gtn MAY 2018
Advice and information for garden centre professionals
We’re back, thank you for your support. We’re looking forward to seeing our customers at the launch of our new Wild Bird gardentradenews.co.uk Care range at the end of May and at Glee
We’re back! Peterborough
Power of PR
Recipe for growth
How to make the most of publicity p16-17
Latest news from the world of garden centre catering p18-19
Find out what’s taking the gardening world by storm p26-27
gtn MAY 2018
Advice and information for garden centre professionals
Chelsea Preview What to expect from the world’s greatest flower show
Special interview with John Ashley, Chairman of the Greenfingers Charity
Looking back at a lifetime’s work! Picture special from the opening of latest garden
THE TOP INTERVIEWS People in the news
Looking back on a lifetime’s work What follows is more a conversation with John than a formal interview, so sit back and enjoy John’s recollections of his early years in the garden industry. I joined the industry in 1972. After being on a course at Manchester Business College – Professor Roman Smith was the key man in those days – he along with many of the other lecturers forecast that the growth over the next 20 years would be in disposable income areas. I was then working for the Quaker Oats Company where I was the National Accounts Manager for the North of England. I’d come up through their management programme from area-to-=area rep to regional manager through to national accounts. National accounts in those days were very new to any business. I looked after people like the Coop and the Scottish Co-op who were really major people in the retail distribution. It was during the course at the Manchester Business College that the forecast was for the development of industries that were based on leisure activities over the next 20 years. Remember there were not any
2 May 2018
McDonald’s around the place in 1972. It was that sort of environment – you look back and you say ‘Heaven’s above where has it come from’. I had a young family and I was never at home and then all of a sudden I had a phone call: ‘Would I be interested in going for an interview?’, which I did with the Fisons company who were then a very big agrochemical, fertilizer and pharmaceutical company. Fisons we’re putting together a new division and were trying to recruit new FMCG people to bring it in. David Waite, who was the Agrochemicals Sales and Marketing director, he’d been with Procter & Gamble, was pulling together some fairly key people from various FMCG businesses. So, I went to the interview and then it all went very quiet and I thought nothing’s happened. But unknown to me they were talking then with ICI about possibly a merger of the two agrochemical businesses. Fisons had a very small activity in horticulture as did ICI. Fisons were the growers and ICI the killers in basic product mix. Months went by and then I get a phone call saying “sorry for the delay, are you still
With GTN reaching the milestone of publishing for 40 years later this year Trevor Pfeiffer caught up with John Ashley who has spent a lifetime working in the industry, mainly for Scotts Miracle-Gro, and is now the Chairman of the Greenfingers Charity. interested? I said yes, they offered me the job into the sales side. I was then moved from the North-east where I was Area Manager down to Harrogate as Regional Manager and then back to Cheshire where I was born and bred and then down to Cambridge, joining FISONS Agrochemical Company, and that’s where I lived for many years. When I joined it was still part of the agrochemicals business, very small and very few products like Velvetone, Evergreen, Tomorite, Killweed, straight’s of course; Growmore & bonemeal. Levington compost were about 75 litres and we also sold big bales of British Moss Peat. Grobags hadn’t been developed just then. They picked some very bright people who eventually went on to do better things in other industries. It was a really excellent team. At the start I was selling to corn seed and pet shops, hardware shops and the biggest retailer was Woolworths with a thousand branches. The only supermarket that was doing any gardening at all was Asda. There were no DIY stores in those days. Boots sold a range of garden chemicals and
“Tomorite is probably one of the oldest products. It is just one of those brands that’s just gone on and on and on” Timothy Whites in those days and a very few garden centres. The ones I remember from those days are Stewarts, Van Hage, Barton Grange. Eddie Topping was the first guy I met then. Scotsdales had a very small outlet in those days. Squires were very small in Twickenham. I remember meeting Colin Squire very early on. We sold to a lot of nurseries of course and they were starting to build up. Over the next few years the rapid expansion of garden centres was quite amazing. But also, the number of distributors. There must have been about 20 wholesalers up and down the country and Decco had a set of cash and carry’s. They were owned by Crown Paint but they bought in a range of garden products and they were the first along with Nurdin & Peacock who stocked a range of gardening for the small retailer. From Gibbs Palmer in Norwich, Lawson Donaldson in Scotland, Spread Garden Supplies, Glosters of Woking. Basically every area had its own wholesaler and a sales force. We had to ensure they were looked after as well as going round to the various retailers to gain distribution. It was very much a growth area in the late 70s through to the 90s and then the DIYs started appearing in the early in the early 80s. I remember going down to Southampton to the one or two B&Qs and they used to have these monstrous conferences to get the suppliers behind
them and they were certainly the front runners for quite some time. Then Sainsbury’s set up the first Homebase in Purley Way, Croydon where there was a tie up with GB-Inno-BM in Belgium who we went to meet with the buyer. The first one really it was an excellent set up and then it was going great they stocked all the good brands until they brought in a load of their own people from Sainsbury’s and of course then they turned it over to all own brand which of course destroyed the whole image. And then of course the garden centres developed and formed the GCA, and grew in stature. The HTA came more into the game. But it was some time before the garden centres really added more and more on and there weren’t that many groups until much later. Wyevale were one of the first over in Hereford. Brian Evans drove that with Bob Hewitt as his right-hand man in those days. At Fisons I started to develop the business as National Accounts Manager. I just went out and carried the bag which I did for a couple of months up in the North when I was moving house and I carried the bag going round the retailers finding out what retailing was all about. Literally carrying a bag full of samples. We used to get them out on the desk and show to the buyers. That’s how it was in the grocery trade as well. So, we carried
EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Garden Trade News, Potting Shed Press Ltd Dairy Drove Thorney Peterborough PE6 0TX Tel 01733 775700 Fax 01733 775838 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gardentradenews.co.uk THE GTN TEAM Editor: Neil Pope email@example.com Associate Editor: Mike Wyatt firstname.lastname@example.org Director: Trevor Pfeiffer email@example.com Publisher: Mandy Davies firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Alan Burdon email@example.com Ben Greenwood firstname.lastname@example.org HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Tel 01733 775700 or email email@example.com Subscription rates UK: £145 Subscription includes a password for full access to GTN Online plus a weekly copy of GTN Bestsellers
Continued on page 4 OUR PUBLISHERS GTN is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd, who also publish: * www.gardentradenews.co.uk website * Weekly GTN Xtra and Pet Trade Xtra newsletters * Garden Radio * Official Glee Catalogue and Glee Daily News Online – the only official guides to the garden industry’s leading annual trade show SMALL PRINT All material © Potting Shed Press 2018. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the express permission of the publishers. The information contained in this publication is published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. Potting Shed Press Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by reliance on information contained in this publication or in the event of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cessation of the trade of any company, individual or firm mentioned, is hereby excluded.
John at the opening of the lastest Greenfingers Charity children’s garden in Grimsby.
May 2018 3
INTERVIEW Continued from page 3 those disciplines over into the into the new industry. Even when we launched Gro-bags we had samples stuffed with polystyrene under our arms. We did that with British Moss Peat as well, so we went in with a massive great bale and that made a big impact when you carried it in. The launch of the Gro-bag was very interesting. Fisons in those days had a growing side as well a horticultural side and the original sales force years before just called on the big houses. So they used to have this small group of people who just went to sell fertilizer to the big estates. Grow bags had been in the growers’ side of the business, the ‘bluebags’ as they were called were used by commercial growers and the large estates. There was some leakage of ‘bluebags’ to retail in the early days which caused many complaints but then we realised there’s a market there because the consumer was liking the ‘bluebags’ for growing tomatoes. Converting that into a consumer brand, which was the Gro-bag that we launched and just went absolutely mad in 1975/6. The joke was you look back and we launched those without any palletisation. I went into Asda and they said this is great but a 20-ton truck would have a thousand Gro-bags on it. So, 1,000 Gro-bags delivered to an ASDA store or a garden centre all had to be handballed off. That’s how the peat and compost was delivered. The only pallets that were available then were 50 x 54, which the fork lifts struggled with the weight of, and we charged for pallets too! So, I got on a sub-committee with Arthur Bowers, PBI and other interested people and eventually after a long time we got the issue sorted as an industry; the 44 x 48 GKN pallet system became accepted as normal. These were the major hurdles that we got over in those days. From the launch of the Gro-bag it was absolutely incredible. We launched at the Chelsea Flower Show and we had an exhibit inside the main tent as it was then. It was an incredible event. If you have been on a stand at Chelsea Flower Show you’ll know how exhausting it is. I was on it for a shift during the day and I was absolutely exhausted. You had an hour off and an hour on. It was hard work, but people’s interest was phenomenal. We had a variety of plants that we had grown in the Gro-bag just to show their versatility – not only Gro-bags for tomatoes but also peppers, aubergines etc. there was a variety of crops to be grown. And it just took off. People could grow without a greenhouse. At the back of the garden. In my time. It’s the one new product development that certainly has stood the test of time. Over the years you’ve seen so many products that have been launched and were absolutely incredible but just bombed out within two or three years. Tomorite grew in popularity as a result because then we saw opportunities for cross branding, putting a 50p-off voucher for Tomorite on a Gro-Bag. Tomorite is probably one of the oldest products – it is certainly 50-60 years old.
4 May 2018
To my knowledge we’ve never advertised Tomorite. In all that time we’ve done regional advertising with retailers but certainly never any national. It’s one of those brands that’s just gone on and on and on. It must be even
stronger in the industry than Miracle-Gro, which was launched in 1989. That was the time that Hozelock launched their Clunk Click system and we both got the joint award at Glee for best product.
John goes on to recall his times working with Jim Hagedorn and the launch of Scotts Miracle-Gro but we’ll save that for a GTN 40 years special issue later this year. As Chairman of the Greenfingers Charity, John is as busy as ever, despite recovering from cancer surgery earlier this year. His love and passion for our industry oozes through him, no wonder he has driven the charity on to even greater fundraising and more gardens opened at children’s hospices – a report on the 55th garden opening at Andy’s in Grimsby is on page 12 Well done John! Footnote: As part of our GTN 40 years celebration we’re looking for more stories about the trade back in the late seventies and early eighties. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your re-collections of garden retailing back then. Were also looking for back issues of GTN from the early days. Unfortunately, through many office moves our archive is not quite complete so if you have any really old back issues stored away somewhere please also let us know.
April 21-22 The weekend when the season finally got ‘growing’ A welcome change from the early Spring weather, the heatwave of April 20-21 weekend was well received by gardens and gardeners alike across the UK. Sales at Dobbies Garden Centres were a massive 45% up versus the same period in 2017, showing just how ready people were to get into the garden. The good weather may have prompted some last-minute garden parties, with sales of BBQs and outdoor furniture soaring over the weekend, up 70% and 50% respectively on the same period in 2017. Graeme Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer at Dobbies Garden Centres, said: “Everyone’s been waiting for that first properly sunny day and this weekend absolutely delivered. The hot weather certainly prompted people all over the country to get into the
garden – and our BBQ and outdoor furniture sales certainly suggest many were taking advantage of being outdoors. “The increase in sales of plants and garden products showed that getting the garden into shape was also key for many people.” The sales success was mirrored online, with Sunday being the biggest ever day for www.dobbies.com. As this issue of GTN went to press, the GTN Bestsellers analysis for week ending 23rd April, the hottest week of the year, had not been completed, but Bestsellers Analyst, Trevor Pfeiffer is expecting more records to be broken. “After a record breaking low at the start of March I’m expecting the Epos data we receive to reach record highs, especially for
plant sales,” Trevor explained. “Every garden centre I’ve spoken to this week has told me they broke all records for takings over the weekend. That included loads of plant sales with so many varieties looking great all of a sudden and also high value sales of furniture and BBQ’s. Hopefully much of the March shortfall can be made up by the end of June. We just need more summer weather, please!” Thank goodness for the warmer weather as garden centres across the country were affected by the bad weather during the early Easter break, according to the Garden Centre Association’s Barometer of Trade report. Compared to the same month last year (2017) sales in outdoor plants were down -46.17%, and sales in seeds and bulbs were down -30.54%.
Biggest sales week of the year so far for Wyevale Sales of box bedding up by 174% Sales of veg & 82% herbs up by 82% Sales of Azaleas & Rhododendrons up by 74% The spring heatwave saw Wyevale Garden Centres’ weekend sales up 42% YOY, rounding off its biggest sales week of the year so far as Brits dusted off their gardening gloves ready to make up for lost time. The garden centre retailer, with 145 centres across the country, sold in excess of 1 million pots and packs of plants in the week, as customers sought out instant ways to brighten up their gardens, patios and doorsteps following the long, cold winter. Sales of box bedding were up 174% compared to the previous week, and rhododendrons and azaleas
6 May 2018
proved particularly popular varieties (+74% WoW) as the warmer weather means they’ll finally be given the chance to show off their seasonal splendour. The change in weather also saw a change in the pecking order for Wyevale Garden Centres’ blooms, with geraniums, marigolds and begonias replacing pansies, viola and primroses as the nation’s topsellers of the week. The grow-your-own trend also shows no signs of abating, with vegetables and herbs up 82% in sales WoW as Brits play catch-up with their vegetable plots and edible gardens.
RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
Getting ready for Chelsea The garden centre trade is busy getting ready for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which takes place on May 22-26. Here are some of the highlights that are bound to catch the eye. A host of new attractions has been unveiled for the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G Investments, which are sure to deliver another year full of design surprise, horticultural excellence and some thought-provoking themes. Gardens to enhance wellbeing The line-up of new attractions will include designs that demonstrate the huge positive impact of gardens on our health and wellbeing. The 2018 show also champions the immense power of plants, and how plants and green spaces can improve lives and help mitigate against major environmental challenges. Great ideas to take home Also new for 2018 are the Space to Grow Gardens. Their focus will mainly be on smaller, urban gardens and they will include ideas on how to make the most of spaces that are typical of a town garden. These designs are being created to show visitors the benefits that gardens provide, with plenty of great ideas to try at home. The RHS has dedicated an extra 400 sq metres of display space to ensure this new judged category conveys why everyone should grow plants in their garden. Chelsea at twilight Another big change for 2018 is an extension to the opening times on the Friday of the show. To make sure that even more visitors have a chance to see it, the team has announced The Chelsea Late Event, a vibrant evening with bands, an artisan food market and wandering artists, as well as a chance to enjoy the Artisan Gardens by twilight.
The Great Escape The Great Escape industry exhibit, spearheaded by the HTA, is taking shape with suppliers from across the industry signing up to take part by providing plants, sundries and materials for the exhibit. Suppliers involved include: Aylett Nurseries, Burgon & Ball, CED, Country Herbs & Plants, Ecodeck, Farplants, Flopro, Forest, Frank P Matthews Ltd, Garden Organic, Hozelock, Kent & Stowe, Lowaters, Melcourt Industries, Penny Banks, The Outdoor Living Company, Stewart Garden/Keter, Seiont Nurseries, Syngenta Flowers, The Bransford Webbs Plant Company, The Great Outdoor Gym Company, Woodlodge and Wyevale Nurseries. The Great Escape, designed by landscaper and broadcaster Chris Collins and built by APL committee member Mike Long and associates, is situated in The Discovery Zone within The Great Pavilion. The exhibit will showcase the UK garden industry, initiatives such as National Children’s Gardening Week and highlight the benefit of plants and gardening. Split
8 May 2018
Inside the Great Pavilion A carefully selected line-up of some of the best nurseries in the world will be exhibiting in the Great Pavilion, where visitors can enjoy more than 85 nurseries, the best florists in the business and interactive plant science displays in the Discovery area. Peter Beales Roses is celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary, alpine specialists D’Arcy & Everest their 25th anniversary and Hampshire Carnivorous Plants, with their range of Venus fly traps, pitcher plants and other carnivorous species, their 20th year at the show. into four zones – The Orb Den, the Urban Garden, the Outdoor Gym and the Summer House – the feature highlights the different ways in which people enjoy their outdoor space and the real benefits that this brings from an educational and health and wellbeing perspective. It will be packed full of fun and inspiring ideas and information with plenty of takeaways for visitors. From the Orb Den, an innovative structure for growing microgreens and salads, to the relaxation zone of the Summer House and outdoor gym equipment there will be something for everyone.
Focus on the Gardens Main Avenue will welcome 10 Show Gardens. From a romanticised 18th century English tea garden to a timeless recreation of a Mediterranean landscape; a blueprint for city living in contemporary apartments and a garden inspired by the resilience and determination of those living in forced migration, there is truly something to inspire, inform and delight all visitors. The hugely popular Artisan Gardens, combining traditional materials and methods with new design approaches, will be nestled throughout Ranelagh Gardens and include artisan products and high quality detailing. Rustic combines with stylish modern twists, resulting in bold and exciting gardens. Among the larger gardens, many wellknown garden designers are returning, each an ambassador for their sponsor. There’s a host of female talent at the show as well - of the 27 gardens, almost half are designed by women. Together, the designers are set to create gardens of the utmost beauty and spectacle, some of which will transport the viewer to locations around the world.
RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
People, planning and plantsmanship make the difference Whilst the numbers are astonishing, the most fascinating thing about Chelsea is the three Ps – people, planning and plantsmanship. The three all come together at just the right time to ensure the plants are absolutely perfect in time for the show. This is Hillier’s forte, as Charles Carr, Head of Wholesale Nurseries explains. Working with nature certainly has its challenges, even without the added pressures of RHS judging at the world’s most prestigious gardening show! We have to meticulously care for every single plant continuously and pander to their every single whim. From winter blankets on frosty days, to cold storage on warmer days – whatever they want they get. At Hillier, we have invested in our growing technology to overcome any issues the weather might bring. It’s all part of the Chelsea process, and what makes Hillier such a specialist, is the technological advancements and systems we have in place. This puts us in the fortunate position to be prepared for when things like the recent “Beast from the East” hit. We have brought in advanced technology in glasshouses to help cope with the weather. For example, we use computercontrolled environments to compensate for the weather so that we can make sure everything is ready for Chelsea at exactly the right time. We are able to speed up the plant growth to ensure every plant is at its peak for the show. And just to be safe, we have batches of the same plant kept in different growing environments purely because of the weather, our attempt to outsmart the unpredictable British climate.
Numbers behind an award-winning garden What does it take to create a gold medal winning Chelsea garden? George Hillier gives insight from the most successful exhibitor in Chelsea Flower Show history, Hillier Nurseries. There are some incredibly impressive numbers behind Hillier, and we are very proud of every single one of them. Let’s start with Hillier’s biggest stat – 72 consecutive gold medals! Another impressive number is 730 which is the amount of days from when we start thinking about our Chelsea plant stars until the show opens. As soon as one show finishes we’re already thinking of the future. We then begin putting the plans into action as soon as the previous show comes to a close, giving us a full year to pull
everything together. We have 1.3 million plants to choose from at our 60-acre nursery, which in 2018 gets whittled down to a still staggering 8,000 plants on show in our ‘Stihl Inspiration by Hillier’ garden – all grown by just three people. The plants are grown in 550m2 of polytunnels, 1500m2 in glasshouses, and 300m2 of outdoor growing space, as well as two cold stores. There are a significant number of people on the Hillier Chelsea team. Almost 150 people are involved in the proceedings and we’re a thirsty bunch; we must get through at least 10,000 cups of tea, if not more, just whilst putting together the garden. The kettle’s always on! Then onto the build – 20 lorries will set off from Hillier HQ to the Royal Hospital ground
and eight different lithium-ion battery powered Stihl tools will be used in the construction. This year, we will use 112 bags of cement, 800 concrete blocks, 60 tons of hardcore, 15 tonnes of sand, 24 pallets of bark which weighs over 25 tonnes, and this year’s garden will also feature 2000kg of corten steel and over 4,000 screws! The steel, provided by The Pot Company, arrived at our nursery in early March, ready to be treated to give us the desired finish for display in the garden before being transported to Chelsea. The Corten steel has had a salt water solution sprayed on to it twice a day since it arrived to give it the required look. At Hillier we are renowned for our trees and the 2018 Hillier garden will feature trees with a combined height of 61.5m, which is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa! We will distribute 25,000 copies of the Hillier Chelsea magazine at the show with an incredibly quick production scale to ensure that photos of the garden are featured. From build to breakdown, the Hillier team will work for 3,200 hours over 19 days. All that and then just 15 people, 10 lorries and one very long day to dismantle the garden!
May 2018 9
RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
‘Feel Good’ Garden gifted to London NHS Mental Health Trust
Taking centre stage Giles Rayner, a leading player in the world of water sculpture, will take centre stage in the Silent Pool Gin Garden at the upcoming RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The latest creation from Rayner – who is noted for his stunning Arches of Oman sculpture which lies in the gardens of The Royal Opera House in Muscat – has been commissioned by Neale Richards Garden Design, which is responsible for the design and installation of the overall Silent Pool Gin Garden. Rayner specialises in using copper, stainless steel and bronze, often at a large scale, to create imaginative and highly individual designs, which combine energy and intrigue with simple aesthetic beauty. He will use polished copper distillation helmets in the construction of his sculpture at the Silent Pool Gin Garden, in a nod to the Holstein still used in their gin-making process, which comes from the Surrey Hills. His creation at the Silent Pool Gin Garden will see Rayner’s sculpture sit within a garden design that combines hard landscaping with drifts of soft planting, using Purbeck walling, Portland stone and weathered oak. A raised infinity pool will flow into a lower reflective pool, and a private canopy will be provided by multi-stemmed trees. The use
of moving water empowers each design with real life, achieving sometimes a sense of the dramatic; sometimes the more peaceful. The news of Rayner’s involvement comes hot on the heels of his show-stopping Arches of Oman water sculpture, which is still wowing visitors to and residents of Muscat. An inimitable design featuring two entwined tusks, it is 12m tall and 7m wide, and the sculpture features a majestic flowing curtain of water. David Neale, managing director at Neale Richards Garden Design, said: “The sculpture that we have commissioned Giles to do is a representation of the citrus notes which go into the Silent Pool Gin as part of their botanicals. This was a way to include this particular botanic in a non-botanical way as we could not include citrus in the planting, but have included Orris root (Iris), Angelica archangelica and Chamaemelum nobile (Chamomile), as well as possibly rose and lavender into the planting.” Giles Rayner said: “I am delighted to have been invited by Neale Richards Garden Design to contribute to the Silent Pool Gin Garden. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an iconic event which represents the joys of Spring in the UK like few other occasions, and I am looking forward to creating a sculpture which is bursting with energy and life.”
To mark the NHS’s 70th birthday, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) will receive a garden from the world’s most famous flower show this summer for the benefit of patients and staff, thanks to a RHS competition. The RHS Feel Good Garden, designed by Matt Keightley, will be relocated to the Trust, which provides care and treatment to vulnerable adults in a part of London where green space is limited. Some 39 NHS Mental Health Trusts entered the competition and the judging panel, which included Tim Kendall, National Clinical Director for mental health at NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticulturalist, decided C&I should be awarded the garden. C&I provides inpatient and community mental health services and the garden will be located at its Highgate Mental Health Centre, one of its two inpatient psychiatric sites. From the date of installation, the garden will be accessible on aredaily basis for deles around Genienis aut etur estemquatis eic30tem adults enjoyed hundredscumenist more patients fugiae and custorit que by cullicipsus, et exerio and staff who aut are voluptis cared forest and work in the wards evelessimpor que oditaquas surrounding andconsed overlooking space. As the nonsendi odita et essithe veliqui beatiusdam garden develops, thequam Trustveliantio. project team will volest antentoribus Et laccusium work with those staff and patients to ensure the rae sequae voloriti is animilici ut anihita tquodit benefits enjoyment of this unique are felt volestor and ma vitatur aut alitatusdae eumgift esse by as many people as possible. oditatectata vollorem illorum faccatque nobist competition a joint venture between the moThe molori doluptur isseni corest andisin eum vori RHS and velles the NHS, whichtendi is celebrating 70th occulpa inumqui audi voloritsseruntium anniversary in July, to raise awareness of the quae. positive impact that horticulture has on mental health and to promote how gardens can provide relaxing and rehabilitative spaces. Keightley, twice-winner of the RHS/BBC People’s Choice Award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and part of the judging panel, said: “Looking through the submissions was a really moving experience and demonstrated just how valuable a green space or garden can be for patients and staff. There were so many inspiring entries, it was not an easy decision. I am delighted that the RHS Feel Good Garden will live on, providing a calm and beautiful space for adults in need of respite. The RHS Feel Good Garden will go to C&I in June and be re-created in an outdoor space that is currently underused.
Time to celebrate 80 years British greenhouse and glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic is celebrating a landmark 80th anniversary. The Lancashire-based business, which was founded in 1938 by brothers Vincent (RHS fellow) and Norman Hartley has been making its handmade and bespoke aluminium greenhouses and glasshouses for 80 ‘trusted’ years, working from the same artisan factory beneath the base of the dramatic Pennines’ Chew Valley. Its history as a business and the provenance of its carefully crafted garden
10 May 2018
structures are the inspiration behind its RHS Chelsea Flower Show trade stand and will be symbolically mirrored in displays which tell the historic stories of plants well known to British gardeners. Hartley Botanic’s 2018 RHS Chelsea trade stand will feature four of the manufacturer’s handmade greenhouses and glasshouses, as well as a limited edition structure commissioned to mark its 80th anniversary. Each greenhouse will be filled with individually designed planting schemes, providing glass-framed vignettes for visitors.
Garden centres go ‘potty’ for award-winning range Jardinopia have literally burst on to the garden centre, gift and hardware scene since they entered the market with their quirky ‘Potty Feet’ range of plant pot feet in September 2017. Having been awarded the accolade of best new product by the Glee judges at Spring Fair in February – their first ever exhibition – they have seized on the fantastic market reaction to their brand and have continued to develop the range to include cats, horses, multiple dog breeds and a variety of birds. Their winning formula of creating an innovative nature-oriented product that serves both the gift market and gardeners, and one that can be used safely indoors and outside has seen their sales grow massively over a very short period. Jardinopia will be launching two new associated brands this year, designed to complement and sit alongside ‘Potty Feet’. They are also planning to expand the current range further and are launching new ‘Potty Feet’ figures at Glee in September. Based on their incredible success to date with prominent garden centres buying in to their ideas and prepared to talk in support of
the company and its products, Garden Trade News are anticipating a very bright future indeed for this entrepreneurial and energetic young company. The current range of Potty Feet can be found at www.jardinopia.com and are available to trade, consumers and distributors by contacting Andrea at info@Jardinopia.com. Jardinopia will also be exhibiting widely throughout the summer and can be found at Hampton Court, Chatsworth, Tatton Park, Henley, BBC Countryfile Live and Gardener’s World Live.
TALKING POINTS 5 STORIES THAT MADE THE HEADLINES
‘Closing down’ signs appeared outside garden centres in the beleaguered Home & Garden Group, which went into administration in March The sale of its nine garden centres was being handled by Quinton Edwards, and Simon Quinton Smith told GTN: “We are looking for a quick sale because of the time of year. Interested parties should contact me quickly.” Offers were being invited from interested parties to acquire the business either as single acquisitions or multiple sites.
A major fire destroyed Strikes Stokesley Garden Centre in North Yorkshire. At least 40 firefighters battled the blaze at its peak, with three crews still on scene the following morning. North Yorkshire Fire Service said there had been “major damage” to the centre and the roof had collapsed. Officers reported that the whole building had been involved in the blaze with a large amount of fire damage.
Kelkay Ltd was selected as one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing companies at a business awards event. Antony Harker, Kelkay Ltd Chief Executive, commented: “It’s such an honour for our business to be recognised as one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing businesses. This accolade is thanks largely to the dedication, skills and sheer hard work of my fantastic team together with the support from our loyal garden market customers.” Kelkay was recently acquired by Griffon Corporation (NYSE:GFF), a US public company.
Allensmore Nurseries won the coveted LEAF Accreditation following investments in sustainable production methods and facilities, and rigorous inspections across their business to ensure compliance with the exacting standards required to achieve the marque. LEAF accreditation requires holders of the marque to demonstrate their on-going commitment to producing crops using sustainable methods and in ways that enrich the environment.
‘’Potty Feet were one of our top Christmas Gifts this year. I have been impressed by the way they have developed the product into a fantastic range” Charlie Groves, Groves Garden Centre ‘’We saw immediately why the product won first prize at Glee@Spring Fair and knew they would make for a great seller” Matt Shorter, Longacres ‘’We love Potty Feet and our customers can’t get enough of them” Malcolm Berry, Senior Buyer, RHS Wisley
5 Wesfarmers, the Australian owner of Homebase, asked prospective buyers of the ailing business to submit initial offers as it sought a fast-track exit from its disastrous foray into the UK retail sector, according to Sky News reports. Sources close to the seller said it was assembling a large financial package to hand to any new owner to help contend with its huge losses. The value of the dowry had not been finalised, but one insider said it could easily exceed £100m. Homebase, which is part of Wesfarmers’ Bunnings UK and Ireland division, is expected to lose approximately £190m in this financial year on revenues of roughly £1bn, according to the source. Homebase was intended to be a launchpad from which the Australian retailer would take on B&Q in a battle for supremacy in the DIY market.
Full versions of these reports first appeared in GTN Xtra, our weekly e-newsletter mailed direct to registered email addresses to keep readers in touch with industry news as it happens. To register, send your email address to: trevor. email@example.com and put ‘GTN Xtra’ in the subject line.
May 2018 11
Great gardens like this... Jody Lidgard opens Greenfingers Garden in Grimsby Hospice. Award winning garden designer, landscaper and Greenfingers Charity Ambassador Jody Lidgard officially opened the new pirate themed garden at Andy’s at St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby. The opening was attended by hospice staff, children and families and many friends of Greenfingers Charity who generously supported the creation of this new enchanting garden. Originally from Grimsby and passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people, Jody was keen to work with Greenfingers to design and create a garden which would provide life-limited children with a feast of new sensory experiences. Speaking about his design, Jody said: “I feel extremely privileged to have been able to bring this gift of a garden to children from the area where I grew up. I really hope that children in wheelchairs will have fun splashing through the water fountains, hearing raindrops on the galleon’s tin roof and enjoy the protective feeling of being surrounded by tall grasses. But most of all I hope this garden will be a special place where children, their families and carers smile and enjoy precious time together.”
Michelle Rollinson, Chief Executive of Andy’s at St Andrew’s Hospice, said: “We are delighted with how our new pirate-themed garden looks. Jody and his team, as well as Greenfingers, have done a fantastic job of transforming the area. The new garden will give patients and their families a space to relax at a time in their lives when it matters the most.” John Ashley, Greenfingers Charity Chairman, said: “Having seen this garden before work started, I am thrilled to see this wonderful transformation which I’m sure children and families will enjoy. “On behalf of everyone at Greenfingers Charity, I must thank our many friends who have made the building of this garden possible through their continued generosity. In particular, I would like to say a huge thank you to Jody and his team, the team from Kew Green Hotels who have been tirelessly fundraising as well as volunteering in the garden. To the teams at British Garden Centres who donated plants and funds raised through carrier bag sales and to Smart Garden Products who kindly donated solar lighting.”
...happen because of events
12 May 2018
like Garden Re-Leaf Day Garden Re-Leaf Day was once again a blooming success with almost £65k already pledged thanks to the tireless enthusiasm of the garden industry and others who participated in events and promotions all over the country. Over 70 people from garden retailers, suppliers and manufacturers walked a sponsored 10 or 20-mile circuit through the Buckinghamshire countryside on the annual Garden Re-Leaf Walk. This year saw the inaugural Garden ReLeaf Cycle Challenge with 15 intrepid bike enthusiasts taking on the endurance test of 50 or 100 miles. Hillview Group CEO and Garden Re-Leaf founder Boyd Douglas-Davies set all 11 of his stores a challenge for this year’s Plantathon – to plant 101 plants in 12 hours. Totalling an impressive 1,111 pots, £1 from every planter sold will go to Greenfingers The staff at Squire’s Garden Centres in Woking got their hands dirty, potting over 500 lovely, bright and cheerful spring plants, while Bob Hewitt’s Klondyke held 12-hour Plantathons in six of their stores. Many garden centres got quizzical for Garden Re-Leaf Day with Poplars raising over £1,600 from their evening. Masterminds at Perrywood raised over £1,600 whilst all
monies from general knowledge experts at Altons Garden Centre totalled £450. Tates Paradise Park and Old Railway Garden Centre also held money-raising quizzes. Manufacturers and suppliers gave their full support to Garden Re-Leaf. Rolawn donated £5 for every bulk bag of Beds & Borders Topsoil purchased on their website on the day and during the following week. Garden Innovations also sold charity packs of their best-selling Bottle Top Waterers. Inspired by the fun and bright colours and
positive outlook of Garden Re-Leaf Day, a donation of 37p per charity pack sold went to Greenfingers. The Garden Re-Leaf fundraising and awareness continued over the weekend with a special QVC Gardening Show on Sunday which raised a staggering over £32,000 through the sales of plants, bulbs and garden sundries. There were many more fantastic moneyraising events on Garden Re-Leaf. Watch out for updates in our enewsletter GTN Xtra.
May 2018 13
Wonderwall is bestseller It has been a period of vertical sales growth for Wonderwall since the innovative vertical gardening product was launched into garden centre retail outlets in April 2017. By the end of that month the product had already debuted in the GTN Bestsellers Garden Products Top 50 and the number of centres using Wonderwall to make dramatic displays and drive volume sales increased month by month. In the summer, as vertical gardening displays at flower shows inspired more gardeners to make more of their outside vertical spaces, Wonderwall rose to No 14 in the GTN chart. Sales then continued apace through the Autumn gardening period with Wonderwall becoming the second bestselling garden product line during week ending 5th November 2017. So far, even with the bad weather we’ve had, Wonderwall has already made an appearance in the Top 50 Bestselling Garden Products charts for 2018, reaching No 27 in the week after Mother’s Day. Wonderwall has been brought to the UK garden market by Rick McKeever of USP Creations. “It’s developed in China by Worth and I started with it 18 months ago,” Rick told GTN. “They created it for commercial use, but I spotted the opportunity for it as a retail consumer product and that’s how USP Creations came about.” Rick has over 23 years horticultural experience, at Whiterigg Alpines, for 13 years and then working in marketing and new business development at Lovania Nurseries. “During my career I have had a passion for creating innovative displays and creating new ideas. That is where the Wonderwall began its journey.” Rick’s close working relationship with Allensmore Nurseries means he is well placed to know what the current plant buying trends are and how retailers can best make the most of the Wonderwall product.
14 May 2018
Wonderwall makes for stunning planteria displays like this one at Newbank in Bury (above). Targeted displays also generate good sales such as this herb garden on the wall of the outside eating area at Ayletts (below).
So what is Wonderwall? Wonderwall is a patented self-watering vertical garden planter system. Consumers can use plants in 12cm pots or plant directly into it. Each planter, made from professional grade recycled Propene Polymer holds three plants and incorporates it’s own automatic
drip irrigation with a reservoir that keeps plants watered for up to two-three days. Plants such as native perennials, flowering annuals, succulents, tropicals, houseplants, herbs, and organic edibles can be grown in Wonderwall. The system works both indoors and
GTN PROMOTION Coolings have used Wonderwall effectively at the entrance of their award-winning garden centre.
Wonderwall created a stunning display at Chelsea Flower Show in 2017 (above left) and has been used indoors at Blue Diamond’s new East Bridgford centre to add a vertical dimension to their houseplant department (right). outdoors (wall, railings, patios, balconies or anywhere else). Wonderwall is now on sale in 180 garden centres this year, including Ayletts, Notcutts, Coolings, Newbank, Blue Diamond, Klondyke and Dobbies. Rick has new stocks arriving in the UK this month that will allow the number of centres stocking Wonderwall to continue to grow. Retail prices for 2018 are £9.99 each or buy 5 or more for £7.99 each, so the chances of valuable multiple sales are greatly enhanced with stunning displays as well as the retail stands, which come either with a TV video display unit or without. New for 2018 is a Wonderwall Starter Pack. Retailing for £39.99 the pack includes four Wonderwall planters, all the battens and screws, so that customers can easily create their own Wonderwall. All they have to add is the plants – and that of course is another great linked sales opportunity – with 12 plants needed for each Starter Pack sold. “Feedback from customers is that as well as being a great product to buy for their own garden, Wonderwall is also a great “gift” idea,” Rick explained. “That is another reason we developed the Starter Pack, plus we’ve also launched a maintenance and installation service that can be sold to customers too.”
If you want to find out more about Wonderwall or stock the planters contact Rick McKeever on 07834 372468, E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.wonderwall.direct
The final word about Wonderwall goes to Richard Lockwood, Senior Plant Buyer at Dobbies. “Within the first week, sales across all 34 stores have exceeded expectations and the response from customers has been tremendous, along with the demand for further info from a variety of Media channels. This innovative product is capturing the imagination of customers wishing to add vertical planting to their indoor or outdoor space whether it be contemporary in style or more traditional.”
May 2018 15
Power of Public Relations
Holly Daulby, a director of Paskett Public Relations, works with clients in the garden trade. She gives an insight into how a focused PR campaign can help to transform a business. How long have you been working in public relations and when did you join Pasket PR? In 2016, Paskett PR celebrated its 40th birthday so we are firmly established and recognised within the gardening industry! Graham Paskett started the business, and now he and I jointly run it. I’ve been working in PR, in various forms, for around eight years. I have a Masters degree in PR, part of which involved internships at four of the UK’s leading PR agencies. I then worked at PRIME Research on the analytical data side ensuring that PR has maximum impact and ROI through data analysis and reporting, which is certainly something I’ve been able to bring in elements of to Paskett PR since joining in 2013. How pro-active are you in getting new stories from your clients or do you wait for them to put forward ideas? It’s a combination of both really. We suggest new ideas and campaigns, but all of our clients are passionate and proactive and so supply us with things to work with on a regular basis. We constantly monitor national news to identify opportunities to involve clients. Ready for the start of each year we’ll liaise with each client to produce a detailed, strategic PR plan which factors in their targets, key areas of business to focus on, as well as product launches and campaigns. It’s not all about news stories. A big part of our work is creating relationships for our clients with charities, organisations and other brands to implement initiatives that are creative, charitable or beneficial to local communities, which in turn help our clients get in front of new audiences. For a lot of these we explore the options, propose them to the client and then manage the relationship and the campaigns. Do you arrange the photography to go along with the press releases?
16 May 2018
Good photography is absolutely key to securing coverage, particularly for gardening brands because everything is so visual. We work with clients to make suggestions for the best shots to make sure their libraries are ‘media friendly’. It’s not just key for press releases though, photography also lends itself perfectly to social media and it certainly helps our clients extend their online reach too. How important is PR in raising awareness for your clients? Vital! But as a PR agency, we’re bound to say that! In all seriousness though, PR is about genuine communication reaching out to identified audiences and growing brand recommendations and endorsements. These two aspects have a huge impact on a company. Public relations content is widely thought of as being more trusted than advertising as the space isn’t paid for, so it is worth investing in. Public relations is about ongoing brand awareness and reputation, so is also vital should something go wrong. It’s a way of controlling the messages you put out about your brand, which again is important when you factor in online communication too and the speed in which things can spread. Do you have a good relationship with all sections of the media - local, national, consumer and trade? Last year we generated more than 3,000 pieces of coverage, reaching over 230 million people, and this was across all types of media. Our media contacts are what we pride ourselves on as an agency so we dedicate time to nurturing these relationships, and many journalists from all sectors have written testimonials about us. Each client and campaign has specific aims and objectives and we come up with plans and strategies to fulfil these. Each aim requires targeted media. For example, we
regularly feature in trade media to encourage retailers to stock new products, and then work on the other side to generate customer interest for the retailers by securing product reviews and brand endorsement in consumer media and national newspapers. We also do a lot of work with regional newspapers, radio and TV to support the 17 shopping and garden centres that we look after too. This reach goes beyond print media, and TV and radio remain as important as ever, not forgetting bloggers of course! Blogger relationships are a crucial string to our bow, and we are constantly monitoring who the next upcoming influencers will be and making sure that we are in contact with them to extend our clients’ reach. The various elements of social media now play major roles in PR work and are a fully integrated part of the communications mix. Do you monitor and feed back all the coverage you get for your clients? Yes, and in quite some detail. PR evaluation and measurement isn’t just about simply listing the pieces of coverage generated. We analyse the quality of the coverage, the type of feature, the targeting of the publication and its demographic in relation to our clients and their goals. Due to the seasonality of what we do, we also take into account the date of coverage to ensure we’re reaching the right people at the right time to be generating sales and business. This year we’ve implemented a new scoring system and have introduced live updating results dashboards so we can jump in at any point and check that things continue to go in the right direction. We’re also growing these systems, factoring in more share of voice, tonality and competitor analysis. The most important aspect to all of this is not just having the reports, but then using the information and data to shape strategy and plans going forward.
Sum up what you offer your clients... Having been in business for 42 years, we have unrivalled experience and contacts across the industry and media. Across the team we have a fantastic blend of experience that gives us a leading edge in the market; Graham, for example, spent many years working as a newspaper journalist so knows what makes a good story. He is also a massively keen gardener so regularly imparts his horticultural knowledge! We deliver strategic campaigns that nurture and strengthen our clients’ brand reputations, raise awareness and ultimately increase sales. From traditional print media to online publications, we achieve thousands of pieces of coverage every year. Well known within the industry, our relationships with organisations such as the National Garden Scheme, The Horticultural Trades Association and The Garden Media Guild enable us to keep abreast of industry trends and issues which we use to bolster all of our activity on behalf of our clients. We also offer social media services, either as a stand-alone service or integrated with our PR activity and advise on the most appropriate channels and approach to reach new audiences.
What makes a good PR event? Each client is different so we don’t have a set checklist but there are key factors that guarantee success. The first is attendees! Journalists’ schedules are often quite hectic and so it can be a challenge to persuade them to give up valuable time to attend an event. It is therefore essential to make the event engaging and worthwhile for them, with clear objectives for what we would like the event to achieve for our clients. It also needs to be entertaining and not just a corporate sales pitch. We find offering something more interactive and engaging gives people more reason to leave the office. Of course good hospitality, excellent food, some freebies and gifts go a long way too!! Have you got any good events planned for the forthcoming months? The biggest event on the horizon is rapidly approaching…Chelsea. We’ve got a couple of clients exhibiting at the show this year. One of those is Hillier, which is the most successful exhibitor in Chelsea Flower Show history. This year we proposed a campaign that sees Hillier working with Kieron Williamson, a 15-year-old artist nicknamed “Mini Monet”. Kieron’s work has sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds and we have commissioned him to paint the Hillier garden on press day and then auction the pieces for charity after the show. We’ve had
some fantastic interest already and have exciting things lined up for the show! Another client, Griffin Glasshouses, will be launching two new glasshouses as part of their National Garden Scheme range and we are organising a key photo opportunity on press day. After that we’ve got a busy year lined up with all the summer shows as we’ll be at Gardeners’ World Live, Hampton Court, Tatton and Chatsworth, followed by Glee and SALTEX in autumn
May 2018 17
The latest food trends, the war on waste and catering for vegans are just some of the topics on the agenda at the HTA Catering Conference which takes place on 5-6 June at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Recipe for growth
Themed ‘A Recipe for Growth’, the successful two-day HTA Catering Conference and Dinner is aimed at all those in garden centre catering from business owners and managers to chefs and front of house staff. With a mix of speakers from inside and outside the industry there will also be panel sessions and the opportunity to highlight issues pertinent to your own operation. Alongside the conference and dinner there will be an exhibition showcasing garden centre catering suppliers with further opportunity for networking with peers across the industry. Day one of the conference (Tuesday 5 June) focusses on strategy and operations and will be chaired by Neville Stein of Ovation. Keynote speaker on this day is Jim Cregan, founder of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee’s. After getting incredibly frustrated with working as a labourer, shifting bricks in the winter and hosting major UK festival stages dressed as a mermaid in the summer, Jim realised enough was enough and decided to head to Oz. It was there he fell in love with iced coffee and returned home to start his own company. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee was formed in 2011 and with his sister as his business partner, a great deal of hard work and enthusiasm, they’ve built a successful business in the UK. Josh Brown, Head of Commercial Development at Harris + Hoole, will be talking about starting up, running and selling an independent coffee shop before joining Harris + Hoole.
18 May 2018
At the conference dinner, delegates will be joined by the TV chef Rosemary Shrager. Rosemary endeared herself to the nation when she took part in ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ where she proved she could cook just about anything, anywhere. Her latest programmes include The Big Family Cooking Showdown and The Real Marigold Hotel.
The second day of the conference (Wednesday 6 June) focusses on food. Paul Hargreaves, Founder and Chief Executive of Cotswold Fayre, a speciality & fine food wholesaler, will be focusing his session on food trends to watch out for throughout 2018 and into 2019. Jane Land, Founder of Veganuary, a charity which has encouraged over 200,000 people to try vegan for the month of January, will also be joining us on day two. With millennials moving towards meat free and free from foods, Jane will be talking about how you can make sure you are catering for all diets and why this shift in attitude towards plant-based diet is gaining momentum. Eco Chef, Food Waste Activist and Author, Tom Hunt, is also founder of Forgotten Feast, a Social Enterprise working on projects throughout the UK to revive our cooking heritage and help reduce food waste and will give an inspiring talk on his learnings. James Debbage, from Green Pastures Garden Centre in Norfolk, will provide an update on their innovative approach, including their colourful home-grown salads, afternoon tea served in a trug and ice cream sundaes served in a ceramic welly boot! Paul Pleydell from Pleydell Smithyman is the latest to join the programme of speakers. Using examples from both inside and outside the sector Paul will be looking at the best ingredients to create outstanding places to eat. Exhibitors booked to attend so far include Arden Coffee Ltd, BIRA, Citation, Frobishers Juices Ltd, Newbery International Produce Ltd, The Handmade Cake Company, Vision Commercial Kitchens, Matthew Algie & Co, Space Catering Equipment Ltd and Tea from the Manor. Pictures used are from last year’s event
UK’s only dedicated show for commercial kitchens is back
Now in its third year at the NEC Birmingham, Commercial Kitchen is already renowned as a must-attend event for buyers from many of the country’s leading garden centres. Over 2,000 attendees from across the foodservice and hospitality industry are expected to pack the aisles again when the show returns on 5-6 June.
Over 100 exhibiting companies are lined up for this year’s event, showcasing the complete range of innovative equipment, services, devices and utensils required to run, refurbish or build a commercial kitchen; including cooking equipment, refrigeration, storage, warewashing, fit out and design. Big name exhibitor highlights include Unox UK, Panasonic UK, Welbilt UK, Meiko UK, Adande Refrigeration, Purified Air, Regale Microwaves, Carpigiani UK, Cuisinequip, DC Warewashing & Icemaking Systems, The National Flooring Company, Fire and Ice, Reco-air, Retigo, Roller Grill UK, Samsung, Sterling Foodservice Design, Synergy Grill, Target Catering Equipment, True Food International, Univent Systems, Viessmann Refrigeration Systems and Whirlpool Professional/Blue Badger. “This year’s visitors will enjoy opportunities to experience first-hand, ground breaking new products and services from leading industry innovators,” explains Commercial Kitchen’s event manager Katie Tyler. “Being able to compare what’s on offer in the market from the best brands in one visit and get advice and inspiration to ensure you make the best decisions for your business, whatever your size or need, is what makes Commercial Kitchen such an invaluable experience to its visitors,” she says. Visitors to the show can see the most exciting new products that have launched in the market in the Innovation Challenge Gallery. They’ll be able to vote for their favourites and be part of the audience to find out which ones win a coveted Commercial Kitchen Innovation Award.
FREE keynote seminars As in previous years, the show’s expert seminar content will cover key themes that focus specifically on the kitchen or back of house, including equipment innovations, technology, procurement, design, efficiency, and best practices. Confirmed speakers and panellists at the show include Alasdair Murdoch, ceo of Burger King UK, Paul Dickinson, director of food at Fuller’s, Kate Nicholls, chief executive at the newly formed UKHospitality, Jane Treasure, F&B director at PizzaExpress, Martyn Clover, head of food at Tortilla plus many more. Martyn Clover will form part of the Compact Kitchens panel – examining the considerations and best practices when it comes to operating innovative, efficient, and ergonomic kitchens in smaller spaces. “Brilliant, innovative, sustainable equipment is really important to Tortilla, so Commercial Kitchen is the best place to source and test the things that make our kitchens work even better,” says Mr Clover. For more information and to register for your free trade ticket in advance (saving the £20 door fee), please visit www.commercialkitchenshow.co.uk and quote priority code CK71.
Essential Info Dates and Opening times: Tuesday 5 June: 10am to 5pm Wednesday 6 June: 10am to 4.30pm Last entry is 1 hour before show closes Venue: NEC Birmingham Website: www.commercialkitchenshow.co.uk
May 2018 19
GIMA DAY CONFERENCE The Garden Industry Manufacturers’ Association’s AGM and Day Conference took place on 12th April at Ettington Chase Hotel, Stratford-UponAvon, with over 65 members in attendance. With a packed agenda, the day tackled everything from the Bank of England’s current economic forecast, foreign exchange rates, GDPR and two industry stalwarts sharing an insight into their careers and hopes for the future. An overview of GIMA’s current activities completed the day-long conference.
Gamekeeper turned poacher 6
Martin Breddy of Squires Garden Centres, provided a rare insight into the similarities and differences between supplies and retailers in a talk entitled ‘Gamekeeper turned poacher’ at the GIMA Day Conference held in Ettington Chase Hotel, StratfordUpon-Avon. Previously on the ‘other side of the fence’ at The Scotts Miracle Gro Company, Martin noted there are some similarities, such as the need to understand the many different brands, channels and products that make up this diverse industry. However, it was the differences where he focussed much of his attention. He summarised these as nine succinct and thought-provoking differences:
Human Service – all those people working in your business – from those on the shop floor, café, plant area etc, are the face of your business. It’s so important to value this, and work with them to listen, learn and educate.
Marketing – Squires may be a £50m turnover business but its marketing team can be counted on one hand. In retail, teams are much smaller, and this means that decisions are made quicker and more impulsively – a significant difference when compared to the supplier side.
Speed – retail is so much quicker than the supply side. As a result, retail often has to go with its gut and make snap decisions.
Price & Value – don’t let retailers bully suppliers into reducing prices, instead suppliers need to help retailers to see the value, not just the price.
Property – this is your asset, so you need to get it right. So, invest when required as the return on investment will be notable.
Breadth – Squires currently has over 100,000 skus on the system. As a result, retailers cannot look that deeply at any one category, and this will be reflected in the way they interact with suppliers.
Environment – garden retailing is much more than just a building – it’s a nice place to visit, and the right environment encourages customers to come back time and time again.
Tony Blake, owner of St Peters Garden Centre and founder of Choice Marketing, gave an insight into his journey from a young boy in inner city London to creating one of the industry’s most influential buying groups. He also challenged suppliers to consider a shop within a shop concept, where suppliers manage franchised product specific sectors instore, as well as mentioning that in his view fewer garden centres will be put up for sale in the future thanks to successful succession planning by garden centre owners. Food for thought no doubt!
Matthew Crate of Moneycorp, GIMA’s FX partner agency, explained the different ways businesses can safeguard themselves against volatile exchange rates – outlining the spot contract, ‘forward’, market orders and optional systems that enable businesses who deal with large quantities of foreign currency to make the right choices for their business and financial future. Further information about Moneycorp and how GIMA members can benefit can be found at http://gima.org.uk/foreign-exchange-service/
20 May 2018
External Focus – in retail you have the chance to talk to end consumers, and there is significantly less internal hassle, meaning you can get on with the job at hand and get involved at the coalface as well as toplevel executive thinking.
Culture – retail is deeply rooted in communities/ localities. In the case of Squires, it is a family-business, which is reflected in the way the business operates. In an ever more frantic world, garden retailers are here to help people relax and live happier lives – not just a merchant but more an experience. Glynn Jones, Deputy Agent for The Bank of England Midlands Agency, focused on the economic outlook, including expectations regarding interest rates and how Brexit is affecting current growth opportunities. Whilst demand growth may be slower than the period 2014-16, there is a strong case for global growth. UK exports are also benefitting from robust global demand but import penetration continues to rise. Output growth ticked up slightly, whilst manufacturing continued to support output growth in Q4. There is also no doubt that the weather is also impacting the economy.
GIMA announces new council
Chris Ramsden of Hozelock has passed the mantle of GIMA President over to Richard Pyrah of Kelkay after two years at the helm. During his address at the AGM, Richard Pyrah said: “With a strong Council of representatives from a range of membership, GIMA is in safe hands. “I am sure we will see some great things come forward for you all to support and get involved with for the benefit of your businesses.” He also thanked the GIMA members for their support and encouragement, and also expressed his gratitude to the GIMA Council for their continued support throughout 2017. Richard continued: “Chris has provided
me with big shoes to fill and I’d like to thank him for his amazing work as GIMA President. I also look forward to working with Vicky Nuttall and the team towards GIMA’s goals in 2018/2019.” The role of Vice-President will now be undertaken by Westland’s Simon McArdle. Elsewhere the role of Treasurer has been retained by Nigel Thompson of Nigel Thompson Associates. The role of Honorary Secretary for 2018/2019 will now be the responsibility of Craig Hall of Deco-Pak. New council members elected for 2018/2019 include Dan Durston of Durston Garden Products, Neil Sims from The Scotts Miracle Gro Company, and Gardman’s Scott
McCabe, the latter of whom was previously co-opted onto Council. These latest appointments means the GIMA Council 2018/2019 is now 11 members strong, made up of the following: Richard Pyrah, Kelkay; Chris Ramsden, Hozelock; Craig Hall, Deco-Pak; John Gomersall, Forest Garden; Heather Culpan, Burgon & Ball; Simon McArdle, Westland Horticulture; Matt Jackson, Mr Fothergill’s seeds; Mark Butler, Vitax; Scott McCabe, Gardman; Neil Sims, The Scotts Miracle Gro Company; Dan Durston, Durston Garden Products. The Association reported a strong financial position with a healthy operating profit being recorded.
May 2018 21
Licensing team expands Underlining the growth of a licensing campaign that now boasts nearly 60 licensees, the Royal Horticultural Society has announced the appointment of Liz Judson as Licensing Assistant to help the charity in its work with both existing and potential licensees across an expanding list of categories. As RHS Licensing Assistant Liz will be a key contact for all licensees and licensing-based enquiries. Her duties will include supporting the team by managing the charity’s day-to-day relationships with its licensees and dealing with licensing-based queries, approvals, royalties, special offers and more. She joins the RHS from a market research background with a number of major companies including BT, Maru-EDR and Virgin Media. She has a strong administrative background and over 25 years’ experience in blue chip companies, including setting up a market insights function from scratch. She is now taking these skills to a brand that will benefit enormously from her understanding of markets and administration as its popularity grows. This appointment comes at a time of impressive growth for the RHS as a licensed brand since the reinvention of the licensing programme and the introduction of a comprehensive new style guide in 2015. In fact while gardening categories have attracted even more licensees in recent years, the brand has also seen extraordinary growth in the popular gifting and homeware categories and many new partnerships in such diverse areas as social stationery, high-quality ceramic tableware, chocolate collections, gifts, notebooks, flasks, napkins, artisan gin, and occasionwear. In addition the third nomination in a row for the RHS in the Best Licensed Heritage Or Institution Brand category at The Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards – and a category win
in 2017 – has further alerted licensees, and the licensing and retail industries as a whole, to the effectiveness of the RHS licensing campaign. Liz is joining at what promises to be a very busy time for the RHS licensing programme, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. As she says: “Gardening is in an area I find inspiring – and working with the most prominent brand in UK gardening was an opportunity not to be missed. I am really impressed by the achievements and enthusiasm of the licensing team at the RHS and am delighted to be able to play a part in further extending the reach of the RHS brand.” Cathy Snow, RHS Licensing Manager, said: “The continuing growth of the RHS licensing campaign has made it essential that we boost our team with a skilled and experienced appointee who shares our commitment to gardens and gardening. Liz Judson is a marvellous addition to the team at a crucial time for the programme and will help us enormously to respond to our licensees quickly and efficiently.”
Tildenet plans for further growth Following the successful integration of Bosmere products to the Tildenet range, Steve Millington will leave his role as Sales Director of Tildenet Gardenware in September and with further expansion in the pipeline, Tildenet will be shortly be recruiting further senior sales personnel to support the next phase of growth. Steve will not be playing an active part in the Sales team during his notice period and account activity will be overseen by Managing Director, Andrew Downey and Glynn Davis, in his new role as National Account Director. Tildenet have recently welcomed Christian Needham as an office based Sales Manager and they will be backed by a team of seven sales support staff at Tildenet’s Bristol Headquarters. Andrew Downey said: “The team at Tildenet wish Steve Millington well following his valuable time with us. We are looking forward to continuing to develop the business following another recent acquisition and are now actively recruiting a Group Sales and Marketing Director to look after our whole portfolio of brands and companies.”
22 May 2018
As part of a continuing period of planned growth for the business, Tildenet have further strengthened their Bristol based warehousing and logistics function with an additional 50,000 sq ft of capacity and state of the art stock control system, ensuring excellent ongoing service to customers.
As the product ranges from Smart Garden Products keep on increasing dynamically year on year, further investment has been made to ensure that our supply chain runs as smoothly as possible. Smart has also invested in additional specialist software to help with demand planning. Pictured are Supply Chain Manager Simon Barry who heads up the team, with support from Stuart Holley; Pippa Peart, a recent starter providing general support for the team; along with Sarah Dunn, an experienced Supply Chain Co-ordinator, has been with the company for over 5 years. Jonathan Stobart, Managing Director of Smart Garden Products says of the recent expansion: “As we continue to grow the business at such a rapid pace, it’s vital that we keep investing in our teams and infrastructure. The Supply Chain team are doing a fantastic job of keeping our new warehouse well stocked and ever ready to supply our retail partners.”
After a very successful 2017 – doubling turnover and vastly expanding – Charles Taylor has announced the appointment of Richard Knights who will look after the North West and Cumbria area. Richard has a vast knowledge of the garden centre industry and with his expertise the company is hoping to continue its growth in these areas. Charles Taylor recently launched its new brochure with approximately 50 new products on view, All products are manufactured in the UK with a unique design.
Elho is on a mission to bring more nature into people’s daily lives. The new Elho brand, launched to shoppers in January, does just that. It inspires customers with many ways to connect with nature – to feel happier, healthier and boost energy. Now is the perfect time to further your partnership with Elho. Elho’s sophisticated instore marketing techniques ensure customers are seduced with eye catching displays, inspirational lifestyle imagery and planted up pots. Elho is your future proof and inspiring business partner – for innovative grow your own, outdoor, indoor and designer pots and planters. Making your offer relevant for consumers today and tomorrow.
T: 07910 212155 E: email@example.com www.elho.com www.facebook.com/elho
May 2018 23
Strong start for Glee In a year that sees Glee refresh itself even further for the benefit of the industry it represents, the show organisers have reported that the beginning of 2018 saw the annual exhibition witness an incredible display of support from the garden retail sector. With a relocation to NEC halls 6, 7, 8, 19 and 20 set to refresh and revitalise the show floorplan, Glee’s exhibitors have been quick to secure their space. A successful re-book during and post the 2017 event has seen the exhibition floorspace selling out fast, with over 85% now sold. To date over 300 exhibitors are confirmed to attend, helping to keep the 2018 event on track to be the most vibrant and exciting showcase of garden, landscaping, outdoor leisure and pet brands anywhere within the garden retail calendar. Look out for exciting new brands, including leading pet food experts, Royal Canin, as well as Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Festive Productions – who will be showcasing an exciting solar lighting link-up with Duracell – Gorse Lodge Garden Ornaments alongside Asia Style, and Greenkey Garden & Home. Return of the Retail Lab at Glee One of Glee’s most exciting show features – the Retail Lab – has also been confirmed to return in 2018. Launched in 2017 to critical acclaim, including a virtual visit from BBC Breakfast’s 1.5 million viewers, the Retail Lab was a key focal point for the annual garden retail exhibition. Unlike anything before seen at Glee, it was a place to experience the beating heart of the industry, with a view to what the future holds.
Combining interactive content, with inspirational product displays and tangible business advice, the Retail Lab cemented itself as a thriving hub of inspiration and knowledge at Glee. This year, the area will once again be supported by Creative Director Romeo Sommers, leading trend predictors, WGSN, as well as the HTA and Paula Parker of PP8 Marketing. GES have also been selected as the official stand contractors during 2018.
A new Pets at Glee entrance has also been designed, helping to drive retailers right into the heart of the pet area, whilst a special pet care seminar stage will also be making its debut at the show. Marking a significant investment for this new era of Pets at Glee, the seminar stage will offer content that can be implemented instore to boost pet care within the garden retail environment. The new look Pets at Glee will also be a hub of information, innovative new products and business advice that will enable those 70% of garden retailers who currently offer pet products to boost their business in the year ahead, helping them to take a slice of the £5billion spent on pet products, food and accessories annually in the UK.
Pets at Glee A dedicated Pets at Glee section is also set to be introduced in 2018, bringing with it a leading showcase of pet brands and educational content. Bigger and better than ever before, this thriving and enhanced section will make it easier for garden centre pet buyers to directly source 2019 ranges, whilst also benefitting from unrivalled networking and educational content. Topics set to lead the Pets at Glee educational agenda will include a focus on the humanisation of pets and how this is affecting consumer spending, a look at the premiumisation of pet products and how technology is changing the way we interact and monitor pet health.
Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director, said: “It’s safe to say Glee is in great shape. We’ve a number of exciting developments and updates on the horizon so it’s great to see the garden retail industry responding so positively. “Glee has a vital role to play in providing a platform for better business, a showcase of the latest innovation, a place for the industry to meet and network, as well as discussing and debating future developments. “Our 2018 plans have been outlined to strengthen this offering further, and we are confident that they will continue to hit the mark. We look forward to being able to share details of future developments over the coming months.”
Find out more
Glee is the UK’s leading garden retail show, focussing on building year-round profits for buyers and suppliers within the core gardening and outdoor leisure product categories. To keep up-to-date on the latest Glee news visit www.gleebirmingham.com. To enquire about exhibiting at Glee 2018 call 020 3033 2160.
24 May 2018
Entrepreneurs: the garden industry needs you Start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators from a wide range of backgrounds are being encouraged to take part in this year’s ‘Innovators Zone’ at Glee. The exhibition attracts over 7,000 visitors from multiple and independent garden centres, department stores, supermarkets, DIY chains, and gift shops – including big names such as Amazon, B&Q and John Lewis. It also has over 500 exhibitors, including top international gardening bands such The Scotts Miracle Gro Company and Hozelock. For those in the Innovators zone there is also chance to win a grant of £6,000. Launched in 2009, the Glee Innovators Zone has already helped more than 200 companies break into the garden retail market. Designed to help nurture valuable grass-roots product development and oneoff design ideas, the area bridges the gap between market-ready new product launches and established companies and provides a showcase to pre-commercial product ideas. Exhibitors in the Innovators Zone can apply for the annual Garden Industry Manufacturers Association Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund, which is designed to help start-up businesses take their product from concept to reality. The winner receives a £6,000 grant, ongoing support from industry experts and free membership to GIMA, which includes access to exclusive networking
events and a reduced rate on stand space at subsequent trade shows such as Glee and the Garden Press Event. Previous winners of the GIMA Innovators Seed Corn Fund have gone on to achieve immediate success as a result of their time at Glee. 2017 winners Bio-Bean spent four years marketing its Coffee Logs, highperformance sustainable briquettes for use in stoves, fires and chimeneas prior to exhibiting, and were struggling to find the right kinds of retail partners for their product. At Glee they achieved just that, with an on-stand team of three leaving with well over 100 quality leads. Pippa Henderson, Marketing Communications Executive for Bio-Bean said: “So many people told us to exhibit at Glee and they were right, it has been a great experience. We’ve already booked for next year.” Perhaps the biggest success story so far has been Green Digit, a Newcastle based start-up that launched a revolutionary biodegradable seed pod, SeedCell®, in 2014. Since exhibiting as part of the Glee Innovators Zone, Managing Director Dan Robson managed to turn his university concept product into a worldwide success. “Within a year we were being stocked by over 100 retailers, in Britain, Germany and Italy, including Homebase. Little did we know what impact our three days at Glee would have on our business.”
May 2018 25
Plant trends bloom
Plants, seeds and bulbs are the bread and butter of any garden retail offering. Appealing to consumers across all demographics, they are the lifeblood of any domestic garden, Glee, the showcase for new launches in September, explores the latest plant trends. The garden industry is currently worth an estimated £5 billion with £1.4 billion of that being made up of garden plant sales. Broken down by category, £606 million comes from bedding plants, £354 million from the sales of seeds and bulbs and £464 million made up of other garden plants and trees. This sector continues to grow year-on-year with bedding plants sales up by 3%, seeds and bulbs seeing an increase of 4%, whilst hardy plants sales rose by 9% in 2017. Plants are a key staple in the UK garden with 79% all garden owners having flowers and plants in their outdoor space. With the average garden size in the UK being 15m2 for those over 45 years of age and 12m2 aged under 45, it is clear that plant sales are here to stay as consumers look to keep their gardens blooming and colourful. So, what can retailers expect from the plant trends set to dominate 2018? Colour The use of on trend colours are a useful tool when looking to inspire customers and new gardeners. With many taking inspiration from interiors and transferring the look to their outdoor space, plants that are on trend can be as relevant as ever to a growing audience. This year, Pantone have announced their Colour of the Year – Ultra Violet. With a striking palette of enigmatic purples, it’s bound to be a big trend in planting in 2018. With its colours being easily found in plants, embracing Pantone’s Ultra Violet has never been as simple for garden retailers. As well as ensuring there’s plenty of shrubs and green foliage to be sold to the customer, everything from purple-flowering herbs and flowers such as Lavender and Rosemary, to Clematis, Petunias (Night Sky a particular favourite), Heucheras and Acers should sell well in garden centres. Convenience gardening With younger gardeners lacking the basic horticultural knowledge of older generations, gardening to them is perceived to be complicated and worrying with too much maintenance and responsibility for their busy lives. According to recent research by Wyevale Garden Centres, 31% of British gardeners admit to feeling guilty when their plants die. This has seen a rise in pre-planted containers amongst the younger generation and families, who both want a low maintenance instant look without any hassle. The mood or look of a garden can also be changed easily with the colours of your containers and plants or moved onto the next property that is lived in.
26 May 2018
The same Wyevale study showed that sales of grown-to-maturity plants went up 25% over the last three years, with preplanted containers and baskets seeing sales increase by 14% year-on-year as customers opt for instant gratification solutions for their gardens. Health and Wellbeing Thanks to a number of studies, the health benefits of plants are well documented. There is now an increasing awareness of the ways that plants can improve mental wellbeing and physical health. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, plants improve air quality by removing toxins such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde from the air. They’ve also been found to boost concentration levels, improve moods and reduce feelings of anger and anxiety. In fact, Google searches for ‘air purifying plants’ and ‘aloe vera’ were up by 550% year-on-year in 2017. Plants such as dracaenas, sansevieria, palms, spider plants, ivy, orchids, weeping figs, anthurium, peace lilies are all renowned and well publicised for their air purifying properties and have seen an increase in sales since such research has been published. The consumer awareness of this physical and wellbeing trend has brought with it an interest in houseplants into homes and the creation of interiors that mimic a green, calming oasis. Houseplants Bringing the outside in, has become fashionable again, as shown by the resurgence of houseplants sales – up 14.27%
year-on-year according to latest Garden Centre Association data. This sudden growth has been spurred on by social media users – in particular on Instagram – plus popular health and wellbeing trends, and by millennials who have very little or no outdoor space. Boxed in and denied the usual markets of adulthood such as the property ladder, children and pets, houseplants have become popular thanks to their ease of care, being able to be moved from flat to flat and their ability to add colour to interiors cheaply and easily. 60% of people say they use Instagram to discover new products such as plants and there are approximately 16 million garden photos on Instagram. Monstera, pothos, fiddle-leaf, swiss cheese plants and succulents all enjoy popularity among millennial indoor gardeners. Vertical The squeeze on space for the millennial generation has also seen an uplift in vertical planting and climbers. Those that have little outside space like a balcony or small yard are turning to planting upwards. Those that find that they are lacking in square footage on the ground are instead decorating their walls in climbers and hanging plants. Pre-planted pots of vertical climbers such Honeysuckle, Trachelopsermum, Clematis, Passiflora, Jasmine have been popular and can be trained on existing fences or wall mounted trellises. Pre-planted hanging baskets and bowls planted with seasonal spiller plants such as ivy, fuchsias or lobelia can immediately brighten up a utilitarian outside wall with little effort.
TRENDS Grow-Your-Own With consumers becoming more environmentally conscious and aware of the chemicals and pesticides used in producing our food, Grow-Your-Own has become a popular organic alternative. Younger gardeners are the most ethically aware and are turning to allotments and community gardens to grow their own food from “field to fork.” 43% of gardeners under 40 now grow their own vegetables compared to 32% of over 60s as they find it rewarding and self-gratifying.
Growth in demand for specimen shrubs
Re-Wilding Highlighted at last year’s Retail Lab @ Glee, Re-Wilding was highlighted as a key trend with 85% of people living in an urban environment wanting to relax and connect with nature our everyday lives. Bee-friendly plants and herbs, such as lavender, heather, lilac, sage, rhododendron, foxgloves, penstemon, buddleia and thyme are proving popular and provide support for pollinating insects. Events Plant trends can also be influenced by events and none are more prominent in 2018 than the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It has been heavily publicised that her floral arrangements will involve plants and blooms typical of May – beech, birch and hornbeam, as well as white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves. It is this international effect that will present both growers and retailers with a huge marketing opportunity both this year and into next as celebrity style and culture influences our everyday society with copycat looks.
With the increasing interest of plants in everyday lifestyle, the Green Heart at Glee, as well as the wider Plant section, is set to welcome its largest ever number of exhibitors including Key Essentials, Leybaert BVB, Artopya, Henningsen UK, Peter Strawson Limited, H.S Hommers & Sons (Dutch Bulbs) Ltd, The Christmas Cabin, SP Trading, Javado, Laurica Plants, Air So Pure – VLAM (Dataflor, Decock Plants, Deforche Export, Het Wilgenbroek, Van Poecke, Oprins Plant). From herbs to bedding plants, trees and shrubs to house plants, the Green Heart will showcase the very best plant suppliers all under one roof with retailers able to plan their ranges for the following season.
One of the UK’s leading nurseries has seen a growth in sales of its range of specimen shrubs and has increased its own production by 300% in the past three years. Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford has created additional bed space on its nursery for specimen shrubs and has extended the range recently to include several native hedging varieties to keep up with demand. Adam Dunnett, Sales and Marketing Director at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, said: “Our new specimen beds are quarter of a hectare each and the total additional area space is half a hectare. We also use drips for accurate and efficient irrigation for all our specimen shrub range. “These additional beds now bring the new 600 bed specimen area to nearly two hectares of 7.5 litre and 15 litre pots. We plan to install another quarter of a hectare next year too. “Customers use specimen shrubs as the backbone plants for most commercial and some residential
projects, which planting schemes are built around. They also make ideal solitary plants as points of interest. “The housing industry is currently the largest market for us for specimens. We are also finding holiday parks and the education sector are using more specimen shrubs too.” One of the key lines in this range is Phormiums. Wyevale Nurseries grow Phormiums in a range of sizes – 3 litre, 7.5 litre and 20 litre pots, giving customers different options depending on their budget and required impact. For spot planting as features in leisure parks or commercial projects, or to provide instant impact in show homes or garden make overs, Phormium specimen plants make a statement. Adam added: “We produce the largest range of coastal evergreens of all UK growers and are renowned for both quality of product and excellent stock holding. Our range is under constant review with new, improved varieties regularly introduced.”
May 2018 27
PRODUCTS The exclusive Allure range from Elho is aptly named. Your customers will be drawn in by the natural beauty of these stunning pots and planters. The striking combination of plastics and FSC wood fibres creates a soft look and natural stone texture, with all the ease and convenience of durable and recyclable plastic. And the entire Allure range can be used indoors and outdoors – the best of both worlds. The timeless classical shape of the Allure Doppio Square brings something special to any home, garden, terrace or balcony. The Allure Doppio Square Terrace can be used as an attractive divider for creating zones in outdoor spaces or indoor rooms. The Allure Soft is equally seductive, with gentle lines and the same natural look. W: www.elho.com
Bathgate Horticulture’s Blended Farm Manure is rich in natural humus and provides a valuable source of organic nutrients and beneficial bacteria that stimulates the microbial activity in the soil. It further helps improve the soil structure by retaining nutrients/moisture in light sandy soils or it increases drainage in heavier claybased soils. Alongside the benefits to the growing environment the Blended Farm Manure is low in odour, light weight, easy to apply and available in 50 litre bags, for delivery from a single pallet to a full load across the UK. W: www.bathgatesilica.co.uk
The award-winning Wonder Weed Puller from Burgon & Ball is an ingenious new idea for easy weeding, with an addictively satisfying ejection mechanism to consign weeds to the waste. Winner of the GLEE New Product Award for Tools and Machinery and also now a finalist for Chelsea Product of the Year, the Wonder Weed Puller makes short work of weeds in lawns, and is a must-have tool for every lawn owner. Designed to be used standing up, without bending or stooping, it really takes the backache out of tackling weeds in lawns. To remove a weed from the lawn, simply insert the Wonder Weed Puller’s three rustresistant stainless steel prongs into the ground to surround the weed root, rotate through 360 degrees, and pull to remove the weed with its root intact. It couldn’t be simpler! Extremely lightweight thanks to its aluminium shaft and robust polypropylene handle, the Wonder Weed Puller is delightfully easy to carry round the garden. With packaging and point of sale to complement Burgon & Ball’s best-selling Weed Slice, the new Wonder Weed Puller is a perfect partner for the established sales phenomenon. Together they allow retailers to offer a complete weeding solution for beds, borders, lawns and gravel. W: www.burgonandball.com
Deco-Pak has confirmed a strong start to the season thanks to its new integrated weed control dispensers that are helping to drive upselling opportunities instore. With weed control needed post-winter, the company’s latest point of sale has worked to place weed control fabric next to decorative aggregates, making it easier for consumers to select the right tools for the job from one retail display,
LOFA’s ‘LOFAssured’ initiative ensures that all cushions sold by members comply with current government fire safety regulations. LOFA is raising awareness of fire safety standards/ regulations for garden furniture cushions in this young campaign and, already, fourteen members are certified with 24 in progress and soon to be completed. One of the conditions of LOFA membership is that members must adhere to a code of conduct, part of
28 May 2018
rather than scouring the stores for all the necessary elements. This co-location also means significant upselling opportunities for retailers across both weed control and aggregate product categories, helping them to maximise core preseason sales. W: www.deco-pak.co.uk
which is compliance with all current legislation; it is this culture of propriety that the retailer and customer buy into when they source product from LOFA members. LOFAssured is a distinguishing factor setting LOFA products apart from other non-compliant suppliers. The message to retailers and commercial and domestic customers is ‘look for LOFAssured products and buy from a LOFA member. W: www.lofassured.co.uk.