17 minute read

Solex Online, “exhibitors preview”2

We look forward to welcoming you back in person in 2022 but in the meantime, hop on to our website between the 6-8 July and L OF A: immerse yourself in SOLEX Visit: https://www. solexexhibition.com/ 2021. A ro l l e rc o a s t e r o f a ye a r …

I’m not sure where to start. It’s been another strange rollercoaster of a year here at LOFA.

January brought us Brexit and its many complexities, reams of red tape, double tariffs, proof of origin, extra charges and delays at customs and ports, plus the increased costs of shipping and then the Evergiven getting stuck in the Suez Canal made the start of 2021 memorable for all the wrong reasons.

We raised public awareness of these issues via the Birmingham Post, Ideal Home, BBC Online, Which, BBC Local Radio, BBC Local TV and BBC World. This combination of challenges has meant that our members and the industry as a whole have had to look at new ways of working and overcome the many obstacles that have been thrown their way. We are still not over the worst and delays and increased costs are things that everyone is still trying to work through.

Keeping up with the increased demand means that delays are inevitable. Members are still ordering products and if everyone is ‘staycationing’ instead of risking holidays abroad, and the sun continues to shine we are in for an even busier season than last year. Stock levels are already low, and product is already sold before it arrives. Repeat orders are

coming in thick and fast and some customers are accepting goods that will be arriving in the UK as late as September. In March we made the difficult decision to cancel Solex for the second year in a row. Every year we look forward to connecting with exhibitors, buyers and industry professionals and although there are positive signs that events are starting up again, we felt that the restrictions would compound the challenges faced in organising this event and unlike other exhibitions we are unable to move the SOLEX Show to a later if every one is date in the year because of

‘st aycationing’ and the long lead for orders. times required the sun continues to We wanted to make the shine we are in for an right decision for everyone involved and we did not want even busier season to continue with a show than last year that would not be up to our customary high standards. So, we decided not to run SOLEX in 2021 but move the exhibition to July 2022, when we can come back bigger, better and, hopefully, Covid free! We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment to many so, in place of the in-person SOLEX exhibition, we are hosting an online version using our SOLEX website and social media platforms. We will be showcasing everything that is new from our LOFA members as well as working with Garden Trade News online and in print to bring you three days of new products and ideas for Spring Summer Season 2022. This year LOFA also teamed up with Planet Mark, a company that cares about the planet and wants to help businesses action and power change. Its certification recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and helps build an empowered community of like-minded individuals to make a whole world of difference. By measuring and reducing our carbon footprint with Planet Mark we can directly and measurably contribute to up to nine Sustainable Development Goals and address 25 SDG targets. I am pleased to announce that LOFA has achieved its Planet Mark certification for 2021.

As we are slowly coming out of lockdown and back to some kind of remembered normality, we are already looking forward to hosting everyone back at Solex in July 2022. We will be sharing the NEC with the Commonwealth Games in 2022 so we will be moving to Halls 17/18/19 for the first time which will give a different feel to the exhibition. We are already planning a new outside area for our BBQ members, enabling them to light up their grills and show off their cooking skills.


Hartman has launched its 2022 virtual showroom experience, showcasing an impressive tradeshow, at the manufacturer’s new headquarters in Telford.

Hartman’s pioneering online virtual experience for trade clients last year created an overwhelming response from new and existing clients alike.

The virtual tour means customers can view the 2022 collection at their leisure before visiting the trade show in person.

The showroom includes a cosy fire pit snug, emulating the experience of a festoon lit, night-time soiree; a stunning piazza surrounded by beautiful olive trees, showcasing Har stman’s new Amalfi lounge range; and the popular, extended Dubai and Singapore ranges from the brand’s flagship Signature Collection.

Information: Visit www. hartmanuk.com/2022tradeshow to view the virtual tour and book an appointment with one of the area sales managers. Viewing is by appointment only. Showroom is open throughout July.

Glencrest Seatex

Following a successful 2021 season, Glencrest Seatex is looking to continue its recent impressive growth with the help of the new Flamingo collection and the Katie Blake Elite Mayberry collection.

The Flamingo collection is new to the Katie Blake portfolio and is the only range available in the UK in which all the chairs can recline.

Flamingo offers deluxe or standard chairs. Deluxe recliners have deeply padded cushioning providing a level of comfort comparable to indoor furniture, while the comfortable standard recliner chairs are perfect for dining at an extremely competitive price. The use of aluminium frames and grey or natural rattan weave ensure that the furniture remains rust free and requires minimal maintenance (supported by a five-year guarantee when Katie Blake covers are used).

The Mayberry collection is the company’s deluxe range, standing out thanks to its oversized chairs with sumptuous deep filled

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New for 2022 are the Fire Pit ranges, available in a number of combinations from corner sets to lounging.

The Fire Pit tables complement the company’s flagship rattan Wentworth & Paris ranges and are included in the new Mayfair & Hampshire aluminium ranges.

All the fire pits conform to the new UKCA regulations.

Information:Information: Tony@a-mir.co.ukTony@a-m cushions. The Mayberry sun lounger is easy to manoeuvre and adjustable to five or six positions. Available in natural or grey, the Mayberry range is supplied with a protective cover and is backed by a 10-year guarantee (where the cover is used).

Information: www.katieblake.co.uk


LeisureGrow’s headline event, ‘Leisurefest’, is now live untilno 10 September at the ‘LG Arena’ in in the company’s purpose-built Hertforshire showrooms.sh

The showrooms have undergone a major refurbishmentref and outdoor extension to showcasesh the 2022 collections. Customers are invitedinv to join the team for an alfresco barbecue lunch cooked on a Grillstream barbecue.

You can view the vast range of LG Outdoor furniture and preview the new Casa Mia range of outdoor wood and gas chimeneas as well as sleek gas pizza ovens with an accompanying range of accessories.

The all-new Petface showroom promises plenty of wow-factor.

If you can’t make it to the LG Arena, Leisurefest is on tour across the UK at Falkirk (13–17 July ), Bradford (19–23 July), Bristol (24–27 July) and Glee (14–16 September)

Information: salessupport@ leisuregrow.com or 01462 744500 to book an appointment.

Come and visit Ginique

Ginique has grown from strength to strength and in little under a year have moved to new and larger premises to cope with the increasing demand for its products. The new site in Telford, Shropshire comprises a large warehouse, new office and showroom, allowing for continued expansion and growth. Our showroom is now open, and we look forward to welcoming visitors who will be able to view the Höfats & Glowbus collections up close and personal.

Receive a warm welcome when you visit our brand-new headquarters in Telford, Shropshire

New Covid Secure Showroom

New 2800sqft Warehouse

New Offices Explore the complete Höfats collection

View the all-new Glowbus firepits

Refreshments and lite bites available to all guests

Make an appointment to see the complete product range available from Ginique.

This is the link to make an appointment https://giniqueshowroomvisit.10to8.com or via the website https://www.ginique. co.uk/contact

If you are unable to make the journey personally then you can also visit us virtually via our 3D showroom (which we set up in our friend’s barn) so you can visit sunny Shropshire and our products without leaving the comfort of your own home. https://my.matterport.com/ show/?m=zvUWBJvpA1q


Lifestyle Garden, SOLEX Best New Product winners in 2019, is keeping full details of its new-for-2022 offering under wraps until SOLEX Online opens its doors, but the team has confirmed that it will ignite an important conversation regarding social responsibility and how material innovation can protect both communities and the planet.

Launching at SOLEX will be a new material that represents a significant industry first. Demonstrative of global collaboration and true closed loop economy, this innovation will tell a real story that will touch the hearts and minds of consumers and help retailers to support a brand that has social responsibility at its heart.

The company will also use SOLEX to showcase its wider market-leading offering, including additions to the bestselling Panama, Solana and Aruba collections.

Information: lifestylegarden.com.

Munro Importers: Pagoda Garden Furniture

The Pagoda team has been sourcing garden furniture in China and Malaysia from its offices in Hangzhou for more than 25 years, dealing directly with the best factories, with whom they have built solid working relationships.

Customers can expect quality products inspected to international AQL standards, stylish contemporary bespoke in-house designs and colours and the services of highly experienced staff both in the UK and China.

Containers are shipped direct from factories to retailers’ warehouses, either on a door-todoor or FOB China port service.

Ipswich-based Pagoda is an assured member of LOFA so all its products conform to strict UKFR standards.

For sufficient quantities, products can be own-branded in mixed containers of up to four lines. All shipments are thoroughly checked to international AQL standard by Pagoda’s own inspectors and delivered with a detailed inspection report.

Information: www.munroimporters.co.uk


New to the UK, Smokey Olive Wood barbecue smoking wood from Quefresco comes in five varieties and adds a little Spanish passion to the typical range of chunks and chips from the USA.

With Lemon, Orange, Holm Oak, Almond and of course Olive species available, think of Mediterranean fire flavours wafting in from the beach barbecue as the sun goes down over the sea.

All the wood is dried directly in the sun and then by solar panels with no consuming machinery. The production facility is nestled within the olive groves for the shortest possible material supply routes. Packaging is resealable for freshness and longevity and either compostable or recyclable.

With more people cooking all year round outside and the melting pot of cultural influences from around the world, consumers are looking for variety and something a little bit different.

Quefresco is the UK and Ireland exclusive distributor of this range.

Mercer Agencies

Mercer Agencies, a leading supplier of garden furniture and Christmas products, has opened its first showroom in the UK.

The new purpose-built showroom in Coventry represents a significant investment for the company, which has also increased its sales team with the appointment of two new sales representatives to help meet growing demand.

The recently opened showroom is more than 10,000 sq.ft. and is the ideal location to showcase its extensive ranges for 2021/22. Mercer prides itself on quality products and competitive pricing and has some exciting additions this year.

The showroom is open to the trade now, by appointment only. There are stringent Covid-19 procedures in place in line with government regulations to ensure the safety of Mercer customers and staff.

If you can’t make it to the new showroom, Mercer’s area sales team covers the whole of the UK and can arrange a meeting to present its 2021/22 collection.

Information: www.merceragencies. com Email sales@merceragencies.com to book an appointment.

Information: www.quefresco.co.uk Email info@quefresco.co.uk or call 07960 708071


Feelings is a stylish furniture collection designed to embrace the contemporary home, adding a touch of elegance whilst also displaying an element of rustic simplicity.

Crafted from certified teak wood and featuring a mix of natural and painted surfaces, the range combines an organic authenticity with a high standard of comfort.

There are a number of individual items as well as several sets, making it easy to add to the collection and build it up to suit specific needs.

With a classic slatted design for an airy and refreshing feel, this four-piece lounge set is versatile enough any indoor or outdoor space, whether it’s in a kitchen, conservatory, garden, patio or balcony.

Information: email contact.tuk@ tramontina.com or follow the brand on Instagram.

Norfolk Leisure

Norfolk Leisure recently revealed its newest product category offering – a premium range of barbeques and accessories for the 2022 season.

The comprehensive collection includes gas, charcoal and electric grills and a fully branded assortment of tools and accessories.

The UK market is wide open for a stylish, quality and exclusive brand that has been developed and built for Norfolk Leisure and the UK market by an experienced design team over the past two years. The result is a BBQ presentation with the potential to quickly become a key brand for garden centres.

Information: sales@norfolkleisure.co.uk

An introduction to Traeger at Solex

Q: What can we expect from Traeger at Solex this year?

A: Traeger is having a great summer so far and the brand is going from strength to strength in the UK and Ireland. We are really excited to explain why wood pellet grilling is so superior to any other kind of fuel.

Q What is it about wood pellet grilling that’s so special?

A: Traeger’s grills give an amazing wood-fired flavour to any food, from classic BBQ meats to fish and vegetables using 100% pure hardwood. Wood Pellet grills deliver consistent smoke and heat that is easily adjusted.

Q: What grill would you recommend to someone who’s just getting into wood pellet smoking?

A: The Traeger Pro Series is the best-selling pellet grill in the world and uses WiFIRE® technology that allows you to monitor and adjust your grill anytime, anywhere from the Traeger app on your smartphone.

Q: How can retailers contact you for more information?

A: We’d love to hear from retailers at Solex this year – so do get in touch. Visit www. traegergrills.com to find out more about us, or call me, Jo McDonald, on + (0) 7884 115817

Zest 4 Leisure

Award winning Zest 4 Leisure is taking part in the 2021 Solex Online event, showcasing its range of quality timber garden products and featuring its dining sets, garden seating, swings, BBQ shelters and gazebos.

All products are made from slow grown sustainable timber and crafted for comfort and style using DFMA (design for manufacture and assembly) principles.

The Harriet table and bench dining set (illustrated) is perfect for entertaining or simply relaxation. With crossover curved legs, its Bavarian style adds elegance.

Design, quality and innovation are at the heart of Zest 4 Leisure’s operation.

Information: zest4leisure.co.uk

Wai t i n g f o r t h e “ N e w N o r m a l ”

Normally we’d be packing our bags just now to head off to the NEC for Solex, but with current restrictions we are all having to resort to showroom visits and Solex online to find out about new ranges for 2022. GTN is doing its part by bringing you the Solex feature in this issue and with the SOLEX SUN e-mail newsletter. As suppliers and retailers continue to wrestle with transport and pricing issues it’s been good to hear that demand for furniture and BBQ’s remain high. If we get a decent spell of summer weather, demand could continue through to the Autumn.

And so, we wait for the “New Normal” to begin when more restrictions are lifted and we can all meet up at Glee in September. There is much serous business to be done at Glee 2021 but conversations are bound to start about how we all fared during the pandemic as we all meet up for the first time in 18 months.

The last day of Glee 2021 will be Floral Thursday for Greenfingers again, your chance to bring some floral colour to Glee and raise much needed money for Greenfingers so they can continue with their Children’s Hospice garden building programme. 2019’s Floral Thursday raised just over £1500. Could we raise over £5,000 this year with all exhibitors and visitors on the last day of Glee joining in with the floral fun?

We look forward to seeing you there! Trevor Pfeiffer

In this issue...

2 Solex Online, “exhibitors preview”2 10 Marshall is back… again 14 Garden Re-Leaf Day 2021 raises £75,000 18 New Products, Glee style 20 Glee Buyers Power List, nominate your top buyers 23 GIMA Golf Day, full results and pictures 31 Hillier Heritage at Syon Park, GTN Photo Tour 34 Signs of the times at Thetford, GTN Photo Tour 37 Jam on top at BGC Bressingham, GTN Photo Tour 38 HTA Column – 20/20 Vision… so last year


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