GTN December 2023 - January 2024 - Sustainability Directory - Garden Trade News UK

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Advice & information for garden centre professionals

GTN’S SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTORY 2024 36 pages of Sustainability news, features, ideas and directory listings

Tammy Woodhouse Achievements and challenges as GCA Chair


18,919 customers cast their votes


2024 date change for 50th anniversary show


The Horti House on a mission for change


Christmas cheer for a bright 2024


hew, what an experience we’ve had judging for The Greatest Christmas Awards! The standards of teamwork, retailing excellence and Christmas experiences delivered were by far the highest we’ve ever seen during our garden centre visits. And your customers must think that too as a whopping 18,919 of them voted for their Greatest Christmas Garden Centre team. That meant over 350 garden centres were involved during November and December, so a huge thank you is due to all the teams we met and the customers who took the time and trouble to vote. We will be announcing the winners on Monday 5th February at 5:00pm on The Inspiring Retail Stage in hall 2 of Spring Fair at the NEC. This issue is our 5th GTN Sustainability Directory with 36 pages of related news, features and ideas. Judging by conversations had during Christmas

visits garden centre retailers are really pushing hard to ensure as much of what they sell is sustainable both now and in the future. As a result there will be much more related content in future issues of GTN. Watch this space. With trading over the Christmas period being reported generally as up year on year we detected a great deal of optimism for 2024. An early spring would be wonderful, but we should be mindful of the fact that grass will grow, bulbs and plants will flower and gardens will spring into life at some point in the next few months. That sounds like a sustainable business model to me. I hope you are able to make the most of it. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the upcoming GCA Conference and of course at The Greatest Christmas Awards presentations during Spring Fair.

In this issue... 4





A more sustainable supply of


Stars for Europe

houseplants from The Horti House


Evergreen Garden Care


Timber displays the full potential


Bloomin Amazing


Strengthening natural defences with



Waspinator and SuperNinja


UK Greetings

GTN’s sustainability Directory



Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd who also publish: GTN Bestsellers, GTN Xtra, Pet Trade 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.

listings for 2024


Tom Chambers

Director Trevor Pfeiffer

Embracing sustainability - LOFA


Rollins Bulldog




Environmental milestones - HTA





E P Barrus

Spring Fair Preview



Advertisers in this Issue


The Solar Centre

Get ready for Glee in September 2024



Finalists and voted for contenders in GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards


GTN’s Sustainability Directory 2024


The last bag of Miracle-Gro peat compost Sustainability News


Responsible Sourcing Scheme update


GIMA Awards Sustainability Champions

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




Do you qualify for a copy of GTN?

Sustainable feeding from Westland

Handing over the GCA baton. GTN Interviews Tammy Woodhouse.


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 Features Editor Anisa Gress Digital Editor Neil Pope Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer Design & Production AT Graphics Ltd Kirsty Craner – Design Alun Jones – Production Manager Robert Tipping – Managing Director James Tipping – Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd

44 52 54 55


GCA Westland Rising Stars Sustainability projects for 2023


Ecoveritas and EPR compliance




Fountasia Flamingo


LifestyleGarden makes a world of difference


Webb Handy Distribution


Furniture Clinic




Spring Fair

Potting Shed Press Ltd

SMALL PRINT: All material © Potting Shed Press Ltd 2024. 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.

December 2023 / January 2024 3


Handing over the baton Tammy at the Staplehurst centre.


sually when a new GCA Chair takes over the role, it happens on stage at the GCA conference in the presence of members and delegates to loud applause. Buut for Tammy Woodhouse, who took over from Mike Burks in 2022, it was a ratheer different startt. Her term as Chair has been a roller coaster of highs and lows but she says: “In terms of where I started and where we are now, I think the GCA is in a much stronger place.” Tammy’s first challenge came about during a spike in covid outbreaks. It meant the GCA annual conference, where she was about to become Chair, had to be cancelled and a virtual event hastily organised. “With a week to go, we actually decided to cancel the conference. It was heartbreaking. Organising the conference is a good year’s worth of work. Everything was booked and all in place, but it was the right thing to do,” says Tammy. It was a steep learning curve for Tammy and the GCA team but the conference was well attended and all the GCA awards were able to be given out. “It wasn’t the start I had hoped for, but the virtual award ceremony was really positive,” she adds. But this wasn’t her only challenge. Not long afterwards, the GCA’s Chief Executive Ian Wylie resigned. The GCA has just three paid roles, and this was one of them so very quickly, Tammy had to get involved and learn a lot about the day-to-day running of the association. With the 2023 conference on the horizon, Tammy was able to put in place what had been organised for the previous year, but without a CEO some elements, such as securing sponsorship, were extremely challenging. “But it turned out to be one of the high moments of being Chair. The atmosphere was fantastic and we raised over £100,000 for Greenfingers, which was just phenomenal. I think it’s one of the things I’m most proud of so far in my career,” says Tammy.

4 December 2023 / January 2024

After two years as Chair of the GCA, Tammy Woodhouse, Managing Director of the Millbrook Garden Company, passes the baton on to Will Blake, Director of St Peter’s Garden Centre, Worcester. Tammy reflects on the achievements and challenges of her term and plans for the two Millbrook sites in Kent.

New members and a new CEO Another high was recruiting Peter Burks as CEO who joined late 2022. “He comes with a wealth of experience of the whole industry and is a real people person,” says Tammy. “I’m really pleased that in the last two years we’vee grown the membership by 20 garden centree members and 35 associate members. I thinkk a lot of that is down to Peter and his com mmunication and the way he is out and ab bout meeting members and talking to people.”

I feel I am handing over to Will Blake with structure in place for the GCA to move forwards even more. Behind the scenes, Tammy has also been working with the GCA to listen to members and understand their needs. Growing and health and safety modules have been added

to GCA trainingg, and there has been a review of GCA inspecttions with updates made to the inspection forrm. A closer working relationship with the HT TA has also been formed especially on key topics such as sustainability and peaat. “This is really important and the whole industry has benefitted, not just GCA members,” says Tammy. In 2020, the GCA came up with a strategy with five areas including, sustainability, communication and member benefits.. “Another thing I’m proud of is that from 2020, Mike Burks and then me, have taken those projects and themes forward. With this structure in place, Will Blake can now take the GCA into the future.”

Millbrook’s centres Handing over now means Tammy can focus more on the two Millbrook Garden Centre sites in Staplehurst and Gravesend in Kent. “When I was GCA Chair, the team were hugely supportive and I couldn’t have done it without them,” she says. Tammy at the 2023 GCA Conference with Will Blake who takes over as Chair this month.


Like many retailers, a priority is recruitment. She explains that twice a year Millbrook carries out group recruitments, one in early summer and the other in time for Christmas. Around 200 applications were received in September with around 10 people offered a role. Millbrook finds this system works very well and there is certainly a plentiful supply of applicants including many career changers. “We’ve got nurses and ex-teachers who have come to work for us because they want to get out of their high pressure environments and be somewhere where they can improve their wellbeing and be with plants,” says Tammy. But there are certain key roles, like

supervisor and head chef which can’t be filled this way. “Every time we think we’ve filled the head chef role, they get offered more money to stay where they are. It’s hugely challenging.” Sitting within a site of around 7 acres, brings many opportunities for the Staplehurst site which has been a Millbrook centre for a decade. Tammy loves a project and is hoping to extend the café to take advantage of the countryside views, improve the car park and extend the covered plant sales space. “It’s in a lovely position, has got really nice views, a good customer base and is visible from the road.”

Bright displays at Millbrook Garden Centre in Gravesend, reflect how outdoor plants are displayed by colour. Above right: Recycling and reusing is encouraged.

Although space at Gravesend has now been taken up, business at the restaurant and events space can still be improved and it’s only now that The Mill is returning to its pre-Covid rhythm. “We are also trying to look at how we can work more with local community groups and have daytime bookings for meetings or mini conferences to make the most of our event’s space,” says Tammy.

Scratch card promotion for Millbrook Family members With every purchase throughout November, customers are given a scratch card with prizes ranging from a discount

December 2023 / January 2024 5

Interview An increasing range of planet positive Christmas decorations can be found at the two Millbrook Garden Centres.

“This will be our fourth year of reporting,” says Tammy. “At first it was a bit onerous to gather the data from our energy, water and waste usage, but now it is part of our annual reporting routine.” Tammy says it’s extremely useful and backs up the company’s Green Group which regularly meets to see how the business can save energy or improve its environmental credentials. “We are now looking at how we can improve our recycling. It’s more about changing behaviour of the team, encouraging and helping them to understand what can be recycled and how to make it as easy as possible,” Tammy explains. “Mike Burks has a good philosophy when he says you’re not going to change the world overnight, but there are things we can do each year to become a bit more sustainable.”

through to garden benches. It’s the first time the promotion has run since 2019 and customers love it. “It’s been as popular as ever, and we’ve already decided to run it again next year,” says Tammy. Around 14% of transactions are coming from revisits with the scratch card, but, Tammy adds,, customers must be a member of thee Millbrook Family club to take advaantage. To date, there are 70,000 Millb brook Family members and around 80 0-85% are on the email database. They each receive a weekly email with content being a mix of educational and offers, and onee per month has a planet positive theme. The group is also creating an increasing numberr of inhouse videos which are working exxtremely well and are something Tamm my and the team will be doing more of next year. At the Gravesend sto ore, videos will play a key role in a new pro oject to create a new space for schools to teach children how to grow their own food d. Videos on YouTube will back up the ‘how w to’ message for teachers to use withiin the classroom.

On Christmas Like most centres, Christm mas starts in

6 December 2023 / January 2024

October and in mid-December children and th heir families are entertained by a theatre production in the eventss space above The Mill in Gravesend, a similar activity at Staplehurst plus a carousel. “I grew up with a carousel at Christmas when we had our site at Crowborough so it will be quite nostalgic. If it works here, we will do it in Gravesend too,” says Tammy. Increasingly sustainability it becoming a more important consideration throughout the store which includes Christmas. Poinsettias and cyclamen are supplied from a grower just a few miles from the Staplehurst site and each year the range of paper, card and recyclable ‘planet positive’ decorations widens. “We don’t sell any crackers with plastic or single use plasticbased Christmas gifts,” says Tammy.

The successful scratch card promotion will be run again in 2024. Promoting gifts that grow at Christmas.

Planet positive As members of Planet Mark, Tammy says the company looks into its buying policies year, to review what it can change. Two year ago the Millbrook Garden Company stopped selling chemical pesticides and peat.

Locally-grown poinsettias.

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Industry News

Get ready for a September Glee Following industry consultation, Glee organiser, Hyve, has announced the show will move back to its traditional September slot.


or 50-years, Glee has been at the heart of the garden industry calendar, and in that time it’s dates have shifted to reflect trends and world events. When Glee 2023 closed its doors, there were murmurings that June might not be the best month for retailers and suppliers. Show organiser Hyve, picked up on the comments leading to Matthew Mein, Show Director, instigating a period of research and industry consultation. Boyd Douglas-Davies, Managing Director of The Boyd Partnership, was invited to carry out in-depth research talking to the smallest, niche retailers and suppliers to the biggest groups right across the country. Questions covered current buying trends, trading issues, what Glee could look like in five-years-time and how it could support the entire horticultural retail industry.

8 December 2023 / January 2024

“One of the biggest and most consistent challenges is costs. There are so many costs now that are outside of the control of a retailer on a day-to-day basis, that everybody is having to face that headwind. And they’re looking for ways to both minimise those costs by making themselves more efficient and by changing the model,” says Boyd. He adds that technology and energy costs were identified as big challenges, and the industry’s journey towards a greener solution and social media were also on the agenda. Boyd adds: “People are looking for ways to cost effectively entertain their customers, to bring them back to site more often, and at those quieter times.” The challenge of covid has, of course, slowed down product innovation which gives independent garden centres the new ideas to differentiate themselves from online and big box competitions. “We know

Industry News

is a way to beat rising costs. “People come to Glee to be inspired, to get activated, and to start their next year,” says Boyd. “Placing it in September is a great launch pad for all the planning for January onwards, so the timing feels absolutely spot on.”

Glee 2024 and beyond

people are looking to Glee as a source of new product of innovation… and they also want to see plants at the heart of everything they do,” says Boyd. Looking back, Boyd doesn’t think the decision made to move Glee to June was wrong, but the industry is constantly evolving, and the show must continue to meet the needs of garden retailing. “Covid changes to imports and timelines have actually meant it’s difficult for people to predict prices. The predictability of the world’s marketplace and fuel transport costs has gone out the window. For years you knew a container was costing $1500 to $2000 to ship. And then we all saw $20,000 shipping costs. The industry recognises, both at the manufacturing stage and the retailers, that actually what was normal five years ago has completely gone out the window.”

Above: The Glee New Product Showcase will be in a more prominent position in September 2024

The fascinating research has enabled Matthew and his team to gain enormous insight. One positive thing is that many visitors are happy with the show content but would like to see some extras. “It’s given us clear direction to act on,” Glee 2024 NEC, Birmingham. he says. 10-12 September. For its 50th anniversary, (Tuesday-Thursday). Glee will be housed in Halls 6,7,8,9 and 10. Matthew says Inspiration and the team is working on a floor pricing plan to provide similarities in block Comprehensive information sizes and keep things convenient on pricing and availability were key to the for existing exhibitors, but also creating decision for changing the date. Even those a slightly different shopping experience that favoured June said they couldn’t always for visitors who, with the new layout, will be confident that suppliers could give them hopefully discover different suppliers. all the pricing and stock information for Research found visitors liked the New them to make buying decisions in the weeks Product Area and wanted it to be the first after the show. “The consensus was that thing they see on arrival. Consequently it’s September is actually the place where the 2024 home, where visitors will find more industry, as a whole, can be totally ready. new products than at any other gardening Whilst some were ready in the summer, trade show, will be conveniently sited by others, due to import charges and costs and entrances to the Halls in an easy to find evaluating the market space for six to nine location. months ahead, we’re struggling to get to that. • You can watch GTN’s Editor Trevor People can then come out of a September Pfeiffer interviewing Matthew and show and crack on with actually placing their Boyd on Glee TV: The future of Glee. plans for the next season,” says Boyd. YouTube The single biggest focus for Glee is watch?v=rGvlqCgZVBA inspiration as selling more and new stock

In the studio with Trevor, Boyd and Matthew.

December 2023 / January 2024 9

Recy ycled doesn’t mean rubbish Tyres to treasure


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Primeur’s dedication to protecting the environment by removing waste rubber tyres from reaching landfill has helped the company become the garden retail sector’s go-to for a wide range of garden essentials. The collections consistently demonstrate that beauty and functionality can coexist harmoniously with environmental responsibility by utilising recycled materials throughout.

Award-winning products By embracing a forward-thinking strategy, Primeur has received multiple industry accolades, with a bulging trophy cabinet testament to the journey the business is undertaking. With awards covering pots and planters, landscaping, and sustainability, Primeur regularly features on the winner’s roster.

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GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards

Thousands of customers vote for the Greatest Christmas Garden Centre teams Hundreds of garden centres have been vying for Christmas Greatness in GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards which will be announced and presented on The Spring Fair Retail Inspirations Stage, Hall 2 NEC, at 5:00pm on Monday 5th February 2024.


he judges for GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards found the process of deciding the winners to be even more challenging this year as the Christmas retailing standards and exceptional examples of garden centre teamwork that have been seen by the judges have been even greater than ever this year. After two days of judges meetings the review of over 100 garden centre visits made during November and December covering nominated stores from Inverness to Weymouth and from Suffolk to Caernarvon has been completed.

And the finalists are… Great Christmas teams from 73 of the garden centres visited were judged to be finalists across the 16 Christmas Award categories. Come and see us at Spring Fair on Monday 5th February to find out which teams walk away with the GTN Greatest Christmas Awards Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. The Awards will be presented at 5:00pm on the Retail Inspirations Stage in Hall 2, NEC.

18,919 customers voted for… Back by popular demand, The Customer voting for their Greatest Christmas Garden Centre team set new records for customer engagement with votes being registered for 333 different garden centres. The full list of centres voted for is opposite and over the page, but you’ll have to come to The Spring Fair Retal Inspirations Stage, Hall 2 NEC, at 5:00pm on Monday 5th February to find out which teams made it into the Top 20 and who was The Greatest Christmas Team in the UK as voted for by their customers.

“It’s great to see so much good stuff going on, hear about passionate teams and continually see creative ideas converted into commercial realities,” commented the judges. In addition to the 16 award categories that relate to the judges visits, garden centre customers were also able to vote for their “Greatest Christmas Garden Centre Team.” Votes closed on the 21st December with a record 18,919 votes being made across 333 garden centres, proving just how great garden centres really are during the Christmas period. If you join us at The Spring Fair Retail Inspiration Stage, Hall 2 at the NEC, on Monday 5th February

at 5:00pm you’ll get the chance to meet the garden centre teams who are the winners of this years Gold, Silver and Bronze Greatest Christmas Awards. It’s a real gathering of garden centre greatness! GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards are sponsored by: AMES, Garden Radio, Glee, Kaemingk, MorePeople, Noma, PATS, Smart Garden Products, Solex, Stars for Europe and Woodmansterne. For more information contact GTN’s editor, Trevor Pfeiffer; or visit

• Alton • Astbury Meadow Klondyke • Barton Grange • Baytree • Bennybeg Plant Centre • Bents • Birkacre • Bosworths Burton Latimer • Bournville BGC • Braintree BGC • Bridgemere Blue Diamond • Brighton Dobbies • Brimsmore Gardens • Burford House BGC • Cambridge Home & Garden • Castle Gardens • Charlbury BGC • Chessington • Cooks

• Coolings Lifestyle • Coolings Rushmore Hill • Edinburgh Dobbies • Fron Goch • Gardenwise Klondyke • Garsons Esher • Garsons Titchfield • Gates • Glendoick • Gouldings • Groves • Hall’s Garden Centre • Harrogate BGC • Haskins Snowhill • High Legh Klondyke • Holt • Jacksons Boutique • Keydell • Little dobbies Richmond

• Longacres Bagshot • Mackenzie & Cruickshank • Mortonhall Klondyke • Munros Nurseries • Newbridge Blue Diamond • Newquay • Old Railway Line • Pengelly • Perrywood Sudbury • PerrywoodTiptree • Planters Tamworth • Playhatch BGC • Polhill • Poundbury Gardens • Pugh’s Radyr • Pugh’s Wenvoe • Ruxley Manor • Silverbirch • Squires Badshot Lea

• St Peters Worcester • Stokesley Klondyke • Studley BGC • Tewkesbury Dobbies • Thatcham BGC • The Garden Kitchen by Pugh’s • The Grange • Tong • Tring BGC • Van Hage Blue Diamond • Wentworth • Whitehall Lacock • Winnersh BGC • Woodlands, Kent • Woodthorpe BGC • Yarnton Home & Garden

• Aberdeen Dobbies • Abridge Garden Centre • Allbrighton BGC • Altrincham Dobbies • Andover Dobbies • Antrim Dobbies • Arcadia BGC • Ashford Dobbies • Astbury Meadow Klondyke • Atherstone Dobbies • Aylesbury Dobbies • Ayr Dobbies • Azure Garden Centre • Barton Grange • Beacon Nurseries & Garden Centre • Beaconsfield Dobbies • Bell Plantation Garden Centre • Bents • Bernaville Garden Centre • Bicester Avenue Blue Diamond • Bickerdikes Garden Centre • Birchencliffe BGC • Birkacre • Birtley Dobbies • Bold Heath BGC • Bolton BGC • Boston Dobbies • Bosworth at Elton • Bosworths Burton Latimer

• Bourneville BGC • Bow Garden and Aquatic Centre • Braehead Dobbies • Braintree BGC • Brambridge Park Blue Diamond • Bressingham BGC • Bridgemere Blue Diamond • Bridgnorth BGC • Brigg BGC • Brighton Dobbies • Brockworth BGC • Bromsgrove BGC • Burford Garden Company • Burford House BGC • Burnside Klondyke • Busy Bee • Byrkley Park Klondyke • Cadbury Blue Diamond • Cadnam Dobbies • Cambridge Home & Garden • Cannock Dobbies • Canterbury Chartham Blue Diamond • Carlisle Dobbies • Carmarthen BGC • Carpenders Park • Carr Gate BGC • Castle Gardens • Chapel BGC

• Charlbury BGC • Charlecote BGC • Cherry Lane Beverley • Cherry Lane Poddington • Chesterfield Dobbies • Chilton BGC • Chipperfield BGC • Cirencester Dobbies • Codsall & Wergs • Coleman’s Garden Centre • Colleta & Tyson • Cooks • Coolings • Coton Blue Diamond • Coventry BGC • Cowells • Crawley BGC • Deans Scarborough • Derby Blue Diamond • Derby Dobbies • Dundee Dobbies • Dunfermline Dobbies • East Bridgford Blue Diamond • East Durham BGC • Edinburgh Dobbies • Elm Farm Florist and Gift Shop • Endsleigh Blue Diamond • Enfield BGC • Fairways Ashbourne

• Fermoys Blue Diamond • Ferndale • Fletchers Garden Centre • Fosseway Blue Diamond • Fron Goch • Frosts Woburn Sands • Fryers Blue Diamond • Gailey Dobbies • Galton Dobbies • Garden King • Garden Wise Klondyke • Garforth Klondyke • Garsons Titchfield • Gates • Gilberdyke BGC • Gillingham Dobbies • Gloucester Dobbies • Gordale • Gordon Riggs • Gosforth Dobbies • Goulds • Hall's Garden Centre • Hare Hatch Dobbies • Harlestone Heath Dobbies • Harlow Blue Diamond • Harrogate BGC • Harrow Weald BGC • Haskins Ferndown continued overleaf

December 2023 / January 2024 11

GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards Continued from page 11

• Haskins West End • Hatton BGC • Havant Dobbies • Hayes Garden World • Heathhall Garden Centre • Hemel BGC • High Legh Klondyke • Hillier Horsham • Hillier Syon Park • Hillier Verwood • Hillmount Ards • Hillmount Bangor • Hillmount Belfast • Hillside Farm Nurseries • Hilltop Garden Centre • Hitchin BGC • Hockley Market Garden Centre • Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria • Holme for Gardens • Horncastle BGC • Hornsea BGC • Houghton Hall Klondyke • Hudsons Plant Centre • Hungerford Dobbies • Huntingdon Dobbies • Inverness Dobbies • Irton BGC • Jacks Patch • Jacksdale Garden Centre • Jacksons Boutique • Jamesfield Garden Centre • Jubliee Garden Centre • Keydell Nurseries • Kings Garden and Leisure • Kings Lynn Dobbies • Lakeside Plant Centre • Langlands Shiptonthorpe • Lasswade Dobbies • Le Friquet Blue Diamond • Leicester Dobbies • Lelant Dobbies • Lewes BGC • Leyland BGC • Lichfield Garden Centre • Lisburn Dobbies • Little dobbies Stockbridge

• Liverpool Dobbies • Livingston Dobbies • Longacres Bagshot • Louth BGC • Lower Morden Blue Diamond • Lytham St Annes BGC • Mackenzie & Cruickshank • Mappleborough Green • Marple Dobbies • Matlock Blue Diamond • Meadow Croft • Melbicks Blue Diamond • Mere Park Blue Diamond • Merryhatton • Milngavie Dobbies • Milton Keynes Dobbies • Minors • Mirfield BGC • Moores Nurseries and Garden Centre • Moreton Park Dobbies • Morpeth Dobbies • Morton Hall Klondyke • Munro's • Nailsworth Blue Diamond • New Hopetoun Gardens • Newbank Newton Le Willows • Newbridge Blue Diamond • Newquay Garden Centre • Newton Regis BGC • Northampton Dobbies • Notcutts Dukeries • Notcutts Norwich • Notcutts Peterborough • Notcutts Rivendell • Notcutts Woodbridge • Nuyard Country & Garden Centre • Okells Garden Centre • Old Railway Line • Ongar BGC • Osterley BGC • Pacific Nursery • Paddock Wood BGC • Paradise Park • Pengelly • Pennells Cleethorpes • Pennells Lincoln

12 December 2023 / January 2024

• Pennine Dobbies • Pentland Plants Garden Centre • Percy Chapman and Son Ltd • Perrywood Sudbury • Perrywood Tiptree • Perth Dobbies • Peterborough Blue Diamond • Peterborough Dobbies • Planters Bretby • Planters Brookfields • Planters Tamworth • Playhatch BGC • Ponteland Dobbies • Poplar Nurseries • Poplars Garden Centre • Pot Belly Garden Centre • Poundbury Garden Centre • Preston Dobbies • Pughs Radyr • Pughs Wenvoe • Pulborough BGC • Radway Bridge Garden Centre • Raglan Garden Centre • Rake Blue Diamond • Ramsgate BGC • Reading Dobbies • Redfields Blue Diamond • Reigate BGC • Reighton Nursery • RHS Wisley • Roxton BGC • Royston Dobbies • Rugby Dobbies • Russell’s Christmas Circus • Ruxley Manor • Sanders Blue Diamond • Sandyholm Dobbies • Sapcote • Seasons Burton Latimer • Sevenoaks Garden Centre • Shenstone Dobbies • Shepton Mallet Dobbies • Shipley Park BGC • Shrewsbury Dobbies • Smith's Garden Centre • Southport Dobbies

• Southwood Garden Centre • Speke Dobbies • Springfields Blue Diamond • Sprowston BGC • Squires Badshot Lea • Squires Cobham • Squires Frensham • Squires Hersham • Squires Long Ditton • Squires Milford • Squires Shepperton • Squires Stanmore • Squires Thames Ditton • Squires Twickenham • Squires Washington • Squires West Horsley • Squires Woking • Squires Wokingham • St Peters • Stanton Nurseries • Stanway BGC • Stapleton Dobbies • Staverton Nursery • Stevenage BGC • Stirling Dobbies • Stockton Dobbies • Stokesley Klondyke • Stratford on Avon Dobbies • Studley BGC • Summerhill • Sunshine Garden Centre • Swansea Dobbies • Swarkestone Nursery • Swindon Dobbies • Tansley Barn BGC • Tarporley BGC • Taverham Nursery • Telford Dobbies • Tewkesbury Dobbies • Thatcham BGC • The Barn Garden Centre • The Grange • The Woodworks Garden Centre • Thornbury Dobbies • Thurrock • Tingley

• Toftwood Garden Centre • Tong • Towneley BGC • Trelawney Blue Diamond • Trentham Blue Diamond • Tring BGC • Trowell • Tunbridge Wells Blue Diamond • Upminster BGC • Van Hage Blue Diamond • View Garden Centre • Waresley Park • Weaver Vale Klondyke • Webbs of Wychbold • Wentworth • Where Next Garden Centre • Whitegates Nursery • Whitehall Lacock • Wilton Blue Diamond • Wimborne BGC • Winnersh BGC • Woburn Sands Emporium • Wolseley Bridge BGC • Woodbank • Woodborough BGC • Woodbridge Dobbies • Woodcote Green Dobbies • Woodlands Ash • Woodlands Dobbies • Woodmansey Klondyke • Woodthorpe BGC • Worcester Blue Diamond • Wrest Park • Yarnton Home & Garden • York Dobbies


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PEAT FREE COMPOST * BHT 2022. ** Source GFK Total Garden care YTD YT T Sept 2022. Miracle-Gro® is a trademark of OMS Investments, Inc. and is used under licence from OMS Investments, Inc.


Sustainability Directory 2024

Sustainability ty y Directory 2024 Welcome to the GTN’s Sustainability tyy Directory ryy with news, updates and listings to show how suppliers and retailers are moving forw rwards w on the road to sustainability ty. y If you are looking to find companies to help your centre become more eco-conscious, then look no furt rther. t On the following pages you will also find updates on how the industry ryy is taking things to the next xtt level.

December 2023 / January 2024 15

Sustainability News Digest

Waving goodbye to the last bag of peat At the end of 2023, the last bag of peat-based growing media came off Evergreen’s Miracle-Gro production line marking another milestone in the company’s journey to peat free.


n readiness for the ban on selling peat-based growing media, the last bag of peat-based compost has now left the Evergreen production line at Kirkby. GTN was fortunate to be on site to witness and celebrate this quiet, but significant event. “I genuinely believe we (Miracle Gro and Evergreen) should be leading by example,” says Colin Stephens, Evergreen Garden Care’s Managing Director. “I also passionately believe we should have an industry standard on peat free because I worry about the long-term implications for gardeners if we don’t have one.”

Production lines In total, the Kirkby site covers 647 acres which includes formally harvested peat bogs. Together, Evergreen and SED Services, the waste management company on site providing the green waste and other ingredients for peat-free compost, are working to rewild the peat bogs through rewetting and the filling in of drains. This will allow nature back in and already numbers of birds including geese have been seen. The companies are also looking to welcome local community projects so people too, can benefit from this natural space. Other Evergreen sites are Hatfield,

Below: Ready for the future. Peat-free compost makes it way for despatch.

Gretna, Frimley, Howden and France where liquids are made. In total, around 60% of what is sold in the UK, is made in the UK. When GTN visited in November 23, Evergreen had 101,000 pallets on the ground which was an increase of 153% more compared with 2022. This included 6.3 million bags of growing media.

Windrows of garden waste are turned 12 times to help the material break down.

16 December 2023 / January 2024

Sustainability News Digest

Rewilding is now taking place on the peat bogs at Kirkby which had previously been harvested.

A new way of working Creating a consistent peat-free blend means using a number of ingredients – more than were needed for peat-based composts. The Kirkby site has the facilities to do this, and thanks to a £2m investment,, Evergreen’s site at Hatfield, which producess wood-based ingredients, also now has a whole new mixing plant. “Basically, it’s a whole new requirement,” says Phil Harrison, Supply Chain and Operations Director. “Peat free has six to seven ingredients which operate differently and independently. They also need to be brought in from different places and stored. It’s hard and this is one of the reasons why I think the industry has struggled to move on quickly.” One of the many benefits of Evergreen sharing the Kirkby site is that SED Services already has contracts in place to collect kerbside garden waste. Once at Kirkby the green waste is piled into windrows and each one is turned 12 times. During the process the temperature heats up to 80 degrees which kills weed seeds and pathogens. “The difference in quality of green compost

we used d in th he past compared d with h now is astounding,” says Jane Hartley, Brand Portfolio Manager. Plans are afoot to create a drying floor to speed up the process. Another advantage is that ingredients are already on site which reduces the need for lorries to collect, for example, green waste from other central sites. It’s thought this has reduce the need for more than 1875 lorries a year to be on the road. As well as 200,000 m3 of green waste, Kirkby also holds one million tons of sand and loam. Evergreen now has what it calls a ‘super site’ where it controls and stores the raw materials and is big enough for the future. With future modelling, Evergreen is making sure it not only has supply this

Above: The last bag of peat-based compost makes its way along the production line.

Below: Colin Stephens, Phil Harrison and Jane Hartley with the last bag.

yeear but also five years ahead. “This means working with key partners to make sure th hey’re building the same way as us,” says Co olin. Evergreen is also looking at other fo orms of organic waste such as coir, bark an nd wood fibres as it’s acutely aware that when the professional market changes and its needs for peat-free increase, there could be a struggle to get hold of raw materials. This is an important consideration and why Colin feels so strongly about the need for a regulated standard to be introduced. An open letter to Defra at the end of 2023 called for regulation to protect gardeners and prevent greenwashing. “There is a chance that limited resource of raw materials will lead to a high risk that gardening experiences will be variable. It might not feel like much now, but in three or four years-time, if we don’t have some kind of regulated standard to say the compost actually does what it says on the bag, then we are going to have a problem.” Colin recognises the Responsible Sourcing Scheme represents excellence but thinks it should be industry protocol. “It’s about starting to say this is a standard we need to work to, rather than we would like or should work to.”

It’s a wrap. Colin turns the machine off after the last bag of peat-based compost has been filled.

December 2023 / January 2024 17

Sustainability News Digest

Aiming for the next level

Suppliers and retailers are reaching impressive environmental and sustainability milestones, now GTN asks ‘what’s next?’

Elho celebrates

Maximising sunshine at Highfield Highfield Garden World in Gloucestershire is enjoying the feelgood factor after hitting another sustainability milestone. Since the completion of a substantial solar panel installation 12 months ago, Highfield Garden World in Glourcestershire has achieved the carbon offset equivalent of planting three thousand trees ( a reduction of 51000kg CO2 emissions). “Investing in the solar panels is definitely working out well for Highfield. We’re helping reduce our impact on the environment whilst giving our customers something to smile about and saving money longer term says Tim Armstrong, Highfields’s Director and General Manager. “We use around 600,000 KVA a year and when the sun shines, we’re generating enough electricity not just to cover that and push some back into the grid.” The system comes with an app which gives real time visibility of how much electricity is being used and generated. That awareness is helping keep sustainability on the management agenda and making it part and parcel of Highfield’s

decisions big and small. Recent wins include taking a deep dive into the garden centre’s catering waste processes and paths, resulting in a significant increase in recycling and re-use, alongside a sizeable decrease in the amount going to landfill. Elsewhere in the business it is working its way through replacing older light installations and replacing with more energy-efficient LED units. Now with a retractable roof, its newly designed planteria maximises natural light while reducing the reliance on artificial lights. The family-owned independent installed just under 900 solar panels across its roof in the autumn of 2022. By working with Gloucestershire sustainability charity Severn Wye Energy Agency, it was able to access a £50k grant towards the solar panel project which supplemented Highfield’s own investment of £283k. Other recent green investments include a vast 216,000-litre tank which harvests rainwater for reuse while department buyers continue to actively seek out local and ecofriendly suppliers and products.

18 December 2023 / January 2024

Pot supplier elho will be celebrating next month as it reaches its target to manufacture all of its products from 100% recycled plastic. In 2022 it turned 12mkg of marine, consumer and post-industrial waste into ornamental pots. In addition, every elho product is fully recyclable and made using 100% renewable energy generated by a wind turbine located at its factory in Tilburg, the Netherlands. This family company set up in 1964, mapped out its sustainability strategy in 2006 and since then hass been working a series of milestones including becoming BCorp certified d (2020) and TÜV Class A certified (2022). Elho continues to work towards its ambition to become 100%

circular and the first climate and socially-positive company in the market. It is also striving to increase its BCorp score in the coming years. The New Year will also bring elho’s latest innovations which includes the new jazz round range, the expansion of its popular vibes fold line with specialist orchid pots, and the coffee collection – houseplant pots made from waste coffee grounds.

The coffee collection is launching in 2024.

Sustainability News Digest

Charging up at Dobbies The latest GRIDSERVE Electric Retail Hubs have opened at Dobbies Leicester, Milton Keynes and Liverpool as part of a long-term partnership between the charging company and garden centre to increase the number of high-power charging locations across the UK. Sites at Leicester and Liverpool each have 12 charging bays, including two with accessible bays for customers with additional requirements and two high-power chargers for those needing a quick top up. Milton Keynes has six bays. The chargers are powered by 100% net zero carbon energy, supporting GRIDSERVE and Dobbies’ purpose to move the needle on climate change. Nick Anderson, Operations Director at

Clamping down on food waste

Dobbies Garden Centres, says through its partnership with GRIDSERVE, retail electric hubs are also well underway at its centres in Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Swindon and Leicester with a further 10 more also being built. These are part of GRIDSERVE’s plans to add a further 400 chargers to its national network. Dobbies is also working with Too Good to Go. Since it joined two-years ago it has diverted more than 70,000 Surprise Bags away from landfill. In 2024, it has plans to develop this partnership further.

Since signing up with the surplus food app Too Good To Go, British Garden Centres has prevented more than 10,000 meals from going to waste. Collectively they have helped to avoid 25,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to more than 4 million full smartphone charges or 114 flight tickets from London to Berlin. “By demonstrating how small actions can yield significant transformations, we are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Too Good To Go and achieving bigger milestones, all in the pursuit of a sustainable future,” says Ricky Towers, BGC’s Group Restaurant Director. Ricky is now working to roll out the scheme a t a l l c e n t re s w i t h a r e s t a u r a n t o r c a f e .

Mike Burks, The Gardens Group Managing Director, has invested in 50,000-litre tank to collect rainwater. Right: An increasing range of recycled Christmas and gifts.

Towards net zero

A significant 23.6% carbon reduction has been reported by The Gardens Group across its three centres. Through its annual audit by Planet Mark, Brimsmore Gardens, Castle Gardens and Poundbury Gardens have substantially reduced carbon emissions in nearly all areas and continue to work being a net zero business. Reduction emissions relate to waste, business travel and buildings, and have been achieved through working with 100 ideas from group’s 160-strong team across all

sites, along with the installation of additional air source heat pumps, instead of gas heating in the houseplants area at Castle Gardens. Throughout 2023 and 2024, The Gardens Group has and is continuing to develop its sustainable buying policy further by reducing plastics and increasing the depth of sustainable products within the Christmas and gift sections. This will include more wooden, metal, glass, felt, cardboard and

paper products either made from recycled materials, can be recycled, or recyclable after use. The company is looking to work, as much as possible, with small local producers especially in the gifts and Christmas sections, to reduce delivery miles. It is also carefully considering buying trips and, when possible, is eliminate flying in favour of trains, such as for a recent trip to Holland. Alongside this, the Gardens Group is continuing to work with Planet Mark to drive down its overall carbon footprint and contribute to the wider industry by sharing best practices with fellow GCA members.

December 2023 / January 2024 19

Sustainability News Digest

Working in harmony for a clean ambient flame Ingenious burner set to revolutionise indoor and outdoor living, uses plant-based fuel and a steel wick as sustainable alternatives to wax and bioethanol.


n eco-consious way of bringing light and heat to homes and gardens has arrived in the UK with the first garden centres taking stock in time for Christmas. Launched under the Tenderflame brand, the range uses a plant-based fuel and innovative patented steel wick. It comprises ornamental single burners in a selection of sizes, through to tabletop fires and wall mounted multi-flame options for heating rooms. Partnering exclusively in the UK with Kettler, Tenderflame burners will be available through selected garden centres and online directly to consumers. In the UK, the Lilly 10 is the smallest candle retailing at £29 while the largest, the Plettenberg Black with a 180mm flat wick, sells to consumers at £629. Ola Bergner, Tenderflame’s Director, is behind the invention which originated in Norway eight years ago as a safe and environmentally-friendly fire for homes without a chimney. Other impressive credentials include no odour or soot and low air pollution. Since then developments have resulted in the creation of the completely plantbased Tenderfuel. “Burning around 75-100

Ola Berner at SOLE X this summer to promote and ans wer questions ab out Tenderflame.

of £25.99 and £12.99, it is also inflammable so incredibly safe to use as the liquid fuel won’t catch light. The key to creating the flame is the multi-patented stainless-steel wick which must be used in combination with the fuel. In fact, Steelwick is the name of the brand in Norway. Using any form of lighter, the wick, made of small tightly rolled steel filaments, must be heated to 140 degrees. At this magical temperature, Tenderfuel begins to evaporate and it is the vapour which moves into the wick that catches light to become the flame. Capillary action then takes over Tenderflame small burners still pollutes less to ensure a constant flame. “This is the indoors than one tea-light candle,” he says. cleanest, ambient flame in the world,” says Making the flame Ola. “It gives almost a complete conversion. The formulation of Tenderfuel is top secret Hardly any particles and no detectable but it is biodegradable and looks like volatile organic compounds.” Adding to its water but with a slightly higher sustainability credentials is that the viscosity. Available in 2.5 litre steel wick won’t disintegrate and 1litre bottles with rrp’s during burning. Even though the single For more information visit: www.tender tabletop burners create warmth in the air, the heat stays within the glass Or email:sales@ containers, making them safe to use on any surface.

Dancing flames from the Plettenberg Black

20 December 2023 / January 2024

Across Europe, the customer base is already strong in Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Kettler has just delivered stock to the first UK garden centres at Ruxley Manor in Kent and the two Flowerland sites in Buckhinghamshrie at Iver and Bourne End. The new UK version of the website can now also be accessed giving consumers the option to find out more

Responsible Sourcing Scheme

Making confident steps of progress GTN hears from Steve Harper, CEO of Southern Trident and Chair of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme about it’s progress and future Initiatives.


hroughout 2023, the Responsible Sourcing Scheme (RSS) for growing media has been diligently working towards its mission of promoting sustainable and responsible practices within the manufacturing, retail, and grower sectors. The focus has been on ensuring the measurement and auditing of substrates, welcoming new members into the fold, refining scheme rules, and enhancing overall efficiency while maintaining robustness. This comprehensive effort has paved the way for substantial progress, with key achievements and ambitious targets set for the future.

Substrate measurement and auditing A primary objective for the RSS throughout 2023 has been collaborating closely with manufacturers to implement effective substrate measurement and auditing processes. This step is critical in assessing the environmental impact of various substrates used in the industry. Through dedicated efforts, the scheme has made significant strides in ensuring that manufacturers adhere to the highest standards of responsible resourcing, contributing to the sustainability of the supply chain. One welcomed key development is that membership of the scheme gives extra points to the environmental section of the Garden Centre Association audit process. The GCA’s recognition of the scheme and membership highlights its importance.

Membership growth and diversity The RSS community has experienced growth and diversification, with new members joining from sectors, including manufacturing, retailing, and growing. This influx of fresh perspectives and expertise enriches the scheme’s collaborative efforts and strengthens its influence across the industry. The increased membership underscores the commitment of stakeholders to responsible sourcing, creating a more unified and impactful front. This is an ongoing process with new and significant retailers in discussion who are also encouraging their supply chains of growers to be involved.

Scheme rules and mutual trading status Recognising the need for continual improvement, the RSS has actively engaged in refining scheme rules to better align with industry dynamics and emerging sustainability trends. A significant milestone progressed during the year was the transition to mutual trading status. This strategic move aims to facilitate easier membership while maintaining the scheme’s robustness, and should allow us to keep scheme costs down as all membership fees can be retained within the scheme. The RSS is committed to striking a balance

This comprehensive effort has paved the way for substantial progress...

22 December 2023 / January 2024

Peat-free at Millbrook Garden Centre, Staplehurst, Kent.

between accessibility for members and ensuring the stringent criteria necessary for responsible sourcing.

Review of measurement categories Comprehensive reviews of its measurement categories, with a particular recent focus on the pollution tree have been continually conducted. This assessment aims to enhance the scheme’s ability to address environmental challenges effectively.

Responsible Sourcing Scheme

step aligns with the scheme’s commitment to addressing social and ethical considerations within the supply chain. By expanding the scope of its assessments, the RSS demonstrates a holistic approach to responsible sourcing, recognising the interconnectedness of environmental and social factors.

Project 7 In the last 12 months, an increasingly important development has been the inclusion of Project 7, an industry quality standard which is becoming a cornerstone of the RSS framework. This integration emphasises the scheme’s responsiveness to evolving industry standards and its dedication to promoting excellence in responsible sourcing. The incorporation of Project 7, as highlighted recently by Evergreen Garden Care, signifies a proactive approach towards aligning the RSS with industry best practices. It is absolutely vital that users of growing media are Find out more not only reassured about the For more detailed environmental standards of the information visit: www.responsible products they are buying but that they meet quality thresholds, are fit for purpose and give great end results.

By scrutinising and updating measurement categories, the RSS stays at the forefront of sustainable practices, providing valuable guidance to its members and the industry at large.

Social compliance tree and future considerations Building on the success of the pollution tree review, the RSS is currently directing its attention towards a thorough evaluation of the social compliance tree. This critical

scheme’s commitment to covering every aspect of the industry, leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of sustainability. Alongside this, is the need for the quality standard to become part and parcel of the scheme. We hope that during 2024 every multipurpose compost manufactured by a scheme member has been tested and has passed the quality standard. With a growing and diverse membership, refined scheme rules, and a commitment to addressing both environmental and social considerations, the RSS stands as a beacon for responsible sourcing in the industry. As the scheme moves forward, it remains on a continued trajectory towards a more sustainable and ethical future.

Next steps and targets Looking ahead, the RSS has set ambitious targets and outlined key priorities for the coming months. The primary focus is on completing the measurement and auditing of final manufacturers, ensuring the entire supply chain is held to the highest standards of responsible sourcing. This comprehensive approach reflects the

Southern Trident’s Harmony Gardens growing media has added John Innes.

December 2023 / January 2024 23

Sustainability Champions

We are the champions, naturally As well as an overall winner, selected categories in the GIMA Awards also recognise products worthy of being Sustainability Champions. In this special issue of GTN with its focus on all things sustainable, we highlight those champion products.


hether it’s a supplier or a product, the annual GIMA Awards recognise those that go the extra mile. Being shortlisted is indeed cause for celebration, but winning is an industry badge of honour, representing top class service, good-design or the recognition of taking entrepreneurial steps to fill a gap in the market. In addition to the winners and finalists, some of the categories also select a Sustainability Champion. All of these then vie for the overarching Sustainability Award. “This is only the third year we’ve had this category,” says Vicky Nuttall, GIMA Director. “We felt it was incredibly important to provide members with the opportunity to highlight specific sustainability driven initiatives or products. It’s such an important topic, both for the consumer and commercially. Buyers are always looking at suppliers who prioritise and take their sustainability and environmental responsibilities incredibly seriously. For the judges, sustainability is already a key factor when making their decisions, and that’s why many of this year’s winners were also the Sustainability Champions.” Customers love a good story, especially when the environment is the headline, so stocking these products and passing on the story to their customers could be an easy win for many retailers.

Displaying pots from the ocean

Simply the best This year products ranged from security lights to planters making it hard to compare like for like. Often it can be a tough call for judges to decide on an outright winner. However, this year the job was made easier because Treadstone Products was named Sustainability Champion in two categories. Treadstone Rope Trellis was the Sustainability Champion in the Garden

Right: Westland's Peckish was recognised for its plastic-free packaging.

A win for the birds

Neat and space saving display for elho's Ocean Collection.

Two wins for Treadstone's Rope Trellis.

24 December 2023 / January 2024

The Ocean Collection Octagon Stand from elho was Sustainability Champion in the Best Point of Sale category. It’s been designed as a bespoke shopfloor solution for displaying elho’s Ocean Collection, the first range from a GIMA member to be made exclusively from 100% waste ocean plastic. With a small footprint and ideal for any shopfloor houseplant area, the stand holds products so their colours can be fully appreciated by customers. It also supports point of sale with beautiful imagery to inspire shoppers.

Landscaping and the Growing, Planting, Equipment & Sundries categories, so was a natural overall winner. Created and sold by Treadstone Products, it’s a simple idea taking inspiration from cargo nets. With multiple uses around the garden, Rope Trellis provides a natural support for climbing plants in pots or borders. Made from jute and available in five sizes from 0.6m x 1.8m through to 1.8m x 1.8m, each bundled item is packaged with a simple paper wrap.

Westland Horticulture’s Peckish brand of wild bird feed is on a roll. Its Coco-Not feeder won a New Product Award at Glee earlier this summer and at the GIMA Awards its Peckish Natural Balance Local Seed Mix was named Packaging Sustainability Champion. Not only is the seed mix sustainable, the 10 different seed ingredients are sourced from UK and Irish farms, but the packaging is environmentally friendly. It is plastic free and made from100% recycled and recyclable paper. STV's new range of traps is poison free.

Sustainability Champions

Poison free pest control From STV International Ltd, The Big Cheese Poison Free Range of traps and baits was named Garden Care Sustainability Champion. When it’s reported that 88% of barn owls and 66% of hedgehogs have detectable traces of rodenticide in their livers, and that 29% of UK vets report rodent baits as a major source of poisoning in cats, it’s easy to see why there is a need for poison-free mouse and rat control. This new range helps homeowners keep unwanted rodents at bay while continuing to care for the wildlife that lives beyond their own homes and gardens.

Hug Rug's washable rug is made from 90% recycled materials.

Flexible bbq friend The Eco Trend Recycled Rubber BBQ Mat from Primeur utilises the recycled rubber

contains around 30 seeds neatly wrapped within peat-free compost and clay with the addition of mycorrhizal fungi to give new roots a healthy start and chili to deter pests. A single pack of around 60 balls covers 3m2.

Solar Centre's Slimsafe Solar Security Light uses the latest solar powered technology.

More than just a rug

crumb generated from used tyres and transforms it into a new hard-wearing, weather-resistant and easy to clean floor protection for siting under bbqs. It was the Sustainability Champion in the Outdoor Leisure category for its ability to protect floors from hot, greasy spillages. This flexible rubber mat can also be easily rolled and stored, and thanks to its strong recycled rubber construction material, it is incredibly durable and won't fade, rot or split even if left outside.

Seed ball champions Haxnicks Wildflower Seedballs from Tildenet provide everything needed to create an environmentally-friendly wildflower area to attract pollinating insects and other wildlife, no matter how small the space. Sustainability Champion in the Plants, Seeds & Bulbs category, the three mixes have been specially formulated with seeds from10 different British wild flowers to attract bees and pollinators, butterflies or wildlife. Each ball

Above: Primeur's recycled rubber crumb makes for an ideal BBQ mat.

Machine washable at an eco-conscious 30°C, the soft cotton Hug Rug Rainbow Trust Charity Mat is made from 90% recycled materials and a worthy Sustainability Champion in the Garden Clothing & Gift category. Ideal for stopping dirt and mud being traipsed into the house after a dog walk or day in the garden, sales also help the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. They are made in Britain by Phoenox Textiles based in West Yorkshire, have a non-slip rubber backing and can hold up to three times their own weight in water. They are also long lasting and come with a five-year guarantee. The inner lining of Tetrapak cartons is transformed into Fauna Bird's feeders.

Below: Easy sowing with Haxnick's Wildflower Seedballs.

Friendly feeders Ingenious new feeder from Fauna Bird (Singing Friend) made from 100% recycled material salvaged through the process of extracting the inner lining of laminate film from Tetrapak cartons. Named Pet, Wild Bird & Aquatic Sustainability Champion, the feeders are easy to fill and dismantle for fuss-free cleaning. The multiple feeding

points allow several birds to feed at the same time.

Bright idea The Solar Centre’s Slimsafe Solar Security Light is the Garden Lighting, Water Features & Ornamentation Sustainability Champion. Discreet but powerful, it is an easy to install solar light that uses the latest solar panel technology to enhance energy gain in a small area magnifying the rays from the sun onto the panel. It also utilises a microwave motion sensor for a wider and further detection range for the light.

A pot for life Capi Europe’s Groove Recyclable Planter is made completely from white sawdust material illustrating the company’s commitment to reducing and reusing waste materials. Not only that, pots also come with a lifetime warranty and are made in Europe rather than China to reduce energy consumption and transport. The Groove Recyclable Planter was named Decorative Pots and Planters Sustainability Champion.

White sawdust waste becomes Capi Europe's Groove Recyclable Planter.

December 2023 / January 2024 25

Westland’s Rising Stars This year’s Rising Stars presented their projects, Dragon’s Den style, to the judges.

The stars collide


Exciting projects to promote water-wise gardening through to home composting show the breadth of ideas and creativity from those involved in this year’s Westland Rising Stars initiative.

rom June to September this year, 12 candidates in the Westland Horticulture sponsored Rising Stars initiative, carried out creative projects at their garden centres, each one tackling important issues for gardeners, retailers and the environment. Thanks to the GCA, they also attended a series of masterclasses to help them hone their skills and support their career in the garden retail industry. As well as the GCA, candidates were also supported by Westland Horticulture and nominated to take part by their garden centres. At Millbrook Garden Centre in Gravesend, Kent, each gave an account of their projects to a team of judges who whittled the 12 down to just five. “This season’s Rising Stars have again raised the bar on the outstanding quality of people employed in the garden centre industry. The commitment, enthusiasm and tenacity shown from them all to deliver a sustainability or environmental project has been truly fantastic,” says Gordon Emslie, GCA Inspector. “They have all faced challenges during the year,

26 December 2023 / January 2024

which the programme is designed to flush out. As testing as those were, they have all been tenacious with their projects, as well as having the determination to see them through, and have become more resilient people as a result.”

The five finalists will now go forward to the final part of the competition and present their ideas and projects at the GCA Conference this month. Delegates at the conference have the chance to vote for their favourites.

The judges (l-r) Gordon Emslie GCA Inspector; Gina Lewis, Social & Content Marketing Manager at Westland Horticulture; Peter Burks GCA Chief Executive; Tammy Woodhouse, Managing Director of the Millbrook Garden Company and Trevor Pfeiffer, Editor of GTN.

Westland’s Rising Stars


HAYDON WALTERS Thatcham Garden Centre (British Garden Centres) Project: Growing Plants, Growing Minds. Through two displays and five sessions each Wednesday in August, plus own grown seedlings and a self-made activity book, Haydon successfully attracted increasing numbers of children to the garden centre. This was only part of the aim though – the project was also designed to encourage gardening and help children grow their own while on summer holiday. Through leaflets and a specially created Facebook page, Haydon advertised the sessions and engaged with families. This was not only a joy for children and their families but it also translated into improved sales of gloves and growing sundries and an 88% lift in the number of children’s meals sold in the restaurant. Haydon’s book, which was given to each child on the workshops free of charge, included hints and tips for growing flowers and veg but also word searches, puzzles and pages to colour. A competition was also a success. Over the five weeks, Haydon helped 500 children plant seeds and seedlings, and received extremely positive feedback.

FINALIST ANITA SHARMA Enfield Garden Centre (British Garden Centres)

CALLUM SPENCER Stewarts Broomhill Garden Centres

Project: Small Space Sanctuary. Any space, no matter of its size, can be a haven for wildlife, a place to grow your own food or be a floral fiesta. In a high footfall area of 15m2, equating to £3500 retail space cost, Anita created an island display with pots and carefully selected sundries, like bug hotels, to show customers how easy it is to make a small space sanctuary. The BGC marketing team helped design posters, and social media using #smallspacesanctuary continued to tell the story through the summer. The value of plants and product sold because of Amy’s project was up by £2968 on the previous year.

Project: Peat-free Wall of Knowledge. Working with the marketing department, Callum designed and built a simple roofed structure as a home for his wall of knowledge to promote peat-free growing media. With space for information panels and shelves for selling product and promotions, it stood out as a beacon of knowledge illustrating how and why using peat-free growing media is so important. Based upon three simple steps, his display clearly talked customers through the importance of choosing the right product, understanding water managements and the value of using additional feed. Backed up by social media, his project will continue to promote peat-free growing media into 2024.

GEORGIA CURNICK Perrywood Garden Centres

AMY CALLAND Tarporley Garden Centre Project: Waste Not, Want Not: Reducing Water Wastage in Summer Gardens. With a backdrop of increasingly warm summers, Amy’s goals were to inspire the purchase of drought-tolerant plants, encourage sustainable water saving and reduce water wastage. Within a dedicated space, Amy created clear signage and posters and planted up pots and a trough with a selection of plants able to withstand dry conditions. Sundries such as bark and water butts were also used to aid practical water saving tips for shopper’s. Social media posts reached 22,000 plus and sales of sundries and drought-tolerant plants improved by £1200 on the previous year.

ABBY BARBROOK Perrywood Garden Centre, Tiptree. Project: How did I get here? Abby’s thought-provoking project was just that. She wanted to know if customers considered the carbon footprint of the plants they had bought and where they had originated. In parallel, Abby promoted Perrywood’s home grown perennials which, with their peat-free compost and zero plant miles, were a more sustainable choice and significantly better for the environment. Using VM, location signage and social media, plus a new logo promoting zero plant miles, Abby tracked the sales of 29 groups of perennials for six weeks in July and August against those in 2022. Her project generated an additional £4395 in sales.

Project: Become a Wildlife Superhero. With colourful, eye-catching displays using products from across the garden centre, Georgia promoted ways and ideas for customers to encourage wildlife into the garden. Two displays, one inside and the other in the plantaria, were designed to appeal to different customer groups. The outside display for gardeners, featured information panels to back up the environmental value of products, while indoors a competition was stages with products to promote creativity.Sales were tracked and accounted for more than £370 while activity on a range of social media platforms helped engage a wider audience.

December 2023 / January 2024 27

Westland’s Rising Stars


BEN WOODHOUSE Squires Garden Centres, Badshot Lea Project: Working With Water. Offering alternatives to the standard green water butt was one of Ben’s goals during his project to raise awareness of the need to save water and to increase sales. Using positive and negative feedback about using water butts, Ben was able to design and create a display and work with the marketing team to create a video and poster. From early July to mid-September, Ben’s project resulted in the sales of 16 water butts and total sales of other water-saving items to £1000.85.


KERRY BARRETT Upminster Garden Centre (British Garden Centres) Project: Waterwise. Kerry’s project had two aims – to educate customers on how to save water in the garden and retain soil moisture. The hub was an information station in the centre with products and tips via bespoke posters providing inspiration. The same messaging fed through to social media and on the shop floor to identify droughttolerant plants and other products. A survey to understand customer use of and resistance to having water butts and a plant trial using Boost liquid feed. Running for eight weeks, the project generated an additional £221.18 and led to Kerry realising customers needed more information and support to build their confidence. Her answer was a set of four slogans to break the year up into easy to manage gardening tasks.

WARREN BOLTER Thurruck Garden Centre. Project: Changing to Peat Free. Warren’s project aimed at changing customer buying habits in the run up to the 2024 peat ban in retail horticulture. An in-store survey confirmed that customers wanted to know more about peat free, and this helped him correctly pitch educational point of sale and demonstrations. Warren’s purpose-built stand allowed customers to actively engage with different composts by seeing and feeling them outside of the bag, while watering demonstrations provided the opportunity to talk about different watering options. Sales of growing media were tracked and showed a downturn for peat-based compost compared to 2022, while peat-free sales were up. Warren says his miniumum investment project will continue to attract customer engagement and provide long lasting results.

28 December 2023 / January 2024

FINALIST SHELLEY HARRISON Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre Project: Hotbins @ Haskins. Shelly wanted to show customers the benefits of using a Hotbin for home composting so set one up one in the planteria alongside point of sale and informative posters. These posters helped explain the science behind Hotbins and their benefits to gardeners and the environment. With temperatures inside the bin reading between 40-60 degrees, a Hotbin is able to break down green waste 32 times faster, reducing times from raw material to useable compost to between 30 and 90 days. On social media, Shelly covered everything from a beginners guide to checking temperatures and inspecting the composting process.

SALLY JORDAN Harrogate Garden Centre, (British Garden Centres)

KATIE CARDELL The Gardens Group Project: Sustainable Houseplants. With houseplant sales still strong through garden centres, Katie’s project was on point and relevant to customers. The focus was on the benefits houseplants bring to people by promoting positive moods and purifying air but also generated conversations about sustainability, the need to grow in peat-free compost and why UK grown houseplants are better for the environment. Sustainably grown plants and recycled pots were displayed accompanied by bespoke signage. Sales tracked during the sixweek project reached a total of £3363.35. Of this, £2055.59 was from UK grown houseplants and £360.14 from recycled pots.

Project: Let’s Get Composting. Sally’s love of home composting led her to inspire customers and colleagues to get composting too. Alongside a display with products and specially designed point of sale material, Sally promoted the positives of composting. A composter, called Charley, was set up in the garden centre and catering staff got on board by composting coffee grounds. Sally also wanted to replace the paper instructions provided when buying a home composter with a waterproof sticker for the outside. Paper instructions get easily torn and damaged, but a waterproof sticker would have a longer life and include a QR where gardeners could find out more. BGC is now in conversation with Gardman, which provides the composters, to see if stickers can be applied.


Tailored software addresses EPR challenges and opportunities Ecoveritas launches my.ecoveritas exclusively for the horticultural industry to make EPR packaging compliance easy.


The new software will help garden retailers with their packaging data collection and reporting.


eading environmental compliance data specialist Ecoveritas has launched a new data reporting platform - my.ecoveritas. com - to meet small and mediumsized businesses’ Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) data collection and reporting needs. With retailers, nurseries, The brand-new data To grow your own compliance manufacturers and suppliers facing reporting software, which capabilities, Ecoveritas is unprecedented upheaval owing was painstakingly built urging to those interested visit: to the various initiatives and to streamline data regulations that are now entering collection and reporting To sign up for a free account the packaging space, my.ecoveritas is making it much simpler visit: a packaging data reporting platform and more cost-effective, that ensures horticultural businesses promises to deliver EPR in understand their EPR obligations, get days, not months. “The sheer compliant, and respond appropriately variety of packaging handled by through reduction, substitution, and garden centres, growers and nurseries recycling packaging strategies. continues to make collecting and reporting packaging Help is at hand data a hugely onerous Businesses are now able to process,” says Andrew sign up for a free account McCaffery, Ecoveritas at, Chief Strategy where, along with a host of Officer. “While larger useful resources including businesses have access a comprehensive guide to to sophisticated EPR and unlimited access systems for managing to an EPR obligation checker, they can take the product data required for complex a more detailed look at the new software, calculations of packaging amounts, that as well as obtain a quote in two simple isn’t the case for many SMEs.” steps. my.ecoveritas enables businesses to comply confidently without needing in-depth knowledge of the latest rules and regulations. “We continue to work closely to support the Horticultural Trades Association and have helped businesses in the sector for several years. We are delighted to be able to offer this software exclusively to the horticultural industry, Interface from the my.ecoveritas software.

Accurate reporting will be key moving forward, with significant financial implications now on the horizon.

Andre McCaffery, Ecoveritas Chief Strategy Officer.

including garden centres, growers, nurseries and suppliers,” says Andrew. “The software is very much tailored to meet industry-specific challenges and therefore utilises a calculation method approved by the Environment Agency, which ensures businesses meet the requirements under the regulations as accurately as is reasonably possible “EPR for packaging will affect all current packaging producers, even those not in-scope of existing legislation. Accurate reporting will be key moving forward, with significant financial implications now on the horizon. Still, introducing my.ecoveritas means that other areas of your business will not suffer as a result of compliance. “We see it as a platform that will grow alongside the sector, and it will be proactive, innovative technologies like ours that will help address the challenges and opportunities of the UK horticulture sector.”

December 2023 / January 2024 29


Honey-toned recycled teak table and detailing is a feature of the Topaz range.

Furniture that’s making a difference to the world With a move towards natural shades and materials, soft shapes and an even greater focus on environmental conciousness, LifestyleGarden®’s stunning new FSC® teak lines make a welcome addition to outdoor and indoor spaces.


he nation hasn’t lost its love of wooden furniture, and teak has long proved a timeless favourite thanks to its beautiful texture, honey tones, and allimportant durability. With current and future décor trends favouring a natural, organic aesthetic, LifestyleGarden’s® new tables and entire new collections strike the perfect balance between style and substance. With consumers seeking to make more responsible purchasing decisions, there is a greater appetite for more environmentally responsible materials. One of the most sought-after hardwood species in the world, teak, is also extremely durable and long lasting. LifestyleGarden® only uses FSCcertified teak timber grown in responsibly

32 December 2023 / January 2024

Recycled teak table perfectly suits the Amber sofa set

managed plantations or recycled from barns, houses and railway sleepers. It’s brushed, cleaned and repaired to give a beautiful rustic appearance, adding to the elegant design of LifestyleGarden® ’s ranges, and weather-resistance. Another bonus is that teak can then be recycled at the end of furniture’s life.

Winning chair Adding to the DuraOcean® and Social Plastic® collections, LifestyleGarden® is now offering the Onyx chair, developed with the team from the Eden Project, Cornwall. Made from Social Plastic® – a Plastic Bank initiative that recycles waste material collected by those in the most vulnerable


Changing the world through everyday choices

Onyx chairs seen here with a Jade square table of recycled teak

Whether it’s reducing waste, looking at consumption of resources, using ethically sourced materials, or educating its team and partners across the world on environmental issues, LifestyleGarden® wants to leave things better than before. “Making products from recycled materials saves energy and it helps to conserve the world’s natural resources, which are in limited supply. Not only is every Nassau or Onyx chair made from the equivalent of 175 or 155 recycled plastic bottles, respectively, but the process of creating the furniture also changes the lives of vulnerable coastal communities,” says Paul Cohen, Commercial Director at LifestyleGarden.

“Our goal is simple: to prevent plastic from polluting our oceans. We’re proud our work, so far, has already stopped more than 11 million bottles from reaching our waterways and helped to change the lives of more than 400 collectors. “Anyone who chooses the Nassau or Onyx chairs, powered by Social Plastic®, will be bringing furniture home that makes a difference in the world. We believe innovative environmental products should be affordable for everyone, and we aim to keep our prices low across the range. We hope our customers can help spread the word about how we all have the power to change the world through our everyday choices.”

coastal communities in exchange for tokens that help lift them out of poverty – the Onyx chair features all the same environmental and social benefits as its predecessors, while also providing exciting new sales opportunities for retailers. Stackable, recyclable (including the aluminium legs), and with each chair utilising the equivalent of 155 plastic bottles, this new collection is perfect for both indoor and outdoor, as well as contract use. A, soon-to-belaunched, aluminium matching table will complete the look. Onyx chairs are available in burnt orange, mint green, cream and sky blue.

December 2023 / January 2024 33


Sustainable feeding Westland Horticulture’s five-year Field to Beak strategy may be nearing its end, but the journey is far from over. Rachael McWilliam, Westland Horticulture’s Head of Category and Brand for Peckish, takes GTN through the differences the strategy has made for retailers and consumers so far.


eckish, the UK’s leading wild bird food brand, and part of Westland Horticulture, has spent the past four years on a mission to put sustainability at its core. But the word ‘sustainability’ has multiple meanings to different people. Understanding what it truly means to gardeners was the first thing Westland needed to define, in order to map out the future for its Peckish brand of wild bird feed. “We worked with focus groups of amateurs right through to experienced

gardeners, and we asked them a variety of questions about, what was important to them, what they saw as problems and potential solutions,” says Rachael. “What consistently came through, regardless of the different types of gardeners, was that people wanted to make positive steps for the environment without inconveniencing themselves.” The brand discovered that wild bird food was unanimously and unquestionably a category that should be positive to

Seed is grown within 30 miles of the factory and with added suet is attractive to birds with smaller beaks.

the environment. So, Westland set to work to map out its Field to Beak strategy, looking at every stage of a product, and how it could improve to become more environmentally friendly and support nature at every step of the way. The brand considered ingredients, supply chain, production, packaging and distribution, and defined steps that it could undertake that placed the environment first.

Packaging first

For more information on stocking Peckish products, visit Westland Live or speak to your Westland Account Manager. Retailing fat balls in refillable cardboard packs has successfully changed customer buying habits.

34 December 2023 / January 2024

Developing sustainable packaging has been a key priority for Peckish for many years, and research confirmed there’s much confusion when it comes to what type of plastic can be recycled and where. Rachael commented: “Every consumer group we spoke to all instinctively knew cardboard and paper could be recycled kerbside.” This made it easy for Westland to identify that the first step would be transitioning from plastic packaging in favour of paper and card. So, the journey began, and after 18 months of


Rachael from Westland collecting the GIMA award for Best Sustainable Product Packaging. tland’s Cardboard has become Wes ng. kagi pac tic plas to alternative

research, design, testing and changes to manufacture and automation, Westland came up with the plastic-free packaging solution used on Peckish Complete on the shelves today. It’s not yet possible to use paper and card for every product, so the brand has looked closely at its plastic use and has made significant reductions where possible. The latest plastic feeders sold pre-filled with seed are now UK sourced, resulting in fewer travel miles, and therefore feature a lower carbon footprint than their predecessors. The audience for pre-filled feeders is typically those that are new to bird feeding, and so to prevent these feeders being a single-use product once emptied, Peckish feeders are now made from a stronger plastic that allows consumers to refill them time and time again. Large quantities of fat balls are typically sold in recyclable plastic tubs, and Rachael explains that customers often use them as storage containers once empty. Peckish

Coconut it’s not

developed an option to top up the tubs with fat balls sold in recyclable cardboard packaging refi refillll packs. Many of us know just how quickly wild birds demolish fat balls, so offering consumers the opportunity to refi offering refillll their tubs has proved a simple solution. In the first first year, sales were split 50:50 between the plastic tubs and the refill refill packs, but the refi lls now account for between 70-80%. refills There is also a fifinancial nancial incentive in favour of the refills. “It’s a little nudge from the brand and the retailer to encourage the consumer to make a sustainable choice” says Rachael. She adds: “Boxed fat balls are now commonplace, and we’re proud we paved the way for this type of packaging”.

Provenance and improving sourcing Back in 2019, provenance of products wasn’t front of mind for customers, but Westland knew this was key to becoming a sustainability leader in the industry. Much of the brand’s seed for bird food is sourced from farmers within a 30-mile radius of the factory in Driffield, East Yorkshire. “We regularly have tractors arriving with grain straight from the field, going directly into the factory to be cleaned,” says Rachael. Field to Beak has been a success for the environment but also for Westland. “We strive to continue to improve,” says Rachael. “Small steps towards long term goals are what keep us on track for success, and we’ve got some really exciting projects coming to the market soon.”

In reviewing its product range, Peckish has created the award-winning Coco-Not suet feeder. Instead of using coconut shells, which are shipped from around the world, the brand is manufacturing its own sustainable version made from UK harvest waste – a great story to tell consumers. The idea was born from Westland wanting its supply chain to be as sustainable as possible, so creating a product that’s developed from a UK farming waste product was a lightbulb moment for the company. The Coco-Not shells are completely compostable, so once the birds have eaten the suet, the shell can either be placed in the food waste recycling bin, or home composted, where it breaks down at the same rate as a banana skin. Peckish has been praised for this innovation, receiving a Glee award this year for the best new Wild Bird Care and Wildlife Product. Now, the brand is keen to communicate the benefits of the Coco-Not to end consumers, so has created an in-store video for retailers. “Consumers are now much more focussed on how environmentally friendly their purchases are, and at Westland, we’ll continue to innovate and bring to market sustainable solutions” Rachael says.

Small steps towards long term goals are what keep us on track for success…

December 2023 / January 2024 35

For more information please email: or contact your local sales rep.


Ripping up the rule book In Dorset, Th he Hort rtit House has begu un an exciting journey offering fff a greener and more sustainable wa ay of suppling garden centres with British houseplants in pe eat-free growing media.

Some of the 1.5 million orchids grown at Double H nursery destined for UK garden centres.

38 December 2023 / January 2024



he old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is being put to the test in Dorset where Ed Hill, a founder of The Horti House, is working on a new model for supplying British houseplants. Allowing garden centres to order a minimum of just 12 plants and getting them delivered by courier whenever they want, is a way of working that brings a whole new aspect to plant buying. For more than 60 years, Double H Nurseries, a third-generation family business, has been successfully growing house plants for retailers. This year all will be grown in peat-free compost. Along with foliage and flowering plants, Double H grows 1.5 million orchids annually, taking them in as young tissue culture plants and growing them on for more than a year before they are ready for sale. As they grow in bark, peat isn’t an issue. Foliage plants are also grown peat free but from January 2024, so too will all indoor flowering plants such as chrysanthemums, kalanchoe and poinsettias. It’s here at its 7-acre glasshouse site in New Milton which employs 190 people, that The Horti House has its heart and where Ed hopes will become a hub for the supply of indoor plants grown by British growers. “Ultimately our aim is to supply a core range of houseplants which will fulfil fulfil around 70% of a gardens centre’s needs, allowing them to look further afield for the other 30% of the weird and wonderful. Why can’t we all work together, grow different things and then present a British version of Flora Holland which will be a garden centre’s first port of call?” he says.

A sea of calathea, Ed Hill and (below) kalanchoe which from this year, will also be grown in peat-free compost.

The beginnings of The Horti House Double H’s history includes supplying garden centres, but today it satisfies the needs of a handful of customers mainly high end supermarkets like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose plus their respective online platforms. “Dealing with 2500 customers was much harder than dealing with the product Young orchids are graded depending on their number of flowering stems. Data is stored in a RFID tag within each pot.

development and logistics for just a few,” says Ed. Then, covid struck and the glasshouses were filled with 40,000 orchids a week desperately needing a home. The company sprang into action and very quickly created Love Orchids, a direct-toconsumer website. “It was really a plea to prevent the plants from ending up in the tip. Luckily, at that time, people where really supportive of British industry so they got behind it,” explains Ed. Delivery companies also enjoyed success at this time and, so with packaging designed to protect plants while in transit, thousands of customers were able to enjoy orchids delivered to their door. It was such a hit that the Love Orchids business is still alive and well today. Sometime later, a garden centre owner who had seen Double H orchids at a nearby

hotel, approached the company to ask if they would supply his centre. After the immediate thought of ‘we don’t do garden centres, it’s too complicated’, Ed asked the question ‘well why not?’. “We had proved we can get half a million plants in the post directly to people’s houses, and there are only 2500 garden centres in the UK so why can’t we supply them?” says Ed. He goes on to explain that the more they looked into it, the more they realised that like Double H, garden centres want to sell quality plants, grown in Britain and in peat-free compost. So, after some research and testing, The Horti House was born in February 2023 as a direct to garden centre supplier. “If you think of a plant buyers’ decisions, it’s based on filling trolleys. There’s probably 70% of what they actually want while the rest is added to fill the order,” says Ed. This means garden centres are overstocking and potentially having a higher measure of waste. “It can feel like all the decisions are made on a logistics model coming out of Holland. Now with Brexit and the difficulties of getting hold of some plants, this doesn’t necessarily translate for the UK market. “Don’t get me wrong, Holland is incredible at certain things. The collaboration and the way the growers work together to fulfilled orders in a central place, and how we, in the UK, can go to a website and find endless SKUs and endless plants. But why can’t we all work together, grow different things, and then actually present a British version of Flora Holland. That’s basically the, the end goal for The Horti House and our three-year plan.”

December 2023 / January 2024 39

Planteria Backend systems are now in place and already Bury Lane in Royston has come on board as a supplier to add to the range already grown at the Double H nursery. Garden centres have come on board and for 2024, The Horti House is furthering its intention to supply a core range of plants by offering around 90 varieties from 40 genus. It’s also working to help garden centres consolidate ranges in terms of pot size so, for example, they don’t continue to offer the same calathea in three different sized small pots. The 9cm orchid in a ceramic pot is currently the top selling line, even though research reviled that only orchids in 12cm sell. By looking at orders and sales forecasts, but not order profiles as The Horti House hasn’t got a full years-worth of figures, it is able to consolidate and package all plants grown in New Milton plus those delivered by Bury Lane. Ed hopes that in the future, smaller and perhaps more specialist growers will come on board which will help them to reach a wider audience with their plants and enable retailers to offer a wider selection. It could also be the case they could despatch themselves if they have the facilities. Where possible, The Horti House is moving away from plastic in favour of paper, and even though some may question the sustainability of the minimum order and courier delivery methods, it’s still better than buying plants from Holland.

Point of difference An advisory board now meets every three months to help define the business strategy and devise smarter working systems. There are certainly no plans to have a

Different varieties and selections are continually being trialled.

team of sales agents on the ground as, says Ed, it adds to the cost of the plants. Included in this advisory board is Beth Chapman, Founder of online ecommerce plant brand, Leaf Envy. Beth has been appointed to devise a brand, marketing and growth strategy to help The Horti House become the destination for UK garden centres buying wholesale houseplants. “It’s important for us to be front-of-mind when buyers are looking to create their houseplant range in-store. The only way we will be successful in competing with Flora Holland is if we become the-go-to platform for inspiration and resources relating to houseplant retail. It’s vital we have a great range and supply retailers with top-notch display

Telling the British grown and peat-free story at Pugh’s Radyr. Centre: Making up a box of the minimum 12 plant order. Right: Beth Chapman.

40 December 2023 / January 2024

merchandise which helps them shout about the British grown, peat-free messaging loud and clear,” she says. “If centres put our plants on a table with a load of other foliage plants from Holland, they have immediately lost that point of difference,” says Ed. “They need to be screaming that the plants are British grown in peat free. Around 5-10% of our garden centre customers are doing this already but we can help the all the others – this is a massive opportunity for The Horti House.” Even though Ed has a three-year plan in place, he knows it will take longer to get where he wants The Horti House to eventually be – the first place for UK garden centres to order UKgrown houseplants. “The more we do, the more we see even bigger opportunities,” he says.


6 in 1
















imber Displays offers the very best quality pressure treated wooden display products which are an attractive addition to any garden centre or store. Let our tables, benches and an nd stands show your merchandise to its full potential. potentiall.

To find out more: Phone: 01778 422700 www.timber fb: /Timberdisplays



42 December 2023 / January 2024


Strengthening natural defences Trading successfully for 15 years, Waspinator has been acquired by Super Ninja bringing retailers a perfect combination of sustainable pest control products.


uper Ninja Waspinator UK Ltd is the new name for a range of pest control products offering effective pest control naturally, safely and responsibly. The flagship product from Dutch company Super Ninja is the Super Ninja Fruit Fly Trap, now the world’s number one best-selling product for controlling fruit flies. Traps can be used in both domestic and commercial environments controlling fruit flies which are becoming an increasingly common nuisance pest in the UK. Along with Fruit Fly Traps, Super Ninja also offers products to sustainably control plant flies, also

known as fungus gnats, clothes moths and silver fish. The entire range is made only from natural ingredients and combined with innovative and user-friendly packaging. Although wasps can cause problems in the home, they have a hugely positive benefit to the environment so should be welcomed as a gardener’s friend. Not only do they naturally predate caterpillars and greenfly, but they are also efficient pollinators. This role is likely to gain importance with the decline in the number of pollinator bees, so it’s vital they are allowed to live. The Waspinator, described as a ‘scarecrow for wasps’, has been naturally deterring

wasps for 15 years. Hanging a Waspinator, which looks like a wasp’s nest by the home, makes visiting wasps think it belongs to an established colony. As wasps are extremely territorial, they will be deterred and fly away rather than stay and risk a confrontation. Established products from Super Ninja/Waspinator Ltd will now be warehoused and dispatched from Yorkshire along with a new range being introduced in 2024.

For more on Super Ninja and Waspinator products visit: Telephone: Nigel Clarke on 07798 815832. Email: n.clarke

Wasps will fly away when they see a fake nest which they see as the home of an already established enemy colony.

December 2023 / January 2024 43

Sustainability Directory 2024



elcome to the GTN Sustainability Directory for the year ahead. We hope it helps you to find and get in touch with suppliers and companies to help your business reach its sustainability goals and fulfil expectations of environmentally-savvy customers.

Andermatt Home & Garden Pioneers of natural biocontrol since 1988. Andermatt manufactures and produces cutting-edge sustainable solutions for gardeners, from biodegradable fleece to fertiliser made from plant waste, packaged in recyclable materials where possible.

BioFleece Plastic-free frost fleece! A heavy-duty frost fleece made from plants, not petroleum, BioFleece is 100% biodegradable. Shield your plants down to -6°C by creating a protective air pocket around them. Easy to cut and customize with scissors, BioFleece ensures your garden stays resilient against unpredictable weather. Comes in recyclable packaging. Protecting your plants, naturally.

Andermatt Home & Garden RRP - £18.99

Artevasi UK Ltd Recognised as a sustainable PME, we aim to be 100% sustainable every day. Our pots contain up to 95% recycled plastics, 100% of waste is recycled, and 100% of our packaging is eco-friendly. Capi Europe The 100% Waste Collection. The collection is 100% climate neutral and has the CO2 Neutral label. Planters are made in The Netherlands in its factory in Tilburg. With this collection, Capi takes responsibility and tries to help solve one of the largest waste problems – fishing nets. These fishing nets are combined with old corks and recycled Capi planters to form high quality design planters for indoor and outdoor use with a lifetime guarantee. With this collection, we take care of our oceans, ourselves and the next generations. Grow a greener life. EcoVeritas Supporting businesses with collecting and reporting packaging data for EPR. We’ve been calculating and completing submissions for businesses around the world for 20 years, including working with the HTA, and have been helping its membership with a solution to complete their submissions under the current packaging EKJU Ltd Quality since 1992. EKJU outdoor furniture embodies nature’s values. Through responsible wood sourcing, FSC certification, eco-friendly treatments, and CO2-free processes, we’re dedicated to shaping sustainable future. Elho We are a Dutch family business with more than 200 passionate green fans, who produce sustainable design flowerpots and everything that goes with them. Everything to make sure that people surround themselves with as much greenery as possible. And we’ve been doing so since 1964 EP Barrus Town & Country from Barrus. Town & Country is recognised as one of the UK’s leading gardening brands and offers one of the most comprehensive collections of gardening gloves, footwear and accessories.

44 December 2023 / January 2024

This flower pot is made with recycled materials and it’s coloured is decided by a specific residual, in this case artificial grass. So with this green pot, you literally bring a piece of green into your home. The pot is available in 3 sizes and comes with a lifetime warranty. Besides the green pot there is also beige, made with sawdust and black, made with textile.

RRP from

£ 7,99 Panter Ball Groove 13 x 12 cm Made With Collection is a packaging data reporting platform that ensures your business understands its Extended Producer Responsibility obligations, gets compliant and responds appropriately through reduction, substitution, and recycling. Exclusive to the horticulture industry, My.ecoveritas is for companies tired of the complex and data-intensive work of EPR for packaging regulations. Our brandnew software was painstakingly built to help businesses make EPR data collection and reporting a much simpler and more cost-effective task. My.ecoveritas RRP – prices start from £499 per report! –

green basics strawberry pot

Product description: Empowering more people to give growing your own a go, elho’s new green basics strawberry pot is the secret to a successful harvest of strawberries this season. It boasts a host of clever features to make nurturing strawberries easy, including raised feet, an integrated water reservoir, a large refill opening, and an extra-wide, curved rim.

RRP: £22.99

Sustainability Directory 2024 Evergreen Garden Care Evergreen Garden Care approaches sustainability holistically; from packaging to products and general supply chain carbon footprint reduction. A comprehensive peat-free range under Miracle-Gro and Levington has been launched. Fordingbridge Plc Fordingbridge’s sustainable practices are at the core of business; with an ethos dedicated to the sourcing and recycling of materials used in our structures, and ensuring supply chains share the same ethical values to both people and the environment. sustainabillity Firestorm Heaters Powered by sustainable British wood pellets, Eco Friendly Firestorms light up any outdoor space providing lovely warmth from the beautiful spiral flame. Firestorms are designed and built in the UK from British steel. Formbar At Formbar we source the most sustainable products manufactured in the UK and Europe, avoiding long distance polluting shipping and only supplying quality products that have longevity and can be maintained. In the office we use only renewable energy, recycled paper and when making any purchase we always look for the most environmentally sympathetic option.

coffee collection

Product description: Creating beauty from waste, each pot in elho’s new coffee collection is made from at least three cups of coffee waste, giving the grounds a new lease of life while providing houseplants with the perfect home. Available in sizes 14cm to 22cm, each pot features a rich, dark espresso colour, and it is even possible to detect the light fragrance of a fresh cup of coffee! RRP: From £6.49

Miracle-Gro® Peat Free Premium All Purpose Compost Miracle-Gro® Peat Free Premium All Purpose Compost is part of the high-performing Miracle-Gro peat-free range. Containing a unique formulation that will ensure your plants are fed for 3 months, this peat free compost provides the optimum structure for roots to grow strong and preventing them from drying out. Evergreen Garden Care RRP £9.99 (40L)

Tools that stand the test of time Longevity: All Bulldog tools are designed and built to last. This is fundamental to our sustainability strategy, ensuring that our tools last for years, and do not need replacing. Spare Parts: We stock replacement parts to avoid tools being thrown away, including replacement nuts and bolts, springs, blades, rake tines and wooden and fibreglass handles, allowing our tools to continue to have useful long working lives. Sustainable Timber: All Bulldog timber is taken from sustainable sources. This assures our use of environmentally appropriate forest management practices and ensures compliance with timber regulations Plastic: The company has completely removed plastics from our packaging, replacing it with paper throughout our supply chain from factory to customer. To work with us contact

December 2023 / January 2024 45

Sustainability Directory 2024 Furniture Clinic Working at the heart of the circular economy, we manufacture DIY products that extend the life of items in the home and garden.

Eco Friendly Firestorm Patio Heater

Elevate your outdoor heating range with the Eco Friendly Firestorm Patio Heater. Powered by sustainable British wood pellets Firestorms light up any outdoor space providing lovely warmth from the beautiful spiral flame. Firestorms are designed and built in the UK from British steel ensuring only the highest quality reaches your customers. Firestorm Heaters RRP £499

Hortiwool Hortiwool is a family business which has worked with natural materials for almost two decades. Hands down, our absolute favourite is Wool. Our dream is that everyone comes to love Wool as much as we do, along with benefitting from its awesome properties as you cultivate and create in and around your home and garden. 01432 667 567

Hozelock We are committed to increasing the sustainability of our products, packaging and manufacturing processes. Furthermore, we are pledging to develop sustainable practices involving product development and operational activities, and helping gardeners enjoy their gardens in a more sustainable way with innovative product solutions. Therefore, our pledge will be driven by three key areas: renew, recycle and reuse.

Recyclable Shopping Trolleys Lightweight & compact the clean manufacturring process of plastic trolleys makes them a more e sustainable product over the traditional steel plated construction. Particularly popular is ou ur strong but quiet and easily manoeuvrable flattbed with foldable upper basket with cane slot and d front retention bar. Also available as a hybrid with a metal chassis and as standard shape custom mer shopping trolleys. Our plastic range is extensiive.

Hug Rug We recycle over 6.6 million t-shirts, 16 million plastic bottles and 192 million tonnes of recycled industrial plastics per year in our products, and our mill is zero waste to landfill!

Formbar Limited RRP: £196

Johnsons Lawn Seed As the oldest lawn seed company in the UK, Johnsons Lawn Seed has a long and prestigious record of product innovation and grass breeding, together bringing to market 100% organic grass seed blends. LifestyleGarden LifestyleGarden’s goal is to create beautiful long-lasting products, whilst ‘Doing Business the Right Way’. The company is committed to its Social Responsibility, supported by state-of-the-art production and contemporary designs.


G o recycled!

#Formbar Limited

Hortiwool Garden Pad & Hanging Basket Liner Hortiwool’s all-season, multi-use garden pads and liners have many benefits around the garden or allotment, thanks to the amazing natural properties of wool! Use them for frost and weather protection, to line pots, planters, or baskets for extra hydration, deter slugs, add nutrition to soil and much more. Search #hortiwool for inspiration. Hortiwool RRP: £2.95 per pad, or £11.95 for a pack of 2 x Hanging Basket Liners

46 December 2023 / January 2024

My.ecoveritas is a packaging data reporting platform that ensures your business understands its Extended Producer Responsibility obligations, gets compliant and responds appropriately through reduction, substitution, and recycling. Osprey Charging Network Osprey Charging is a leading, trusted EV charging network in the UK. Our cutting-edge rapid chargers are powered by 100% renewable energy and have 24/7 customer service. New Webb Eco-Friendly Cordless Garden Tools Designed for optimal performance with a super-fast battery recharge, the 20V Webb Eco cordless range provides an eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternative to traditional petrol options. Quiet to use and cordless in design, the new range offers complete freedom with no power cables to get in the way or hold you up. Now available to order from British garden equipment manufacturer Webb. RRP 20v Cordless Blower £89.99 Contact 01793 333220 Webb address / email address:

RocketGro Composts The RocketGro story is the biggest eco story at scale to come out of the UK compost producing industry since modern production of compost began. • Peat-Free & Coir-Free • Soil Association Approved Organic • 100% Sustainable • 100% British • Endorsed by River Cottage • Powered by Digestate fibre and an added Organic Fertiliser Superfood for a full 3-month+ feed Visit for more info or contact Managing Director Toby Thomas on 07936 928 981 /




Made w ith Recy cled welling ton boot s

Made fro m 100% Rec cycled p lastics

cled Made with Recy waste plastic & ocean p

ECO-Essen ntial Wellington Boots

ECO O-FLEX Gloves s

100% R ecycle m Beehive Planters s & 100% re aterialls cycleable

Door Keeperr

Made with recycled bottles &car tyres

Leaf Rak kes

Flex xi-Tubs nandc


100% Recycla

Sustainability Directory 2024

Eco A beautiful range of gift bags and roll wrap fully sustainable and recyclable with clever paper handles to accompany this of the moment design. In addition we design and supply greeting cards for every occasion which are fully recyclable from material that is sustainably sourced. Beautiful designs that don’t harm the planet.

UK Greetings RRP - various

Patterson & Rothwell Ltd (P&R Horticultural brand) All pots are made from recycled polypropylene and manufactured in the UK. We have a zero landfill commitment and work with recycling companies to divert plastic wastes into recycling processes Pelsis Pelsis aims to follow the guide set out by the Sustainable Development Goals from the UN. This means helping to improve issues of poverty, hunger, inequality, conflict, climate and more. Primeur Ltd Pioneers of recycled rubber, Primeur has helped to divert millions of tyres from reaching landfill, with each tyre reimagined into a multi-award-winning garden product range.

Bloomin AmazingTM Bloomin Amazing™ is the leading, organic-approved, 100% peat-free mulch, easy feed and soil conditioner from the renewable energy industry. Produced in the West Country, it is a by-product from anaerobic digestion and has a highly sustainable carbon footprint. Mixed 50/50 with soil it makes the perfect potting or planting mix and is great for moisture retention. It also deters slugs!

West Country Soil Improvement Ltd. RRP £6.99 inc VAT or e-mail Nick at or call to speak to us on 01305 267886

Terraza Outdoor Kitchen On trend for outdoor entertaining, Zest’s stunning outdoor kitchen provides a sustainable route to alfresco cooking. Made from PEFC (PEFC/16-371490), sustainable slow grown soft wood from responsibly managed forests and with a 10 year guarantee against rot. Products in the Terraza Outdoor Kitchen range comprise of two double units with stainless steel tops and a deep display corner unit. An optional side table is available to extend the serving space. £999.99 – Terraza Outdoor kitchen set Website https: Email address:

RocketGro RocketGro supplies sustainable, peat-free, organic compost at scale to retailers and organisations across the UK. Products are Soil Association Approved and powered by digestate fibre, a rich organic by-product from its Somerset biogas plant, which powers thousands of homes. Rollins Bulldog For more than 244 years, Bulldog tools has built a reputation on strength, British Heritage and reliability. Our forged spades and forks have heads made from one piece of steel and our timber handles and shafts are made from the finest FSC Accredited ash. Each tool is also backed by a lifetime guarantee. Sipcam Working to the highest European and international standards of quality and environmental responsibility, our ethos is enshrined in the group’s motto, ‘crescere insieme bene’ – ‘working together better’ Southern Trident Southern Trident leads the way in ultrasustainability as a carbon-neutral manufacturer. Responsibly sourcing all materials, we harmonize innovation and eco-conscious practices, ensuring a green today, greener tomorrow. UK Greetings Ltd Our world means the world to us, we are committed to sustainability, from the products we create and supply to the service we provide

SlimSafe Solar Security Light

Peat-Free Multi-Purpose Compost

The SlimSafe Security Light features an ultra-slim and stylish design, with a powerful LED floodlight and built-in motion sensor. The light features a brand new powerhouse solar panel with the latest self-cleaning, lightweight and durable technology that can prolong the life of the light. The capabilities of this light are unrivalled with exceptional illumination, durable design and innovative motion sensor technology.

RocketGro has launched a 50-litre bag of its game-changing Peat-Free Multi-Purpose Compost for the 2024 season. British-made and Soil Association Approved organic, RockeGro’s composts are the only composts in the UK that provide plants with two sources of feed: Digestate fibre loaded with slow release N:P:K stretching through 3 months, and Organic Fertiliser Superfood added for an upfront 10-week feed.

Solar Centre RRP: £29.99

RocketGro RRP £7.99

48 December 2023 / January 2024

Sustainability Directory 2024 West Country Soil Improvements BloominAmazing™ remains the best value sustainable peat free organic mulch from its sector, and also remains in 50 litre bags cutting down the waste from smaller more expensive per litre packaging. Wildlife World Wildlife World is committed to sustainability, using eco-friendly, FSC timber, recycled materials, and fair-trade practices in crafting wildlife products. We prioritise wildlife conservation, promote biodiversity, and reduce our environmental impact.

Rapid EV charging stations This is a fully-funded, fully-managed opportunity to partner with a leading charging network to install rapid electric car charging stations at your store. Osprey Charging Network, is a UK-wide rapid EV charging network with over 1000 chargepoints. Reliable, user-friendly, and powered by 100% renewable electricity, Osprey chargepoints accept various payment methods, including contactless, app, and roaming. Osprey were recently awarded Charging Network of the Year. Osprey Charging Network

Garden range

Hug Rug Stripe 85


Hug Rugs are super-absorbent, eco-friendly, washable mats designed to trap dirt, dust and mud, keeping your home clean and hygienic. Manufactured at our mill in Huddersfield, from 90% recycled materials, they come in a wide range of contemporary and traditional designs to suit every home.

Manufactured in the UK

Comprehensive range

All pots made from recycled polypropylene

Zero landfill commitment

We work with recycling companies to divert plastic wastes into recycling processes either by regrinding for our own use or by selling for reprocessing.

Hug Rug RRP 65x85cm - £45.99 65x150cm - £75

Celebration Wildflowers

Green Protect

A stunning celebration of bright & bold annuals. 100% wildflower seeds, no fillers – so expect amazing results. This colour-changing mix, not only captivates the garden enthusiast but also beckons our vital natural pollinators with its alluring colourful hues. Expect quick establishment, as these seeds typically flower in just eight weeks of sowing, & will remain eyecatching until first frosts arrive.

Green Protect (a Pelsis Group Brand) is an eco-conscious pest control range for the home and garden. Our broad range of chemical-free products are child and pet friendly. The range consists of indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse pest control solutions. Our brand promise is to constantly evolve by finding ways to be kinder to the environment, while keeping homes safe from pests.

Johnsons Lawn Seed RRP: £9.99

Pelsis Group

Organic Superfood Ideal for Peat-Free Compost

Octavia Planters

Award-winning Organic Superfood Ideal for PeatFree Compost is a powdered multi-action 6-in-1 booster that contains a complete package of nutrients for plants flourish in peat-free compost. Due to its organic NPK and other properties it results in up to 2 x crop yields and bigger brighter blooms! With a sustainable manufacturing process that reduces carbon footprint this feed will create happy plants and a happy planet.

Primeur’s new coloured planters are manufactured from enhanced quality recycled cellulose polymer. This polymer, created from recycled waste wood and paper, makes it easier to create colourful planters. The first launch includes trend-focused Eggshell, Ash, Clay, Oak, Shadow, and Balsam designs. As with all Primeur recycled rubber planters, every Octavia pot includes a water reservoir for optimum growth conditions.

ecofective® RRP - £6.99

Primeur Ltd Launch date – Spring 2024

December 2023 / January 2024 49

Sustainability Directory 2024

Harmony Gardens Multipurpose Compost with added John Innes The world’s only accredited carbon-neutral peatfree compost. Southern Trident’s premium blend incorporating coir, bark, and wood fibre with added loam and grit to produce the highest-performing growing media available to gardeners. All ingredients are responsibly sourced, and the coir has Soil Association Approved organic status. Harmony Garden - Where Innovation Meets Nature, Sustainably Southern Trident RRP £8.99

Eco-Essential Wellington Boots Wellies made from Wellies – New Wellington Boots made from recycled Wellington Boots for the ultimate in sustainable footwear. These Eco-friendly recycled Wellington boots for everyday walks and waterproof protection. These durable boots feature a shock absorbing heel and deep tread combined with flexibility for long, comfortable walks. Town & Country RRP: £19.99

50 December 2023 / January 2024

Melcourt SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose

The launch of Melcourt SylvaGrow followed over 20 years of practical R&D field and laboratory growing trials. SylvaGrow Multi-purpose is carefully formulated using 100% sustainable materials and is 100% peat-free. The product has won Garden Which ‘Best Buy’ seven times. It is also uniquely endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society and awarded by Royal Appointment. Melcourt Industries Ltd RRP 40 litre bag £8.99 inc VAT RRP 15 litre bag £4.99 inc VAT Telephone: 01666 502711 Website: Email:

Cultivate a Greener Tomorrow with a Vitavia Greenhouse Vitavia greenhouses are considered sustainable because aluminium is durable, corrosion resistant and recyclable. This gives the greenhouse longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacement and the recyclability lessens the environmental impact by promoting a circular economy. The aluminium frames are also energy efficient, providing a controlled environment for plant growth and less reliance on external resources. Not forgetting the overall lifestyle resources a greenhouse provides, allowing individuals to grow their own produce and become self-sufficient. For more information please visit; or email us

Fountasia launches Flamingo, a one stop shop concept for pet retailers. Fountasia, well known for its innovation, has partnered with Flamingo one of Europe’s leading supplier of pet products. Fountasia has carefully merchandised a comprehensive selection of pet products, ideal for garden centres and pet retailers. A unique one stop shop, presenting the best sellers, where orders can be placed to just one supplier, and effi fficiently fi streamlining the supply chain. Ask about the bespoke introductory off ffer f deals segregated by pet category, as they are the perfect way to start! Fountasia is starting with 850 best-selling products out of Flamingo’s 8500 pet product base, covering Dog, Cat, Small Animal & Domestic Bird categories. The local supply statistics are currently running at a very high service rate of 97% in stock order fulfilment.

Dog snacks, toys and accessories

Cat snacks, toys and accessories

Delicious snacks or dogs of all ages. Biscuits, Bones, Chewy Sticks, and Treats, Great for training and behaviour rewards. All the gear for walks, collars, leashes, coats, and accessories. Comfortable beds, and a constant supply of toys for a happy and healthy dog’s life!

Even the pickiest cat would pick Flamingo! New toys and treats every month to prevent boredom, impressive scratching posts, delicious, tasty snack menu, drink fountains and comfy places to rest. Everything a cat needs for comfort, health and fun!

Small animal supplies

Bird supplies

Accommodation designed with ideal play spaces for exercise and amusement, comfy bedding and healthy nibble snacks for good health and happiness.

Exclusive distributor for the UK and Ireland

Comfortable living for indoor birds from parakeet to parrot, from cage to aviary, with toy-treats, baths, and accessories. For garden birds, nest boxes, fourseasons food, and feeders.

For more information please email or call 01303 873311


Embracing sustainability

– the path to carbon neutrality tyy Gina Hinde, Marketing Manager, LOFA


n 2022 LOFA made a ground-breaking decision to strive for carbon neutrality at the SOLEX event and commit to this objective going forward. We teamed up with Planet Mark to start this sustainability initiative. The first step was collecting detailed data on carbon emissions from different sources such as buildings, travel, waste, water, and freight. By utilising the Data Quality Matrix in the Planet Mark Business Certification Scheme, we achieved a commendable score of 13 out of 16, showing our dedication to a greener SOLEX. To mitigate carbon emissions, we implemented a wide range of measures, thoroughly examining all aspects of the event. Simple actions such as turning off lights and electronics when not in use, as well as recycling initiatives that converted waste into energy, resulted in significant progress in reducing our carbon footprint. But our efforts didn’t stop there, we encouraged exhibitors to use environmentally friendly packaging and materials and requested that they and visitors consider eco-friendly transportation options. We also invested in a carbon offset scheme to balance the event’s unavoidable emissions. These schemes involve

52 December 2023 / January 2024

supporting projects focused on renewable energy or carbon removal. In 2022, we partnered with the RSPB to plant a tree for each visitor, successfully offsetting our carbon emissions and taking a significant step towards carbon neutrality. SOLEX has proven that even largescale events can become carbon neutral. By starting with small changes in areas that mattered most, we successfully implemented sustainable practices and partnered with carbon offset schemes to counter remaining emissions.

Leading the way Not only is SOLEX on the road to achieving carbon neutrality, but LOFA members too are leading the way. Among our 70 members, I have selected three great examples. LeisureGrow also embarked on a journey towards a sustainable future by partnering with Planet Mark. It has conducted a thorough audit of its operations, seeking opportunities to reduce waste, save energy, engage ecofriendly suppliers, and offset carbon usage. To date, it is has recycled over 30 million plastic bottles, incorporated recycled and sustainable materials into product

ranges, and even sourced ocean-bound plastic to combat microplastic pollution. In collaboration with Ecologi, LeisureGrow has also planted nearly 12,000 trees and supported 17 environmental projects, resulting in substantial carbon savings and the preservation of endangered rainforest through their partnership with Cool Earth. LifestyleGarden stands out as a dedicated member of LOFA, actively working towards sustainability. It takes complete control of its production and supply chain, focusing on enhancing its manufacturing processes. The DuraOcean® collection exemplifies its commitment to recycling marine waste plastics and aims to maintain a harmonious blend of high-quality products and sustainable production methods. Zest Outdoor Living prioritises sustainability at every level of its business, creating a completely eco-friendly working environment. It utilises biomass boilers, solar panels, and rainwater reusage systems to minimise their environmental impact. Efficient product delivery and packaging are also top priorities. It maximizes loading efficiency and minimises travel distance through smart route planning and adherence to DFMA principles. The company is committed to using FSC and PEFC materials and actively participates in planting schemes and wildlife habitat preservation. By 2024, Zest Outdoor Living aims to achieve 100% recycling and reusability of its packaging. These LOFA members exemplify unwavering commitment towards the environment, serving as inspiring role models in the pursuit of sustainability. All our members are passionately working towards creating a positive change in the world. They are committed to overcoming obstacles and advancing towards a more environmentally friendly future.

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Environmental horticulture’s milestones Alan Down, HTA President


s the frost settles in and we swiftly approach the festive season, I have reflected on recent developments that hold significance for our industry. The House of Lords recently unveiled the findings of a year-long special inquiry, emphasising the pivotal role of UK horticulture in meeting environmental targets. At the forefront of the recommendations lies our key request for increased collaboration across government departments, recognising the sector’s impact across policy areas. Our active involvement in the inquiry, marked by written submissions, in-person testimony, and coordinated industry visits, has earned the HTA and the broader environmental horticulture sector well-deserved acknowledgement in the report. It highlights our members’ voices and views, underscoring their invaluable contributions to the economy and the pursuit of a net-zero future. The report truly celebrates the value of horticulture, and now, we hope that government officials and policymakers wholeheartedly embrace the recommendations, ensuring the sector survives and thrives.

Successful Parliamentary drop-in The HTA Team at Horticulture House has continued to advocate tirelessly on our behalf. A recent successful drop-in showcase in Parliament, sponsored by Heather Wheeler MP, marked the

festive season and emphasised the significance of UK environmental horticulture. With over 50 MPs, Peers, and staff attending, positive conversations flourished regarding green spaces and the sector’s impact. During the showcase, our team highlighted the industry’s farreaching benefits, spanning the economy, trade, environment, health, and wellbeing. From Cornwall to Scotland, rural to urban areas, parliamentarians engaged first hand with our sector. Representatives from Johnsons Nurseries and Swarkestone Nursery and Garden Centre, providers of showcased plants, shared insights on how policymakers can best support the industry.

Reaching our customers Turning to more recent events, I had the pleasure of attending the Garden Media Guild Awards, where I proudly presented the award for Radio Broadcast or Podcast of the Year on behalf of the HTA. ‘Talking Gardens’ from Gardens Illustrated claimed the honour for its gentle yet informed interviewing style. It was a delightful event, offering a chance to reconnect with both old and new friends. Looking ahead to the coming year, I eagerly anticipate our annual Garden Press Event in partnership with GIMA at the Business Design Centre, London, on Tuesday, 20 February. Now in its 19th year, this event marks the beginning of the gardening year and has been the launch pad for many companies and products. If you wish to introduce new or familiar products, connect with journalists, broadcasters, writers, bloggers, vloggers, and network with key influencers, this event is a must-attend. At the time of writing this, a few stand spaces were still available, so be quick! Recently, I’ve had less opportunity to get out and about visiting members but I must mention one that impresses me every time I call in. This recent visit was to Holme for Gardens not far from Wareham in Dorset. It’s a medium sized family-owned business and typifies the majority of HTA members. Holme has excellent and inspirational garden retailing with a great catering offer too. But something that sets this business apart from others is the extensive garden at the back of the garden centre. If you find yourself in that part of the world, I’d strongly recommend a visit. At this time of the year the winter garden there is particularly attractive. Can I take this opportunity to wish you a successful and prosperous 2024.

Find out more

Alan enjoying the winter garden which is a colourful addition to Holme for Gardens, with owner Simon Goldsack.

54 December 2023 / January 2024

The Horticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’s leading membership organisation and welcomes all sectors of environmental horticulture. To learn more or join please visit: or email:

Spring Fair Preview

Spring Fair 2024

4th-7th February 2024 Sunday-Tuesday 9am-6pm Wednesday 9am-4pm Admission is free. Online preregistration is recommended. NEC Birmingham

Stay ahead of the curve

From big brands to artisan makers, Spring Fair 2024, the annual wholesale shopping destination, is the place to catch the latest trends in Home, Gift, Fashion and Everyday.


ith 13 product sectors, Spring Fair is the one-stop-shop for sourcing the newest products. During the first week in February, the halls at the NEC Birmingham will be home to more than 12,000 exhibitors and in excess of 100,000 new products enabling buyers to stock up on what will be the next best-sellers. The show-stopping line up is made of many garden centre retailer favourites like Kaemingk, Jellycat and Ivyline, but the sheer size of the show means there are plenty of new brands to discover. There’s also a raft of new experiences and activities such as free tea

and coffee for all visitors, cloakrooms, more seating areas and buyer concierge information points around the show. Buyers are also invited to Sip & Shop Happy Hours offering bubbles, music and networking at six locations from 4.30-5.30pm Sunday to Tuesday. “Spring Fair 2024 is all about creating a seamless buying experience that brings maximum delight and efficiency. A one-step registration for buyers ensures a more personalised and efficient experience pre-show and our new information points offer quick resolutions to buyer’s queries during the show,” says Soraya Gadelrab, Event Director. Three new features will elevate the show experience and bring the retail community together. • Inspiring Retail Stage - where fashion meets insights from leading industry experts. • Trend Talks - the place to discover the latest retail trends and product innovations. • Masterclass Studio – where agencies and consultants present their expertise in TED-style talks on an array of topics, from new social media skills, buying best practice, radical retail technology and conscious consumerism.

December 2023 / January 2024 55

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