tips.

Three stages for securing a hose to the patent-pending Qwickhose connector.

August 2022 15

Glee review Winners of the Glee New Product Awards celebrate together.

Winning products at Glee Smiles all round as exhibitors celebrate high levels of innovation at the Glee New Product Showcase and Awards


cross 12 categories, more than 300 innovative and trend-setting entries battled it out in the 2022 Glee New Product Showcase organised and run by GTN. After the initial judging, representatives from the companies of selected finalist products took to The Stage during Glee to present a two-minute pitch highlighting the story behind their product and why it should win. “Another year and another amazing opportunity to celebrate the hard work and creativity of our industry,” says Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director. “This year’s winners’ roster was stronger than ever, with an impressive lineup of new prod ducts set to igniite new salles opportunities for retailers as well as enticing consumers with products that make gardening easier, more enjoyable and more sustainable. Huge congratulations to all our winners, those shortlisted and everyone that entered. Together you have made this year’s Glee New Products one of our best yet!”

16 August 2022

Best in Show and Winner in the Garden Tools & Machinery ryy category ryy Westland Unwins with the Flopro Can-Can Martin Ward says: “We are really pleased to win this award. A visitor has just said to us ‘this is the best thing…why hasn’t anyone done it before?’ Sometimes the simplist things are the best.” Also shortlisted: 9L Waterfall watering can, charcoal grey. Burgon & Ball 24v 33cm Cordless Lawnmower & 25cm Line Trimmer Lawn Starter Kit Handy. Greenworks

Martin Ward and Simon McArdle.

Glee review

Above: Alwyn Williams and Neil Sholes.Below: Bob Meacham, Phil Jolly and Adam James

Also shortlisted: Berti. Airflow Ltd Mini Wallace & Gromit Garden Sculptures. Primus TP Wooden Deluxe Potting Bench. Mookie Toys

Wild Bird Care and Wildlife Products

Garden Leisure & Entertaining Zest for its Garden Bar and Two Stool Set Simon Davison – Head of Commercial Development says: “We are so proud to win this award. We’ve made a huge commitment to understanding what today’s consumers want for their outdoor living experience and have created products with this in mind.” Also shortlisted: Garden Pizza Oven Table. Zest Iris Bistro Set. Streetwize Accessories

Homewares, Giftware, Toys & Games, Clothing Plantsmith Houseplant Care Set Nick Jackson says: “This award has validated our product as a giftware line. It’s giving retailers and customers the opportunity of a gifting option from the ferts and chems sector that can be sold throughout the year.”

Bermuda. My First Pond Kit Phil Jolly says: “It’s great to get this award as it reflects a lot of hard work and experience in developing this product. It came about from an idea to get children and parents going out and enjoying their garden together.” Also shortlisted: Bali Island Range from Wildlife World Flo Festival from Jacobi Jayne & Company

Garden Decoration Hydria Life, Hydria Fountain Kit Simon Reeves-Jackson says: “We are really thrilled to be recognised with our fountain kit especially being a first-time exhibitor at Glee.” Also shortlisted: Keep Safe Parcel Store. Zest Smart Solar TriSol LimeLight. Smart Garden Products Limited

Garden Growing Containers Joint winners: Woodlodge Products with EcoMade Ocean Reclaimed Planter Barrus with Tiered Planters.

Nick Jackson.

Simon Reeves-Jackson and Joel Webb.

The teams from Woodlodge Products and Barrus.

Also shortlisted: Clever pots downpipe pot – orchid. Clever Pots Kensington Double Wheelie Bin Storage. Cotswold Timber Products

Landscaping & Garden Buildings

Sarah Hill.

Mead dow View Stone wiith h Alpiine Colllectiion in large bags Sarah Hill says: “We have identified a gap in the market and produced this new size. It’s success is echoed by customers visiting the stand and is endorsed by winning the award.” Also shortlisted: Potstars Outdoor Living Range. Meadow View Stone Limited Recycled Rubber Mower Edge Border. Primeur Ltd

August 2022 17

Glee review John McDowell.

Also shortlisted: Gro-Sure Visiroot 12 Tray Growhouse. Westland Unwins 30 Cell Natural Rubber Seed Tray. Wildlife World

Growing Materials

Westland Unwins with Westland Live John McDowell simply says: “This is only the start.” Also shortlisted: Compost Bag Recycling Bin. Evergreen Garden Care (UK) Ltd Garden Connect AR. Garden Connect Ltd Garden Essentials Merchandising Solution (GEMS). Westland Unwins Refill Stations. Evergreen Garden Care (UK) Ltd

Sipcam for the Sipcam Home and Garden Peat-Free Compost Booster & Sipcam Organic Plant Food Nigel Thompson says: “Great that the variety of people on the panel of judges voted for our products and we are thrilled. Our Peat-Free Compost Booster is addressing a real live issue and helping the gardener and the trade.” Also shortlisted: Harmony Gardens Ericaceous Compost. Southern Trident Limited Byofix. Dyofix Miracle-Gro 2 in 1 Nourish & Protect Flowers, Fruit & Veg Plant Food. Evergreen Garden Care (UK) Ltd Plantsmith Fortifying Houseplant Tonic. Plantsmith

Pet Products

Plants, Seeds & Bulbs

PARK LiFE PET LIMITED with PARK LiFE Fis-bix Sarah Meredith says: “We never expected to win the category. It’s a nice surprise and we are extremely happy.” Also shortlisted: Scruffs® Classic Long Eared Dog Bowl. Scruffs Zoon Treat & Seek Farm Friends. Smart Garden Products Limited

Golden Grove Nursery with Cryptomeria japonica ‘Kyara Gold’. Roger Ward says: “Thrilled to get the award because it is a really nice conifer and I am proud to be able to exhibit it at the show.” Also shortlisted: Clematis ‘Lavallee’. New Leaf Plants Unwins Pea and Bean Box. Westland Unwins

Growing Accessories

Best of British Award

Mayhem UK Ltd with Wicked Waterer LED Moisture Sensor David Merricks says: “We discovered how many people are killing their plants from over and under watering so wanted to create a product to help them. Generally moisture sensors are ugly so we wanted to create something that would enhance the pot plant.”

Airflow Ltd for its Bertie Christmas tree holder Lionel Huish says: “It’s really nice to be recognised for being a British product and supporting British business. We are going to

Retail Services & Experiences

shout about winning the award and it will certainly help with our sales and recognition.”

Sustainability Award Wildlife World with the 30 Cell Natural Rubber Seed Tray. Stephen Gough says: “We are seeing a big focus on sustainability at the moment as can be seen here at Glee. There is a big increase in the number of people looking for plastic free and sustainable products and I’m really glad our product has been recognised.”

Above: Nigel Thompson and Matt Jones. Below: Roger Ward.

David Merricks.

Above: Tom and Lionel Huish. Below: Stephen Gough.

Sarah Meredith. This year the judges were: Mel Livingstone (Fron Goch); Andy Bunker (Alton Garden Centre); Ian Hodgson (Garden News); Neil Gow (retired garden centre owner); Gill Ormrod (Rosebourne Garden Centres); Elliott Kirby (RHS, YPHA member); Lilidh Matthews (, YPHA member); Roger Crookes (Pughs Garden Centres).

18 August 2022

Canopies - Walkways - Inspiring Buildings

Working with Horticulture retailers for over 55 years, Fordingbridge take pride in providing aesthetic, practical and high quality canopies to the Garden Centre industry.

Contact us today ☎ 01243 55 44 55 ✉ 🌏


Zest continues its award-winning streak at Glee and Solex Zest, a leading supplier of award-winning timber garden products has continued its award-winning streak. Fresh from winning best Garden Leisure and Entertaining product at the Glee trade show with its Garden Bar and Two Stool Set, Zest also won the Best New Furniture Product at SOLEX trade show with the same product.


he Garden Bar and Two Stool Set from Zest is a perfect party piece and ideal for large or small outdoor spaces. Innovative and versatile, its main storage doors open to make a base for a fold down counter, while the hinged doors on the side panel reveal fully fitted drinks cabinet shelving. The main storage space contains two stackable stools for guests. Commenting on the win, Neil Sholes, Head of Product Design and Innovation said: “This was a huge company-wide effort and we’re delighted to have been recognised by experts at the two key trade shows for the outdoor leisure industry. There was lots of interest in the Garden Bar Set at both shows as it folds out to become a centre for entertaining. The Garden Bar Set is just one of the many highlights in our new range of sustainable timber garden products and we are looking forward to bringing them to the market in 2023!”

Floral Thursday

The Zest team were delighted to win the Greatest Floral Team award on Floral Thursday at Glee.

Easy fold out Garden Bar with fold down counter top. Below left: Simon Davison, Head of Commercial Development with Neil Sholes, Head of Product Design and Innovation

Zest Outdoor Living: The Natural Choice Leading supplier Zest, positions itself as the natural choice for outdoor living and designs innovative, stylish products, enabling today’s consumer to relax and enjoy their outdoor space. The sustainable range includes furniture, planters, arches, fencing, decorative structures and GYO products.

Second in the Best stand Category at SOLEX Zest were thrilled to have been presented with second in the Best Stand category at SOLEX, the stand was designed, built and styled by several divisions within the business

20 August 2022


New Products for 2023 Garden Pizza Oven Table and Keep Safe Parcel Store finalists in Glee New Product Awards


est launched its new products for the 2023 season winning accolades in the Glee and SOLEX new product awards. In addition to the double win for the Garden Bar and Two Stool set, the Garden Pizza Oven Table and Keep Safe Parcel Store were both finalists in their award categories at Glee which were presented to the judging panel by Paul Haynes, Key Account Manager. The Pizza Oven Table has been designed with 360 degree access for fuelling the oven, cooking and serving. The Keep Safe parcel store, designed with security in mind, has a mechanism which ensures that parcels are inaccessible until retrieved from the side door. Also available from Zest, is the Parcel store with Planter with the easy lift lid. Zests new range also includes the Freya dining and seating range. Presenting a new design aesthetic and incorporates alternate width wooden slats cleverly spaced to make a very comfortable ergonomic seating shape. The gentle curves of the Curved Bench Seat makes it perfect to sit around a fire pit or low table. The Cherry Blossom Bench, inspired by Japanese architecture is beautifully crafted to bring an oriental feel to the garden and is functional, elegant and absolutely on trend.

make a tall and impactful garden feature for flowers or grow your own.

Investment in innovation

Zest has significantly developed its inhouse product development facilities and personnel, converting an existing 1950s building into the ‘design.shed’. It is complete with a research and concept development suite, the latest CAD design technology, a prototyping build area, a production studio, and a marketing zone. Zest have invested in understanding what customers want from their outdoor experiences and create

Innovative Planters

The new Chelsea Square planter is perfect for creating a beautiful outdoor display of colour. The Four Tier planter is designed to products with these insights in mind. Steve Morgan, Managing Director at Zest, has a family heritage in the timber industry stretching back five generations. All Zest furniture and decorative timber products are made from FSC®- (C114990) sustainable slow grown soft wood from responsibly managed forests and are pressure treated with a 10 year guarantee against rot.

August 2022 21


The future of eco firepits is here El Fuego won the Summer Outdoor Living individual product of the year 2022. This is the new Eco firepit for years to come.


ig flame, no wood smoke, no maintenance, and no hassle…. Why compromise? El Fuego are looking for more distributors for 2023 to join their journey to make more people aware of their Revolutionary El Fuego Firepits that burn 100% eco-friendly vegetable wax which produces a large, hypnotic, and therapeutic flame providing amazing heat. Outdoor living has increased intensely, resulting in millions of conventional firepits releasing thousands of tonnes of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere. El Fuego emits no wood smoke producing only 1.4kg CO2 p/hr, unlike other conventional firepits that produce up to 15kg p/hr. This makes the wood smoke free El Fuego very popular with small gardens whereas wooden firepits cause smoke pollution felt by the neighbours. El Fuego allows homes to have a large flame that needs no maintenance and takes away the discomfort of smelling like a bonfire at the end of the evening. It’s easy to light in minutes and put out in seconds. Their eight-hour refills are simple to store and can burn for as long as 100 wooden logs. El Fuego

22 August 2022

is sold with eight hours of fuel included. The patent protected El Fuego is a great asset to any garden and those who enjoy outdoor living. With the increasing prices of fuel and Kiln dried logs the El Fuego Refills are a far better Environmentally, Economically and Efficient form of fuel that needs no care taking. 1 bag of 10 Kiln Dried logs from the forecourt is around £10-12.00 and will burn for 60-70 mins. An El Fuego Refill (half the size) is £21.95 and will burn up to 8hr longer. Watch the Video No smouldering smoke when EUcxQ03NHr4 you put it out. Contact Tim Jeffs 014914115765

This is the new flame of your life

1. Eco Friendly; The El Fuego Burns only 1.4kg of CO2/hr. Compared to conventional Firepits which burn up to 15kg CO2/hr. 2. Ideal for small gardens as there is no pollution from wood smoke. 3. Sociable aspect that you and your guests will not smell of bonfires at the end of the evening. 4. Easy to light in minutes and put out in seconds. 5. The 100% Vegetable refills burn the equivalent to 90-100 kiln dried logs. 6. El Fuego 8hr Refills are easier to store than wood, particularly for small gardens. 7. 1 El Fuego 8hr Refill is far more economical than 8hrs worth of bags of wood. 8. Portable for camping, fishing and outdoor events. 9. No more having to constantly load logs every 30 mins thus very low maintenance. 10. Return business to the Garden Centre for Refills purchase. 11. Constant large hot flame that keeps on giving.

Peat-free comparisons

Comparing tomatoes in peat-free grow bags Trialling and comparing the performance of peat-free media is helping staff to help customers.

Are your teams carrying out trials in peat free composts so as to better inform your customers? Let us know, we’d love to publish your findings:


f you want advice on what peat- free compost to use for growing tomatoes, then you can’t get much better than hearing from Mrs Hazel Aylett of Aylett Nurseries in Hertfordshire. Known to many as Mrs A, she has been growing tomatoes and ornamental plants for more than six decades and in her own garden greenhouse this summer is comparing the performance of three tomato cultivars in three different peat-free growing bags. Ayletts has created its peat-o-meter device so customers can easily see how much peat is in each blend and help them with buying decisions, but Mrs A appreciates it is still difficult for customers to know what to buy. Equally it’s a challenge for staff to know the idiosyncrasies of each brand and gain hands-on experience using different compost. GTN has heard of several garden centres doing their own comparison trials so they can help their staff to offer more confident advice for customers. Mrs A’s comparison is one of those.

I doubt the average gardener will be able to keep up with watering twice a day

In Growpots, Mrs A is growing three popular cultivars, ‘Ailsa Craig’, ‘Alicante’ and grafted ‘Shirley’ in Levington’s deep filled Tomorite growbag, Melcourt’s SylvaGrow planter and Westland’s New Horizon Tomato Planter. All the plants look healthy and any gardener would be more than happy to have them in their green house. She liquid feeds with Tomorite and a seaweed-based fertiliser and has been picking fruit since April but she says

it’s the watering that has been an issue. Luckily Mrs A has an automatic system but knows most people don’t. “The Levington bag needs to be watered twice a day but the Melcourt and Westland bags only once. On a really hot day, I doubt average gardeners will be able to keep up with watering twice a day.” Strangely, Mrs A has also noticed her pet Labrador has taken a shine to the compost in the Westland New Horizon Tomato Planter and given half the chance enjoys eating it. “It could be because it has a smell to it,” she wonders. The best performing plants are the grafted ‘Shirley’ and didn’t suffer at all in the high July temperatures. The comparison trial will run until the end of the season but so far Mrs A says the best of three is the Sylva Grow planter. “It holds its moisture better so requires much less watering.”

Tomatoes in the trial and Growpots which are sold in batches of three so gardeners can easily grow three plants per grow bag.

August 2022 23

FUNdraising for Greenfingers

Record-breaking Floral Thursday for Greenfingers

Glee once again turned Floral for Greenfifingers i on the last day of the show as visitors and exhibitors joined in the floral fll fu fun. u


lee’s Floral Thursday promotion in aid of the Greenfingers Charity turned into a record-breaking event, raising an amazing £3,500and £3,500 and witnessing the biggest turnout of exhibitors and visitors joining in the fun by wearing an array of flfloral oral clothing. The event was supported by Garden Trade News. Winners of GTN’s Greatest Awards for the best-dressed teams were: The matching flfloral oral shirt team from Zest, Kate Leach from Woodmansterne who even wore flowers flowers in her hair and Evergreen Garden Care who added flfloral oral hats to their flfloral oral attire to scoop a team award for the third Glee running. Over 120 visitors and exhibitors gathered for the world record Floral Thursday at Glee photo, followed by Bob Marley’s entertaining Greenfingers raffl Greenfingers rafflee draw for prizes kindly donated by many Glee exhibitors. Floral Thursday at Glee has now raised over £5,000 for Greenfingers, Greenfingers, just by having some floral floral fun on the last day of the show. We look forward to breaking even more Floral Thursday records in 2023!

24 August 2022

Floral attire inculded headware this year. Evergreen Garden Care (top) added Floral hats and Kate from Woodmansterne wore flowers in her hair!

FUNdraising for Greenfingers

August 2022 25

FUNdraising for Greenfi Greenfingers ngers

26 August 2022

SOLEX review

Outdoor living trends under the SOLEX spotlight The latest high-tech barbecues and contemporary furniture designs were under one roof at the NEC Birmingham.

Stuart Lowen wit h Ball’s concept point of sale.

August 2022 27

SOLEX review


he contemporary and imaginative range of furniture, barbecues, lighting and accessories at SOLEX in July has shown the outdoor living industry has upped its game. With the holiday world opening up and tempting people away from their gardens, SOLEX had everything retailers need to continue to attract and encourage consumers to invest in their own gardens and outdoor spaces this autumn and beyond. Gina Hide, LOFA Marketing Manager, says: “My highlight was seeing all the visitors coming to see us. The stands looked absolutely amazing, I think they all pulled the stops out. Everything looked a lot fresher, brighter, more on trend and has become more modern.” Having so many suppliers in one place was key for buyers, some even reported changing buying decisions on the strength of being able to compare products side by side. The outdoor area was a particular success. “It allowed our barbecue members to show what they can actually do. The food was amazing,” says Gina. News on next year’s show is still under wraps. “All I can say is that we will be back much bigger and better than before,” says Gina.

Mambo Outdoor Living added colour and style to the garden.

Furniture trends

the colour with patterned cushions and this year more metal-framed sets have wooden detailing in the arm rests for example were in evidence. “Breaking up the grey with wood and teak is brightening things up and this is definitely a growth area,” adds Debbie. Companies bucking the trend were Mambo Outdoor Living at Kettle Interior with a white and blue range which it thinks will be a hit in coastal towns – it is also offering a new merchandising solution for all its ranges in 2023. TOBS had relaxer chairs in a range of tones and Lifestyle Garden & Sancom also had a range of pleasing colours in the Nassau dining sets made from recycled plastic bottles. The back story to Left: James Cohen with the Nassau range, this range is proving to be a recognised as the Best strong selling point and one Sustainable Product. that helped it win the Best Right: The team from

A continued demand for furniture in grey, beige and neutral tones was a strong theme to emerge from this year’s show. “We have tried to introduce more colours,” says Debbie Waudby, Director of Norfolk Leisure, “but demand is still there and grey is not budging.” Suppliers are turning up

Tom Chambers enjoying the luxury of the new Caspian range.

28 August 2022

SOLEX review Sustainable Product Award at SOLEX. “One chair is made from 175 plastic bottles so it’s a nice message to put across,” says the company’s James Cohen. The team at Tom Chambers was pleased to be back at SOLEX introducing its range of new rattan furniture which it had planned to launch in 2020. Traditionally known for its soft wood garden products, it has branched out and now has the rattan Augusta, Oyster Bay and Caspian ranges offering a bistro to a luxury collection with high-backed reclining chair. They come in drift grey or cocoa. “The cocoa is very popular because there’s not been many other suppliers offering a similar colour,” says Steve Millington, Sales Director. He went on to say the stand was busy throughout SOLEX partly because the sales agents were encouraged to plan ahead and make appointments with their customers to visit the stand. “Before we even got to the show we had 96 appointments.” Metal furniture is on the up with many suppliers devoting around half of their space to weave and rattan, the other to metal. Making a debut at SOLEX was HEX Living, one of many companies promoting aluminium furniture. Designed and made exclusively in the UK, its top end range has come to the market in under a year. The company which makes metal storage was inspired to branch out into furniture at last year’s Glee in September and at SOLEX was promoting its Tutbury furniture range with a selection of configurations and Marchington pergolas. Wood however, remains a firm favourite illustrated by Zest winning the award for Best Furniture Product category. Its Garden Bar & Stool Set, which also took a prize at Glee, stood out for its innovation, suitability for small gardens and multi-functionality.

Barbecue innovation The popular Loving Outdoor Living Zone gave suppliers the chance to show just what their barbecues are capable of. Some chose to bring in professional chefs who cooked delicious treats from samphire and salmon to tender steak and strawberries with Gran Marnier and clotted cream. The Flatdog from ProQ, a transportable and collapsible solution to replace disposable barbecues was one such innovation. Flatdog is an Australian word for crocodile so the name alludes to the noise of the barbecue

Diva Q served up a wellseasoned stake and flavoursome chimichurri.

when it is snapped open and shut. This simple, yet clever barbecue was chosen as winner of the Best BBQ at SOLEX which the judges said helped to make barbecuing accessible to everyone. Also outside, Diva Q weaved her magic with cooking masterclasses on Traeger barbecues which are fuelled by compressed wood pellets. Diva Q (Daniella Barnett) has been promoting cooking the Traeger way for 16 years and travels the world inspiring people with recipes and tips to make the most of outdoor cooking. The Kebabs cooking on the ProQ Flatdog.

August 2022 29

SOLEX review

Winner of the Best Individual Product was the El Fuego Fire Pit. Tim Jeffs says that by burning natural oils, this smokeless option is great for small gardens and urban areas.

UK, she says, has come a long way and made big changes. “There is a reason why people in the UK are the best gravy makers,” she says, “because they tend to cook their food until its grey. But in the last three years there has been a big surge in barbecue cooking and as long as people cook at the right temperature….. they can use less gravy.” Diva Q has a no-frills approach and uses social media to promote recipes and how-to videos which soared in popularity during lockdown. “So many people learnt new skills in lockdown and found food quality and not food quantity is important. They are also demanding more from their barbecues and wanting to serve up consistently succulent food every day.” Barbecues are renowned for bringing people together but as one person is usually ‘in charge’, they can miss out on the fun. Traeger’s new barbecues can be Wi-Ficontrolled allowing them to be used even if you are not at home. “This makes them so easy to use and convenient,” says Diva Q. Other trends noticed by Diva Q is the increased demand for cooking non-meat dishes and a change in demographic. “Traditionally it was the job of the 35-60 ’-year-old man to do the cooking but today much younger and older people are cooking this way including busy mums. Lots of females are now cooking with Traeger’s and I’m happy to see that.”

30 August 2022

Michelle Bradford with Hartman’s award for Best Stand. Judges commended it for being well designed and branded.

GIMA AC Charity harity Golf Day

Grraf UK win at GIMA Golf Day Back in n June, befo ore the trad de show sea ason kicked off,f 88 golfe ers enjoyed d a fun filled fii d day of go olf, netw twork w king and fun ndra aising att the 12th an nnual GIMA MA A Golf Day.


etuurning to Belton Wo oods Hotel & Golf Cluub in Granttham, Lincollnshire, 222 four-ball teeams tackkled the 6,6223-yyarrd course that caarriess a par 73 handicaap. This year’s winners were the Graf UK ‘Red d’ team, championingg the course with a sccorre of 96 points. Hott on their heels was the Polhill Garden Cenntre team, with Leo on Boots grabbing thee thhird-p place po ositio on. At thee other end of thee scoreboard d, this year’s bo ooby prize winners were AMES UK. All the players enjoyed an al frresco dinner and drrinks before all the dayy’ss awards and accolaadees were given out. An auction and raffl ffle co ompleted the festtivitiies, together raisiing funds for the Greenfinggers Charrity.

The 2022 resultss in full: 1st Team – 96 po oinnts (winning on couunttback): Graf UK Anthony Brad dbeeer, Kevin Beckett, Mattthew w Rolph and Alan McLaughlinn 2nd Teeam m – 96 Points: Polhhill Garden Centre Josh Novell, Eamon Loughfrey, Spencer Goodall and Bruno

3rd d Team – 93 points: Leo on Boots Charlie Burgess, Alaan Buurdonn, Jacob Lew wis and Graham Cheesemaan Last Team: Ames UK Scott McCab be, Nigel Wallis, Will Walllis, Charles Stubbs

The Graf UK ‘Red’ team m celeebrate their GIMA Golff Day 20 022 victory. Th hey tied on poiints with the team from m Polhill Gard den Centre but were announced as winners on countback!

Neareest th he Piin 4th: Roryy Parkk - Imp printt Nearrest the Pin 8th: Roryy Park - Imprint Neearrest the Pin 15th: Dean Smith - Haemm merrlin Neearrest the Pin in 2 - 9th: James Coles – So outhern Trident Longgest Driver 18th:: Dannny Toone - Westtland d Beat th he Pro: Chriss Luther – Hartman, James Co oles – Southern Trid dent, Charles Stubbs – Ames, Danny Toonee – Westland Blue, Nic Griffin – Everrgrreen Garden Care Greeen, Neil Blake – Woodlodge Blue, Wayynee Williams – Woodlod dge Blue, Jaco ob Lewiis – Leon Bootts In addition to the golffers who made thhe day suuch a succeess, the event was allso o kindly supported d by a wealth of sponsors who provided raffle and auction prizes, sponsored

Find out more

For further information please contact the GIMA team on (01959) 564947 or info@

August 2022 31

GIMA Cha Charity arity Golf Day thhe holes and even pro ovided refreshmentss around the courrse at special ‘driinks holles’. Thanks to this yeaar’s sponsors Bathggate, Stihl, Zest, Woodlo odge, Hozelock, Hanndy Distribution, The Garden Village, Britissh Garden Ceentrees, Leonn Boots, Meadow View w Sto one, Imprint, Priimeuur, Capi Europe, Vitax, Elho, Hornby Whiteefo oot, Decco, and Gardeenaa for their supportt. Sp peakking about the dayy, GIIMA Director, Viccky Nutttall said: “W What a fanttastiic dayy. It waas great to see the ind dustry come togethher for a day of fun and neetw working, g,, even if thee weather was not so kind to us as last year! Oncce again, we thank everryonne who took part incluuding ouur sp ponso ors, those thhat donateed auction annd raffle prrizes, and all those thaat dug deep and donated d to the Greenfingers charity”. Lind da Petrons, Director of Fundraising & Com mmunnications att the Greennfingers Charity added d: “O On behalf of everyyone at Greenfingers Charity, thank you GIM MA for another fabuulous charity event. Yo ourr generosity throuughhout the day and innto o the eveening iss huggely app precciated by us all buut more im mportantly the hund dreeds of children and faamilies we support.”

32 Auggust 2022

GIMA AC Charity harity Golf Day

Upcoming GIMA events

The annual GIMA Awards will be taking place later this year on October 20th at the Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport. Tickets are selling fast so interested parties are encouraged to book now to avoid missing out. To find out more please visit gima-awards/

Auggust 2022 33

GCA Regional Awards

GCA members on cloud nine

Throughout July, GCA member garden centre teams have been gathering to hear the results of this years GCA Inspections.


s this issue of GTN went to press the Ross, Coolings Managing Director, said: “We are results were in from the North East, thrilled to have been awarded seven awards by the North West, Midlands, North Thames GCA, an incredible accolade and one the board of and South Thames GCA regions. directors and I are extremely proud of.” So far, the winners of the top regional awards, Louise Kemp, Coolings Wych Cross Garden Centre Garden Centre of the Year (GC) and Destination Manager, said: “After joining the GCA just last year, we Garden centre of the Year (DGC), have been: Bents are delighted to have been awarded Garden Centre Garden and Home, Coolings Wych Cross, of the Year in the South Thames region by the Cowell’s, Fairways Ashbourne, Klondyke GCA. I have a fantastic and passionate team High Legh, Klondyke Stokesley, around me here at Wych Cross who Pacific Nurseries, Perrywood I am extremely proud of for all their Sudbury, Perrywood Tiptree and hard work across the whole centre For further information, Ruxley Manor. and rose nursery.” call 01244 952170 or Perrywood won the most The GCA Inspectors for 2022 who visit awards in their region including visited all GCA centres during a 12the Barton Grange Trophy for week period were: Alyson Haywood – Commercial Innovation and Creativity. Midlands, Gordon Emslie – North Thames, Simon Bourne, Retail Director said: “We Colin Farquhar – South Thames and Phil are all on cloud nine today! For Perrywood Tiptree McCann – North East and North West to keep coming top takes a lot of hard work and The results from the Wales & South West and creativity every year. September will see Perrywood the Scotland & Northern Ireland regions will be Sudbury celebrating its fourth birthday. announced during August and included in the next “To be named as the best Garden Centre in issue of GTN. the region in such a short time is a great reward Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, told for the investment and effort, we have put into GTN: “It was great to see everyone in attendance making it a brilliant place to work, and to shop.” at our regional awards meetings and paying close Coolings Wych Cross only became a GCA attention to our inspector’s feedback. Now is member in 2021 after Coolings took ownership the optimum time for our members to take this of the centre from Wyevale in 2019. Dwayne feedback on board, relay it to the rest of their team

North Thames GCA area awards 2022. Garden Centre of the Year: Perrywood, Tiptree (DGC) and Perrywood, Sudbury (GC) Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Perrywood, Tiptree Environment and Sustainability Award: Perrywood, Tiptree The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Perrywood, Tiptree The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Bosworth’s Garden Centre The Award for Catering Excellence for Best Garden Centre Restaurant: Thetford Garden Centre (DGC) and Thurrock Garden Centre (GC) The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Perrywood, Tiptree (DGC) and Perrywood, Sudbury (GC) The Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Perrywood, Tiptree (DGC) and Perrywood, Sudbury (GC)

34 August 2022

North East GCA area awards 2022

Garden Centre of the Year: Cowell’s Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Stokesley Garden Centre (GC) Best Customer Service: Cowell’s Garden Centre Environment and Sustainability Award: Cowell’s Garden Centre The Barton Grange Trophy for Innovation and Creativity: Cowell’s Garden Centre The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Coletta and Tyson The Award for Catering Excellence for Best Garden Centre Restaurant: Tong Garden Centre (DGC) and Moss and Moor (GC) The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Cowell’s Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Stokesley Garden Centre (GC) The Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Langlands Garden Centre, Shiptonthorpe (DGC) and Klondyke Stokesley Garden Centre (GC) The Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Langlands Garden Centre, Shiptonthorpe (DGC) and Klondyke Stokesley Garden Centre (GC)

The Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Alton Garden Centre (DGC) and joint winners Charlbury Garden Centre, Perrywood, Sudbury and Squires Garden Centre, Stanmore (GC)

GCA Regional Awards

North West GCA area awards 2022

Midlands GCA area awards 2022:

Garden Centre of the Year: Pacific Nurseries (DGC) and Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne (GC) Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Pennells Garden Centre, Lincoln Environment and Sustainability Award: Planters Garden Centre, Tamworth The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Pacific Nurseries The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Ferndale Garden Centre The Award for Catering Excellence for Best Garden Centre Restaurant: Melbicks Garden Centre (DGC) and Ferndale Garden Centre (GC)

The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Pacific Nurseries (DGC) and Webbs, West Hagley (GC) The Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: East Bridgford Garden Centre (DGC) and Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne (GC) The Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Brigg Garden Centre (DGC) and Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne (GC)

Garden Centre of the Year: Bents Garden and Home (DGC) and Klondyke High Legh Garden Centre (GC) Best Customer Service: Fron Goch Garden Centre Environment and Sustainability Award: Fron Goch Garden Centre The Barton Grange Trophy for Innovation and Creativity: Bents Garden and Home The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Bolton Garden Centre The Award for Catering Excellence for Best Garden Centre Restaurant: Bents Garden and Home (DGC) and Klondyke High Legh Garden Centre (GC) The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Barton Grange Garden Centre (DGC) and RHS Bridgewater Plant Centre and Shop (GC) The Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Barton Grange Garden Centre (DGC) and RHS Bridgewater Plant Centre and Shop (GC) The Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Barton Grange Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Astbury Meadow Garden Centre (GC)

South Thames GCA area awards 2022.

Garden Centre of the Year: Ruxley Manor Garden Centre (DGC) and Coolings Wych Cross (GC) Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Millbrook Garden Company, Gravesend Environment and Sustainability Award: Millbrook Garden Company, Gravesend The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Squires Garden Centre, Milford The Award for Catering Excellence for Best Garden Centre Restaurant: Ruxley Manor Garden Centre (DGC) and joint winners Busy Bee Garden Centre and Millbrook Garden Company, Staplehurst (GC) The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Garsons Garden Centre, Esher (DGC) and Millbrook Garden Company, Staplehurst (GC) The Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre (DGC) and Knights Plant Centre, Betchworth (GC) The Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Ruxley Manor Garden Centre (DGC) and Canterbury Garden Centre (GC)

August 2022 35


Thank you for making SOLEX 22 a great event Gina Hinde, Marketing Manager, LOFA


t was great to be back at SOLEX after a two-year absence. The exhibitors pulled out all the stops and the stands were fresh and new, showcasing the latest products for Spring/ Summer 2023. The show was as relaxed and friendly as it’s always been with quality buyers in attendance. It’s no secret that the current economic climate has had a huge effect on our industry, we knew that this year was coming even if we didn’t want to believe it. After two years of incredible and unprecedented growth something had to give. Last year there was a distinct lack of garden furniture on the shop floor, which meant stores decided to stock up early rather than let their customers down. Fast forward 12 months and there is now an overstock situation as customers and suppliers are left holding large stock inventories, this situation is common in all trades not just the summer and leisure sector. There are several reasons for this, the weather has not been consistently great,

travel has opened up again, increased retail prices due to shipping costs, and the rise in internet sales over the past two years have had an effect on the shop floor. It is undeniable that the SOLEX show had a slightly reduced presence this year. There were fewer visitors from independent garden centres than we would like, which meant our footfall was not as high compared to previous years; however, we do understand how important it is for these smaller centres to have access to this event, so no doubts next year they will come back! That aside though the quality of visitors that did come along and join us was amazing, and we had great feedback from both exhibitors and visitors over the three days. Everyone thought the show was relaxed, well laid out, full of the right exhibitors at the right time for the industry. The Loving Outdoor Living

Zone, which highlighted many of our fire brands was amazing, the food, the atmosphere, the smell which floated through the door at lunchtime was delicious. We will definitely be doing that again next year! We worked with several partners at this year’s show: RSPB, Planet Mark and BBQ Magazine who all took part in helping make the show a really great event and for those that did attend we thank you for helping us plant a tree with the RSPB and we raised around £9,000 which will be going towards planting trees and rewilding in Haweswater in the Lake District. LOFA and SOLEX would like to take this opportunity to say a big “THANK YOU” to everyone that attended and visited SOLEX, it was wonderful to be back together again after so long. So onwards and upwards to 2023, when we can’t wait to do it all over again!

Everyone thought the show was relaxed, well laid out, full of the right exhibitors at the right time for the industry

36 August 2022


2030 here we come! Boyd J Douglas-Davies, HTA President


ill covid define this decade? Or will how we build on the demand from new plant lovers and grow our industry over the next 5 years be the memory grabbers? Looking to 2030 and beyond is the theme for Horticulture – The Conference, taking place on Wednesday 14th September at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham. Devised by the HTA, this conference will appeal to all sectors of the industry with a strong speaker list and easily accessible location. The conference will open with Josh McBain of Foresight Factory providing a macro view of what the environment we live in will look like. Simon Reeve, well-known journalist, adventurer and TV presenter, will discuss how he sees the planet looking in 2030 and how the UK may be affected by this ‘big picture’. Leading economist, Vicky Pryce will then forecast how the economy may look at the impact this will have on businesses in 2030. Horticulture and it’s customers will be looked at through the eyes of award-winning landscaper Mark Gregory, TV Presenter Arit Anderson and AIPH General Secretary Tim Briercliffe. Each will present their perspectives on gardens, plants and the customers in 2030 and beyond. Places are still available at this one-day event. The ICC is sat in the heart of rejuvenated Birmingham, if you haven’t visited recently then make a trip of it and discover the beautiful city. A recent visit to the Ball Colegrave trial grounds reminded me (as if I needed reminding!) what a wonderful industry we work in. The quality of the plants was superb, particularly impressive as I was there the dayy after the hottest UK dayy ever recorded.

The temptation to back the van up and take large quantities of the planted containers away was immense, any of them would have sold many times over if displayed on a garden centre this summer. As an industry, are we doing enough to extend the plant buying season into July and even August? I know transport isn’t cheap and the larger the plant the more significant this becomes but the stock at the trials was so saleable. Surely there is a way to work with growers to generate a profitable income for all and create footfall in centres? Maybe a Summer Showcase that features large eye-popping pots and a small quantity of saleable pots in colour would make each trolley value viable? Seasonal growers are looking for partnership opportunities that allows them to extend their season and retailers need the footfall from mid-June onwards – a marriage made in Adderbury, surely?? Disruption in Westminster has already delayed significant announcements about the future of peat in horticulture. As I write we are still waiting for the consultation results to be delivered. Background noise certainly sounds like bagged peat based growing media will be the first to go. It is really important that we teach our customers how to grow with it and love it. Opportunities must be hidden within this change to how we do things…. Pots with built in reservoirs, micro irrigation, vegetable grow pots and more are all set for a comeback as aids to success. Maybe 2030 won’t look that different from the 1980s?!

Surely there is a way to work with growers to generate a profitable income for all and create footfall in centres

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

e 021 37


Was 2022 the year when abnormal became normal? Vicky Nuttall, Director of GIMA


022 – what a year you have been already! As I write this, GIMA members are all busy post-Spoga+ Gafa, Glee, HTA National Plant Show and SOLEX - not to mention some consumer shows too - following up on leads and developing new connections made, which is a first for this time of year. It feels quite strange to be halfway through the year and our trade exhibition cycle already over but it’s something that will inevitably feel normal this time next year. But what does the rest of the year hold? Members are telling us their time will now be spent finalising 2023 catalogues, finessing next year’s new products before the pre-season sell-in starts with earnest in the autumn. Next season’s pricing remains a dilemma for all but increases, I’m afraid, look inevitable as cost inflation continues to take hold. R&D for 2024 can also start, with many members continuing to focus on sustainable solutions furthering our industry’s reputation as one that sets the benchmark for more environmentally conscious designs and services. There is no question that the remainder of 2022 will continue to throw up curveballs. Perhaps abnormal years are fast becoming the new normal, after all, who would have predicted that on top of a pandemic, we would also be tackling record-breaking temperatures off the back of a season that failed to launch, ever-increasing inflation, energy and cost of living crises, national and global recruitment challenges, and I could go on?! The latest data shows that current sales continue to track above pre-pandemic numbers and whilst the elephant in the room – high stock levels – remains a concern for everyone, we must continue to remain positive about the future. It does however look like the next few months will continue to challenge us all. Buying bans are in place with several retailers, and with cash tied up in high value furniture and BBQ’s, suppliers remain nervous about payments. Despite all this, we

are surviving. Gardening and horticulture continue to tick all the boxes for consumers so as an industry we must continue to promote its benefits. 2023 will also see companies required to extend their recording of all forms of packaging waste in line with the new Extended Producer Responsibilities legislation due to come into force in 2024. At GIMA we will continue our programme of support in the next few months to help members along their journey. In-line with earlier product development timelines, September will see the return of the popular Scarlet Opus ‘Trends Workshop’, which will provide members with essential insight into those trends which will shape consumer shopping habits and demand in 2024 and beyond. October 20th will also be a key date in the diary for many of our members, as this date marks the next annual GIMA Awards ceremony. Sixteen winners will be crowned during this five-star night of celebrations, with the judging having been recently completed. With 200 entries and a host of exciting innovation on display, this year’s awards will be one you won’t want to miss. Whatever 2022 throws at us I have every confidence that we can tackle it head-on. Garden retail has proved its resilience time and time again. GIMA remains available to help our members traverse whatever challenges and opportunities this year has left up its sleeve, so do reach out to find out more about our services and how we work to represent garden manufacturers.

Gardening and horticulture continue to tick all the boxes for consumers so as an industry we must continue to promote its benefits

38 August 2022

Find out more

For further information about GIMA and its wide range of member benefits, please contact the GIMA Press Office on (01959) 564947 or

TELFORD 25-26 September 2022 The UK’s National Pet Industry Exhibition

Where the

pet industry

meet to do business Register for FREE entry Simply visit the website or for more information call 01892 862848

VISITOR INFORMATION PATS Telford takes place at: The Telford International Centre, St Quentin Gate, Telford, Shropshire TF3 4JH For the full list of exhibitors and latest show news visit

OPENING TIMES Sunday 25th September 9.30am - 5pm Monday 26th September 9.30am - 4pm FREE PARKING Over 1300 spaces

COURTESY SHUTTLE A complimentary ‘PATS’ bus runs between Telford Central Station and the venue on both show days



Sept 6-7th


- Celebrating 50 years! de Tra re ltu cu rti Ho e th r fo The UK’s Premier Show

Find hundreds of plants, products, services & technology for your business FREE entry, parking & catalogue for all in the garden sector Tel: +44 (0) 1477 571392 | Email: |

Sponsored by


Thank you to all our exhibitors and visitors for making SOLEX 2022 a great event Looking forward to seeing you next year | 01952 977569