Revel in the sunshine at SOLEX 2023
Head to the NEC, Birmingham this month to celebrate summer and see the latest trends and innovation for outdoor living.
This three-day event unites the most prestigious luxuryoutdoor brands, giving quality buyers and visitors an opportunity to explore what’snew in both retail and contract markets. From trendsetting designs made with an eyetowards sustainability,tomaking newrelationships within the industry, SOLEXisthe placetobe!
SOLEX –The Summer Outdoor Living Exhibition
EmergencyExit hall 5
Acelebration of summer,the biggest three-day event in the luxuryoutdoor living trade calendar.
10 -12July 2023.Hall5,NEC, Birmingham
Mon 9am -5.30pm, Tue9am -5.30pm, Wed9am -3pm
Twitter: @solexexhibition Instagram: @solexexhibition
Linkedin: @solex-exhibition Facebook:@solexexhibitionNEC
Step into summer at SOLEX 2023
Trendsetting designs, sustainable initiatives and the chance to meet some of the kings and queens of barbeque cooking areonoffer at SOLEX 2023 -the place whereoutdoor leisuresuppliers and buyers come together.
SOLEX2023isthe premierevent which allowskey industrybuyerstodiscover newproducts,witness innovationsin designand exploreretail andcontract market solutions allunder one roof.Inaddition, SOLEX oﬀersa relaxedand friendly atmosphere with aprofessional focusgivingbusiness professionals and buyers achancetoestablish newrelationships withinthis vibrant industry.
With exhibitorsacrossHall 5, the show also continues outside with the Loving OutdoorLiving Zone, where chefswillbe ﬁringupbarbeques andoﬀering livecooking demonstrations to showarange of cookery techniquesand wonderful food.
Newthis year is The PRIMETIME Appointments system, agame-changerfor buyers lookingtomakethe most out of their visit. By pre-booking appointments, visitors can eliminate the stress and hassle of trying to ﬁndkey exhibitors crowds andmaximizetime.
Learn from one of the masters
Known as theBBQ Whisperer and King of Meatopia, Marcus Bawden has made aname
forhimself withinthe barbeque fraternityasan experiencedchef, author,and consultant editor of BBQMagazine.
Marcus will be at SOLEX for allthree days takingonavariety of roles, including judging theBestBBQ Award, conducting interviews with exhibitors in theLoving OutdoorLiving Zone,and giving aBBQ masterclass. Theluckywinners of the Best BBQ Awardcan look forwardtofree marketinginBBQ magazine andasigned copy of Marcus’s newbook.
Funinthe evening sunshine
from Powder Monkey Brewing Co (beer),Tidal Rum (spirits) and BeefSteak Club (wine).
An unforgettable evening of food, drinks, and fun, the eventwill also host the BBQ Hero competition whereattendees can put their skills to the test by creating theirown signature dishes.
Proud to be partnerswith…
Come along to the Fire, Food &Outdoor Living Evening on Tuesday 11 July from 5.30pm -7.30pm to sample delicious food, network, socialise and create genuine connectionswith like-minded professionals in the outdoor retail industry. This year’s event theme is outdoor summer living,soexpect alively atmosphere.
on 11 from This year’s event is outdoor summer living, so expect a lively atmosphere.
BBC’s Saturday Kitchen
Jules Hudson will be Clarke,
Topchef and TV presenterMatt Tebbutt from BBC’sSaturday Kitchen and broadcaster Jules Hudson will be joined by Andy Clarke, one of the most exciting voices in the food and drink industry, to mix with exhibitors and guests. Andy will be in charge of drinks pairings
SOLEX 2023 is continuing with its ongoing partnership with BBQ Magazine, which is hosting the Loving Outdoor Living Zone and, with garden and outdoor design event, The Landscape Show. As partofthis collaboration, ateam from The Landscape Showisbuilding aLandscape featureareatoshowoff the best natural concepts from leading landscape and gardening companies acrossthe UK LOFA and the charity Perennialwill roll out their newPromoteHealth Campaign with an interactiveHealth Kiosk providing a confidential wayfor individuals to get aquick assessment of their physical health. This includes weight, blood pressureand heart rate whichhavebeen identified by Perennial’s research as being critical issues. In as little as eight minutes youcan get afreehealthMOT and walk away with apersonalconfidential printout of results.
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CouldJune 2023 have been any busier for thegardening industry? Ithink not. The weatherplayed its part by bringingusamonthofwarm, and sometimes hot,sunnyweather whichgavea lifttooutdoor leisuresales (atlast Ihear youall say)
And thena successionofindustry events:The Parliamentary Reception of theAll-Party Gardening and Horticulture Group,the GIMA CharityGolf Day, BBC Gardeners’World Live, anew Greenﬁngers garden opening in Carlisle,spoga+gafainGermany, theNationalPlantShowand Glee.
As thisissue is ourSOLEX 2023 Previewissue it goes to presswhile we areGleesoyou’ll have to wait untilthe August issue of GTNfor ourfull reports on Glee, or read theGleeDaily News
e-mail newsletter which youcan access via www.gardentradenews.co.uk.
At Glee,the GTNTeamonceagainorganised thehighly successful NewProductShowcase and Awards, with over300 newproducts entered the quality of theentries andthe competition to win asought afterGleeawardwas as high as ever.In the September issue of GTNwewillpublisha full directory of allthe entries –yourultimate guide to what’s newfor 2024
Next up for theGTN Team it is SOLEXatthe NEC wherewewillbedelightedbyall that’s newinBBQ’s andgarden furniture. Watchout forour issues of theSOLEXSun in the build up to the showand Live from Hall 5atthe NEC.
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Turning up the of the voice of horticulture
Garden centrerepresentatives gathered at the House of Lordsto reinvigorate the position of horticulturewithin government and promote its vital role to the UK, its people, environment and economy.
After aperiod of absence, representatives from garden retailing and the YPHA joined an AllPartyParliamentaryGardening &Horticulture Group meeting with MP’sand members of the House of Lordslast month. The gathering reaﬃrmed horticulture’splace within all government departments and marked the renaming of The Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group (OHRG).
The OHRGwas formed in 2014 to safeguardand champion the horticultural industrythrough cross-sector action, but with the elevation of the industry’srole within the environment during the last decade, it wasfelt anew name wouldbemore representativeand give it morekudos with government circles.
Nowcalled the Environmental Horticulture Group,itcontinues, with Boyd Douglas-Davis as its Chair,towork acrossall parts of the industryfromlandscape, amenity,retail and food production. “Too often we have been overlooked or maybe seen as decorative, ornamental. Maybe we’venot been taken quiteasseriously.But we areessential for the environment. The environment is absolutely what everybody is focused on in the world right now, and quiterightly.We’ve dropped the name roundtable from our long title as
we don’twant to sit oppositeorevenround the corner from our friends in government. We wanttosit side by side as an industryand government working together,” says Boyd He went on to challenge the government. “Wecan help many,many departments, not just our friends at Defra, but Department of Work and Pensions, Education, the Treasury, the list goes on. “He went on to invite government to ﬁnd adepartment whereit believedhorticulturecan’thelp.“I’ll tell you why we can.”
Actor and strong advocatefor gardening Jim Carterappealed to ministers on behalf of the youngergeneration who havebeen left disconnected with society after covid. He encouraged ‘lessscreen time and more green time’ as apossible solution. This wascoupled with his plea to get gardening and horticultureintoeveryday schooling “Any party that puts putting gardening and horticultureonthe national curriculum is guaranteed to win the next election,”hesays. He believesitcovers everything from art, design, geography,latin, and grow your own.
Alan Titchmarsh thankedministersfor supporting gardening and what he called ‘the most important part of British life’. “Wemay appear to be agentle bunch, butwe’re apassionate bunch.And if we’re allowedtobeevangelicaland spread the word,wecan be thesaviors of thenation,” he says. He believes environmental horticulture has all theanswers to help improve lives, and those workinginthe sector are, he says, aregenerally buoyant andhappy.“Every daysomething awful in some part of theworld is terrible,but we can’tcope with it all.Weneed something we cancopewith. It improvesall ourlives Youhaveitinenvironmentalhorticulture.”
Supportfor horticulturewas promised from Trudy Harrison, DefraUnder Secretary of State, who said the government’s25-year Environmental Improvement Plan depended upon it. She also recognised that for many people, gardening wasthe way into learning and working in the world of environmental sciences. Finding sustainable alternatives to peat was of high importancebut should not be detrimental to the industry. “I certainly will not preside oversomething that scuppers your sector because we need theenvironmental
horticultural sector,to be buoyant, to be thriving,tobeprosperous, to ensurethatwe meet our biodiversity net gains.”
Talking ashort while after the gathering Boyd says: “The reaction during and post the reception has been excellent. Having hosted the largest ever horticultural parliamentary reception Iwas hopeful we wouldsee good engagement between the house and industry but my highest expectations havebeen exceeded! Thereisareal love for our sector, Environmental Horticulture, among the members of both the Lordsand Commons and they’re keen to supportuswherevertheycan.”
Trans-ContinentalGroup Launch2024 Garden Furniture Collection; 10th-12th July
N.E.C Holiday Inn Express (next to the Exhibition Centre).
Featuring market-leading brands SunTime, Helios, NewGarden& Relax,Trans-Continental Group will be offering visitors an unmatched range of al-fresco living productincluding;FSC wood, rattan and aluminium furniture, cushions &bean-bags, our best-selling range of lighting &accessoriesand much-much more.
Lee Kennerley (Sales Director) said “Given the current economic climate value for money and keen retail price points will be crucial to buyers selecting product for next season. Having spoken to many garden furniture retailers recently it is clear to me thatthere is ademand for affordable, high-quality, outdoor-living product. Our designers have focusedonputting together stunning ranges across our brands that reflect these requirements. We will be presenting our largest ever collection to customers old and new at the show,don’t miss it!".
Alternatively, please contact : email@example.com
01253 207 799
Whereplants take centrestage
New plants and fresh ideas aplentyatthe 12th HTANational Plant Show
Retailers canbeassured the appetite for houseplant buying continues to build and at this year’s HTA National Plant ShowinJune, 34 newindoor plants (the highest number ever) were entered intothe HTANew Plant of the Year award. Causing astirwas the Best in Show, Curcuma Skyline, arelativeofthe tumeric family,whose intensepurple cone-like ﬂowers area colour breakthrough.
Throughthe HTANew Plant of the Year award, theshowhas been elevating new introductions for12yearsand has now becomeanindicator of what’s likeytobe in demand. Around125 plants were entered thisyearinfour categories
In parallel, the showisalso the placetosee newmerchandising ideas and innovativeways to maximise plant sales (see Planteria page30).
The eventwas also the stage for the ﬁrst reception for those who had received aColegraveSeabrook Foundation scholarship and people working in the industry. An informal gathering of around 60 people, it enabled the recipients to network, ﬁnd moreabout theindustry and enjoythe show. Thanks go to British Garden Centres for sponsoring the event.
Cucuma Skyline is Best in Show
Stefan VandeDussenfromDutch company Proﬁtplant, which supplies indoor and outdoor plants acrossEurope, exhibited Curcuma Skyline which also won the Houseplants category. Also commonly known as Siamese or Thai tulip,its guaranteed to bringatouch of the tropics to any space. It wasbredbyKPHollandas partofits Siam range and its deep purple bracts area colour breakthrough. Existing curcuma arepaler pink or white. Upright with strong stems, its foliage also has a distinctivedark redvein running through the centreadding to its decorativeappeal. Plants aregrown on by Richplants, which specialises in ﬂowering houseplants, and Stefan says as well as being agreat indoor plant, it is also perfect for balconies and terraces during the warmsummermonths.
With large deep purple globe-shaped ﬂowers Agapanthus orientalis ‘Black Jack’was the deservedwinner of the Herbaceous Perennials categoryentered jointly by AllensmoreNurseries, Hereford and Fairweather’s Nursery, Hampshire. “Black Jack has great statureand thesizeof the ﬂowerheads each with 200 individual ﬂorets gives it is long ﬂowering period throughout the summer,” says adelighted Patrick Fairweather.Plants areproduced by tissue cultureinSouth Africa beforeheading to Fairweather’s Nurserytobeweaned. AllensmoreNurseries growsthe plants on and is the wholesale distributor.‘Black Jack’was also lovedbyvisitors resulting in it winning the Visitor Vote.Although availability will be limited for 2024,aplentiful supply is expected for sales in 2025
Providing apot full of strong colour for sales laterinthe summeris Dahlia hybrida DalinaMaxi ‘Starburst Pink’fromBall which wonthe AnnualsCategory.Gareth
Powell, BusinessAccountSpecialist,says although it’s quitea compactgrower, it’s very vigorous.Hesaysthe unique starburst arrangementofpetals at the centre of the ﬂowergives it is name andstands outeven morewhenthe outerpetalsfadeasthey mature.“Starburst has really strong ﬂower stemsand hasgood garden performance in patiopots,”hesays
Hiding in the jungle
Always hotly contestedisthe Tree,Shrubs &Climbers (including Conifers)category and this year was no diﬀerent with some fabulous introductions which will almost certainly be ahit. Crowned in this categorywas the variegated Fatsia japonica ‘Camouﬂage’ from the USA.
“I knewitwas awinnerwhenIsaw it three years ago at Monrovia Nurseries,” says SteveAustin, Ball’sBusiness Manager -Perennials. Moresubtlethan the variegated form ‘Spiders Web’,it leaves arepatterned with three shades of green. It’svibrant, with good vigour and has great architectural qualities. Available now, it’s also easy to grow and can reach aheight of 1m- 1.5m. Youngplants from tissue cultureare handledbyBall, while WyevaleNurseries is in charge of growing on and wholesale.
Colour and cushions in Cologne
While the GTNteam werebuilding up to Glee, Boyd JDouglas-DaviesofThe Boyd Partnership managed to squeeze atrip to Germany in between BBC Gardeners World Live and the National Plant Show to cover spoga +gafa for GTN.
With worldwide travel restrictions lifted this year spoga +gafa felt amoreinternational aﬀair compared to ayearago,which was distinctly European. What this meant, besides many moreexhibits, was abounceback for resin weave. The weaveisnow secondarytothe cushions which aredeepand comfortable. Large, curvedsetsdominated thecasual dining/easy living category.
Thesecond standout trend is the converting of recyclables intocoloured plastic furniture. All sizes and colours are available, and the colours aregood. The Garbar range by Resolisagood example of timelesscolours, all made from 100% post-consumption recycled plastic. Areyou
ready to sharethe stories behind your eco sourcedproducts in the garden centre?
Colour waseverywheretobeseen with the dominant one being terracotta/brick red. Big cushions, chair frames, scatters and replacement cushions featured this palette. Asking ElkeofMadison which was her predicted trendsetter for 2024 it was reassuring that she went straight to the terracotta section!
Structures with apurpose were another repeating theme throughout the show.
An aluminium structurewith adjustable beds, side tables and roof slatsfromRoyal Garden wascatching the eyeofmany
As were acouple of lighter units from Greenpatio: One with apair of swinging
sofa, dining height table and amore traditional fabric roof.The second acurtain sided gazebo with atwinswinging bed. The appearanceofa Teslaand Polestar in the showheraldedthe introduction of carports with solar panel roofs. Forme, thePolestar (and structure) were the better looking and maybe this is the wayforward as the number of electric vehicles grows? Ahardwired charging point with solar supplement undercoversoyou don’tget soaked when plugging the car in. The least convincing structure… The Garden Cellar required alot of earth moving for not alot of storage.
Large planters and disguised water butts dominated the garden halls. The eco/ recycled planters from Capi look good. The colours correspond with the source material… Green made from artiﬁcial grass, cream from sawdust and black from textile (apparently that’sthe colour youget when mash up big quantities of textile)
With the warmingclimateinthe UK is thereanopportunitytosell more BBQs, OutdoorKitchens, PizzaOvens,Firepits etc? If youare thinking aboutthis category seriously thenavisit to SPOGAisa must as the displays arevast andall encompassing
Alongside the staticindoordisplays thereis an equallyimpressivecooking area outside where all put their products to good useand feed theshowvisitors everyday.Outdoor kitchens aregettingmorestylish,aﬀordable and lessshiny –takea look at the twonew oﬀersfromLeisuregrow,theylookgreat!
As for exhibiting ‘Brits Abroad’… there weren’tmany.Those that were there reportedstronginterest in their products so maybe arethink on howgarden UK is represented is needed. Wouldthe English Village Green format, something more engaging than shell scheme units, be more memorable and attract moreexhibitors and visitors? Classic stands surrounding avillage green display and teaareawhere targeted buyers couldbehosted. spoga+gafa 2024 will takeplaceagain in Cologne from 16-18 June. If going book hotels and flights early.Fly to either DusseldorforCologne and takea train direct to the show. There’sagreat selection of hotels and restaurants in Cologne Old Town.
Celebratingthe art of possible
The evolution of AMES continues apace as the business enters anew chapter under the banner of The AMES Companies, inspiring change and opening new sales opportunities through crosscategory ordering.
Fromheritage, tried and trusted brands such as Kelkay,La Hacienda and Apta to new introductions the futurefor The AMES Companies is looking bright. This new name better reﬂects the company’s development and howits focus is shifting to theportfolio of brands that sit under the AMES banner
“Standing still has neverbeen an option for us. Whether developing our existing brands and mapping out alongterm futurefor them or branching out intoentirely newproduct categories, our vision has always been focused on our role as the supply partner of choicefor our retailers”said Paul North, Managing Director of The AMES Companies.
“Aswelookahead to the 2024 season, this vision is becoming areality.The
developments we aremaking arenever about newnessfor the sakeofit. Instead, theyare about bringing to market products and brands wherea clearneed, gapinthe market or partnership has been recognised, and our combined skillset enables us to create something that will go above and beyond expectation.”
Supporting this vision for growth, The AMES Companies has undertaken a£3million investment plan. From transforming its Pollington siteand fulﬁlling skill investment, to securing maximum stock availability and launching unrivalled sales incentives.
Featuring carbon (24 SKUs) and stainlesssteel (26SKUs) options, AMES Toolscombine morethan 250 years of heritage and experience, passion for design, innovation
and extensivemarket research.The range suits afull calendar of lawn and gardening jobs, oﬀering retailers the opportunity to maximise tool sales 12 months of the year Stylingand thestamped AMES logo lends themselves to amorecollectable oﬀering, ideal for encouraging repeat sales with particular emphasis on critical gifting periods.
AMES Toolsmight be newtothe UK, but it comes to market with 250 yearsofexpertise.
AMES toolshelped build the Statue of Liberty and the EmpireState Building and with its other brands such as True Temper,Cougar and Botanica, is amarket leader in the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia.
Within the carbon steel range, stamped heads made from one pieceoftempered steel says goodbye to weld points to increase rigidity and longevity.This new manufacturing development is expected to reposition carbon as the newgo-to for consumers wanting atool that looks great and promises alifetime of use. This is the ﬁrst time carbon has been presented this way, and when coupledwith alowerpricetag,makes for an extremely attractiveproposition.
Look out for the UK’s ﬁrst ComfortStep™ for increased powerand leverage when digging,while FSC-certiﬁed ash wooden handles oﬀer the ultimatepermanency Double rivets and longer shank createan
improvedhead-to-handle ratio,and more importantly adds up to 45% additional strength for forks and spades. Around 45% moreleaves can be collected in one go thanks to thearchdesign of the ExtraWideLeaf Rake. These aretools built to last and come with a15-year guarantee, From back wall displays and freestanding solutions to promotional FSDUs and doublesided banners, the number of possible conﬁgurations oﬀers the ultimateﬂexibility for retailers.
Thefabulous newApta Lightweight range of Webenand Beton pots is the result of acreativepartnership between Apta and industrystalwart, formwerk -partofthe Scheurich Group
With trend led designs normally seen in classic planter mediums but at a fraction of the weight,Apta Lightweight is set to amazeconsumers, while the robust quality and 10-year guarantee oﬀer even morepeaceofmindfor shoppers.All of this together means Apta Lightweight will plug the gap whererotational moulded designs were oncelacking
“Our newlightweight oﬀering, alongside Apta’sexisting products, means the brand will nowhaveaproduct hierarchy that opens container gardening to all consumer demographics. In doing so, Apta reaﬃrmsitself as the go-tosupplier forall things pots,”says Paul North.
Apta Lightweight pots aremade from recycled materials and arefully recyclable at the end of their lifespan. Perfectfor indoor and outdoor usage, everyproduct will be frost and UV resistant. The Weben range of ‘woven’ designs has three neutral colourways and three pot sizes while Beton features four ‘concrete’ planters in the same three neutral colourways.
Season 24 will also see the transition of the Plant Avenue brand intoApta Lightweight. Previously partofthe Kelkay portfolio rebranding Plant Avenue will allowApta to lead the way with afullportfolio of planters across all material types and orderable from one trusted supplier
Formorethan 25 years,the Fountasia™ name has been synonymous with ‘First to Market’ creative andinnovativedesign,ﬁne quality, andgood value that appeals to thegarden centreand gift market. ACompanyrecognised for‘going that extramile’ with outstanding POS displays thatbuildbusiness.
In addition to theconstantly evolvingranges of Home&Garden andChristmas décor,whichhave been thehallmarkofthe Fountasia business from theoutset,the companyhas inspired andcreated ‘The WorldofMakeBelieve’, whereimagination is all youneed to meet fairies, elves, andpixies, in their magical world.
Robotime, presented by Fountasia with enormous success, has becomeone of themost exciting brands, inspiringenquiringminds andsatisfying ardent model makersofall ages. TheNew UDEAS
rangeprovides safeand stimulatingtoysand games foryoungchildren, whichencourages, andnurtures natural imagination, creativity, social development,and self-conﬁdence will be launched ofﬁcially on our standatGlee.
Thenew Fountasia Plushtimebrand will make its debut at Glee creatingaspirit of fun with ‘YaketyChat’ comedians andsnuggly ‘Plushimals’ bringingcomfortand good humour
Fountasia Regional Sales Managersprovide NATIONAL coverage forserviceand support andlook forwardtoseeingyou at Glee.
Find Fountasia at HarrogateHome&Gift (Stand B1) andBirmingham Autumn Fair (Stand6A25) to viewnew ranges andexcitingnew products, updated classics, andtimeless best sellersin thenew seasonal collections.
Peter’srose takesthe inauguralprize
New plant awards and imaginative displays at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.
Alate starttothe gardening season made visitors to BBCGardeners’ WorldLiveinJuneevenmore eager to get going.And it didn’tdisappoint -therewas certainly no shortage of stock and inspiration from insideand outside the Floral Marquee
Forthe first time, BBC Gardeners’ World Livehosted the PeterSeabrook Awardfor Best NewPlant. In five categories from bedding through to perennials and shrubs, 100 plants were displayed in the Floral Marquee on the Hot Offthe Potting Bench feature. Fittingly,itwas arose picked out by PeterSeabrook in a trials bed that took thetop prize.
Rosa ‘Peter’s Persica’ wasbredbyChris Warner andintroduced by Whartons Roses in Suﬀolk.A fragrant and colourful newrepeatﬂoweringclimbing variety,it’s blooms arevibrant yellow with ared eye andgreat for pollinating insects.“It’s a climber butveryeasytomanage, growing to around eight feet andproducinga columnofcolour from early June to late December,” saysChrisWarner For2023, Peter’sPersica is available through Thompson &Morganwithstock for garden centresbeingavailable through Whartons in the autumn of 2024 and spring of 2025
Runners up were Coreopsis verticillata ChorasanBugundy& Whiteand houseplant Vriesea ‘ChocolateGirl’.
Above:Fromfurnituretofabric, bath oil to paper,everything on the exhibit by Grafton Nursery, Worcestershire wasmadefrom eucalyptus. Inspired by forest bathing,it took the idea further with areal bath and bell tent. Thedisplayincluded some great ideas forgetting customersinterested in growing eucalyptus and learning more about its powerful properties, and won the Collins family and its team the Geoff Hamilton Awardfor Best Displayinthe Floral marquee.
Right: Theevent had 20 Beautiful Borders, each showing that small spaces needn’tlimit howplants can be artfully arranged and be an inspiration to customers. Winning the Best Interpretation of Theme awardwas James Fennebergfor his displays of agave andother drought tolerant plants.
Above: New & Hemerocalis won the
Above:New Forest Hostas &Hemerocalis wonthe Best Retail Displayaward forits specially designed benches. Set in large wooden traysonmetal benches ensured the hostas wereclear to see and easy to shop
Above:The British Garden Centres’stand wasbuzzing andenticed visitorswith exclusiveshowpricesand discounts. It wassuccessful for brandengagement with both newand existing customers. Best sellers werethe British Garden Centres’signature Hydrangea‘Red Butterfly’ and the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year, Agapanthusorientalis‘Black Jack’. Westland wasalso present on the stand promoting the Stainless-Steel Perennial Spade and FloproCan-Can Watering Can.
The best of outdoor leisureunder one roof
Formorethan adecade, SOLEX has been the place to see the latest trends and innovation for the outdoor leisuresector.This year is no different,socome and meet suppliers and see new products to bring fresh ideas and invigorate sales in your outdoor living departments.
Firepits UK takes outdoor cooking to the next level
Firepits UK is amanufactureroftop-qualityﬁre pits, pizza ovens,and outdoor kitchens. Made with high gradeBritish steel, these products are designed to be both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Builttowithstandall weather conditionsand live outdoors, theinnovative designspush the boundaries of design and functionality.Oﬀeringavarietyofdesigns, from simpleand sleektointricate and ornate, thelatestadditiontakes outdoorcookingto thenext level. Firepits UK’s newinnovative OutdoorWood BurnerBBQ is equipped with a wide range of featuresgiving theopportunity to experiment with diﬀerentrecipes and techniques.
Tramontina is in the mood for SOLEX
Tramontina Mood is acollection of distinction, oﬀering ahighquality,modular style that will makea striking statement wherever it's positioned. Designed by renowned Brazilian designer,Bruno Faucz, it's made of FSC-certiﬁed jatobá wood (a hardwood also called courbaril) With aselection of diﬀerent items available, Mood is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
HEX Living showcases new Sandon range
Following on from its successful launch in 2022, outdoor storage and furniturebrand HEX Living will be showcasing the latest additions to its luxurious range.
Among the newproducts is the Sandon collection, adistinctiveand beautifully designed range of outdoor furniture. Including ﬁvediﬀerent lounge and seating sets, Sandon combines contemporarystyling with traditional materials and is suitable for year-round use. Enhanced by hardwearing,oak-eﬀect panelling,Sandon furniture features adurable aluminium frame complemented by thick, luxurious, cushions, for the ultimatein comfortand relaxation.
LeisureGrow launches industry game-changersasitapproaches its 25th anniversary
Outdoor living specialist LeisureGrow,is launching severalnew ranges that will be mustsee industrygame-changers.
The Grillstream barbecue range nowincludes the newSmashGrill ﬂat plateBBQ,the Aspect compact barbecue, the Legacy BBQsystem, newGourmets, Islands and Built-ins for outdoor kitchens, as well as the Classic range. Also joining the LG Outdoor family areexiting newelegant and modern furnitureconcepts, accessories and lifestyle products. The newFusion Collection combines carefully curated materials of diﬀerent textures to create aharmonious look to compliment any outdoor space.
Year-round cooking with CheekyCharlie
An innovation in outdoor cookingthat takes food to awhole newlevel. Tenstriking colours, as abeautiful focal point in any garden design. Made in Britain to liveand cook outdoors all year round-whateverthe food, whatever theoccasion, whatever theseason. And newtothe Charlie family for 2023 arethe CheekyCharlie tabletop oven, the Charlie Professional for commercial kitchens and the beautiful Charlie outdoor kitchen island unit.
Upgrade your outdoor living space with Pagoda
With acomprehensiverange of stylish and comfortable furniture, from exquisite, cushioned poly-rattan aluminium sets, to practical yet stylish steel framed sets, Pagoda Garden Furnitureisthe perfect solution for any garden or patio
The highly experienced team at Pagoda has adedicated oﬃce of buyers and inspectors based in Hangzhou, China and everyshipment is inspected to international AQLstandards for completeassurance. Pagoda products are shipped direct, in full container loads, via an FOB China portora door-to-door service. Pagoda can also ‘own brand’ its furnitureranges if order quantities aresuﬃcient.
Alva and Navarrajoin the Lifestyle line up
Lifestyle is excited to introducethe Alva and Navarraranges –the latest additions to its outdoor furniturecollection. Along with the introduction of EOT, Lifestyle is expanding its oﬀerings to cater for diﬀerent styles and needs.
Alva exudes luxuryand classwhile Navarra oﬀers comfortand ﬂexibility.Bothranges boast weather-resistant materials and durable aluminium frames that ensurerust-free use. Lifestyle takes pride in maintaining its quality and UK FR standards, and these upcoming ranges are no exception.
Char-Broil for juicy results
Newsales concept and range from LifestyleGarden will maximise sales
In amove to createa sales model that oﬀers greater ﬂexibility,LifestyleGarden’snew ‘mix & match’ oﬀering will reducethe need for retailers to stock multiple ranges. From 2024,retailers (and consumers) can build their perfect furnitureset, drawingfromLifestyleGarden’sportfolio of table and chairs acrossthe Topaz, Palau and Panama collections in grey,black, coraland sand options. The company is also launching Onyxchairs made from recycled plastic. Stackable and recyclable each chair utilises the equivalent of 155 plastic bottles and is perfect for indoor,outdoor and contract use. The Onyxcollection will be available in burnt orange, mint green, cream and skyblue.
Simple to use, high performing and ergonomically designed innovativegrills will be partofCharBroil’sSOLEX line up.Many featureChar-Broil’s patented TRU Infrared™ Technology ensuring perfectly even heat distribution and no ﬂareups. Recent innovations include the SMART-E fully-electric plug-in grill with precise temperature control, super-fast heat up times and autoclean function. Tastethe resultsfor yourself in theLove Outdoor Living Zone whereBBQ expertHilary from @bbqlads will be demonstrating Char-Broil’s superb grilling performances. Stand 640
t for humans and pets
mfortfor humans and pets
eme Lounging, home of the B-Bag, is a new take on bean that combine and comfort for the out and Its range incorporates seating, lighting, accessories and now a bed for four-legged friends. are made UV double stitched and super cosy Stand 515.
eme Lounging,home of the original B-Bag,is oducing anew take on bean bags that combine style and comfortfor the perfect seating outdoors indoors. Its range incorporates seating,lighting, cessories and nowabed forfour-legged friends. All aremade Britain, weatherproofed, UV resistant, uble stitched and super cosy Stand 515.
Elegancereigns at Minster Stylish Living
With aproduct range encompassing everything from reproduction antiques to garden furnitureand accessories, Minster Stylish Living is no ordinary supplier.Afamily concernset in thedelightful Nottinghamshiremarket and minster townof Southwell, Minster Stylish Living wasestablished in 1978.The businesshas enjoyedanatural, sustained and steady growth sincethen, developing and consolidating trade links acrossEurope, India and the FarEast. Minster Stylish Living today imports direct and supplies to companies of all sizes throughout Europe an unrivalled selection of elegant, ﬁne quality and often unusual furnishing accessories.
Unparalleled value and choicefrom Garden FurnitureGlobal
Acompletely newconcept in the design and sourcing of quality garden furniturewill be launched at the showbyGardenFurnitureGlobal. Harbo Your Waywill giveretailers unparalleled value and choice, but most importantly,the opportunity to specify their ownunique and exclusivedesigns for the 2024 season. To ﬁnd out howHarbo Your Waycan change the way you range and source garden furniture, be suretovisit Garden FurnitureGlobal at SOLEX. Stand 620.
Dansons has something for everyone
Be among the ﬁrst to view Bramblecrest’snew range
In-line with the growing demand for morecontemporarymaterials and styling, Bramblecrest’s2023/4ranges featureevenmore options of aluminium ﬁnishes, teak touches, and synthetic rope accents.
With equal focus on form, function, and the future, Bramblecrest believesincreating garden furnituremade for all spaces, styles, and seasons. Sinceits beginning in 2000,ithas consistently chosen the best materials, for the best reasons.
As aresult, its ranges combine the complete outdoor living look desired by its customers, with sustainable options the environment needs.
Understanding that relaxing outdoors requires thesame ease and enjoyment of being indoors, Bramblecrest has applied its trusted standards to the design, comfortand practicality of each sofa, dining,and lounging set, resultinginseamless transitionsbetween indoor and outdoor living
With the addition of ﬁrepits, accessories and complementaryscatter cushions, this latest collection delivers all-round style for the year ahead.
Pit Boss® and LouisianaGrills by Dansons turn up the heat at SOLEX 2023 with the Bigger,Hotter, Heavier® product and brand mentality.Dansons is afull-servicebarbecue provider,oﬀering wood pellet, gas, charcoal, and combination-fuelled grills, barbecues, smokers, and portable grills, all designed in house with quality and authenticity at the heart. Within its brands youwill also ﬁnd full lines of griddles, pellet fuel, accessories and spices. Oﬀering arange of pricepoints and technology features, Dansons has something for everyone,fromthe amateur back garden Griller to the professional Pitmaster.Bigger,Hotter,Heavier® Stand 100
Three newranges from InnovatorsInternational Innovators International takes great pride in presenting its newMilano,Rovin and Tuscany ranges. Designed and created with afocus on the textures used, the newrange combines the rustic look and feel of rope or rattan alongside asmooth ceramic tile top, encasedinasolid aluminium frame. This combination creates astunning ﬁnal look to compliment any garden space. Customer comfort has also been afocus, with luxurious thick cushions available in twocolours. Acrossthe ranges are lounge, bistro, dining and bar sets –perfect for any occasion.
Take adip with RotoSpa
RotoSpa, the UK’s only hot tub manufacturer is a 20-year-old family business. Supplying thousands of hot tubs acrossthe UK andEurope, it can help retailers unlock newrevenue streams with strong marketing.Oﬀering maximum quality and unbeatable value for money, RotoSpahot tubs boast lowrunning costs and the best energy saving features on the market. Built to last, RotoSpahot tubs aretruly portable and havebeen designed to ﬁt through doors and be repositioned so theycan be movedtodiﬀerent locations. Guaranteed to last alifetime, the hot tubs arealso100% recyclable.
Daropromotes its LauraAshely ranges
Daroiscelebrating 50 yearsofcreatingluxury furnitureand soft furnishings for the home and garden, and this year wonthe ‘Best outdoor/ garden furnituresupplier’ in the Big Furniture Group Supplier Awards. Darostrives to provide quality products and excellent customer service to itsstockists across theUKand is proud of its soft furnishing division in Derbyshirewhere cushions aremanufactured on amade-toorder basis, providing extensivechoiceand the opportunity to createbespokefurnituresets.
Darooﬀersﬂexible choiceand supply options with bespokecapabilities. Alongside the Daro Collections, the company is proud to be working with LauraAshleyinits 70th anniversaryyear to design and manufacturea range of outdoor and indoor furnitureranges featuring iconic Laura Ashleyfabrics
Style and comfortfromGlencrest’s AshburyCollection
Glencrest’sversatile AshburyCollection combines superior comfortand durability.The sturdy,yet light-weight powder-coated aluminium frames with sumptuous, dark grey showerproof cushions, provide easy-careelegancethat will last for years. With its versatile furnitureoptions,the AshburyCollection is perfect for creating abeautiful, cohesive outdoor living area. This ﬂexible range of furnitureincluding sun loungers, bistro sets, sofas, height adjustable dining,cleverly designed ﬁre pits and acreativecube set, optimises ahome and garden environment perfect for all year alfrescoliving
Quality and style from Paciﬁc
One of the leading UK suppliers of outdoor furnitureand accessories, Paciﬁc is proud to provide quality,stylish products with exceptional sales supportfor trade customers. At SOLEX it will be showcasing its newranges and competitivepricing structure, providing superb quality along with a breadth of outdoor living solutions for the trade.
Paciﬁc’soutdoor living collection includes arange of outdoor furniture, manufactured from a variety of quality sustainable materials. In addition, it oﬀers exclusivePlatinumParasols, sunshades and sails, alongside Cosi FirePits and lanterns. Alongside is the breathable Aerocoverrange providing year-round protection for all garden furnitureand accessories.
LANDSCAPE partnerswith LOFA & SOLEX for asecond year
LANDSCAPE is established as the essential trade event for discerning landscape and garden designers and provides the ideal platform to showcase leading trend products, connect with peers and learn about newdevelopments from those working at the topoftheir ﬁeld. Alongside the exhibition itself,LANDSCAPE hosts 40 CPD accredited seminars. Learn moreand visit LANDSCAPE’sShowGarden display at SOLEX.
Newpartnerships and products from KETTLER
As well as 10 newproducts, KETTLER is also announcing some newpartnerships and additions to its hugely popular Palma range. The newproducts embracethe trendsofindooroutdoorliving,creating aseamlesstransition from the home to an outdoor spacewith amix ofmaterialswith stylish and sophisticated designs. Newproductsfrom the popular Cozzebrand include aﬀordable, mix and match pizza ovens, electric grills, planchas and outdoor kitchens for.The company is also showcasing the Tenderﬂame range. Describes as the world’scleanest and safest ambient ﬂame, it is set to revolutionise the way ﬂamesare used indoors and outdoors.
New sales concept brings new opportunities
LifestyleGarden® continues to set benchmark after benchmarks for environmentally responsible manufacturing.
Fromthe groundbreaking DuraOcean® (SOLEX Best New Product Winner in 2019)tothe game-changing Nassau collection with its exclusiveuse of Social Plastic®,orits ﬁrst-of-a-kind partnership with the Eden Project, LifestyleGarden® has consistently worked to its ownagenda without ever compromising on value to retailers or end users. This year is no diﬀerent and at SOLEX 2023 the brand brings to market an exciting newsales concept that will open up amultitude of newcommercial opportunities.
What’smore, LifestyleGarden® will again use SOLEX to continue the conversation around the importance of “Doing Businessthe RightWay”–a mottothe company lives by –aswell as actively encouraging others to boycott greenwashing in favour of transparent processes and products that don’tjust
talk the talk but also walk the walk. Few brands can boast such direct and complete involvement in all aspects of businessand product development, but LifestyleGarden® proudly manufactures all products in-house with zero relianceonthird parties.Infact, thereisnopartofthe picture, from concept to deliveryintostore,that LifestyleGarden® is not proactively engaged with.
Paul Cohen, Commercial Director at LifestyleGarden® said: “Thereare lots of voices in the industrymaking signiﬁcant claims regarding material innovation or sustainable manufacturing processes, but very fewcan truly back-up all aspects. While sustainability is ajourney, not adestination, it’simportant that retailersare awareof the diﬀerenceand cantruly look beyond the myriad of sustainable messaging to get to the heartofwhat really matters. At LifestyleGarden® we’renot just saying the wordsbut we’reacting upon them.
We oﬀer transparency likenoother and are ﬁrmadvocates of placing the environment above all else. We truly believe in what we are doing,and knowour products, services and processes go above and beyond anything else within the marketplacetoday.”
Mix &Match to maximise sales
In amove to createa sales model that oﬀers greater ﬂexibility,LifestyleGarden® will be debuting,atSOLEX, its newMix &Match oﬀering.Thisnew wayofthinkingwillreduce theneedfor retailers to stock multiple ranges. Instead, theycan showcase products that enable consumers to shop conﬁgurations that best suit theirneeds and personal tastes.
From 2024,retailers (and consumers) can build their perfect furnitureset, drawingfromLifestyleGarden’sextensive portfolio of tables and chairs acrossthe Topaz, Paulau andPanama collections. With grey,black and coralsand options, these products areperfectly designed to seamlessly blend, or contrast, with one another for maximum impact.
Belowright and left: Retailerscan maximise on their sales by letting consumers choose individual items from the Palau, Panama and Topaz collections to maketheir ownbespoke set of garden furniture.
Thesuccessful Social Plastic initiativehas resulted in millions of bottles being turned intochairs.
“We’ve come to realisethatoften, consumers wish theycould draw on diﬀerent elements from keycollections to createa conﬁguration that best suits their outdoor space,”said Paul.“Whether it’sadding morechairs, increasing the table size, or building amulti-functional set-up that gives greater possibilities at home, our newmix and match options are the ultimateinﬂexibility.With countless possible conﬁgurations available, we have enabledretailers to increase their furniture oﬀering without having to increase allocated ﬂoorspace. It’sagame-changing concept and one we ﬁrmly believe will suit retailers, as well as theconsumer’s pocket with morecost eﬀective, ﬂexible solutions.”
Having launchedthe DuraOcean® and Social Plastic® collections at previous SOLEX events, it seems only rightthat LifestyleGarden® continuesthe theme and usesthe show’splatform to introducethe nextgeneration of sustainable furniture
Onceagain,the team from theEden Project will be at LifestyleGarden®’s sidesothat, together,theycan bring to market an exciting partnership driven by apassionatedesire to showcase onlythe most sustainable innovations possible.Thisyearitwill be the newOnyxchair drawing the crowds. Made from SocialPlastic® , aPlastic Bank initiativethat recycles wastematerial collected by those in themost vulnerable coastal communities in exchangefor tokens that help lift them out of poverty, the Onyxchairwill featureall thesame environmental and social beneﬁts, while providing exciting newsales opportunities. Stackable, recyclable and with each chair utilisingthe equivalentof155 plastic bottles, this newcollectionisperfect forindoor and outdoor, as well as contractuse An aluminium matching table will also be manufactured to complete the look
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Zest bring it home
In total a record 25 teams took part in the Better Ball Stableford competition held on The Lakes course at Belton Woods Hotel & Golf Club in Lincolnshire at the beginning of June There were smiles all round as golfers enjoyed a day of sport,networking and fundraising for the Greenﬁngers Charity
The team from Zest comprising Alwyn Williams, Leon Barratt, Simon Davison, Jess L’Hanson took home the GIMA Charity Golf Day Trophy ahead of teams from Durstons + Glee which came second and Leon Boots in third place
It’s hoped that thousands of pounds was raised for the Greenﬁngers Charity during the day and in the post BBQ Charity Auction and raﬄe Sue Allen, Greenﬁngers Chairman. “Thank you all so, so much,” says Sue Allen, Greenﬁngers Chairman “Not just for what you’ve done today for Greenﬁngers, but what so many of you do in an ongoing way for us Without GIMA and having days like this, where would we be? Next year it’s our silver anniversary, and I like to think that together next year we will really celebrate our 25th anniversary asacharity”
Highlightsof theauction on thenight were Smart Garden paying for a team of 10 volunteers to work in a Greenﬁngers
Garden, plus Vicky Nuttall (GIMA Director), Jenny Douthwaite (GIMA President) and Kate Ebbens (VicePresident) were auctioned oﬀ to work in Polhill Garden Centre Woodlodge also paid for the privileged of Linda Petrons, Greenﬁngers Director of Fundraising & Communications, working with them in their business for a day The ﬁnal total raised will be announced at GIMA’sannual awardsnight in October
Sponsors which helpedto make the day even more memorable must also be thanked
Ninja provided a mouth-watering bbq breakfast, Smart Garden took care of the champagne while Meadow View Stone and Hornby Whitefood PR sponsored the muchneeded drinks stations The list of generous sponsors continues with RocketGro, Premier Decorations, Woodlodge, SBM, Woolcool, Bathgate Silica, Decco, AHS, Imprint, Durston Garden Products, Hozelock, Maze, Fandango Fire Tools, Rollins, Elho, Capi Europe, Premier, Flymo, Clarins, Woodmansterne, Evergreen, Leon Boots and Zest
The ﬁnal total raised during the day and eveningauction will be announced at GIMA’s annual awards night in October
Find out more Forfurther information or to ﬁnd out howtotakepart next year and help celebrate 25 yearsofthe Greenﬁngers Charity,contact the GIMA team on 01959564947 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was unlucky for some but not for Zest which won the 13th annual GIMA Golf Day where a record 100 golfers took to the greens.
GIMA Charity Golf Day 2023
Winning Team. 87 points
• Alwyn Williams, Leon Barratt, Simon Davison, Jess L’Hanson
2nd Place Team. 85 points
• Dan Durston, Wes Durston, Dan McAlpine, James Kenton
3rd Place Team. 84 points
• Leon Boots
• Jacob Lewis, Charlie Burgess, Gordon Cheeseman, Mike Lind
Beat the Pro
• Ben Walton - Woodlodge
• Charles Fairway - Woodlodge
• Simon Bourne - Westland South
• Niall Mulcahy -Westland South
• Derek Bunker - Evergreen
• Tom Stolworthy - Rocketgro & Treadstone
• Jonathan Hirst - Hartman
• Gordon Cheeseman - Leon Boots
Nearest the Pin on the 2nd
• John Birch - Smart Garden 2
Nearest the Pin on the 5th
• James Mitchell - AMES
Nearest the Pin in 2 on the 8th
• Ron Craik - Smart Garden 2
Nearest the Pin on the 17th
• Colin Stephens - Evergreen 1
Longest Drive on the 18th
• Andy MacMillan - Vitax
Best Pairs. Score 46 points
• GordonCheesman and MikeLindLeon Boots
Worst Pairs Score lost 22 balls
• Bob Marley and Boyd Douglas-Davies
Team Wooden Spoon. 56 points
• Woolcool - Hortiwool
• Kevin Spilsbury, Josie Morris, Luke Woodward, Peter Tomlinson
Creativemerchandising brings new sales opportunities
Golden Grove’s brilliant conifer carbon catchers to benefit the environment and ‘inside out’plants forthe summer season from Farplants.
We all knowplants aregood for the environment but at Golden Grove Nursery, Lincolnshire work has been going on behind the scenes to better understand and measurethe environmental benefits of growing conifers. Its newpoint of sale material will help garden centres convey the message that conifers are great carbon catchers and lead to a boost in sales.
ZoeLarge, Account Manager says its data has shown aconifer has to be in the ground for between 1.5-2 years forittobecome carbon neutral and offset the carbon that was required to propagateand grow it.Fromthen on, it contributes positively to the environment by absorbing carbon.
“Wecan all do something for the environment,”says Zoe, who explains the newbench-front point of sale in eye-catching blue has the message ‘Planting for the Planet’. Round labels for use in single pots havealso been produced to stand out on the sales bench and giveshort, sharp messages.
Thenursery has found that a Cryptomeria ‘Sekkan-Sugi’, for example, can lock up around 300kgofCO2 in 20 years. Although this equates to just a single person taking aone-hour flight, the collectivepowerof all conifers planted throughout the UK should be celebrated. Planting for the Planet point of sale will be available with deliveries from August.
Blurring the boundaries
Reflecting the trend in stretching the use of plants
Help to promotegeranium sales
from indoors to outside, Farplants, West Sussex, is introducing Outdoor & Indoor to bridge the gap between garden and home. The wholesaler is choosing a range of plants to feature, on the grey shelves, which have architecturally interesting and colourful foliage. Tradescantia, begonia and crassula will be among the selection of around 30 varieties, in 1L pots and peat-free growing media, for despatch between MayJune 2024
Garden centrescan continue to promote geraniums throughoutthe summer with attractivepoint of sale material from PelargoniumsofEurope Printableposters can be downloaded,aswell as imagesfor useonsocial media, to inspirecustomerstobuy geraniumsand show themany ways theycan be usedfrombrightening up gardens,balconiesand patios or even bringing them indoors as houseplants.
What’s new in the plant world and talking to Government
Alan Down, HTAPresident
June arrived and finally delivered the spring rush we all hoped for! Worried faces havebeen replaced by smiles and the British weather has certainly delivered.
As Iwritethis at the HTANational Plant Showpositivity has returned to growers and to retailers too. Thereisabuzzabout the placeand orders arebeing taken, newleads followedupand exciting newvarieties talked about hereinthe halls at Stoneleigh. Thereisarecordnumber of stands and, while the aisles may not be crowded, theyare full of serious buyers proving that time spent herebygrowers and suppliers is efficient and productive. This is the 12th HTANational Plant Showand it is nowfirmly established as the showfor plants and associated products.
In London and Birmingham
Last month therewas very strong turnoutfor theAll-Party Parliamentary Gardening &HorticultureGroup reception in the House of Lords. We were pleased that many interested MPs, Lordsand Ladies attended thereception hosted by BaronessFookes.
Actorand keen gardenerJim Carterand Alan Titchmarsh spoke
passionately aboutthe valueofgardening to our health, wellbeing andthe environment. Chair of thenewly namedEnvironmental Horticultural Group (formerly OrnamentalRoundtableHorticultural Group) Boyd Douglas-Davies spokeeloquently and with authority about howour industryunderpins at least 50%ofthe government’s plans to hit carbon netzerotarget.
Many of the industry’srepresentatives took the opportunity to presshome keypoints of concern to parliamentarians and to Defraofficials who were present. We must all followthis up with letters to our local political representatives especially as the likelihood of ageneral election increases.
Next in my diaryisGlee in the halls of Birmingham’s NECand I’dbesurprised if the positivity felt at the HTA National Plant Showisnot echoed there. Iverymuch hope the strong demand for plants and gardening products continues throughout the summer months.
Find out more
TheHorticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’s leading membership organisation and welcomes all sectorsof environmental horticulture. Tolearn moreorjoinpleasevisit: www.hta.org.uk or email: email@example.com
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