GTN January 2023 - Garden Trade News UK

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CHRISTMAS SPARKLE The Greatest Christmas Awards SPRING FAIR Inspiration for your gift buying Advice &information for garden centreprofessionals SCOTTSOFSOUTHEND GTNvisits anew centre
GTNInterview with the new GCA CEO JANUARY2023 Asad endtoa challenging year GTNs pictorial review of 2022

Unfortunately,2023will startaslastyear with attendanceatmemorialservicesfor industryfriends who were taken from us over theChristmasperiod. Paul Cooling died following astrokeonBoxing Day andAlastair Jackson succumbedtocancer between Christmas and NewYear. Then news reachedusthat one of theoriginal garden centre pioneers,David Rayner, thefounderofScotsdales, died peacefully in his sleep at theage of 94 in earlyJanuary.On behalf of allour readerswesendour warmest thoughts to their families and work colleagues.

BackinJanuary 2022 we predicted if we had afine andmild spring, then salescould grow by as muchas10% andifthe weathergoesagainst being outsideinthe garden thengrowth may be as lowas2%. What we didn’tsee coming at that time was the war in Ukraine and theensuing hikes in energy prices andrampant inflation.

In theend theGTN BestsellersAll Products VolumeSalesindexfinished the year down 3.4% on 2021,with plant sales volumes down by 10%. Veg2Gro products were one area thatsaw an

increase year on year,upby2%. Christmas sales volumes forthe Top50Bestsellinglines were 1.8% down on 2021,betterthan some anticipated,and we’vehad many reportsofrecorddays in garden centrerestaurant and coffee shopssothereisa hint of optimism for 2023. We do really need a mild and early Spring though!

As thisissue goes to pressGTN’sintrepid team of Christmas Awards judges were meeting to review the results from their visits to almost 100gardencentres to meet the teams nominated in The Greatest ChristmasAwards. With thehighestnumberof entries ever judgedinour Christmas Awards the judges hadfierce debate aboutwho should be the winners, the teamwork and resultant standards of Christmasretailing were trulyexceptional this year

Aftersome extravideo sessions between thejudges the resultswillbeannounced and certificates awardedonthe Inspiring Retail Stage, Hall6 at Spring Fair on Monday 6th February,starting at 5:00pm. Therewillbesome refreshments available, so please do join us We look forwardtomeetingyou all.


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4 PeterBurks back at the GCA –Interview with the newCEO 8 2022 in pictures –Alook back at achallenging year 13 Gone but not forgotten –people we lost in 2022 14 Agreat year for Greenfingers 16 Christmas Sparkle –Inspiration from The Greatest Christmas Awards judging visits 20 Introducing Clever Pots 21 One to Watch–GTN visits anew centreinSouthend 25 Spring Fair 2023Preview 29 Opportunity in 2023 -HTA Column 30 Ahealthy relationship with government –ORHGColumn AdvertisersinthisIssue 2 Woodmansterne 7 STVInternational 15 SmartGarden Products 18 PATS 19 Kaemingk 24 Daro–LOFAMember Profile 32 Solex 2023 January2023 3 Bring on a brighter 2023 In this issue...
any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the expresspermission of the publishers. The information supplied in this publication is published in good faith and everyefforthas been made to ensure its accuracy.Potting Shed PressLtd cannot acceptresponsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligenceorother damage caused by relianceoninformation contained in this publication or in the vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company,individual or firmmentioned, is herebyexcluded.

Full steam ahead

Within just afew weeks of becoming the Garden CentreAssociation’s Chief Executive, GTNtalks to Peter Burks about his ambitions and plans for the association and its members.

With horticultureinhis family’s background, a degree in horticultureand more than 40 years working in garden centres, PeterBurks has the perfect experiencefrombuying, supplying and growing, to take the helm of the GCA. He also knows the association well from being amember of its executivecommittee in the early 2000s and its chairman from 2013-2014

Peter’sfirst involvement wasthrough his parents who produced organic field grownvegetables and movedinto protected crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers. From herethe shift to growing ornamentals wasrelatively seamless.

After adegreegained from the University of Bath, Peterworked with various growers in the UK and Holland, and other companies in the industry. In his garden centrecareer he has manged Sanders Garden World in Somerset; been a Regional Manager of The Garden CentreGroup (formerly andlatterly WyevaleGarden Centres); been General Manager TrelawneyGardenLeisureinCornwall and Somerset and Manager of Fermoy’sGarden Centre, Devon, when it first became partofthe Blue Diamond Group

Moving forwards

Although it’sstill very early days, Peterhas already earmarked some improvements, and communication is high on the list. Thereare severalstrands to this including carrying out morepersonal visits to members from the GCA management and upping the relationshipwithin the

industry. “Within the organisation it’salso important to communicatewhat the GCA is doing with the rest of the industry. We need to improve with our liaison with the HTA and other organisations as we have the retail viewpoint to put forward,” he says.

Then thereisbeing better at tellingretailers about the benefits of being partofthe GCA which will hopefully lead to recruiting morecentres. “Having 200 GCA members is good but there’sanawful lot of other garden centres, around 2000,thataren’tmembers.”

Anotherstrand is talking to consumersand telling them what to expectofa garden centre thatispartof theassociation. “Weliketo thinkwithinthe GCA that our members areamongst the best garden centresinthe industry,”saysPeter,addingthatconsumersneedtobeable to identify aGCA memberand understand whyit’sagood idea to choose to visit aGCA garden centre. Theinspections areagood case in point. To be able to retain membership, each centremust reachthe high standards which are inspectedyearly.“Otherwise theyare out,”saysPeter

Benefits of membership

Peterhas no doubt in his mind that one of thegreatest advantagesofbeing aGCA memberisbeing part of an organisation where youcan get support.“If youhavea problem or newidea, there’ssomebodyyou can talk to whowouldcertainlygiveyou advice. Evenifit’sa day-today sort of thingyou can pickupthe phone.”

4 January2023 Interview
..within the GCAyou are partofanorganisation whichis willing to shareinformation and sharewhat they know
PeterBurks, the new CEOofthe GCA.

Forindependentsparticularlythere is agreat deal to be gained from GCA information abouthow members aredoing.“Youcan seewhenit’sbeenabad week in the north and agoodweek in thesouthbecausebeing within the GCA youare partofanorganisation whichiswilling to shareinformation and sharewhattheyknow.”

This camaraderie is reallyimportant, believesPeter Evengroupscan reap benefits. “Ifthey’re very successful theymay think‘whydoweneed to be involvedwith anything else?’ If timesare supposedtobegetting harder that’sthe timewhen being involved in an organization givesyou that extrabit of strength.”

Inspectionsand staff recruitment

To enable GCAinspections to move withthe times, Peter is alsogoing to review the process. Onereasonfor this is therise in thepopularity of food halls andcatering. “BeforeChristmas, thetrade in restaurantswas off the scale compared to what it usuallyis. People,ifthey’re goingout, seem willingtospend moneyonfood.Bythe time we getround to the peak gardeningseason will customersstillbehappytospend money on gardening or will things like food take more of aprecedence? So will we need to givea higher prioritytofood and catering?” questionsPeter

Anotherareabeing given more weight is sustainability and for

the first time, the GCA will present asustainability and environmental champion awardattheir conference in January2023.

Peterwillalsobelookingatwaysfor smallerbusiness to join the GCA. Currentlycentresneed a50% or more scorefromthe inspection audittobecome afull member but if they don’thavecertain categories becauseof space,theycan’treach thatfigure.

Another angle couldbeworking with smallersites to help them improve by gettingideas andsupportby visiting similar centresacrossthe UK

Thisleads Peterontotalk about recruitment which has been particularly difficult forgarden centres, especiallyfor theirrestaurants and coffee shops.But he says thebenefits of working in garden centre cateringcompared to other hospitality settingsisthe favourable daytimeonlyworking hours. If this,and datatoshowthe strength and financial value of garden centre catering,was communicated it might helpinrecruiting more hospitality staff

Also, the continued problem of attractingyounger peopleintothe industryremains. “Wehavean opportunity at themomentthrough houseplantswhichis agrowing category, much of whichisdrivenbyyounger people buying them.”

On topofthese, Peterisalso lookingatthe training offered by theGCA to make sure its modulesdevelop in line with theevolution of the garden centreindustry. “Weneed to makesurewecan offer the legal training modulessuchasenvironmental health in restaurants, so ourmembers don’t needtogoelsewherefor their trainingneeds.” He alsosaysthe GCA Grow horticultural modules areentrylevel at the momentsomoving these on to become more challenging is essential.

Peter’slastmessagefocuses on thefutureofgarden centreretailing.“If you’re good at what you’re doing, there’sdefinitely afuture. The skillisalways being engagedwith your localcommunity. This is thesame for anybusiness, whether you’re abutcher or agarden centre, if you’re engaged with your local community,then youare going to be perfectlyokayand shoulddowell

6 January2023 Interview
Houseplants could be an area which will attract younger people intothe industry. From Peter’sgarden centredays.
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Alook back

at some garden centrehighlights from GTNduring 2022

Last year had its ups and downs and came with exceptional challenges but true to form, everyone in the garden centreindustry went above and beyond to makeitamemorable year.

8 January2023 2022 in pictures
JanuaryWe said goodbye to the original gardening superhero, PeterSeabrook. He died on 14 January 2022 and tributes flooded in from across the gardening retail sector Right: In the GCAAwards, TheOld Railway Line Garden Centrewas announced as Garden Centreof the Year 2021 and, forthe 9thtime, BartonGrange took the title of Destination Centreofthe Year

March April

Farright: Thefutureofthe Coolings garden centres and nurserybusiness was secured with the setting up of an employment ownership trust. LedbyPaul Cooling its completion wasmarked by a special event at theHouse of Commons.

January2023 9 2022 in pictures
Right: Spotlight on the latest gardening trends exhibited at the Garden Press Event. Above:Gardencentres turn their thoughts to offering electric car charging points to up their game on sustainability Right: Retailersacross the country, including Ayletts Nurseries in St Albans sharetheir progress switching to selling peat-free media. Garden centres, including Bents Garden &Home, celebrated winning awards recognising the strength of their teams in The Greatest Christmas Awards run by GTN. Below: 2022 marked the 10th year of the Cultivation Street initiativesupporting schools and communities.









2022 in pictures 10 January2023
Right: Gardening trends kicked offatChelsea, the PeterSeabrook tributegarden is asuccess and HM Queen Elizabeth enjoys what wastobe her last visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Garden centreownersget together to discuss howbest to make peat-freemedia work foreveryone. It’sall about plants at the HTANational Plant Showwith the mildew-resistant double flowered bizzylizzy winning topspotinthe show’sNew Plant Awards plastic furnitureisnow the norm at spoga+gafa. 21 yearsoftrading andwith 20 stores, CherryLane becomes the UK’s fifth biggest gardening group. Garden centres step up to the mark to help Ukraine bycollecting and donating vital supplies, holding special eventsand fundraising foran ambulance.









At January2023 11
Right: At SOLEX the newoutdoor barbeque area wasahit and sustainable furniturewas in demand. Showorganiser LOFA also raised £7000 forplanting trees at RSPB Haweswater in the LakeDistrict. Below: Ball’sliving plant catalogue helps retailers plan ahead with newvarieties and displayideas. ve: Landscape designer Mark Gregorywas one of the kers at the HTAconferenceonthe challenges and ortunities forgarden retailing and horticulturein2023. w:Evergreen Garden Care’sMark Portman took up the enge of working foraday at Camden Garden Centre its annual summer trials event,MrFothergill’ssays usiness as usual following its £100m+ buy out Landscape Mark Gregory was one speakers at HTA conference on the and opportunities for garden and horticulture in 2023 E en Car s Mark took up challenge of for a day at Camden Garden Centre summer event, Mr Fothergill’s says its business as its £100m+ out Left: Boyd Douglas-Davies publishes his last column as HTAPresident and amonth later his first as Chair of the Ornamental HorticultureRoundtable Group Ian Flounders, from Woodlodge Products, was honoured to meet His Majesty King Charles while in the queue to pay his respects to the lateQueen Elizabeth. Judges forthe Glee NewProductAwardsshare their toptipsand Westland celebrates the overallBestNew Product at Glee 2022 with its FloproCan-Can






2022 in pictures
Above:Judges forGTN’sGreatest Christmas Awards hit the road andvisit 100 garden centres including Summerhill in Essex which blended Christmas with the WorldCup Right above:Interviewwith Graeme Jenkins at the opening of Dobbies new flagship storeinTewkesbury.
12 January2023
ChoiceMarketing,now with morethan 300 members, celebrates 20 years. Below: Westland has a landslide victoryatthe GIMAAwardswinning eight categories and the Sword of Excellencewhile Meadow View Stone is the GCA Supplier of the Year forthe second time. Left:Alan Roperspoke to GTN about Blue Diamond’sacquistion of the three VanHagestoreswhich brings the group to 45 centres. and judges of the GCA Westland Rising Starsprogramme with projects to step up sustainability. Diamond’s acquistion of the ee Van Hage stores which the Finalists and of the GCA Westland Stars programme

Gone, but not forgotten

Sadly,across the pages of GTNand GTNXtrain2022 we reported on thepassing of morepersonalities from the industry in one year than we can ever remember.Our thoughts and warm wishes go to all the families involved and we cherish the memories and legacy they leave behind.

January2023 13 2022inpictures
David Rayner 1929 -2023
Cooling 1964
Jackson 1970 -2022
Alastair Ian Boardman 1956 -2022 Brian Evans1944-
1928 -2022
Brian Knight Gavin Cooper 1967- 2022

Agreat year for Greenfingers


2022 in pictures
14 January2023
Right: Floral ThursdayatGlee breaks anew record with the highest number of visitorsand exhibitors donning floweryattireand raising£3500. Below: Graf UK wins the annual GIMACharity Golf Day. Garden centres uniteonGarden Re-Leaf Day with fundraising and challenges. Greenfingersopens its 62nd garden at Ty HafanChildren’s Hospicenear Cardiff. At the GIMAAwards the charity recieves acheque for£10,000 raised at the GIMA Charity Golf Day2022.
Fill your home with coordinating Christmas goodies! LINKED SALESGA L !ERO Book a visittoour custom Christmas showroom! 59 DAZZLING new Lighting Products 52 FESTIVE new Wreaths & Garlands 24 DELICIOUS new CandyCane Plush & Tree Décor BRANDNEW CHRISTMAS Over 300 newproducts for2023! Gingerbread | Gonks | Nutcracker | Candy Contactyour Sales Managertodaytovisit our customChristmas Showroom!

Flashes of inspiration and sparkle

Ahead of revealing the GTN Greatest Christmas Team winners at next month’s Spring Fair,the judges sharesome of the clever and original ideas that impressed during the judging process.

16 January2023 Christmas 2022
1 2 3 4

1. Theteam at Summerhill Garden Centre, Essex used plywood and tinsel toodisguise an ugly glasshouse upright and turned it intoa giant candy cane.

2. Home-made fresh wreathes displayednext to the Christmas trees at Perrywood Sudbury, Suffolk, attract customersfromyear to year

3. ANerfgun game, dressing up and an activity sheet add to the enjoyment of the space-themed grottoatCoolings LifestlyeinKent.

4. Eventhough the grottoatRuxley Manor Garden Centre, Kent has five Santa’s, acctv system ensures that an individual family can enter and exit without seeing anyother visitorshelping to strengthen the magic that thereisonly one Father Christmas

5. Amemberofstaffdressed as a mischievous elf keepscustomers, especially children, entertained as theyshop at Woodlands Garden Centre, Kent.

6. If Disneydid Christmas garden centreretailing it could certainly look to Pugh’s Garden Village Radyr, Cardiff, forideas

7. Good use of ceiling spaceat BGC Woodthorpe, Lincolnshire made forstriking displays and enhanced the Christmas department atmosphere.

8. Theteam at Caerphilly Garden Centre, Cardiffgot creativeand made parceland drum plinths.

9. At BritishGarden Centre Arcadia, Cleveland backing slats and peg boards were painted to enhancedisplays of baubles and decorations.

January2023 17 Christmas 2022
5 6 7 8 9
18 January2023 Christmas 2022 Wherethe pet industry meet to do business SANDOWN 26-27 March 2023 Register for FREE entry Simply visit Or for more information call 01892 862848 The UK’s SPRING PetIndustry Event FREE ENTRY&PARKING MAJOR BRANDS &EXHIBITORS 100’S OF NEW LAUNCHES THOUSANDS OF PRODUCTS 10. Selfie points wereinevidencethroughout SapcoteGarden Centre, Leicestershire. 11 Harking back to the past, Wentworth Garden Centre, South Yorkshire, sold its poinsettia in paper sleeveswhich is better for the environment and forthe plants. 12. To encourage repeat visits atoken for£5was given with every Christmas tree purchase to be redeemed in JanuaryatLongacres, Bagshot, Surrey 13 Castle Gardens in Dorset, partofThe Gardens Group,was strong on its sustainability and ethical ethos and and used simple but effectivesignage to communicatethistoits customers. 10 11 12 13

14. Thecreativeteam at Dobbies Livingstone enhanced their displays with clear storage cubes filled with baubles of coordinating colours. 15 Perrywood Tiptree, Essex, was offering the services of apersonal Christmas shopper 16. Every inch of spaceisused to great effect at Silver Birch Garden CentreinSouth Lanarkshire.

17. A small Christmas tree in a2L pots wasmerchandised as ‘MyFirst Christmas Tree,’byBlueDiamond, Newbridge, West Sussex.

18 Throughout the shop floor at Gates Garden Centre, Leicestershire, trees weredecorated with gifts and essentials forgardeners.

January2023 19 Christmas 2022 CELEBRATETHE FESTIVE SEASON NECSpringFair 5–8February Hall6+ 7| Stand 6A50-B51 Christmas lighting to brighten up your home. Create ambienceinyour home with our Christmas trees. Christmas decorations to create amagical Christmas. VISITOUR (DIGITAL)SHOWROOM Makeyour (digital) appointmentnow! Contact us via or contactyour sales representative 14 16
17 18 15

Introducing CleverPots

Clever Pots exists to makegrowing in pots easier for novice and experienced gardeners alike. Their awardwinning, team of in-house designers work closely with gardeners to create unique products with intuitively designed features and accessories that solve gardening problems and makejobs easier.

CleverPots provides gardenerswith alow-stress, innovativesolution to grow plants, fruit and vegetables, no matterthe size of their outdoor space.Each gardenpot andaccessoryhas been carefully andintuitively designed,with featuresand accessories that makegrowing easierand plants happier

Products include Clever Pots bestselling pots and troughs thatcan be mixed and matched with arange of clever accessories, including complementarytrays, wheelsfor easymovement whenplanted, hydroballs andreservoir forself-watering,convenient hanging solutions, cane supports, andpot feet. Additionally, the range of Decorative Pots (available incharcoal, sageand orchid) are designedtobemaximisespaceinsmall spaces, courtyards andbalconies

Additionally, theCleverPots offering includes the awardwinning Easy Release

Pots,the highly innovative designenables growth andremoval of seedlingsand young plants without damagetoroots. Grow Pots and Propagation completethe offering

CleverPots sales supportand POS for retailers

TheCleverPots point of sale toolboxis constantly expanding.Currently,the team offerstailored 3D renders, andone-tofour metre mock-up designs. Additionally, retailers can draw from extensiveproduct imagery, video content, webbanners anda comprehensiveelevatorpitch document Soon to come will be branded POSkits.

See CleverPots at Spring Fair and Glee

Jointhe CleverPots team at the forthcoming SpringFair exhibition (5th –8th February,NEC

Birmingham) –Hall8,stand D60 –where the full range of clevergardening pots and accessorieswill be on display ahead of the core gardening season

Later in the year,the team will also be making areturntothe Glee exhibition (27th– 29thJune, NECBirmingham) where an exciting newchapterfor thebrand will be revealed.

Further details about cleverpots can be found at: LinkedIn kin-brands-ltd Facebook cleverpots

Instagram @clever_pots Twitter @cleverpots

20 January2023 Promotion

One to watch

The New Year is traditionally a time for predictions and one we can be sure of is that Scott’s of Southend, which has been open for less than two years, has an exciting future ahead.

Just a couple of miles from Southend Airport is a new garden centre, Scott’sof Southend, which opened in May 2021 during an uncertain climate Despite this, the business has gone from strength-tostrength riding on thewaveof themillionsof people attracted to gardening as a hobby through the covid pandemic This upward trend continues as more exciting plans for expansion are in the pipeline helping to make Scott’s of Southend an asset within the region and a horticultural hub for the local gardening community

The new garden centre continues the site’s long horticultural history.For the previous three decades it was a wholesale nursery producing bedding, shrubs and trees, but when Scott Bird, owner of the EAF Group Ltd, was looking for premises to expand his animal feeds business hecould see the11acresite had potential He bought it in 2018 “The site was certainly bigger than I wanted but Icould see Icould do something with it.”

Scott Bird

The first few years were taken up with securing planning permissions and shaping thesiteso it was suitable for retailing By March 2020 Alan Marsh, Shop Manager, had come on board bringing valuable experience from his years working at nearby Thurrock Garden Centre Timing, however, was against them Progress was hampered because of lockdown but with glasshouse space made watertight thanks to a new roof, they were able to welcome the first customers in May 2021 From then on the pace has been rapid with office space and a table service restaurant opening just sevenmonths later bringing the garden centre to 4300sqm

Attracting customers

Being anew centre meant thecustomer base had to be built up from zero Darren Franks, Head of Operations, sayswordofmouth and social media have been vital in spreadingnews the gardencentre had opened

January2023 21 Interview


“It’sreallyexciting.Wetalk about growing our following and if youlook at our social media it’s amazing howpositivethe feedback is.

“Wenow haveahuge and loyal followingand Iwant to retainthatloyalty.Wehaveanexisting gardeningclub and haven’treallytapped into itspotential, butI want to expand it with an onlineapp and special offers exclusive to gardenclubmemberstorewardtheir loyalty.”

Events haveprovedenormously popular and more

areplanned for 2023 as away to bringinpeople who arecurious or might not otherwise visit agarden centre. Alan Marsh says: “We’ve nowheldour second Halloween eventand in 2022 we sold 10,000 pumpkins from our Pumpkin Barn.”Theywereall onevariety and talks with alocal growerhavealready taken placetosecurearange of colours and sizes for 2023 Halloween-themed afternoon teawas an added attraction in October which also contributedtoa doubling of overall sales that month.

Christmas in 2021 was arelatively quiet affair but in 2022 the garden centre uppedits game with an ambitious 45 stall indoor Victorian Market. Created by the team it wasaresounding success with takings up morethan 80% boosted by Christmas lunches and afternoon teas Says Alan: “Wevisited afew garden centresnear to us to look at Christmas displays and heads were spinning at the thought of all we coulddohere. The potential is massive.”

Darren is also looking at expanding product lines. “Werecentlystarted to offer food lines and this has been really successful and we areexpanding fashion and houseplants,”hesays. “I understand concessions work for alot of garden centres but we aregoing to stick with doing things ourselves so we have control of what we offer our customers.”Darren explains he sees Scott’sofSouthend as having an independent offering and, likethe table servicerestaurant and Victorian Christmas Market, has scope to offer apoint of difference. “Wewant to be more local, morefriendly and moreinteractivewith our customers,”hesays.

22 January2023 Interview
Therange of gifting and toys continues to expand to fit the demographic of young families and with the geography of the site being just less than three miles from the coast. of equestrian supplies offeranother point of difference.
...heads werespinning at the thought of allwecould do here...

Overall, the businesshas grownby50% in 2022 compared with 2021 but this is due to the novelty of it being anew centre. Iamveryexcited about the journeyweare on with the garden centre, we have lots of plans, some of which arelong term which we hope to completeby2025. We areintroducing newevents to the timetable such as our Easter farm event, great newproduct lines and our exciting newFood Hall area.”“Webeenbrave this year,” says Alan, “but in 2023 we can be braver still.”

January2023 23 Interview
Alan Marsh brings his experiencetothe plantaria. Queen Victoria and Prince Alberthelped to celebrate the official opening of the Scott’sofSouthend Victorian Christmas Market with local mayor, Scott Birdand membersofthe garden centreteam.

Daroare celebrating their 50th anniversary this year,akey milestone for the indoor and outdoor rattan specialists. The family business began with atraditional market stall set up of traditional rush matting and rattan home accessories and has gone from strength to strength to become one of the UK’s leading names in woven furniture.

With over 20 Indoor range and 20 Outdoor ranges, thereissomething for everyone to choose from in their portfolio. Most of the collection is available to order as individual pieces allowing the consumer to bespoke to their own requirements. Indoor orders aretypically 3-4 weeks for delivery and outdoor can be supplied ex-works up to Direct containers. All Daroframes aremanufactured in

Indonesia using highly skilled workers and top-quality materials.

UK Soft Furnishing Division

All cushions and soft furnishings are made to order and manufactured in their own cushion manufacturing facility; ensuring customers and consumers have achoice of quality EU sourced fabrics, reliability in manufacturing, and confidence that products have been made to UK standards. Apopular cushion replacement service ensures consumers can update their cushioning later without the need to replace their frames.

Extensive Fabric Choice

Awide choice of quality fabrics is available with 30 outdoor fabrics and 60 indoor fabrics, including designs from the popular Laura Ashley collection. All outdoor performance fabrics conform to LOFAAssured and British FireSafety (BFS) standards.

To complement Daro’sfurniture, an array of soft furnishing products including scatter cushions, floor cushions and footstools areavailable for the home and Garden.

Laura Ashley Rattan Furniture Collection

In collaboration with Daro, an exclusive Laura Ashley Rattan, Cane and Teak FurnitureCollection has been created, featuring 7outdoor and 5indoor ranges, available throughout the Darostockist network. The iconic brand celebrates their 70th Anniversary this year and to mark the occasion acollection of anniversary fabrics will be available across all ranges, including the Darofurniture collection.

For further information about Daroortoenquireabout becoming aDarostockist, please email quoting GTN or call 01604 758989. Daroand Laura Ashley Ranges can be explored ontheir website

Home, gifting and fashion

under oneroof at Spring Fair

Thousands of exhibitors bring fresh ideas and innovation to boost this important category in garden retailing.

Februarymeans it’stime for the Spring Fair.This one-stop ‘shop for shops’ encompasses 14 sectors of the home, gifting and fashion market acrosseight halls at the NECBirmingham presenting awealth of interest and products to garden retailer buyers.

Established companies bring moreofthe products garden centre customers love while newbrands introducetempting ideas to keep displays fresh and inspirational.

Debuts at Spring Fair

The cleverpots range, from propagation to plant careand decorativepots to ‘sow and grow’kitsallows so home gardeners can enjoy plants no matter the sizeoftheir outdoor growing space. From growing vertically in acourtyard, adding splashes of colour to balconies or creating aherb palaceona windowsill, products offer the perfect solution. Colours won’tfade as theyare made from 20-60% recycled and UV stable material while inbuilt reservoirs helpsovercome the common gardening pitfall of overwatering giving consumers the chancetobuild theirconfidence and success with home growing

Another newcomer to Spring Fair is Wikholm Form, one of Scandinavia’sleading wholesalers. It brings its comprehensiverange of decorations, furniture, basketwareand accessories made from ceramic, glass, wood, metal, leather and textiles.

January2023 25 Spring Fair 2023 preview
Clever pots live up to their name DCUK brings a Dickensian twist to its newrange

Youare cordially invited to the presentations of GTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards for Christmas


Monday 6th February 2023

The Inspiring Retail Stage, Hall 6atSpringFair starting at 5:00pm.

Refreshments will be provided, please come early.

Come along and meet the teams who made Christmas so great for garden centres in 2022. The winners havebeenchosen from personal visits by the GTNjudges to almost 100 garden centres during November and December.It’s atruecelebration of all that is great about Christmas and garden centres. See youthere!

Modern rustic from Burgon &Ball

Burgon &Ball is tapping intothe modern rustic trend with newgalvanised steel gardening accessories to its Sophie Conran. Newtoo is aheartshaped trowelinmirror-polished stainlesssteel.

DCUK pays homage to Charles Dickens This year at Spring Fair DCUK is celebrating aDuckensian Christmas in honour of the great writer Charles Dickens. Evergreen garlands, lavish gold trimmings and, most of all, aspirit of goodwill to all friends and friends-tobe will be exude from DCUK’s stand.

Atreat through the post Arisingstarinthe gifting industry is LetterboxLove which hascollaborated on aseededcardand bracelet rangewith wholesaler RichardLang&Sons. Both based in Derbyshire,theiroffer bringsa sustainablegifting solution combining the much-lovedartwork from RichardLang and best-selling braceletsbyLetterbox Love

Customers receivingthe giftcan nowplant the seeded cardwhich is embedded with wildflowerseeds and treasurethe bracelet.

receiving the gift can now plant

Brushes with history

Redecker UK will be exhibiting its extensive selection of traditional and modern brushes plus wooden articles for the home. Manufacturing since1935,all Redecker UK’s products are beautifully designed fusing functionality with natural and sustainable materials.

26 January2023 Spring Fair 2023 preview
Newproducts from established names GTN’sGreatest Christmas Awards aresponsored by:

Encouraging novicegardeners

One of the largest European suppliers of seed for the home gardener,Mr Fothergill’s, will be promoting its seed ranges with aparticular focus on RHS FlowerMixes. Aimed at novicegardeners these easy to grow flowermixes in six themes will also appeal to those looking for an economic and efficient way to fill flower beds and borders with season long colour Endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, each cartonwillcover up to 20 squaremetres. Seed is diluted with natural buckwheat husks to aid broadcast sowing

Good ideas come from IF Clevergiftand gadgets from reading glasses through to book lights and stationerywillbeexhibited by IF which distributes its original and creativeranges to giftand book retailers. As well as product, IF offers merchandising ideas, compliance, stock holding and EDI.


from Ling Design

One of the UK’s longest-established publishers, Ling Design will launch its newrange forChristmas 2023 encompassing morethan 400 Christmas boxes, single cards, advent calendarsand charity packs. Therewill also be the chanceto see, forthe first time, spring collections from PennyKennedy giftpackaging,and collaborations with licenses such as William Morris, Emma Bridgewaterand SaraMiller.

Stationerythat’sgood enough to eat

VENT for Change combines beautifully designed stationerywith impeccable eco credentials. Made entirely from recycled, reclaimed and sustainable materials the ranges offer an ethical purchasing alternativeand supportchildren’s education projects. Newfor 2023 is the Recycled SUCSEED Notebook Collection with covers made from reclaimed cherry, kiwi, coffee or lavender waste andrecycled boardproduced with 100% green energy

WildflowerTubes launched


The new, beautifully illustrated Seedball Tubeseachfeatureansingle wildflowervariety and contain 20 seed balls, packed full of nativeseeds, perfect for creating ahabitat and food source for garden wildlife. The selection of poppies, cornflowers, oxeye daisies, redcampion and forgetme-nots can all be growninflower beds, pots and windowboxes, making agreat gift foranyone, no matter what the sizeoftheir garden

January2023 27
by collections

Great British CardCompany looks ahead to Christmas 2023

The Great British CardCompany is launching its biggest ever Christmas boxed, singles and charity pack range plus 140 newoccasions and relationscards. Alongside will be the much-loveddesign collection of Paper House, the high artof Medici Cards, contemporarystyle of The Almanac Galleryplus newofficial William Morris stationery.

Sustainable focus for Ivyline and fresh launches for spring Ivyline will unveil aseries of new collections for spring/summer 2023,its Christmas 2023/4 lines and anew lifestyle gardening collection. Sustainability remains at the heartofthe Ivyline offering which has movedthe majority of its production away from the FarEasttoEurope and it continues to reduceits relianceonplastic.

The fresh 2023 range has a strong focus on planters and vases to help retailers capitalise on the ongoing houseplant boom. The collection has six concepts -Nature’s Stories, Purity,Coastal, Curiosity, Global Journeys and Japandi, and incorporatebespoke designs for orchids and cacti planters.


The Inspiring Retail Stage

Afull line up of seminars takes placeonThe Inspiring Retail Stage in Hall 6with industry specialists and rising stars sharing market intelligence, insight and valuable take-away ideas. Highlights include in conversation with retail entrepreneur and tv Dragon, Theo Pahpitis, and atrend update for2024from Trend Bible’sKateUsher

The Sustainability Trail

Look out for specific icons indicating that exhibitors aretaking steps to improve sustainability in packaging design, product manufacture, and benefits to the environment



Acatwalk wherethe latest fashion collections come to life.

NewProduct Showcase

Located in Hall 4it’sthe placetosee new introductions and innovations in one place.

Design First

Aspacededicated to newbrands exhibiting for the first time at Spring Fair.Look out for FoxUnder theMoon, Nzuri Trading,Dunked, and Loyal Candles.

3D advent calendar from Woodmansterne Cardigans, abuying group for the greeting cardand gift sector,ishosting Woodmansterne on its Spring Fair stand this year.Woodmansterne will be displaying Caltime, its 3D advent calendars with beautiful newillustrations guaranteed to appeal to gardeners. Another new range is aChristmas wreath design, the sales of which will raise moneyfor the Greenfingers Charity Spring

28 January2023 Spring Fair 2023 preview
Fair 5-8February2023.
Halls 1-8
showguide with visitor list and map is available upon arrival.
showisdivided up into bite-size, easy to navigatesections.
Beauty &Wellbeing
Christmas, Floral &Seasonal Decorations
Greetings &Stationary
Kids, Toys &Play
Home, Living &Décor
The Summerhouse
Fashion &Accessories
one of the manynew ranges coming from Ivyline at Spring Fair

What defines 2022 for you? Thewar in Ukraine? The sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen? Soaring energy costs? Three British Prime Ministers in as many months? The hottest recorded UK summer? These arejust afew of themomentous events and experiences of the last year, all of which haveimpacted or raised questions for HTAmembers. December 2022 marked my first 100-days as HTAPresident, and in that time Ihaveheardfirst-hand of the unpredictability of trading,costs and business operations. We await the year-end market update, but anecdotally and unsurprisingly,the December cold snap and rising energy costs directly impacted consumer spending

Getting out and about

Despitehugechallenges in recent weeksHTA members haveshown me optimism, confidence andunfaltering commitment to our industry. At the endof November,Ivisited acoupleofHTA membersinSouth Wales while Iwas attending theNuffieldFarming Scholarships Trust AnnualConference. At CaerphillyGarden Centre Imet the team as they were waitingfor theirfirst deliveryofChristmas trees. At Pugh’s Garden Village,Radyr Iwas welcomedbyits Director andregionalHTA Council member Nicola Harding.This centre

was buzzing with Christmas products and treeswerejust beginning to sell. We discussed the importance of special shoppingevents andeffectiveuse of social mediachannels

Incidentallythe Cardiff-hosted Nuffield Scholarships Trust Conferencewas,asever, inspiring. This travel andstudy awardtends to be overlooked by our sector but offers thoseinseniorpositionsfromfarming,food, horticulture, forestryorany countryside and ancillaryindustriesthe opportunitytostepawayfromtheir businesses for8-10weeks to study asubject of choiceand in depth.

The returnofthe annual Garden Media Guilds awards in thesplendid surroundingsofLondon’sSavoy Hotel wasa highlightofrecentweeks. HTA sponsored the best RadioBroadcast or Podcast of theYear andIhad thepleasure of giving thisawardwith TomLeonard-aka theDragQueen Gardener –toBBC Northern Ireland‘sGardeners’Corner programmeonthe remarkable lifeofplantsman William Robinson. Robinson is creditedwith being theinstigator of wildlife gardening –it’swell wortha listen. The Garden Media Guild may also be able to help you. It hasmorethan 400 members from photographers to writers with manyworking on afreelance basis.It’sworth lookingupthose localtoyou should youneedhelp updatingcontent for your websites or othersocialmedia platforms to promote your business.

So what is in storefor us in 2023?For theHTA,supporting ourmemberswill remain top-priority andI am eager to meet moreHTA members.Iamalsolookingforward to welcoming HTA’snew-CEO Fran Barnes later this monthand attending theGardenPress Eventon21February, nowinits 18th year, to getaheads-up on newproducts, innovations, trends and plans from suppliers andgrowers for theyearahead. No doubt, there will be newchallenges to add to thesomewhat dauntingones we already face butwiththe flexibilityand ingenuity our industry hasso oftendemonstrated we will weather the stormstogether. Haveagreat 2023

Find out more

TheHorticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’s leading membership organisation and welcomes all sectorsof environmental horticulture. To learnmoreorjoinpleasevisit: or email: TheGarden Press Event 2023:

Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust:

Challengeand change in 2022. Challenge, ingenuityand opportunityin2023.
Alan Down, HTAPresident
…HTAmembers have shownmeoptimism, confidence and unfaltering commitment to our industry
Alan and Nicola Harding from Pugh’sGarden Village, Radyr which wasbuzzing with Christmas shoppers.

Working towards a healthy symbiotic relationship with government

Asweall know, three months in horticulturecan see huge change or no apparent change at all. Seeds can germinate, become plants and be harvested and consumed in amatter of weeks while other plants remain stable, seeming to change little –but we all knowsomething is always happening.Turns out the world of politics has many parallels.

In the three months prior to my last article we experienced major,almost unbelievable change with senior leaders selected, placed, cultivated, picked and rejected! However, the last couple of months havebeen steadier and I’mdelighted to reportthe newteam of ministers at DEFRA arebeing given the time to get their feet firmly under the table and their heads around the wonderful world of horticulture.

The OHRGhas unrivalled access to this team at DEFRA resulting in averyhealthy, two-way dialogue. At ameeting with DEFRA, along with the Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP,Minister of State(Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries), everyone around the table wasable to talk frankly about the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Mark, having been agarden centre owner,farmer and food producer,has areal understanding of the world we operatein and I’mconfident if we can help him to see the issues he will do his very best to support the industry.

Working relationships

At aconferenceashortwhile ago,Ispoke about symbiosis –awordIdon’tthink I’ve used since‘O’ levelBiology,and back then I’mnot sureIreally understood it! It’s

classic definition is ‘any type of aclose and long-term biological interaction between twodifferent biological organisms, be it mutualistic, communalistic, or parasitic’. It can also be obligatory, wheresymbionts depend on each other for survival, or facultative(optional), when theycan generally liveindependently

If we consider the symbiotic relations between horticultureand government, what we don’thave, or want, is aparasitic interaction. Acommunalistic relationship whereone benefits and the other is not significantly harmed or helped could be seen as ok, as long as we arethe one to benefit. But Idon’tthink this is sustainable in the long-term. So we areleft with mutualistic symbiosis, wherealong-term relationship benefits both individuals. Surely this is wherewewant to be with DEFRA and the many other offices with aclose association to the various facets of horticulture.

Areweseeking an obligatoryor facultativerelationship? It would be great to think government depends on us, and maybe in time this will be recognised, but for now let’sliveinsymbiotic independence. But what will this life look likeinhorticulture?


We need to supportgovernment with its ambitious environmental objectives and 25 Year Environmental Plan. Working with consumers to ensuregardening is accessible and affordable for all will see an accelerated greening of the UK. As we continue to demonstratethis we will unlock supportand, moreimportantly,remove barriers to businessgrowth. In recent weeks Ihavevisited twomajor UK growers

with big investment plans. In both cases I wasdelighted that local authority support waseasily given. As we grow the industry towards its predicted £42bn in 2030 this supportwill be needed time and time again. If youare considering asignificant development Irecommend speaking with your specific trade association as they will haveplenty of data to supportyour proposals. And please do let the OHRGknow so we can inform the government.


Our ability to provide along-term, satisfying and potentially lucrativecareer choicefor over¾million people in the UK is of great interest to government. As we engage new colleagues it falls to each of us to develop their knowledge through work-place, on-line and in-education training.Liketrees, if we can get the ‘asks’firmly rooted in national plans theywill bear fruit for many years to come. We do need the industrytowelcome newcomers and makesureopportunities for progression areobvious. Do yousharenews of your teams’successes with local, national, consumer and trade press? All of this will help remind many we areagreat industryto work in.

Find out more

TheOHRGismade up of volunteers, seeking to ensurehorticulture flourishes forgenerations to come. We seek your supportand, hopefully,approval. Most importantly,wewant your input and feedback. Iwillcontinue to update you through GTNonaregular basis but in the meantime don’thesitatetoemail me:

30 January2023 Viewpoint
Boyd JDouglas-Davies, Chair of the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, Director of British Garden Centres and immediate past President of the HTA.

Working with consumers to ensuregardening is accessible and affordableto allwillensureanaccelerated greening of the UK.

As areminder

TheOHRGofhorticultural organisations includes the RHS; British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI); Horticultural Trades Association (HTA); Arboricultural Assoc (AA) and the National FarmersUnion (NFU), which have come together to champion the value of the UK’s ornamental horticulture and landscaping industry. Theaim is to demonstratethe benefits and opportunities that arise from supporting horticultureand align with the government’sstrategic objectives and DEFRA’sdepartmental priorities.

January2023 31
Celebrate Summer at Solex The only show organised by the industry for the industry 10-12 July 2023 Hall 5. NEC, Birmingham 01952 977569 |

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