GTN August 2023 - Glee and SOLEX Reviews - Garden Trade News UK

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wt his QR code to view th ef ul l 20 24 ca ta lo gu e
GREENFINGERS FUNDRAISING Up, up and away for charitywing walk FLORAL FANTASIA Living catalogue of seasonal plants Advice &information for garden centreprofessionals GIMAPRIZE French invention secures Seed Corn Fund AUGUST2023 Innovation wins at Glee and Solex Highlights, winners and comment from the Summer of Shows SOLEXSHAPES THE FUTURE OF OUTDOOR LIVING

Itwas great to see so many GTNreaders during the summer trade showseason this June and July.Thank youfor stopping to say hello,votefor winners at show awards, and for helping us raise funds for Greenfingers on Floral Thursday at Glee.

Many conversations were,however, brief because the team were so busycovering all thenewsfrom theshows for our e-mail newsletters; GTNXtra, Pet Trade Xtra,GleeDaily News andThe Solex Sun.

Combined, our Glee Daily News and Solex Sun e-mail newsletters havesofar been opened 148,824 times this year with 21,368unique readers reading amassivetotal of 185,105 pages. This just goes to showhow interested youare in the newlaunches and newservices on offer for next year.This issue of GTNgives us theopportunity to review Glee andSolex in print, highlighting the

winners of Glee and Solex Awards. Well done to all of you!

With over300 entries, the Glee NewProduct Awards, organised by the GTNTeam, were once again aprominent featureofGlee and in our next issue we will bring youa directoryofall the products entered just in-case youmissed a potential winner for your customers.

As summer finally arrives, for aday at least, the thoughts of the GTNteam turn to Christmas and plans arealready being put together for GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards 2023 which will be formally launched in the September issue. As last year we will be visiting up to 100 garden centreChristmas teams who believe they areThe Greatest. To make sureyour team areone of the 100 visited during October,November and early December please send an e-mail to today


Garden Trade News

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

6 Shortmemories –GTN comment about the timing of trade shows 10 Reflections from Glee 2023 –GTN’s reviewstarts here 12 Germie, anew dawn forgrowing seeds –GIMA SeedCorn Funding 13 Shaping the FutureofCutting, Glee’sBest NewProduct 2023 14 Buyers PowerList Awards at Glee 16 Glee NewProduct AwardWinners for 2023 20 Peckish backonTVafter winning awardsatGlee 21 Flying high for Greenfingers 22 Record breaking Flower Powerat Glee 24 AMES arebranching out–GTN InterviewwithNick Jones and Caroline Elliot 26 Tramontina get in themood winning at SOLEX 28 Outdoor Living at its best -SOLEX 2023 Review 31 Woodlodge unveil WGardenLiving at SOLEX 32 LifestyleGarden stackupawardsat SOLEX 33 Selling Smiles at Floral Fountasia –GTNPlanteria Column 34 Keep on gardeningall summer long -HTA Column 35 Innovation matters –GIMAColumn AdvertisersinthisIssue 1&2 Primeur 4 Vitax 8 GIMA Awards 2023 9 MeadowViewStone 9 Sipcam 15 Treadstone 15 PATS Telford 19 PinnacleAgri 36 Osprey Car Charging August 2023 5 Whowill be TheGreatest Garden CentreChristmasTeamsof 2023? Nominateyour teams now! And next… it’s Christmas! In this issue...

Shor t memories

GTN’s Editor, Trevor Pfeiffer, comments on the discussions about the timing of trade shows

I’ve been attending Glee since 1988,when I became a junior publisher of Garden Trade News and every year there has always been chatter about the size of the show, the numbers and quality of the audience and often about the date of the show However, this year I was struck by the volume of discussion and sometimes quite vitriolic comment about the timing of Glee

At GTN we try our hardest not to report on speculation and general gossip and instead stakeour reputation on bringing you stories basedonfact with reportsonactual ideas and inspiration happening in the market As many of youwill knowwe are also media partners of both Glee and SOLEX, so any comment we make may be construed as biased What follows is comment from me, Trevor Pfeiffer, based on my recollections over the past 35 years, with the sole intention of helping to make all trade shows for our industry successful forboth exhibitors andretailers,highlighting some past actions and trendsthat

are perhaps being missed Many in our industry appear to have short memories

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: the timing of Glee Despite many exhibitors telling me at the end of Glee 2023 they had had a very successful show, if I had received £10 for every time someone told me it should be in September, I could have doubled the money raised for Greenfingers on Floral Thursday!

Some of thecomments about moving back to September were based on the fact that Glee in September 2021 was their most successful Glee ever and neither of the June eventssince then matched that Does that mean they have forgotten that Glee in September 2021 was the first show post Covid, when everyone met up for the first time since lockdowns and went mad, buying more than ever before to make sure they were not caught short in 2022? That post-Covid boost certainly made Glee 2021 a huge success, but in itself created a situation where retailers had so much stock left in 2022 that they didn’t need or want to buy much new, and probably wouldn’t have had, whether Glee wasinJune or September.And thesituation isn’t much different this year with stocks bought in 2021 still selling through at retail due to the later than usual summer

GTN’s T r Pfeif r celebrates at Glee with Primeur’s Jenny

LOFA Chairman Pravin Patel with Solex Awardwinner LukeHopkins from CharBroil

Those with longer memories will cast their minds back to the Glee shows of the five or six years prior to Covid when the talk was of retailers either having completed all their ranging or buying decisions prior to September and therefore not attending in force or being too busy setting up Christmas retailing to beabletosparestaff to goto Glee. The general consensus wasthat something needed tochange, and I know the Glee team spent years consulting with exhibitors and retailers about the issue

Strategically for our industry, the move to having a trade show where new ideas and new product ranges can be shown right at the end of the previous season would seem an obvious winner.Theworld’s biggest garden and outdoorleisuretrade show, Spoga+ gafa in Koln also came to thesameconclusion Especially as theearlier dates allow for prototypes to be shown rather than just those products which have already been ordered for manufacture ready for availability next spring, as was becoming the case with the September date for Glee Buying straight after one season for the next year is also the preferred method for the other main garden centre retailing peak: Christmas

Moving a trade show to an earlier date for manufacturing and ordering purposes was also the factor that created SOLEXasastand-alone show in Julyback in 2008.LOFA members saidtheyneeded to gettheir orders into their manufacturingcentres before September as lead times with

he grew longer.

members ha ironic that the sale Glee to back in the 1990s ended up the set-up of SOLEX as a members show. I can recall around Glee in 1989 with David Arculus, Emap’s MD, who would be a great show for Emap to and sit Fair, which it had earlier that year. comment was

the Far East grew longer Prior to 2008 LOFA membershad occupied Hall 2 and part of Hall 1at Glee

It’s rather ironic that the sale of Glee to Emap back in the 1990s ended up essentially funding the set-up of SOLEXas a members only show I can vividly recall walking around Glee in 1989 with David Arculus, Emap’s Deputy MD, who said that Glee would be a great showfor Emap to buy and sit alongside Spring Fair, which it had bought earlier that year My comment was that as a trade show owned and organised by the industry, that probably wouldn’t happen I was wrong, and Emap did buy Glee LOFA wasone of theshareholders of Glee and as a membership organisation use their funds to help LOFA members and thesales of their products, giving them th ability to set up SOLEX (at Telford from 2008 to 2012 and subsequently at the NEC), always in early July

organisation use their funds to LOFA members and the sales of their them the

At SOLEX this year many retailers were commenting on the inconvenience of having to travel to the NEC twice within three weeks for Glee and then SOLEX Those with long memories will recall the joy with which having SOLEX separate from Glee was greeted: “It’s great to be able to spend as much time as aIwant buying furnitureand BBQS’s at SOLEX and then being able to focus on

August 2023 7 Comment
TheGlee floorplan from 2008 when the showextended through halls 1-9 at the NEC.
We hope short memories don’t lead us down a path that could be in the wrong direction

gardening at Glee, when before we were having to squeeze them both into one trip” was a typical comment from retailers The call this year was for both shows to happen at the same time With pressure on time today and the wide availability of suppliers showroom visits, post Covid, that may be a good route for the industry

That doesn’t, however, resolve theissue of thecries to move Glee back to September.Idoubt if SOLEX will be moving back after 14 years of ashow in July

I heard plenty of comment that smaller retailers weren’t going to attend Glee this year I personally bumped into plenty of folk from smaller garden centres, but I can imagine that some retailers who still have much too much stock from 2021’s ordering frenzy would prefer to stay at their centre to help sell that through It’s quite likely they could still be doing that this autumn, so possibly having Glee in September may not solve that issue

On the positive side, I’ve heard much more feedback fromretailers, both big and small, whoare taking a morestrategic view of theirbuying andranging, who understand thevalue of theearlier tradeshow date to give them more food for thought and planning so next year’s ranges and products can be put to bed before Christmas gets into gear

My personal view is that the best time for Glee would be early July, but that is when SOLEX happens, and NEC contracts usually include non-competing events exclusion clauses so there would have to be plenty of negotiations to make that move

If Glee is to be useful to groups and chains - including those on the fringes of gardening i e High Street and discounters –then September may be too late for them and my concern about moving back to the later date is that we may or may not get thesmaller retailers to theevent (as mentioned above) butwedecrease the opportunity for newexhibitors and new products to beseen and listed by those retailerswho need and want to plan their business in a strategic manner As I stated at the start of this article, as media partners we are only interested in the success of all our trade shows for both exhibitors and retailers At the end of the day, GTN won’t have any say in the timings as that is down to the owners and organisers of the events; however, we hope people’s short memories don’t lead us down a path that could be in the wrong direction

8 August 2023 Comment
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Reflections from Glee

Plentyofinspiration, ideas, innovative products, positive enquiries and reports of new customer leads. That was Glee 2023.

Gleemight be overfor another year,but thebusinessand relationships built during the three- dayevent will hopefullylastfor many years to come.The Junedateisstillproving atalkingpoint for some especiallyifgardencentres arestill busy with customers, butfor themajority of visitors andexhibitors,buyingand restocking whilethe summer season is stillfresh in thememory proved to be worthwhile.

Letting newtalent shine

Brimming with merchandising ideas for visitors to tryintheir ownstoreswas thepairofTalent StoredisplaysinThe Atrium createdbytwo teamsselectedfroma workshopheld earlier in the year.Organised by Gleewiththe Garden

Centre Association,itwas KatherineDavies, Pughs Garden Centre Wenvoe;Amber Dowsettand Freya Markwood from PerrywoodGarden CentreTiptree andSudbury;Nathan Evans, BentsGarden& Home; Louisa Powerand Damian Walker from theBGC’s in Ongar andHarrogate,that took home thetop prize. Their ‘bughotel’concept using outdoorplants presenteddisplays which were sustainable and easy to recreate in anygardencentre.

“The Talent Storeshould be an intrinsicpartof theevent becauseit’sabout nurturingtalent, giving themthat opportunitytoshine away from their stores. Youcan see howproud each team member was andafter deliveringsomething live at Gleethey cantakewhat theyhavelearntbacktotheirstores,” said Matthew Mein, Glee EventDirector.

10 August 2023 Glee 2023 review

Above:This year’s crop of Rising Starsgatheredtogether, forthe first time, on the Westland Unwins stand forameet-and-greet as partoftheir journeytocome up with sustainable ideas for generating foot fall and driving sales in garden centres.

Below: Woodmansterne presented the GreenfingersCharity acheque for£11,000 following afundraising campaign which included sales of aspecial range of Greenfingersgreetingcards. It waspresented by Seth Woodmansterne to Linda Petrons who said the donation would makeahuge difference.

Matthewlooks back on Glee 2023

“It’sbeen an absolutely jampackedthree dayswith so much goingon,”says Matthew Mein, Glee Events Director.“We’vehad over 400 exhibitors which includes 25 to 30 additional exhibitors of which183 were newtoGlee. This meant therewas more for buyers to seeinterms of newness.Imet buyers that were here for three solid days walkingthe aisles because therewas so much to get through.”

Other highights for Matthewwerethe Talent Store which along with FireGrill andChill helped createa ‘festival’ atmosphereinand around The Atrium andthe NewProduct Showcase. “But it’snot just about the new products, therewerethousands of newideas herethat visitors couldtakeback to their stores to help sell more product to their customers.”

Above:The Best Glee Green HeartDisplay waswon by Hills Plants, Chichester,for its appealing and inspirational displayoffoliage houseplants with pops of colour from flowering plants. Judge Andy Bunker from Alton Garden Centre(left) said it had something for everyone. In agarden centreitwould certainlyinspireimpulse purchases especially when supportedbyinformativepoint of sale.

“We’re over the moon to have won this award,”saidLaura Marner “Our displayisall about creating the dream vision forhouseplant lovers.Wehopewe’ve inspired afew to give it ago!”

Next year’s Glee, which celebrates its 50th anniversary, runs from 25-27 June. One of the biggest developments is the introduction of the free, networking initiativeConnect @Glee, an industryconnections programme changing how the garden and outdoor living retail community do business. It’sdesigned to help buyers find the right products and brands their customers will love,and for exhibitors to efficiently and effectively create leads, orders and opportunities.

The platform enables suppliers and buyers to requestmeetings, which aredouble opt-in, meaning buyers get to meet exhibitors who have the products theywant, and exhibitors get to meet buyers they’re interested in.All Connect @Glee meetings arescheduled basedonmutual availability between both parties, with meetings taking placeon the exhibitor’s stand. Onceregisteredtoattend Glee 2024,the show organiser will be in touchwith details on howtotakepart.

August 2023 11 Glee 2023 review
Thetwo Talent Storeteams proudly showoff their certificates.

New dawn for growing seeds

Aningenious reusable modular system, designed by Frenchman Eric Baudouin, for germinating seeds has received invaluable supportfromGIMA to help the businessgrow.

Marketed as Germie, it consists of frames that slot together to create hexagonalcells which, when filledwith growing media, provide the perfect environment for growing seeds. When germinated the frames can be easily dismantled to access theplug plant which can be transplanted with no disturbancetothe roots. The frames can then be cleaned ready to be used again and again.

Germie is nowthe eighthrecipientofthe GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund. Eric and his team will nowreceive an incredible prizefund package, comprising agrant of up to £6,000 which includesayear’s fullGIMAmembership, plus awiderange of businesssupporttools including free exhibition spaceatGleeand free PR supportduring theevent.Inaddition, thewinners package also includesdesign developmentand manufacturing or marketing cost support up to thevalue of £3,000;access to an industrybusiness consultant; one-year Anti Copying in Design membership, and an advert in thenextGIMAProduct Digest. “The team is bringing to market aconcept that is provenin other markets and is set to open up newsales opportunities forUKgarden retailers,”says

VickyNuttall,GIMA Director.“The approachto growing is clearly very considered,whilst the environmental impact of thematerialinnovation is heartening to see. It’sa strongproposition that offers acomplete, easy-to-followprocess that will increase consumer confidence with gardening.”

Eric has been refining the design for some time and set up the company just overa year ago. Sincethen, it has been taken up by around 200 stores in Francewhereithas also helped increase sales of growing media and seeds. It’s also available in Sweden and The Netherlands and thereisinterestfromNew Zealand. “I looked at all the products already on the market and took thebestbits of them all,”says Eric. “I’m 100% sureitworks.”

Currently,the Germie is available in three kit sizes with 13 to 41 cells. Prices vary with RRP’sbetween £16.90-£24.90. Thelist of other benefits is impressive. It reduces the need for pricking out, which makes moreefficient use of seed, it’smade from locally sourcedrecycled plastic, fully recyclable and guaranteed for 10-years. It uses growing media efficiently and buyers can use trays theyalready haveinwhich to sit the cells so watering is even.

Eric adds that Germie has a30-40 year lifespan allowing kits to be passed through the generations. “Wehope that Germie will become synonymous with producing anew generation of confident gardeners that areadvocates of reducing waste,”says Eric.

12 August 2023 GIMA Seed Corn Fund
Germie receives fund to grow business in the UK. Eric Baudouin with Jenny Douwthwaite, GIMA President, and Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director

Kent &Stowe: Shaping the FutureofCutting

Winners of The Best New Product at Glee 2023

Everyone whohas ever purchasedor usedaKent& Stowe tool can attest to whytheyare simplyextraordinary. Thecombination of thoughtful designwith beautiful FSC® ashwood,and cold-rolled stainless steel hascreated arange of digging andcultivation toolsthat areentirely focusedonhelpinggardeners achieve extraordinary results in their gardens.

2022 sawthe launchofthe award-winning Eversharpsecateurs range,wherecoating technology from the world of Formula1, created arange of four secateurs with the sharpesthardest,blades available. Eversharp arethe only secateurs designed and manufactured in the UK.

At Glee 2023,weproudly unveiled our latest innovation, the Kent &Stowe SureCut range of cutting tools, featuring secateurs, snips, shears, and loppers. This remarkable collection earned us twoprestigious awards at the show -the winner of the Garden Toolsand MachineryCategoryand,most notably, the Best Overall Product award. We firmly believe that this newSureCut rangewill revolutionise the toolsmarket, setting new standards for performanceand quality.

We areexcited to offer supportin-store, providingimpactful off-fixture displays and informative point-of-salematerial that willengage your customers andenlighten them aboutthe unparalleled gardening experience theycan enjoy withthese extraordinarytools.

Designed in theUKbyKent& Stowe, thenew SureCutrange is theresult of two years of in-house design, innovation, and engineering,focused entirely on exceeding theneeds of gardeners.

Our newSureCut range includes:

• 5NEW SureCutSecateurs andSnips (All Purpose, HardWood, Ratchet HardWood, Perennial Snips, andLong Reachsecateurs). Allcombine hardened Japanese SK5chromeplated bladesfor aprecise clean cut everytime, with class-leading ergonomics

• 4NEW SureCutLoppers(All Purpose,Extra PowerAll Purpose,Extra PowerHardWood, andExtra PowerRatchet Loppers).

• 3NEW SureCutShears(HedgeShears, Adjustable HeightGrass Shears, Adjustable Height Lawn Edging Shears, and Single-handed GrassShears).

All SureCut Loppers andShearscombine thesamehardened Japanese SK5 chromeplated steelusedinthe Secateurs,but the strengthened blades arebuiltintoastrong, yetlight, aluminium monocoquechassis.

Crucially, theentirerange featurestwo (Pat. Pending) Kent &Stowe innovations.Firstly, a lockable andadjustable, blade tensioner,and secondly the newReflex Energy System

TheReflex Energy System draws from the world of performancerunning Twothermo-elastomers with different properties arecombined intoadurable spring damper.This cushions the impact experienced when closing loppers and shears then provides acalibrated rebound to reducethe effortofthe next cut. The result is maximum comfortwith minimum effortwhen cutting

Guaranteed fora minimum of fiveyears, the Kent &Stowesecateurs rangestarts at £9.99for the traditional secateurs, rising to £19.99 for SureCut, andthe UKmanufacturedEversharp range is £34.99 SureCutLoppers and Shearsare priced from £29.99. The full range will be available from the1st December 2023

• Kent &Stowe toolscan be ordered 24/7 via ourWestland Liveonline ordering and marketingtool. Frequent top-ups areeasyaspartofaWestland weekly

August 2023 13

They’ve got the power


Onthe weeks and days leading up to Glee, morenominations than ever were cast by readers of GTN and GTNXtrawho votedtorecognise the hard work of the industry’sindividualand group buyers. We doff our caps to all the worthy winners and finalists announced on the first day of Glee.

Plants Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Colin Dale, Notcutts Garden Centres

2nd: TomCook, British Garden Centres

3rd: ZoeWillis, Perrywood Garden Centres

Garden CareBuyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Al Sheppard, Haskins Garden Centres

2nd: Selina Hammond, PerrywoodGarden Centres

3rd: TerryHead, Stewarts Garden Centres

Outdoor LeisureBuyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Nigel Gates, Gates Garden Centre

2nd: Jay Bunker,Alton Garden Centre

3rd: Matt Shorter, LongacresGarden Centre

Landscape Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Dan Kirby, British Garden Centres

2nd: Scott Proven, KlondykeGarden Centres

3rd: John Birch, Baytree Garden Centre

Home &Gifts Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Jodie Smith, Perrywood Garden Centres

2nd: Al Sheppard, Haskins Garden Centres

3rd: Kati Taylor,FronGoch Garden Centre

PetBuyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: TheOld Railway Line

2nd: Paul Williams, British Garden Centres

3rd: Planters Tamworth

Retail Food &Drinks Buyer/Buying

Team of the Year

Winner: Bents Garden &Home

2nd: Sarah Jaques, Perrywood Garden Centres

3rd: Pughs, Radyr

Christmas Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Rachel Churcher,Perrywood Garden Centres


On-line Buyer/Buying Team of the Year

Winner: Helen Hensaw,Crocus

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

Winner: QD Stores

2nd: B&M

3rd: John Lewis

Overall Multiple Garden Retailer Buying Team of the Year –6stores or more

Winner: Blue Diamond

2nd: British Garden Centres

3rd: SquiresGarden Centres

Overall Independent Garden CentreBuying Team of the Year –up to 5stores

Winner: Haskins Garden Centres

2nd: Perrywood Garden Centres

3rd: The Gardens Group

14 August 2023 Glee review
to the winners and finalists of the 2023 Glee Buyers Power List.
2nd: Louise Burks, The Gardens Group Lynsey Abbott, Dobbies Garden Centres
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Awards for the next level of innovation

Winners of the Glee New Product Awards are triumphant.

After many hours of judging and considering pitches from all the finalists in the Glee New Product Showcase, run by GTN, winners were finally agreed upon. Aswith previousyears, the task isnot an easy one especiallywhen judges have to scrutinizemorethan300 products across 12 categories

At Glee,heldfrom27-29 June, winners were announced and every company entered was congratulated for their ideas, creativity, innovation and hard work which goes towards keeping the sector fresh and lively

“Every year our exhibitors continue to impress with the level of innovation that they bring to market. Thequality of theentries thisyear has been extremely impressive and the pitches demonstratedthe passion anddedicationthat goes intoevery productentry,”saysMatthew Mein, GleeEvent Director.“Ahugethank you to our judges for sharing their expert insight and to all those that entered Finally, congratulations to both our shortlisted entries and our eventual winners I sincerely hope the win will positively impact your growth in thecoming season as it has for many of our previouswinners”

Best Overall New Product

Winner: Kent & Stowe Surecut Loppers & Shears Westland Unwins

Garden Tools & Machinery

Winner: Kent & Stowe Surecut Loppers & Shears. Westland Unwins

Also shortlisted:

• AMES Digging Spade. AMES UK.

• AMES Double Sided Soil Rake. AMES UK.

• Wing-Lock Hose Connector Qwickhose

Wild Bird Care and Wildlife Products

Winner: Peckish Natural Balance Coco-Not® Wild Bird Feeders. Westland Unwins.

Also shortlisted:

• Barrel BirdNestbox. Wildlife World.

• Chicken Snack Tower. FaunaBird.

• Gardman Wild Bird Novelty Suet Treats Westland Unwins

• Solar Powered WiFi Bird Box Camera Green Feathers

Pet Products

Winner: PetBed Topper.The WheatBag Company

Afirst timer at Glee is Sally Moore. “Weare very proud, excited and alittle bit surprised,”she says and adds that she had received some good enquiries

Also shortlisted:

• Earthy Sustainable medium pet bowl made with coffee Earthy Sustainable.

• Extra-Large Compostable Poo Bags. Twiggy Tags Ltd.

• GET OFF Lawn Rescue. Sipcam Home and Garden.

• TrailFinderDog Safety Light. TwiggyTags Ltd.

DIY Products

Winner: Racan Premium Anti-Rodent Sealant (RACARSM) Lodi UK

Also shortlisted:

• Exterior Wood Stain. Furniture Clinic.

• Garden Furniture Restoration Kit. Furniture Clinic.

16 August 2023 Glee review

Landscaping &Garden Buildings

Winner: Rubber Play SpaceTiles

Primeur Ltd

Also shortlisted:

• Oriental Stepping Stones Meadow View Stone

• Shell Chippings. Deco-Pak

Retail Services&Experiences

Winner: Indoor Gardening Essentials

Merchandising Solutions (G.E.M.S) Westland Unwins.

Also shortlisted:

• QCR GLS1 Glass Bottle Crusher QCR Recycling Equipment Ltd

• Tumblebug On Site Food Waste Processor and Mushroom Farm. Tumblebug Ltd

Gifts, Bodyand Bath, Christmas, Greeting Cards, Toys &Games.

Winner: PlaypressVets Mini Playset. Playpress Toys.

Matthew Wright says: “The award really does mean so much because we’re a little team but we’re growing I wanted to set myself a brief to

makesomething fun like Lego and Playmobil but a bitmoreaffordableand moresustainable.”

Also shortlisted:

• MightyBugs. Andermatt

• Paint your OwnSolar Butterfly Light. The Solar Centre

• RHS Gifts for Gardeners ‘Asteraceae’ herb set Burgon & Ball

• Xtend Bike Robbie Toys Limited

Homeware, clothing & fashion accessories

Winner: Recycled Bottle Scarf. ArtonScarves.

Lucy Hay, ArtonScarvesCEO says: “It was abig surprise, butI’m absolutely delighted because Iknowthe product is great. I’mreally, really pleased it’s beenrecognised so thank you very much.I’vehad alot of enquiries andI’m going to be very busy.”

August 2022317 Glee review
Eliza Nicholls (left) and Amy Westwood (right). Melvin Wright andMatthew Wright from family firm Playpress Toys Left:Marie Williams Right: Amy Heart Rachael McWilliam Marie Williams Sally Moore. Lucy Hay David Eaton.

Also shortlisted:

• Botanical Wax Melts (Darjeeling Delights) The Flora Lab

• FireStarters: set of 12. Candles @MissSoy

• Tapestry Bee Door Stop.The Wheat Bag Company

Garden Leisure&Entertaining

Winner: FirestormPhoenixPellet PatioHeater

Pinnacle Agri Products Ltd

Father and son, Steve and Zach from Hereford, designed the product and displayed it at their first Glee. “It’safantastic result,”saysSteve.“We couldn’thaveasked for better”.

Also shortlisted:

• Eco Fuego.Eco Fuego

• Zest Stirling Arbour.Zest Outdoor Living

• Zest Terraza Outdoor Kitchen. Zest Outdoor Living

Garden Decoration

Winner: Gemini Solar Wall Light pkof2

The Solar Centre

“It feels fantastic to win the award,”says David Eaton. “We’ve had lots of positive feedback from existing clients and anumber of new clients. Weare always innovating and developing”

Also shortlisted:

• DécorDisk Smart Garden Products Limited

• FireFly Solar Garden Light The Solar Centre

Garden Growing Containers

Joint winners: Cottage Garden 12L Beehive Planter.EPBarrus Ltdand EcoMade Indoor Hemp Planters. Woodlodge Products.

Also shortlisted:

• Tierra Verde Planters New Collection Primeur

Growing Accessories

Winner: ClipGlove Warm ‘n’ Waterproof Treadstone Products.

This is the second year thecompany has won an awardand TomStolworthy says visitors have been super impressed “It’s had a huge amount of positive feedback since winning the award A

lot of people havecome and tried it on. With the double lining theycertainly will feel the benefit in thewinter”

Also shortlisted:

• Germie Reusable seed growing kit Germie

• Memory Foam Folding Kneeler EP Barrus Ltd

• Verty Plant Anchoring System Verty

• Zest Eco HiveComposter.ZestOutdoor Living

• Zest Tall Botanical Greenhouse. Zest Outdoor Living

Growing Materials

Winner: Coco & Coir Houseplant Compost

Southern Trident Limited

“We think the excellent,” says Steve

We think the product is excellent, says Steve Harper “And when the judges, whoare industry specialists, look at it and recognise it, then that’s all you can ask for We are delighted.”

Also shortlisted:

• BugNet. Andermatt.

• RocketGroTomatofood. RocketGro.

• Vitax Liquid Acer Feed. Vitax Ltd.

Plants Seeds & Bulbs

Joint winners: Nymphya Purple Fantasy Anglo Aquatic Petunia Tumbelina Nicola. ColegraveSeabrook Foundation/Kerley &Co.

“We’re really pleased to win. It is quiteastunning lily,and it is so different,”says Caroline Everett. “There is no other purple water lily in the UK or the world that is hardysowe’re reallypleased to have it in amongst the range as an excellent addition”

Neil Gow says Tim Kerley who bred Petunia Tumbelina ‘Nicola’ was very excited to receive the award. Royalties from plant sales will help fund the ColegraveSeabrook Foundation

Also shortlisted:

• BEES® Gardener’s Calendar.GPlants Ltd.

• British Mini Orchid in Ceramic growninPeat Free Media. The Horti House.

• Petunia Bridal Blush Colegrave Seabrook Foundation/Kerley & Co

Glee Sustainable Product Award

EcoMade Indoor Hemp Planters. Woodlodge Products.

recognised forbeing highly sustainable.

Glee review 18 August 2023
Above:Caroline Everett Below: Neil Gow Woodloge’saward winning rangewas TheBest of British Awardwent to Pinnacle Agri Products Ltdfor its Firestorm Phoenix Pellet PatioHeater Marco Abbiati, TomStolworthy, and Anne Corr Left:Steve and Zac Morris. SteveHarper

Introducingthe revolutionaryFirestorm PatioHeater, winner of the “Garden Leisure& Entertainment” and“Best of British”awardsatGLEE 2023 Theserevolutionary heatersoffer asustainable andeco-friendly solutionthataligns with thegrowingdemandfor greenerproducts.

Ourwood pellet patioheaters aredesignedtoprovide efficientand clean warmth withoutcompromisingonperformance They willprovide your customers with head-to-toe heat from aradius of around 2m at afraction of therunningcostofanythingelse.

Thedaysofsufferingfrom beingcovered by smokefrom aFirepit or Chiminea have finallygone! Cleanburningsustainably sourcedwood pellets producenext to no smokeinthe efficientburningFirestorm.Any wispscreated areupand away as they emanatefrom aboveheadheight.

Themesmerizing flames add atouch of styletoyourcustomers’outdoor spaces, creating theperfect settingfor gatherings with friends andfamily.

Join thenext generation andelevate your outdoor heater range with our Firestorm patioheaters.Embrace eco-friendlinesswithout compromising on performanceorstyle.Makethe rightchoice todayfor abettertomorrow!


Peckish Coco-Not® Wild Bird

Feeders –better for nature

Winner of the Best New Wild BirdCareand Wildlife Product AwardatGlee 2023.

In2020, we proudly launchedour ambitious 5-year Field to Beak strategy,drivenbya mission to minimise the environmental impactofour operations. Our primarygoals were to reducethe distancefood travels, decrease plastic usage, andreducewaste. Subsequently,through dedicated efforts, ourPeckish production facility has achieved an impressivezero-wastestatus, reflecting our commitment to sustainability.Aware of theconcerning statistic,thatout of 311,000 tonnes of plastic wrapping on storeshelves in theUK, only 6% is recycled. We made it our mission to facilitatethe recycling of

Peckish packaging.In2021, we introduced fully kerbside recyclable paper packaging,making it easier forour customers to participatein recycling initiatives.

Continuing our sustainable journey, in 2022,wetook significantstrides to reduce food miles by designing and producing more products within the UK,thereby contributing to local economies andreducingour carbon footprint. Thisincluded ourNaturalBalance Seed Mix which is sourced100% from UK farms, providing high-quality British food for British birds.

Coco-Not® feeders, better for nature:

• not importedlikecoconut shells

• not plastic! 100% plant-based shell

• not thereafter 12 weeks! 100% compostable Shells aremade of UK crop wastemaking them 100% natural and sustainable. Oncebirds have finished feasting,pop empty shells in afood wasteorhome compost bin. Theywill break down at the same rate as abanana peel.

The Peckish Coco-Not range, packaged with zero plastic, includes single feeders (RRP £2.49)and a4-pack box(RRP £4.99)

• Formorevisit:

to continuously o more sustainable choices to our customers.

at Glee 2023, to New Wild Bird Care & Wildlife our introduction.

This year,weproudly presentedanother eco-friendly additiontoour product line -the Coco-Not® This innovation showcased our dedication to continuouslyoffering more ustainable choicestoour customers. We were delighted, at Glee2023, to win the Best NewWild BirdCare&Wildlife Product award for our exciting introduction.

Our newpatent-pending PeckishCocoNot® Wild BirdFeeders areready-to-hang suets with ashell madeofarevolutionary, biodegradable material. They areUK manufactured, reducing the carbonfootprint andenvironmental impact even further

a shell made of a revolutionary, are UK carbon footprint and environmental even

20 August 2023 Promotion

Taking to the skies for Greenfingers

More than £9000 has been raised for the Greenfingers Charity by eight brave adventurers who enjoyed views of the Cotswolds from the wings of a 1940 Boeing Stearman biplane

Taking on the challenge of the GreenfingersWing Walkwith pilots forAeroSuperBaticsat RFC Rendcomb Airfield, werePhillippa Stubbs from British Garden Centres; LukaszKulisa from AMES; Katy Thompson,Luke Misseldine,SamJarvisand Poppy Jarvis from STV International;SBM’s Lowri Walkerand Hornby WhitefootPR’s Kimberley Hornby “What an incredible way to raise money by ‘walking the wing’ The day was a memory I will hold forever,” says Poppy

Back for her second airborne adventurewas Lowri Walkerfrom SBMwho bravely returned to not only complete thewing walkexperienceagain butalso go one step further bycompletingtheloop the loop!Facing speeds of up to180mph and

reaching heights of almost3,000ft, Lowriwas set todraw the day to a close with her amazing aerobatic skills, however joining in the fun wasSam Jarvis Buzzing from his first wing walkhe also tackled the loop the loop for an amazing double showcase of bravery

The day was further boosted with a £22,000 cheque presentation from British Garden Centres for Greenfingers Charity from a year of fundraisingat its 62 stores

Concrete replaced by colour and laughter

In mid-July a new Greenfingers sensory garden opened at Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice to provide hours of fun, laughter and learning The official opening was attended by the Greenfingers team and many of those involved in the garden build including Scott Chisholm from Evergreen Garden Care, Neil

Cummings representing the HTA, and Nigel Thompson of Sipcam The ribbon was cut by Samuel who attends Jigsaw, and Sue Allen, Chair of Greenfingers

Designed by Bruce Walker and brought to life by the team at Ian Howe Landscapes, it wasinspired from the colours of the Jigsaw logo resulting in a greenjungle garden, bright blue art area and an orange kitchen garden for growing herbs and experimenting with grow-your-own projects Greenfingers and its dedicated supporters funded the project with contributions from the Postcode Neighbourhood Trust and Cumbria Community Foundation Julie Clayton, CEO of the hospice, says: “Our new garden looks incredible What you would’ve seen as we came out of Covid was a large, tired concrete area which looked like it could do with some love Now we have a bright, colourful, and engaging garden which is being used regularly by the children and young people with complex health needs that we care for It’s making a real difference and this safe and accessible space is another huge asset to what we can offer here at Jigsaw”

Greenfingers Charity August 2023 21
Brave wing walkers raise moneyfor Greenfi f ngers which opens a new garden in Cumbria.
Brave adventurers ready to touch the clouds for Greenfingers
Formoreinformation on Greenfingersand howyou can supportits work visit: www.greenfingers
Let the fun begin. Jigsaw’s new garden is officially opened

Stoking up the flower power for Greenfingers

Fantastic FUNdraising at Glee's Floral Thursday.

Thereweresmiles all roundasexhibitors and visitors came together in their floral attiretoraise moneyfor the Greenfingers Charity on the last day of Glee.

Asuperbsum of £2078 wasraised through selling raffletickets to win products kindly donated by exhibitors while some entered into the NewProduct Showcase will be auctioned at alater date.

Primeur added to the Greenfingers tally with a cheque for £5,200 as did MeadowViewStone with just over£3,000 from its auction held the day before.

22 August 2023 FUNdraising for Greenfingers
Au FUNdraising for Greenfingers gust 20 23
Well done to the hundreds who joined in with Floral Thursdayat Glee 2023 forGreenfingers. TheGreatest Floral Team Awardwinnerswere: Evergreen Garden Care, Sipcam, WHM PetFoods and AMES. See you next Floral Thursday!

Branching out

The arrival in 2024 of AMES Tools to garden centres, is one of several developments seen at Glee in June. The brand will be based in East Yorkshire whereNick Jones, AMES Commercial Director and Caroline Elliott,Product and Marketing Director,talked to GTNabout future-proofing the business.

Inlatespring,GTN visitedaformer airfield in Pollington, East Yorkshire, where aircraft hangers arenow the warehouse and logistical centre for the Kelkay brandofgardenlandscapingproducts Sincethen, on hearingaboutthe exciting introduction of AMESTools, we havebeen sworn to secrecy,but nowGleeisoverfor another year,wecan bringyou moreinsight intothe tool range andother brands thriving under The AMESCompaniesumbrella.

Sinceits inceptionin1774, AMES has been selling tools in theUSA. Todayits brands, which include Union, Jacksonand Razor-Back, make it the market leader Closer to home in Ireland,the True Temper range has been atop seller for more than200 yearssoNick Jones, AMES Commercial Director, has confidencethe newAMES Toolsrange canbuild on this historyand expertise to claimits placeinthe UK market. “Wethink the

value of theUKmarket fortools is around £60mand areveryclearabout wherewe wanttobein[UK] garden centres in the next threeyears,”hesays. “It’s allabouta slow, progressive,sensible approach.”

Market research hashelpedshape AMES Tools,and nowafter several years in themaking, the stainlessand the carbon steel ranges will be availableto garden retailers in January2024. Caroline says: “We’ve got strong relationships, huge sourcing scale,innovation andan R&Dinvestment channel. We’vealso tapped into ourglobal innovations and brought these into our tool range. Some of theexamples areusing Tempered steel, unique product patents like the Comfort Step foot tread,stamped heads in the carbonrange andnoweldline so there arenoweakpoints. Thecarbon wraps around and it’sgot double riveting to addto the strength.”

24 August 2023

The double riveting and longer shank provides up to 45% morestrength. Quality and strength were the twomost important things to come out of market research (followedclosely by price) and this new development, says Caroline, shows AMES is taking its considerationoftool design to the next level. With FSCash wood handles, the 24 products in the carbon steel range and 26 in thestainlessrange arebeing flexibly offered to retailers who can choose from acarousel, freestanding unit or aback wall. Three walls accommodatethe full range. It will taketime to sell the storyofthe new range to gardeners but aQRcode on labels leads to awebsiteoffering moreinformation.

Television gardener David Domoneyisnow the toolsambassador and will be using and promoting AMES toolsinall his projects, on social media and soon to be created AMES videos.

Making space

Suddenly having room to accommodatea completely newrange can be alogistical challenge but thanks to anew agreement with Brett Landscapes to manufactureKelkay paving,the spacehas become available. “Brett is able to essentiallycopypasteour existing range and supply that to us,” says Nick. “When youstarttoappreciatethe level of automation theyhaveintheir business, expertise in servicing channels which don’t crossoverwith our sales channels, the way theycommercialise the quality standards, the consistencyofproduct and commercial

setup,itmakes sense for everybody involved. This gaveusanopportunity to reviewour siteand acceleratesome of the thinking around the garden tools programme as abrand newproduct categoryinthe UK.”

with German pot producer Formwerk so it can add aconsidered line of plastic pots to its portfolio

Machineryformally used to makeKelkay paving at Pollington, East Yorkshirehas nowgoneand by this autumn the spaceit occupied will be fittedout to storestock of tools. OtherKelka as normal, such as bagging decorativ making furnituref range. The siteiss in operation 24 hours with orders picked processed overni

Other Kelkay lines continue as such as storing and decorative aggregate and furniture for the Woodshaw range. The site is so busy that it’s in 24 hours a day orders picked and processed overnight.

Pots of newi

new ideas

Again, AMES market research found room for growth intosupport this move “Wefound 85% of people had purchased aplanter in the last 18 months and the average number of planters purchased wasfive per person. So there’ssignificant opportunity,” says Caroline who adds that it wasthe plant that drove the choiceof pot and that £30 wasthe magic pricepoint. After considering colours, shapes, and finishes it wasdecided that plastic -with apercentage of recycled material and recyclable –was the answer.The result of this newlong-term arrangement is the Apta Lightweight rangeofWeben and Beton pots launched at Glee.

With afull complement of 40 merchandisers acrossthe UK servicing garden centres, retailers can be assured of good servicetomaximise sales.

“Essentially we create afull categorysolution,”says Nick.


Alongside anew working partnership with Brett Landscapes, Apta been forging links

Apta has links

August 2023 25 Factorytour
Above:Production of the Woodshawrange of furniture Below: Robust former aircrafthangersare perfect forwarehousing and manufacturing. Below: Caroline Elliott and Nick James at the Kelkay sitein Pollington.

In the mood with Tramontina

Recognised for its qualityand attention to detail, the new Mood rangeoffurniturefromTramontina was aworthy winner of the Best New FurnitureProduct AwardatSOLEX in July

Mood furniturefromTramontinais acollection of distinction, offering very high-quality linesinanexquisite, modular style that will make astriking statement wherever it is positioned

Designed by renowned Brazilian designer,Bruno Faucz, it is exceptional in appearance, comfort,and convenienceand with an airy, slatted construction andsquaredlines,itoozes astylish,contemporary vibe, coupled with atouch of sophisticated elegance, whilst at thesametime exuding a rustic, organicelement.Itismadefromcertified Jatobá wood (courbaril hardwood), giving each piecea beautiful rich, warm tone, and the uniquenessofthe differing grain structures across thecollection give each pieceanelement of individuality.Itisfinishedoff with an ecoclear coatingwhich provides an extraelement of durability and protection.

DuringSOLEXthis month, therange created muchinterestfromvisitorswhichwas piquedby it winning theBestFurnitureProduct Award. The company’s UK Managing DirectorAlexandreFrübel says: “Thecompany wasglad to be recognised and to stand outina very hard industry. The win notonlymakes us in theUKhappybut is also meaningful forall thosewho work in Brazil.”

With aselection of different items available

such as chairs, sofas, benchesand tables, and choices of colour and patternfor the cushions, it allows youtolet your imaginationrun wild with endless compositions,and theoption of positioning all itemstogether or apartina variety of ways,dependingonthe setting,the occasion, or your ‘mood’ –hence the name! Youcould choosethe textilecolours and patternstomake up amatching ensemble or indeedmix andmatch them for adelightfully eclectic feel.The cushions aremade from awaterprooffabric which offers resistance to weather,being rain and sun-proof.

Mood is suitable for both indoorand outdoor usesuch as decks, patios,lawns, balconiesand verandaoutsideand halls, lounges,conservatories inside –acollection that youdefinitely want to show off wherever it is situated.

Thesestylish lounge chairsand two-seatersofa with armsfeature areclining backrest whichcan be easily adjusted to fourdifferentangles, which, along with thesumptuouscushions provides the ultimate in comfort.While thisversatile coffee/ side tableoffersthe utmost in versatilityand can be placed in avariety of situations throughout the wider Mood collection.

Mood furnitureisalso long lasting and comes with a10-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

26 August 2023 Promotion
August 2023 27 Promotion or moreinformation about Tramontina’sMood range of furniture: Email: alexandre.frubel Telephone: 0203 176 4558 Visit:

Outdoor living at its best

Trends and winners from SOLEX 2023.

Sustainability remained high on theagendaand brighter colours were definitely in evidenceat SOLEX, the outdoor living exhibition in July.Alongsidethese latest outdoor livingtrendsand design ideas, buyers were treatedtoa host of award-winning newproducts andlivelyoutdoorcooking andbarbeque demonstrations.“The hallwas buzzing,and it was great to see such engagement in thenew ranges and productsondisplay,”saysGina Hinde, LOFA Marketing Manager.“As always, the exhibitorspulled out allthe stops. Thestands looked fresh andvibrant, and the furniturewas plentiful,with many newdesignsand some exciting additions to their ranges. But it wasn’t just the

furniturethatimpressedeveryone-the BBQexhibitors were also on topform, andwecouldn’tget enoughofthe fantastic food theywerecooking in the Loving Outdoor Livingarea.”


Aluminium and weavesets remainon trend,and although it’sbeen aroundfor many years, therewas agreater selection of furnitureincorporatingbraided polyester rope, strappingorsimilar in avariety of widths. As well as looking attractive, sets havethe advantage of being lighter in weight– useful for transportbysuppliers and consumers too. Newranges were on display by many

28 August 2023 SOLEX review
Firman’sversatile Bali Collection is available in avariety of combinations from corner dining to bar sets.

companies including Garden Impressions and Firmans Direct which also twins its sets with all-seasoncushions.According to Director Jilly Firman, its newBali range wasextremely well received.

Muchofthe furniturewas aimed at the luxuryend of themarket and forthose with large outdoor spaces, buthome owners with patiosorbalconieswerenot forgotten. Many of thelargersetshavemodular options giving consumersthe flexibilityto choosewhatwill fit in theirspaceand there arestill plenty of ‘tea for two’ and bistro offerings. Kaemingk’s rangewas certainly aimed at thismarket

Bring on the


Trade shows area great wayfor companies to gaugecustomer opinion and Supremo wasacaseinpoint. It’sMirfield four-seater dining setand barset stoodout from the crowd and MarketingManager Kim Tomlinsonsaidthe chairsingreen and pale bluewerethe best sellers. Orangewas popular but the brightbluehad just afew followers

Asimilarstory wastoldbyGarden

FurnitureGlobalwhich introducedits Harbo Your Wayinitiative allowing buyers to customise their ranges by choosingstyles, features and colours of rattan or aluminium furniture but also eightcolours of cushions. Sagegreen and terracotta were creating much interestbut again the bright blue provedtobea‘marmite’ colour

Glencrest Seatex went down another routefor adding colourwith thenew Sara BlakeDécor range of 20 colourfuland highly patternedcushions partneredwith throwsand scentedcandles.The idea, says

Sara, allows customerswho arenot ableto buy awhole newset of furniture,tospruce up and add ajoltofcolour to what they already have.

Forcooking outside

The capabilities of barbeque cooking continue to improve with many companies making full use of what the digital world has to offer.Linking to aps, those, including Kamado Joe let youknowthe temperatureof your food and when its ready throughmobile phones, allowing cookstojoin the party

Outside in the Loving OutdoorLiving area,the smelloffoodtempted many visitorstowatch lively demonstrationsand enjoy thefun of the BBQ Herocompetition. Judges deemed the best 30-minute steak sandwich was madebythe team at Cheeky Charlie Ovens. Theotherstaking partwere Kamado Joe,CharBroil andGrillStream.

August 2023 29 SOLEX review
Sage green choicein Harbo Your Wayfrom Garden FurnitureGlobal Right: SaraBlakewith her newrange of bright accessories. Below: TheMirfield range from Supremo

Newproduct winners

Previn Patel, Chairman of LOFA,says thatconsidering the challengesof the past fewyears, he was pleased and surprised to seethe highlevels of innovationand newproduct entered into thecompetition. He was ajudge alongwithAlyn Williams from Zest andLOFACouncil Member; Marcus BawdenofThe BBQ School; Chris McCormack, LeisurePlan; Stephen Davis, Southsea Deckchairs andLOFA Council Member; James Storey, PlanetMark.

1. Best Small Stand. CharBroil

Freshand cleanwith agood layout cleverly usingthe small spaceto clearly showingall the ranges. “We areoverthe moon to getthisaward and excitedtoshowour ranges to our customers,”saysLukeHopkins, General Sales Manager

2. Large stand. Bramblecrest

Aclose competitionbut it’s clear signagepipped theother entries to thepost.

3. Best Individual Product. Lifestyle Appliances PowerPack

Ahighquality and compact power pack robust enough forcamping but also suited to home garden entertaining

4. Best Sustainable Product. LifestyleGarden OnyxChairs

Recognised forits stackabilityand aluminium legs.

5. Best FurnitureProduct. Tramontina Mood Lounge Set

Judges lovedits quality and attention to detail and AlexandreFrubel, UK Managing Directorysays: “It was great to be recognised and to be able to stand out from the crowd.”

6. Best BBQ Product. Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Highlightedfor itsgame changingtechnologytoattract anew audience to theworld of barbequing.“We builtthis barbeque as we aretrying to get more peopletouse charcoal, to access as many people as possible and to makeithassle free,”says Ben Forte, Kamado Joe’s Global MarketingManager

SOLEX review 30 August 2023
12 3 4 5 6

Newkit on theblock

With many gardencentrebuyers havingbought cautiously in recent years, anew namein gardenfurniture wasa surprise to many at thisyear’sSOLEX. Offering acomprehensive range of garden furniture, with afocus on quality andcomfort,WGardenLiving appeared in thecataloguecausingan elementofinterest. It transpired the ‘W’ stands forWoodlodge, acompanyalready well-established withinthe gardenretail market

Richard Newton, SalesDirector, explains that WGardenLivingfromWoodlodge, has been in the makingfor severalyearsand with garden centresnow needingtofreshen up theirranges for2024, this summerof 2023 seemedthe right timetolaunch. “We dabbled anditwas awork in progressfor three years andnow we havethe range ready andanew buying team in place,”he says. ThisincludesAyeshaFinn, WGarden Living’s CategoryManager. With traditional weaveinthe Antigua

range,aluminium frames in Bali andPanama and premium upholsteryfor the ‘downpour proof’Dubairange,plus combinations from ‘tea for two’ sets, flexible modular arrangementsand large corner units, the W Garden Living from Woodlodge collection has it all. Richardexplains the company has purposelyfocused on materialsand ranges manufactured in just afew factories so buyers can,for example, fill acontainer with aselection of sets from multiple ranges from each factory, thus creatingtheirown bespoke offering. On topofthis, theranges have cushions andparasols plus guarantees from three to fiveyears, and awarehouse facility to draw off smallerquantities forthosecustomers unableto commit to a fullcontainer.“We are trying to accommodatefor everycustomerand everyprice point,”saysAyesha.

So farthe newventurehas been very well received. In fact at SOLEX, an order was placed withinthe first hour on thefirstday! “We’ve had areally good response andnot one negative remark,”saysRichard.

August 2023 31
To findout more call the sales office on 01666501000 or visit
In addition to its comprehensive rangeofplanters and outdoor living products, Woodlodge is now offering arange of furniture which it unveiled at SOLEX.
TheBali and Panama ranges canbebought mix and match tooffergardencentres flexibility ContemporarySeychelles rangewith coordinating hanging nest chair TheAntigua rangeofweave furnituretosatisfythe traditional market. Smaller units available forcustomerswherespace is apremium Richard Newton, Sales Director, believes now is the right time to be entering the furniture market

Stacking up the awards

Leaningonthe success of its furnituremadefrom recycled materials, LifestyleGarden® brings the space saving, stackable Onyxrange, perfect for gardeners, retail cafes and restaurants.

Back in 2019,LifestyleGarden took the market by storm with DuraOcean®,the first mass market chair made from recycled marine plastic. That year it wonthe awardfor Best New Product at SOLEX. Three years on andthe Best SustainableProduct awardfor itsNassau chairs poweredbySocial Plastic®,madefrom post-consumers plastic, in arange of pastel colours and with eucalyptus wood legs, added to LifestyleGarden’s awards cabinet.

This year the company has done it again. Ready for sales in 2024 is its Onyxrange of chairs, each onealsomade from materials collected via the SocialPlastic® initiative.Onyx chairs offer afresh and contemporarytake on the classic traditional bistrochair featuring minimalistic design that’smaintenance-free

and extremely durable With theirdynamic flow andexcellent seatingcomfort, they seamlessly integrateinto any urban landscape, whether indoorsoroutdoors, andtheir abilitytobeeasily stacked makes them agreat sustainable and space-saving solution in domesticand contract use situations.

To see morefrom LifestyleGarden® and one of the UK’s most sustainable furnitureportfolios, visit

Paul says having chairs at the Eden Projectisa great test of their durability.“They’ve beeninCornwall aboutthree years andinAugust last year around 100,000 people sat on them. That’s equivalent to 25 yearsofuse in a domestic situation.”

The parent company of LifestyleGarden is ScanCom International and itsCreative Designer,InbalKahaner, is theskill behindthe design ofthe chairs.She designed ScanCom International’s STREAM chair, which wona coveted RedDot Design Awardlast year -an international competitionrecognising product and industrialdesign concepts.

Paul Cohen, LifestyleGarden Commercial Director,says: “Onyxisalso animprovement on sustainability as additionally the range has aluminium legs which arefully recyclableand maintenancefree.”

Production of thechairs begins this month with aviewtothem being readyfor retail sale in early 2024.Muchlikeother ranges from LifestyleGarden, Onyxchairs will be in use at Cornwall’sEdenProject and,when it opens in 2026,Eden ProjectMorcombe

Anew aluminium table willpartner with Onyxchairstocreatea bistroset (rrp £349) and will alsobeaperfect fit withNassau chairs (rrp £249)

TheLifestyleGarden rangefor retailers is nowoffered in 40 countriesacrossthe globe InJune, theMiami showroom openedand next month the opening of the Copenhagen showroom will be celebrated.

32 August 2023 Promotion
Onyx chairs come in burn orange, mint green, cream and sky blue Forthe second year running,LifestyleGarden® has wonthe awardfor Best Sustainable Product at SOLEX.

Selling smiles

Floral Fantasia at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex is just one of ahandful of places in the UK wheregardeners and the industrycan see for themselves great newvarieties to grow and sell. For garden centre owners and teams, avisit is an enjoyable waytogain knowledge of newseasonal plant introductions, shrubs and perennials likely to be in planterias in 2024 and beyond. Fornurserygrowers it can help with making decisions on future production.

Across between an inspirationalgarden and trials ground, it was initially created in 2018 by Thomson &Morgan. Ayear later it wastaken under thewing of thelategarden writer PeterSeabrook, who filled itwith plants from hisdisplay at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.With additional funding he helped financeanapprenticeMolli Christman, who still manages this centre of excellencefor seasonal plants, andstrengthenedlinks with theRHS andFleurselect, an international organisation which evaluates and promotes ornamentalsand edibles.TodayPeter’s legacy of ‘selling smiles’lives on throughFloral Fantasiawhich is nowsupported by the RHS and theindustry.

Michael Smith,Director of nearbynursery WD Smith in Battlesbridge, is part of the industryworking group helping to raisefunds to keep Floral Fountasia blooming.Examples

of contributions include those from thesalesof sweet peasnamed after Peterand sold by Kings andChrisWiley. Thegroup also haspromotion ideas including anew logo which gardencentres can use in theirplanterias when sellingplantsthat haveperformed well in Floral Fantasia.

Another idea being worked to generate publicity is to promotethe visitor favourites as theyalready come with aseal of approval from the public. These People’sChoiceplants are Calendula ‘Candyman Orange’, Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cappuccino’, Pansy Mystic ‘Blue Whiskers’and Viola ‘Bel Viso YellowJumpUp’ andV.‘RockyBlack’.

As well as breeders and growers sending plants for independent evaluation at Floral Fantasia, the Fleuroselect Plant of the Year is also trialled here as well as othersites in the UK, Germany,Ireland and France. For 2023,it’sthe turn of salvia which arealso evaluated four times ayear as partofthe RHS AwardofGardenMerit programme. “Wehave101 salvias in the trial but are only just scratching the surfaceofwhat’s available,”says Mandy Tout,Trials Officer. Next year sunflowers will be the focus of the trial, particularly shorterforms better suited to small gardens.

Planned redesign

In the future, the RHS has plans to resight Floral Fantasia but in the meantime designer James Alexander-Sinclair is working on a refreshed layout so it continuestoappeal and inspiregardeners while also working as atrialsarea. “I really believe that having the Floral Fantasia at RHS Garden Hyde Hall and it being redesigned by James AlexanderSinclair shows enormous supportfromthe RHS,” says Michael.

Formoreinformation and to supportFloral Fantasia email:

To visit Floral Fantasia see:

August 2023 33 Planteria
Floral Fantasia is an asset to anyone retailing seasonal plants and it needs support to ensureitcontinues to bloom.
Popular with visitorsis Gazania rigens Zany Sunny-side up which has also been recognised with aGoldAward from Fleuroselect. Michael Smith, supporting Floral Fantasia so it can continue to flourish Where else can you see 101different tender and perennial varietiesofSalvia? Visitors are encouraged to choose their favourites. Plants perform in the ground, hanging baskets and pots.

Keep on gardening all summerlong

Alan Down, HTAPresident

Istartthis month with some good news. Firstly,the HTA’s market updatereportrevealed significant growth in garden centresales in June, indicating astrong recovery from a difficult first quarterofthe year.Secondly,anational newspaper rananarticle on recent research showing garden centres are the best placetowork. We haveknown that in the industry for along time, but it’salways great to haveitconfirmed!

Summer gardening and beyond

Last month, the HTAlaunched anew serviceproviding members with atoolkit to encourage consumers to #getsummercolour This campaign is tailored to social media platforms and aims to encourage footfall by inspiring gardeners to continue gardening throughout the summer months. The posts of colourful content havebeen made by the HTA, but can be personalised with specific messaging to suit your owngarden centrebusiness. For August, content includes choosing spring bulbs, growing clematis and keeping patio pots and hanging baskets healthy and well fed.

As we look towards autumn, Iencourage all members to supportthe HTAatits AGMonSeptember 1st at 10.30am. The webinar link has been sent to members and is available on the HTAwebsite.

Looking further ahead, Iamexcited by the speaker lineup and content of Horticulture, The Conference: Growing a Greener FutureonOctober 5th. Onceagain, it will be held at the ICCinBirmingham and with morenetworking time planned

for this year,you will not wanttomissthis inspiring and thought-provoking day.Not all speakers havebeen announced at the time of writing,but I’msureyou’ll agree that keynote speaker Manoj Malde is not to be missed. Manoj is amultiple award-winning garden designer who became famous last May when he married in his RHS Chelsea FlowerShowgarden. He is aTVgardener,writer,RHS Ambassador and judge. Mr PlantGeek [aka Michael Perry] will host the Conferencein his ownengaging and lively way.Michael is well known as aplant expert, TV presenter,podcaster and social media influencer

During the dinner in the evening,Iwill havethe pleasureof announcing the winners of HTAGrowerofthe Year Awards, two of which will become finalists in the International Growerofthe Year competition announced at IPM Essen in January2024.

Booking is already open for Horticulture, The Conference 2023 and Ilook forward to seeing youthere. •For tickets visit

Gift voucher news

We haverecently announced the inevitable end of paper National Garden Gift Vouchers. Foralong time, this form of gifting has been in steep decline. Cardand digital vouchers have been the wayforward.While vouchers still in circulation will be honoured, none will be sold after the end of this year

Thereare many good businessreasons for the decision, but retailers cite security,handling costs, risk of fraud and cash being tied up as the main ones. The HTAishelping members transition, and the team has been on visits to explain the true benefits of selling and redeeming gift cards. Ithink it’s fair to say that many havebeen surprised by the outcomes when shown their ownbusinessgifting performance. It often reveals averydifferent and improvedperspectiveontheir perceptions. Any member who hasn’tyet seen theirs should, in the first place, contact Jon Dixon, Director of Gifting Sales.

Find out more

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

Ready-made social media contentcreated by the HTAis available to help memberskeep summer sales strong

Innovation matters

VickyNuttall, Director of GIMA

Atthe time of writing,weare amonth post-Glee, and I’ve been thinking more and moreabout the incredible value that innovation has to play within our industry.

Awalk around the aisles of Glee made it abundantly clear howimportant innovation is, with almost everysingle exhibitor displaying anew product, anew point of sale concept or promoting achange to the way they manufacture, source,deliver or support customers behind the scenes. Witnessing so much innovation taking centrestage and knowing it wasthe main focus of the Glee wish list for many visiting retailers, is aheartening prospect for garden retail.

In fact, I’dgosofar as to say that innovation, mainly that focused on new products, is the lifeblood of our industryand is demonstrativeofthe fact that we refuse to stand still. As our customer demographics continue to evolveand the world around us changes, this ability to adapt is standing us in good stead. Arecent discussion with our members regarding the role of technology is aprime example of this. Technological innovation is not just making products more accessible but it’sstreamlining processes and increasing access to information to improve the customer experience. Whether it’son-pack QR codes or digital trade portals, everyone from retailers to consumers can nowaccess brands 24/7 for uninterrupted

servicethat will pay dividends in the long term. Celebrating innovation has always been acrucial partofGIMA’s offering.AtGlee, we havenow crowned eight winners of our annual GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund (GISCF), the latest being Germie, with its seed starting kit, which boasts reusable and ultracompact solutions that hold environmental and sustainable practices at its heart. Previous winners havegone on to experiencegreat commercial success,with the GISCF often credited for kickstarting this growth.

Preparing for futuretrends

We also ensureopportunities aremade available so our membership can access content that provides insight intofuture trends. Accessing forecasted data through webinars and workshops is an invaluable tool for many,asitenables marketing,product development and merchandise design teams to get ahead of the curve and createplans to deliver content to match futuretrends.

Our next batch of opportunities is in September (see for moredetails). Trend expert, Scarlet Opus,

will deliver abespokeConsumer and Design Insights+Trends report, focusing on 2025,and howtrends meet consumer desires, attitudes and aesthetics.

Of course, hardwork must be rewarded, and that is whereour annual GIMA Awards come intoplay.The awards gala celebrates all corners of our industry, featuring 13 product, and three marketing categories plus an overall Sustainability Award, the Gardenex Export Achievement Award, the GCA-sponsored Supplier of the Year Award, and the GIMA SwordofExcellence. This year’s event will no different as, following ajudging day in July with plenty of debateand discussion, we onceagain havealist of winners demonstrating howinnovation is driving exciting change. This list remains under wraps for now, but rest assured it’saworthy list of winners.

Sword of Excellence. This event be no erent as, a judging in July with plenty of debate and once again have a list winners how innovation is This list remains wraps for now, rest it’s a worthy list of winners.

We’ve already had a sneak of innovation 2024 season, and it won’t be long until 2025 appears on the horizon. I have no doubts retail will continue to

I, for one, am excited for what lies ahead. We’vealready had asneak peek of innovation for the 2024 season, and it won’tbelong until 2025 appears on the horizon. Ihaveno doubts garden retail suppliers will continue to innovate, and this will translateintoevenmore sales. But for those that want ahelping hand, don’tforget GIMA remains available to assist now, tomorrow and beyond.

GIMA Awards 2003. Book now.

With just shortof500 people, the 2022 event wasone of the biggest yet and this year’s gala dinner is expected to sell out in record time.Asaresult, GIMA is urging interested parties to securetheir tickets nowtoavoid disappointment. Costs include dinner and accommodation.

•GIMAmembers: £339 +VAT per person, or £3,199 +VAT for atable of 10

•Non-members: £409 +VAT per person, or £3,899 + VATfor atable of 10

To book visit: www.

August 2023 35 Viewpoint
Westland Horticulturewon the GIMASword of Excellencein2022. Right:The Glee Innovators Zone -a hubofcreativity and newideas. I’ to within our service that will pay dividends in the term.

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