GTN November 2022 - Garden Trade News UK

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GTN’steamofintrepid judges aresearching forThe Greatest Garden CentreChristmas Teams s t m of i It’s Christmas 2022! NOVEMBER 2022 LEARNING FROMEACHOTHER HTABIS Study Tour GRAEME JENKINS GTNInterview with Dobbies CEO CHOICE MARKETING Celebrating 20 years 12 page special 2022 GIMA AWARDS Advice &information for garden centreprofessionals

Award Winning

New Bag Design

/meadowviewstone1 /company/meadow-view-stone 948 841 607 NEWproducts NEWrange /meadowviewstone1 /company/meadow-view-stone 01948 841 607 Potstars Outdoor Living Range Arange of pebbles and slates in handy pouch bags idealfor pot topping. An award winning range of 8small grade chippings 3New Products
expansive collection.
Twosizes of midnight pebbles, in 8-16 and 16-25mm, along with Tuscan Ice 20mm add to the
The foundation range gets arevamp, bringingthe design more in-linewith current collections and the colours more associated with
Potstars Indoor Living Range Improved recyclable pouch bags and 4new products boost the range. With over 20 New Products its set to be an exciting year ahead NEWpackaging NEWpackaging
Customer Service We arehonoured to have been voted ‘GCA supplier of the year’for the second consecutive year

Christmas got offtoanearlier than usual startwith aflurryofearly sales in September but the milder than usual October weather contributed to aslowing of Christmas sales.

However, judgingbythe feedbackfromthe first judgingvisits forGTN’s Greatest Christmas Awards thathas all changed in November. Excitementand expectationsare building with somepopular lines already sellingout. The GTNbestsellers index of theTop 50 Bestselling Christmas lineswas also showing increases year on year duringOctober indicatingthat customers arehappytobuy some Christmas cheer, especiallythe most popular items.

Youcan see the full list of centresthe GTN team arevisiting on Page 9.

Garden centre retailing appears to havea bouyant futurejudging by the spikeofactivity this month. Dobbies opened Tewkesburywith high profile media coverage, Hilliers snapped up the three Rosebourne centresand Blue

Diamond eventually managed to securethe deal to buy all three VanHage Garden Centres including the PE1 Retail Park at Peterborough. With twomoreacquisitions in the pipeline Alan Roper told GTN: “I think if youoffer the right experience, people will be moreselective. So,I’m optimistic, but Idon’t shy away from the challenges, Ithriveonachallenge, so I’mnot particularly concernedabout [the downturn of the economy].”

You’ll be able to read the full interviewwith Alan Roper in the December Sustainability Directoryissue of GTN.

Until then, we look forward to meeting many of youonour Christmas travels. Haveagreat Christmas sales period! Ho,ho, ho!


Garden Trade News

Potting Shed PressLtd DairyDrove ThorneyPeterborough PE6 0TX Tel01733 775700


Editor Trevor Pfeiffer

Advertising Sales Alan Burdon

Features Editor Anisa Gress AssociateEditor MikeWyatt

Digital Editor Neil Pope

Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer

Design &Production AT Graphics Ltd Kirsty Craner –Design Alun Jones –Production Manager

RobertTipping –Managing Director James Tipping –Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd

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Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed PressLtd who also publish: GTNBestsellers, GTNXtra, Glee Daily News and the Glee Catalogue, and the Solex Sun. Potting Shed Pressalso supply Garden Radio to over100 garden centres acrossthe country.

Director Trevor Pfeiffer

SMALL PRINT:All material ©Potting Shed PressLtd 2022. No

4 Dobbies Tewkesburyopens –GTN InterviewwithCEO Graeme Jenkins 9 Judging is underway–GTN’sGreatest Christmas Awards update 10 AGreenfingers greeting from Woodmansterne 13 GIMA Awards 2022 Roll of Honour 26 The magic behind RocketGro 28 Learning from each other on aHTA BIS Study Tour 30 ChoiceMarketing celebrate20years 31 Vitavia –a‘wayoflife’ 32 Illumination Street 2022 33 LOFA Column –Making adifference together 34 HTAColumn –Filling some big shoes! AdvertisersinthisIssue 2 MeadowViewStone 6 Treadstone 6 Hortiwool 7 STVInterenational 8 GIMA Awards 2023 12 Primeur 25 SmartGardenProducts 29 Sipcam -ecofective 35 Hartman 32 LOFA November 2022 3 Above:GTN’sFeatures Editor,Anisa Gress and Editor Trevor Pfeifferhad their first meeting of the season with Santa at Alton Garden Centre, one of the entries in The Greatest GrottoTeam Award The excitement builds In this issue...
part of this publication may ereproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the expresspermission of the publishers. The information supplied in this publication is published in good faith and everyefforthas been made to ensureits accuracy.Potting Shed PressLtd cannot accept responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by relianceoninformationcontained in this publication or in the vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company,individual or firmmentioned, is herebyexcluded.

Flagship Dobbies opens forbusiness

After five-years in themaking, Dobbies Garden Centre in Teweksbury r off f icially opened this month. Graeme Jenkins, the retailer’ r sCEO,speaks to GTN about his hopes for the new store and the chain for 2023.

Running twoweeks ahead of schedule, the ribbon wascut in November by Radio 2DJJoe Wiley and ITV’sDaisy Paynetomarkthe opening of DobbiesGarden Centre,Teweksbury. Covering 70,000 sqft with a600-cover restaurant, deliand butcher,and employing 100people,its position,just off the M5 and nexttothe Costwold DesignerOutlet due to openin2024, promises to makeitamecca forshoppers in the SouthwestofEngland

The Southwest is very muchinthe eyeof

Dobbieswith anew Little Dobbiesopening in Cheltenham in early 2023.Eventhough Dobbies hasa storeinGloucesterjust short of 25 miles aways Graeme Jenkins,Dobbies CEO, doesn’t think customerswill choose Teweksbury over theirnearerstore.“We do alot of customer postcode capturetosee whereour customersare comingfromand actually our Gloucesterstore tendstoserve customersthat live to the south.”Graemeis alsonot relying on theopening of the outlet to bring in customersbelieving thegarden

centrecan comfortablygeneratea £7mturnover and secureits placeasadestination centre in the Southwest.Added to this arenew customers that willcome from the1000 or so newhomes being built withinshopping radius.

With developer RobertHitchinLtd,Dobbies hasturned agreen fieldsiteintoa newgarden centre with allthe latest technology. Solar panels,ground sourceheatpumpsand LED lighting throughout mean it has theadvantage of being energy efficient but for all its newness, it also hasanair of familiarity.Whenitcomes

Interview 4 November 2022
Thenew team.

to its displays, lessons have been learnt from Little Dobbies stores particularly Richmond, London, where certain categories are blended for the benefit of both One such example is houseplants and Christmas, which at the Teweksbury store work well together “I think you’ll see a bit more of that, particularly for spring summer,” says Graeme

Offering great value is becoming increasingly important for Dobbies “One of the was we are going to do this is by expanding the Dobbies private label offer,” says Graeme As an example, all of Dobbies Christmas lights are now own branded It’s value range, signified with the black and yellow livery, was launched this June with just over 1000 products By spring 2023 this will have risen to 4000 products regularly used by gardeners These lines have been successful especially in thecurrent economic climateand Graeme says hecan see how much people like them because Dobbies has recorded a big shift in its value for money index now one of the key questions asked in its surveys. ItsNet Promotor Score, with gives an insight of itscustomer loyalty and satisfaction, is currently around 50 and is one of theeasiest ways Dobbies compares its performanceinthis area with other retailers.

Staffing at Teweksbury

Themajority of the100-strongteamat Teweksbury arenew and recruited locally withManager Sam Field relocating from the Cirencestor store. Sam hasbeen withDobbies since2008and will be supportingthe staff alongside 20 people from otherstoreswho have been drafted in temporarily to offer their experience GraemesaysDobbieshas had no problems recruiting forthe gardencentrebut like manyinthe industryhas hadmoredifficulty finding people to work in the restaurant.

Waitrose switch over

Additional to plants and garden sundries, shoppers in Dobbies have also enjoyed buying groceries fromarangeof products from Sainsbury’s. However it has nowentered with an arrangement with Waitrose and seven stores have now switched stocking a tighter and more curated range of products So far sales have been positive.Graemesayssales of Sainsbury’sproducts wasstrongand seta tough benchmark to beat.“But it’s up another 20% with Waitrose,” hesays. Dobbies in Bostonisimminently changing to Waitrose and overall themove will giveWaitrose a presencein22new locations –particularly further north of theUK. “They’re all doing really well. When youlookatthe shapeofthe basket, youcan see that people areshopping agrocery topup. It’schilled, it’s ambient and shows people arecomfortabledoing a grocerytop up shopwith us.We’re delighted.”

Another newdevelopment is the launch of John Lewis Click andCollectfacility.So far it hasbeentrialledwith great success in threestores, with Gillingham in Kent being a standoutperformer.“This is agooddriver of newcustomersand 67 percent of those using

November 2022 5 Interview
Thefirst visitors arewelcomed into the newstore L-RGraeme Jenkins, Jo Wiley, Daisy Payne and Sam Field with local school children.

the click and collect service are new to Dobbies,” says Graeme and adds the service will be rolled out across the entire business including Little Dobbies

Sales to date have been strong with Dobbies as a whole, out performing figures published by the GCA and HTA Christmas sales are up too and a late autumn surge for plants and gardening resulted in the last weekend in October being one of the strongest for quite some time

Sustainability integrated

Dobbies eco stance continues to be strong with ‘green’ products and initiatives integrated throughout the store “As well as a responsibility there is an expectationwe do the right thing,” says


With its own brand peat free compost, discussions with growers of indoor and outdoor plants on peat free, a delisting of glyphosate and partnerships with Elho and Evergreen to collect plastic pots and empty compost bags, theretailer is building sustainability into its everyday.“To help cut food waste we also have a ‘to good to go’ initiative so customerscan buy a bag of almost out of datefood from ourFood Halls.” says Graeme

A nod to the future

As with most industries rumours abound and Graeme acknowledges things could be handled better when it comes to paying suppliers “We’re very aware and doing everything we can to make it better There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he says and adds the company is backed by money from 20 private individuals who don’t have a timeline for seeing returns “We’re working very hard to make things easier and simpler because there’s too good a business here to get distracted by making things complicated ”

Looking to the future, Graeme says there are some exciting new ranges lined up for spring 2023 and a focus on being an authority on gardening products for children “If I go back a couple of years, we were talking about the strategy which was to be known and brilliant at plants, and gardening and restaurants We had historically already been authoritative in food, pets and home but the last one was kids We’re just starting to explore that nowwith green fixtures rather than cream or black and games, books and clothes that also appeal to parents and grandparents.” A boost to this at Teweksbury is asoftplay area with the capacity to entertain 80 children

Proudwinnersofthe 2022 GIMA Sustainability Award, Hortiwool usesthe amazing hydration, insulationand protection propertiesof100% pure sheep’s wooltoenhanceyour garden, naturally.

Popularuses include deterring slugs and snails,frost protection, mulching,lining hanging baskets or as acompostaid.

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The judges areontheir sleighs

GTN’s intrepid team of Greatest Christmas Awards judges have started their tours to visit great teams at 100nominated garden centres.

The first days Christmas judging for our Features Editor,Anisa Gressincluded ajourney through the Christmas decades at Perrywood, meeting averycompetitive team at BGC Braintree, Bavarian curling at Meadowcroft, an England World Cup Christmas display at Summerhill and asurprise visit to see Santa at Alton Garden Centre.

Andy Campbell startedwith judging visits in Cornwall, SteveMyatt hashis Christmas jumper ready for visits in the

• Altons

• AzureGarden Centre

• BartonGrange

• Baytree

• Bennybeg Plant Centre

• Bents

• BGC Arcadia

• BGC Bournville

• BGC Braintree

• BGC Bridgenorth

• BGC Brigg

• BGC BurfordHouse

• BGC Harrogate

• BGC Hatton

• BGC Hornsea

• BGC Studley

• BGC Thatcham

• BGC Tring

• BGC Woodthorpe

• BirkacreGarden Centre

• Blue Diamond East Bridgeford

• Blue Diamond Fryers

• Blue Diamond Melbicks

• Blue Diamond Three Shires

• Blue Dimond Newbridge

• BrimsmoreGardens

• Caerphilly Garden Centre

• California Lodge Garden Centre

• Castle Gardens Sherbourne

• Caulders Cumbernauld

• Caulders Erskine

• ChasewaterGarden Centre

• Chepstow


• Chessington

North West,Roger Crookes is heading south towards Hastings and awards coordinators Neil &Nicci Goware all set for afullweekofvisits next week in Wales and the Midlands.

In total we’vehad arecord100 centres nominated for The Greatest Christmas Awards 2022 and we will be visiting them all to meet their wonderful teams between nowand the middle of December

Here’sthe Greatest Christmas 2022 visit list.

• Colne ValleyGarden Centre

• Coolings

• Dobbies Cirencester

• Dobbies Edinburgh

• Dobbies Head Office

• Dobbies Livingston

• Dobbies Tewkesbury

• Dobbies WoodcoteGreen

• Downtown

• Ellerker Lodge Garden Centre

• Fosseway

• Fron Goch

• Garsons Titchfield

• Gates

• Glendoick Garden Centre

• Gordale

• Gouldings Santa Experience

• GrovesBridport

• Hetland

• Highfield

• Holt Garden Centre

• Keydell

• KlodykeHoughtonHall

• KlondykeAstburyMeadow

• KlondykeGarden Wise

• KlondykeHigh Legh

• KlondykeMortonhall

• KlondykePolmont

• KlondykeStokesley

• LitteDobbies Richmond

• Longacres Bagshot

• Meadowcroft

• Merryhatton

• Munroes Nurseries

• Newbank

• Newquay Garden Centre

• Palmers Leicester

• Pengelly Garden Centre

• Perrywood Sudbury

• Perrywood Tiptree

• Planters Bretby

• Planters Garden King

• Planters Tamworth

• Poplars

• PoundburyGardens

• Pugh’sRadyr

• Pugh’sWenvoe

• Raemoir

• Rosebourne, Aldermaston

• Rosebourne, Solihull

• Rosebourne, Weyhill

• RuxleyManor

• SapcoteGarden Centre

• Scotts of Southend

• Silverbirch Garden Centre

• St Peters Worcester

• StratfordGarden Centre

• Summerhill Garden Centre

• The Garden Society

• The Grange Garden Centre

• The Old Railway Line

• The Plant Place

• TingleyGarden Centre

• Wentorth

• Whitehall Lacock

• Woodland Walk Garden Centre

• Woodlands Garden Centre

After all those visits and plenty of mincepies the judges will be meeting in early Januarytodecide the winners of the 15 categories who will be announced on The Stage at Spring Fair,Monday 6th February2023, 5:00pm. We look forward to seeing as many nominated teamsand GTN readers thereaspossible.

November 2022 9
Christmas 2022

AGreenfingers greeting from Woodmansterne

As athird-generation business, Woodmansterne understands the importance of family.It’sfitting then that its latest range benefits the Greenfingers Charity which creates gardens in children’s hospices giving those receiving careand their families precious memories of time spent together in beautiful outdoor surroundings.

Buying,givingand sending greetings cards continues to result in astrong market estimated, in the UK, to be worth£1.54bn in 2021,arise from £1.37bn in 2020,and continues to attract footfall in garden centres. The upward trajectoryofsales recorded by GTNBestsellers

Epos data shows that garden retailers areenjoying alarger shareofthisexpanding market with volume sales up 50% in the first half of 2021 and that increased sales volume being maintained during 2022. During Christmas, while many high street retailers aresqueezing their selection in favour of festivegreetings,garden centrescementtheir important placeinthe market by continuingto offer afullrange of everyday cards. Christmas cards are an addition to the range rather than an alternative.

Supporting Greenfingers

The choiceofeveryday cards has been further extended this year with theintroduction of a newselection of garden-inspired cards from Woodmansterne, the leading supplier of premium greeting cards to independent retailers. Having chosen the Greenfingers Charity as its newPlatinum Partner,Woodmansterne is helping fund, through the sales of these cards plus other special events, magical and inspiring gardens for children and families who spend time in hospices acrossthe UK Launched at Glee this year,the newcards feature

floral imagery, garden scenes andendearing animals to portraythe beautyofnatureand importanceof connecting with outdoor spaces.Ingarden centres, Greenfingers Charitycards can be merchandisedina Woodmansternespinnerwith space for48designs.The selectioncan be complimentedwith cards from other hand-picked Woodmansterne best- sellingrangessuch as EmmaBridgewater and theNational Trust which appeal to agardencentreaudience Promotion
20 19 2020 202 1 GARDEN CENTRE GREETING CARD SALES Volume Growth Jan-June 2019-2022 2022
November 2022 11 Promotion
Working with Woodmansterne Woodmansterne is athird-generation family business supplying premium greeting cards to leading independent retailers, all designed and manufactured in the UK. It works with the very best of Britishtalent including the National Trust, Quentin Blake, RSPB and Emma Bridgewater. To explorehow youcan grow your businessby stocking their newspinner and supporting the Greenfingers Charity,please get in touch 01923 200 600 or email Eco credentials the ‘greenest’ cards around! Likeall Woodmansternecards, the newGreenfingers Charity cardrange is made using sustainable materials and practices wherever possible. All cards areprinted by Woodmansterne in Croxley, Hertfordshire Theyare printed with vegetableinks on paper from FSC sustainable forests The beautiful envelope paper is made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste Cards arepacked with asimple SmartSeal that saves up to half amillion pieces of throw-away plastic being sent to landfill everyweek UK manufacturing and distribution keeps Woodmansterne’scarbon footprint low Teams from Woodmansterne and Greenfingersgot together at Glee earlier this year to launch Woodmansterne’s GreenfingersCharity range of cards.
and Mark Timlett helped raised £3000 on Garden Re-Leaf dayinMarch. Seen herewith GTN’sAlan Burdon they werepartofthe 69 strong team taking partinthe 10-100 mile Garden Re-Leaf Sponsored Walk &Cycle.

Primeur adds another GIMA Award to their trophy cabinet

The Primeur team arestill riding high after aglittering night of celebrations at the recent 41st GIMA Awards, where the team celebrated winning yet another awardfor itsalready bulging trophy cabinet.

This year,Primeur was crowned winner of the GIMA Decorative Pots &Planters category for its new-for-2022 55.5cm Flamenco planter,part of the Tierra Verdeself-watering planter collection. Like all planters in the Tierra Verde collection, the Flamenco is made from recycled rubber tyres, helping to divert this material from landfill whereitcould

take upwards of 80 years to decompose. The GIMA judges wereimpressed by the Flamenco’seco-credentials as well as the wider user benefits that rubber crumb provides including superior durability and protection from extreme weather conditions, with no fading, no cracking or rotting.

Sustainability Champions

Not content with just one award, Primeur was also crowned the Sustainability Champion within the Garden Landscaping category,with its Maryland Border from the EZ Border collection.

Talking about the GIMA Awards 2022, Primeur Managing Director, Jenny Douthwaite said: “It’san absolute honour to receive these latest accolades. Judged by apanel of leading retailers, trend experts and industry stalwarts, means that these awards have an edge that demonstrates to our customers the true value of our product offering. These latest awards arealso a testament to the hardwork that ‘Team Primeur’ undertake daily to ensure that we’resupporting our customers with products that appeal season after season.”

To findmoreabout
collections range, please contact the team on 01274 518800, email or visit
Primeur’srecycled rubber garden


Evergreen Garden Care-Nourish & Protect Range

Garden CareSustainability Champion

Woolcool -Hortiwool Felt Garden Pads

Growing,Planting Equipment &Sundries

Winner: Westland -Visiroot PropagationRange

Finalists: Elho BV -Stack and Grow pots

Woolcool -Hortiwool Felt Garden Pads

Wildlife World -Plastic Free Gardening.Natural Rubber Seed Trays

Growing,Planting Equipment &Sundries

Sustainability Champion

Wildlife World -Plastic Free Gardening.Natural Rubber Seed Trays

Garden Tools, Machinery&Implements

Winner: Westland -Eversharp secateurs

Finalists: EP Barrus -AntiClog Leaf Rakes

Rollins Bulldog Tools -Bulldog /V&A Pedigree Garden Tool collaboration

Husqvarna UK -Gardena Ecoline Hand Tools range

Garden Tools, Machinery&Implements

Sustainability Champion

Husqvarna UK -Gardena Ecoline Hand Tools range

Outdoor Leisure

Winner: The Garden Village LtdWaddington Garden Bar

Finalists: SmartGarden Products LtdOutside In Designs Neptune Giant AlfrescoRug

Forest Garden -FirenzeCorner Arbour

Zest -Zest Cherry Blossom Bench Leisuregrow -Casa Mia Tempo Chiminea

Outdoor LeisureSustainability Champion

SmartGarden Products Ltd-Outside In Designs Neptune Giant AlfrescoRug

Plants, Seeds &Bulbs

Winner: Westland -Nature’sHaven 1.2kg

Finalists: Westland -LawnMeadow Wildflower&Seed Mix Westland -LawnReviveLawn Thickener

Plants, Seeds &Bulbs

Sustainability Champion Westland -LawnMeadowWildflower &Seed Mix

Garden Landscaping

Winner: Treadstone Products Pot&TroughTrellis

Finalists: Primeur -Eco Garden Maryland Border Deco-Pak -EcoStone Rubber Chippings AlticoGarden Products LtdAlticoAggregateProject Bags

Garden Landscaping Sustainability Champion

Primeur -Eco Garden Maryland Border

Garden Clothing &Gifts

Winner: Willsow-The Plantable Children’sBook

Finalists: Treadstone Products ClipGlove Pruner Glove

RollinsBulldog Tools -Bulldog /V&A Pedigree Garden Tool collaboration Treadstone Products -ClipGlove “Handy Bags &more...”

GIMA Awards 2022
AllPurpose Plant Feed
PointofSale Material
Westland -Boost All Purpose Plant Feed. Gondola POS
WHM PetGroup -Wild BirdEco
Pick ‘N’ Mix Wooden Cart
Pruner Display Stand
Street Concept
PointofSale Material Sustainability
WHM PetGroup -Wild BirdEco-Refill Pick ‘N’ Mix Wooden Cart
Sustainable Consumer Product Packaging
SmartGarden Products Ltd-Useful Garden Sundries and Accessories
Evergreen Garden Care-Bring Back to storeCompost Recycling scheme
PetGroup -100% recycled, recyclable & biodegradable wild birdpackaging range
Garden Care-Refill stations
Consumer Product Packaging Sustainability Champion
Garden Care-Bring Back to store Compost Recycling scheme
Marketing Communications & Social Media
Westland -Boost All Purpose Plant Feed Marketing Campaign
Westland -Peckish guide to Tits and Check your Balls social media campaign
Garden Care- Miracle-Gro: Friends overthe Fencecampaign
Garden Care- Miracle-Gro: Keep Growing campaign
Westland -Boost All Purpose Plant Feed
Woolcool -Hortiwool Felt Garden Pads
Hozelock -EasyMix
GardenClothing &Gifts Sustainability Champion Willsow-The Plantable Children’sBook PetCare, Aquatics &WildBirdCare Winner: Wildlife World-Artisan Natural Bee Skeps Finalists: Wildlife World -The Bali Island Range, Artisan Hanging BirdTable, Bee Hotel and Bird Nestbox Wildlife World –‘WaterisLife’ Bath and Drinker Westland -Gardman HomegrownHarvest Seed Mix PetCare, Aquatics &Wild BirdCare Sustainability Champion Wildlife World -Artisan Natural Bee Skeps Garden Lighting,Water Features & Ornamentation Winner: The Solar Centre-Madison Drop Bulbs Finalists: Woodlodge Products -Honey &WildTreeArt SmartGarden Products Ltd-SmartSolar Firefly Opal Lantern Leisuregrow -Colour Changeable Table &Floor Lamps Garden Lighting,Water Features & Ornamentation Sustainability Champion The Solar Centre-Madison Drop Bulbs DecorativePots &Planters Winner: Primeur -TierraVerde Recycled Rubber FlamencoPlanter Finalists: Elho BV -Vibia Campana FlowerTwin Elho BV -Greensense Aqua Care Capi Europe BV -WasteRib NL Collection DecorativePots &Planters Sustainability Champion Capi Europe BV -WasteRib NL Collection Sustainability Award Joint winners: Woolcool -Hortiwool Felt Garden Pads Willsow-The Plantable Children’sBook Gardenex ExportAchievement Award Winner: Westland Finalists: Mr Fothergill’sSeeds Ltd Spear &Jackson GCA Supplier of the Year Award Winner: MeadowViewStone Finalist: SmartGarden Products Ltd 14 November 2022 d of Excellence


Winner: Westland

Boost All Purpose Plant Feed

Boost All Purpose Plant Food comes from Westland Horticulture, acompany at the very topofits game.The development and marketing behind this product, which encourages superior flowering and an abundanceofedible crops, has delivered an all-round winner for the market.

“For the consumer who just wants areally nice garden with loads and loads of flowers, it ticks everybox,” says Westland’s Helen Amos.

November 2022 15 GIMA Awards 2022
TheGreenfingersCharity wasboosted with acheque for£10,000 from GIMA, presented by GIMAPresident Jenny Douthwaitetothe charity’s Sue Allen and Linda Petrons.


Winner: MeadowViewStone

Winning for the second year in arow,decorativeaggregatesupplierMeadowViewStone continuestooffer exceptional customer service, even in times of high pressurecaused by transportissues, supply shortages and last minutes changes to orders. “Wecan’tbelieve it,”says Sarah Hill. “Its incredible and what makes it extraspecial is to win in anormalyear and not acovid year.”

Finalist: SmartGarden Products Ltd


Winner: Westland

Judges comments included: “Entering intopartnerships and distributorships and investing significantly in infrastructureand personnel to assist with the growth, Westland continues to reap the benefits and expand into newmarkets with its traditional British designed quality Kent &Stowe rangeof tools.”

Finalists: Mr Fothergill’sSeeds Ltd Spear &Jackson

16 November 2022 GIMA Awards 2022



Joint winners: WoolcoolHortiwool Felt Garden Pads and Willsow-The Plantable Children’sBook

Versatile Hortiwool Felt Garden Pads aremade from 100% natural British wool.Theysupport plant protection, provide insulation, hold moistureand addvital nutrientstothe soil as theycompost down.

Willsow- ThePlantable Children’sBook is abook to read with plantable cover incorporated with seeds. Judges said: “It’s great we have such agreat selection of sustainable products to chose from, so much so that we decided to awardjoint winners.”


Capi Europe BV -WasteRib NL Collection

Primeur -Eco Garden Maryland Border

The Solar Centre-Madison Drop Bulbs

Westland -Lawn MeadowWildflower& Seed Mix

Husqvarna UK -Gardena Ecoline Range

Hand tools

Wildlife World -Plastic Free Gardening

Natural Rubber Seed Trays

WHM PetGroup -Wild BirdEco-Refill Pick

‘N’ Mix Cart

Evergreen Garden Care- Bring Back to store Compost Recycling Scheme

SmartGarden Products -Outside In Designs

Neptune Giant AlfrescoRug

Wildlife World -Natural Bee Skeps

November 2022 17 GIMA Awards 2022


Winner: Primeur -TierraVerde Recycled Rubber FlamencoPlanter

Alarge, eco-friendly planter offering newdesign options on aproduct with abeautiful finish for indoor and outdoor spaces. Virtually unbreakable as pots aremade from 100% recycled rubber which otherwise wouldend up in landfill. Hardwearing,theyare also weatherproof and won’tcrack,fadeorrot. “This is agoodwin for us,”says Jenny Douthwaite.“GIMA means alot to me personally because of the tremendous support it has given us starting out in this industry.”


Elho BV -Vibia Campana FlowerTwin.

Elho BV -GreensenseAqua Care

Capi Europe BV -WasteRib NL Collection


Winner: Treadstone Products -Pot &Trough Trellis

Treadstone has solved aproblem that gardeners havefaced for many years -how to grow climbing plants in containers, without having to fix trellis to walls. Perfect for small gardens, balconies and for creating screening for patio and decked areas, can also be used in borders.

The pot trellis is designed with a curvedprofiletofollowthe lines of circular pots, while the trough trellis mirrors the tapered design of most garden troughs. It also features textured painttohelp plants grip to the trellis.


Primeur -Eco Garden Maryland Border

Deco-Pak -EcoStone Rubber Chippings AlticoGardenProducts Ltd-Altico AggregateProject Bags

18 November 2022 GIMA Awards


Winner :Willsow-The Plantable Children’sBook

Bookstoreadwith aplantable covers incorporated with seeds. Made with sustainable materials (post -onsumer paper) and designed to encourage children to havea go at gardening Each book is embedded with around 500 nongmo vegetableorherb seeds in the coverpages that can be torn off and planted. Fivebooks in the range to datewith moreonthe way “It’sincreadible that we’vecome away with two awards tonight. Ourcompanyissmall ateam of about five…andour aim is to get more children outsidegardening.The morebooks we sell,the more childrenweget outside,”saysTom Wilday



Winner: The Solar Centre -Madison Drop


A‘back to basics’design with large 3watt solar panel, high capacity li-ion replaceable battery and super thick, heavyweightcable. Aquality, durable and on trend product that’smade to last. “Welaunchnew products all the time, innovate, push the market and see what’snew We haveadded so many newproducts this year we thoughtwewould enter afew and see what the judges liked best,”says David Eaton. “Usually garden centreowners buy our products and see the quality and reliability and this feeds down to staff and then to the customer.”


November 2022 19 GIMA Awards 2022
Treadstone Products -ClipGlove Pruner Glove Rollins Bulldog Tools-Bulldog /V&A Pedigree Garden Tool collaboration
Treadstone Products -ClipGlove “Handy Bags &more...”
Woodlodge Products -Honey & Wild Tree Art SmartGarden Product Ltd-SmartSolar Firefly Opal Lantern Leisuregrow -Colour Changeable Table& Floor Lamps


Winner: Westland -Boost All Purpose Plant Feed

Producing four times moreblooms and an abundanceoffruit and vegcompared to wateringalone, Boost All Purpose Plant Feed has been created to feed all plants, fruits and veggrown in peat and peat free composts. Its watermanagement technology allows for superior application for easy and faster watering


Woolcool -Hortiwool Garden Pad Hozelock -EasyMix 2-in-1Composter

Evergreen Garden Care- Nourish &Protect Range

20 November 2022 GIMA Awards 2022





Winner: Westland -Eversharp Secateurs

Designed and made in the UK, Eversharp Secateurs havethe hardest sharpest blade, that neverblunts. Features to delight consumers include adjustable hand sizer and abuilt in string andwire-cutter and theyare easy to use forthose that areambidextrous.


November 2022 21 GIMA Awards 2022
Westland Nature’sHaven 1.2kg. Providing moreseeds perm2than any other easy sowwildflowerproduct and with the highest percentage of nativewildflowers. The wildflowermix offers incredible value for the consumer,with the best selected range of wildflowers to attract awidevariety of pollinators and beneficial insects. Nowwith a new100% recyclable box.
Westland -Lawn MeadowWildflower& Seed Mix Westland -Lawn Revive Lawn Thickener
EPBarrus -AntiClog Leaf Rakes Rollins Bulldog Tools-Bulldog /V&A Pedigree Garden Tool collaboration Husqvarna UK -GardenaEcoline Range– Handtools


Winner: Westland -Visiroot Propagation Range

Forvisibly better resultsthis transparent range of propagation trays makes it easy to check root growth and monitor plant health and moisturelevels. Made from RPET they aredurable so canbeused season after season and recycled through all UK kerbside collections if necessary. Half sized muilti-cell trays in the range areeasy to handle and suit the hobbygardener with asmall greenhouse.


Elho BV -Stack and Grow

Wildlife World -Plastic Free Gardening

Natural Rubber Seed Trays

Woolcool -Hortiwool Felt Garden Pads


Winner: TheGarden VillageLtd

Keep the party going and the drinks flowing with the Waddington Garden Bar created from FSCcertified wood with threeadjustable shelves. Pressuretreated to increase durability and weatherresistance. “Wow, I’mabit speechless and really surprised because we area small company compared to some of our competitors,”says Caroline Donelan.

David Hall adds: “This is something newfor us and our first effortwith a product for the outdoor living market. To knock it out of the park for the first time is unexpected.”

Finalists: SmartGarden Product Ltd-Outside In Designs

Neptune Giant AlfrescoRug

Forest Garden -Firenze Corner Arbour

Zest -ZestCherryBlossom Bench

Leisuregrow -Casa Mia TempoChiminea

22 November 2022 GIMA Awards 2022


November 2022 23 GIMA Awards 2022
Bee Hotel
Life Bath and Drinker Westland
HomegrownHarvest Seed Mix
Winner: Wildlife World -Artisan Natural Bee Skeps Afusion between traditional European bee skeps and the skilled handmade style of artisans from Bangladesh, Artisan Natural Bee Skeps arehandmade from natural seagrassand recycled saris. Theyare Fair-Trade with sales supporting the artisan workers in Southern Bangladesh who makethem—funding the survival of many women and their families in rural communities living in poverty. Finalists:
World -The Bali Island Range, Artisan Hanging Bird Table,
and BirdNestbox
World -Water is
Winner: Westland -Boost All Purpose Plant Feed Gondola POS This point of sale, showcases Boost in avibrant, eyecatching and exciting waytoreally engage consumers. It’seasy to shop for the consumer and easy for retailers to replenish. Itsdurable wooden frame is designed to last as apermanent display and merchandising links to the television marketing campaign. Finalists: WHM PetGroup -Wild BirdEco-Refill Pick ‘N’ Mix Wooden Cart Treadstone Products -ClipGlove Pruner Display Stand Elho BV -Display Street Concept


Winner: SmartGardenProducts Ltd-Useful Garden Sundries and Accessories

By consolidating garden accessories and sundries intoone, Useful Garden Sundries and Accessories has become arecognisable brand which aims to become known as ago-to destination for products for growing,tying,fixing and tidying.Tohelpconsumers identify and select the products theyneed as quickly as possible, the Useful range utilises colour coded and for the first time, cardboardpackaging andPOS


Evergreen Garden Care- Bring Back to storeCompost Recycling scheme WHM PetGroup -100%recycled, recyclable &biodegradable wild bird packaging range

Evergreen Garden Care- Refill stations


Westland -Boost All Purpose Plant Feed Marketing Campaign

Westland has strengthened the awarenessofBoost through a multi-faceted TV,print,digital and social campaign. The television advertappeals to those with all levels of gardening skills and engages consumers with its recognisable and entertaining ‘can can’ sound track.


Westland -‘Peckish guide to Tits’&‘Check your Balls’ social media campaign

Evergreen Garden Care- Miracle-Gro: Friends overthe FenceCampaign

Evergreen Garden Care- Miracle-Gro: Keep Growing Campaign

24 November 2022 GIMA Awards 2022



Thereisincreasing expectation and demand from consumers that companies take their environmental responsibilities more seriously. Smart Garden Products has been taking great strides in reducing Single Use Plastics (SUPs) wherever possible in both products and packaging, without compromising the actual product proposition. Three years ago its entirerange of top-selling Carry Packs was re-designed using 100% cardboard and the removal of all plastic packaging, with aresultant saving of over 12 tons of single-use plastics each year.

When Smart Garden started working on anew range of Garden Sundries last year under anew brand called Useful, akey driver was to try and eliminate all single use plastic from its packaging and instead use recyclable

materials. This provided aclear point of difference to the market alternatives which largely use plastic packaging for similar items, while the use of sustainable packaging has not come at the price of clear customer communication.

ThereforeSmart Garden were delighted to be judged Winners in the Best Sustainable Product Packaging Award for their Useful range at the recent GIMA Awards. The judges noted that the range was “the first range to make the move to cardboard in the sundries market, in doing so they have made the product look new and interesting”.

The title of ‘Category Sustainability Champion’ in Outdoor Leisurewas also awarded to the contemporary Neptune Alfresco Rug, which is made from 100% recycled materials and wrapped with recyclable labels -aproduct that

was also afinalist in the Outdoor Leisurecategory. The Alfresco range blends attractive design with practicality whilst maintaining environmental values, since these rugs have been transformed from waste plastic such as water bottles, medicine containers, buckets and tubs into stylish and practical rugs which can be used both inside and outside. They have proved to be high volume sellers as aresult.

Smart Garden Products was also runner-up for GCA Supplier of the Year, recognised by the judges for ‘another incredible year of service and innovation’. Rest assured that in the coming years there will be even moreinnovation and outstanding customer service from the Smart team, while acontinued commitment to coreenvironmental values remains one of the most important goals for the company.

“The first range to make the move to cardboard in the sundries market...” GIMA

The magic behind RocketGro

Join us as we go behind the scenes at RocketGro, one of the most exciting new peat-free companies in the industry,todiscover moreabout its magic homegrown ingredient and the process that goes into making its game-changing products.

The Covid pandemic wasanextremely difficult period for many industries but, for some, it also provided opportunities and the chanceto startsomething new. RocketGrowas one such success story–abusinessborn out of atime of unprecedented change and one that is already making waves in the growing media category.

Established in 2020 and brought to market in 2021,RocketGrowas forged by twoold friends, Tim Roeand Toby Thomas, inspired by the Roefamily’s agricultural background and agap in the market for sustainable, peat-free bio-activegardening products that really make adifference.Tobyexplains: “Having to stop and takestock gave us thetime and spacewe needed for morecreativethinking.Tim’sfamily has been farming in Somerset for over100 years and also startedabiogas generation plant on the sitetwo decades ago.In2020, Tim approached me with the idea of selling digestatefibreinbags

to garden centres and that’swhere it all began. It startedwith an idea and just one potential product but it has grownsignificantly and developed into an exciting company,abrand with aportfolio of 12 products and amulti-million-poundinvestment!”

Peat-free and proud

As astart-up business, looking at future opportunities in the horticultureindustry, RocketGrowas surefromthe get-go that it would steerclear of using peat in its products. “Although our businessisbased in Somerset, wherepeat extraction has been happening for decades, Tim’s farm neverhad any dealings with peat,”says Toby “This, combined with the chancewehad to fashion an entirebusinessfromscratch, enabled us to makeafirm decision to not work with peat. The environmental reasons for not harvesting peat areveryclear and, with the direction of travel of Government intervention, using peat in RocketGro products wasnever considered.”

This also gives RocketGroapoint of difference in the market. “Most of our competitors havebeen born from the selling of peat as growing media,” says Toby,“so it sets us apart.”

Rocket fuel

Aproud Britishproducer,RocketGrokeenly celebrates that the processofbringingits products to market takes placeentirely in Somerset. “From starttofinish –the ingredients, the growing, harvesting,sourcing,and manufacturing –it’sall done in Somerset,”says Toby

So,just what is that process? Those familiar with RocketGromay haveheardofthe showstopping core ingredient in its range; anutrient-rich digestatefibreaffectionately dubbed ‘Rocket Fuel’ by local farmers because of its potency.But,what many may not knowisthat this keycomponent is actually the by-product of renewable energy production at the farm.

The beauty of this sustainable resource is that,

26 November 2022 Promotion
Toby Thomas and TimRoe, the two friends behind RocketGro.

unlikeother products on themarket, RocketGro’s range is not reliant on abought-in benefit. As aresult, thecompany’s approach to circular economy production and usage ensures its range is uniquely different and unmatched in the category.

Bio-digestersonRocketGro’sbeautiful Swang farm arefed with maize, ryeand grassall grown on site. The organic material is broken down to producebiogas,a smokelessblue-flame gas used to power8,000 homes with renewablegreen energy.The by-product of this incredible process is digestate. Toby explains further: “Beforewe launched RocketGro, this digestatewould be used entirely on the farm and spread on our 5,500 acres to grow thenext crop of maize, ryeand grass. It actually earned the nickname ‘Rocket Fuel’amongst farmers in the region because it is such agood fertiliser.” However, it wasTim’s brainwavetomakethis wonder product accessible to theaverage gardener that heralded the startof RocketGro’sjourney.

Blended to perfection

It is atime-consuming and exact processtocreate the end result. Digestatefibreislaid out to mature with various substrates in long lines on the farm. The lines areturned everyday for months until theyare readyfor bagging,forming the basis for RocketGro’supdated and improvedrange of composts, soil improving,soil conditioning and naturalfertiliser products.

RocketGroformulations aretweaked every fewmonthstocreatebetter and moreeffective blends. Forexample, its newericaceous compost available in 2023 has been made without the fresh maizethat was used to successfully lower compost pH in 2022 but gavethe product a smell that users weren’tkeenon. For2023, a longer maturation of the digestate– coupled with the inclusion of newsubstrates, such as wood chip,bark fines and John Innes –means these newadditions will offer some of the best

results on the market today.“The confidencewe haveinour newblends for 2023 and the levelof testing and product development that has gone intothe businessinthe second half of 2022 will ensureaproduct range that gets customers coming back for more. The ecostory,price point, and branding,all combine to makeour products arange that will add significant sales volume for garden centres,”says Toby

The personal touch

TheRocketGroteamhas also increased, with40 people on siteatSwang Farm, nowemployedand responsible for everything from harvesting the maize, ryeand grassthattogointothe digestors, to sorting and packing

The twofounders still haveplenty to keep them busy! Among his long list of responsibilities Timis in charge of infrastructure, product development, growing trials, overseeing the production team, substratesourcing,testing,and the bio-gas plant itself.Toby’srole includes product design, branding,marketing, RocketGro’sonline presence, client relationships, strategy, and more. Their hands-on approach and personable

team enable RocketGrotoprovide aservice theybelieve large corporations just can’tmatch. However, don’tbefooled intothinking this small businesscan’tcompeteinthe big leagues.

“RocketGroisnot abig corporate,”says Toby, “but it is backed by averysuccessful business that enables the company to operateatthe same scale, ensuring our commitments for the 2023 season will be comfortably met. We can operateatscale and at speed, enabling us to get product to garden centres when others may well let them down. We believe this is apersonal touch that big corporates cannot provide.”

Successful growth

In afew short years, RocketGro’srange of justtwo products has expandedsignificantly Forthe 2023 season RocketGrowillbe offering12products in 19 different sizes to morethan 200outletsand counting.Itis growth theteamisparticularly proud of and already thereare plans fornew launchesin2024and adesireto really solidify what they have achievedsofar

“RocketGro is at an advanced stage in its journeytobecomethe leadingindependent producerofpeat-free compost in theUK,” Toby says confidentiality “Wesee ourposition as the natural choicefor garden centres to work with, overand above thetwo marketleaders (byvolume). This will seeustakegreater market shareand expand throughout 2023

“Themissionright nowistoeducatethe marketabout our progress, develop enduring relationships with garden centres that last, provideexceptional personal service,and helptakepeat-free growing media to the nextlevel.”

November 2022 27 Promotion
To learn moreabout RocketGroortodiscuss adding it intoyour 2023 offering,please contact Toby Thomas. Email: or call 07936928981.Todiscover more visit:

Learning from each other

Talking and spending time with likeminded people is an ideal waytoimprove knowledge and, ultimately become more successful. Set up in the 1980’sthe HTA’sBusiness Improvement Scheme has been acting as acatalyst to get people together so theycan grow and develop their business, and this autumn 25 delegates visited eight garden centresinthe Midlands.

by SteveMyatt,BIS Consultant for

As well as touringother garden centres, members of the BIS (aimed at retailers with aturnoveroflessthan£2m) work closely with each other and specialist garden industryconsultant who facilitates regular meetings. The idea is to share experiences, help each other solve problems, identify potential newproducts and discusshow to makesignificant changes to improve business. Aregular and popular featureofevery meeting is around table reviewofrecent trade activities which includes adiscussion on what is selling well and what is not. As part of this discussion members confidentially sharedata about their businesses.

BIS membership is only open to those who arealready membersofthe HTA.

the South East, South West,Scotland and North, and sponsored by SmartGarden Products and RedGorilla, the group were welcomed at eight centres.

“The feedback has been positiveand delegates all had averyenjoyable time, collecting useful information and ideas for their own businesses,”hesays.

Carolyn Spray from Pentland Plants Garden Centre, Midlothian, certainly agrees. “This year’s tour of the Midlands was abrilliant selection of garden centres and we got lots of ideas to take home including newsuppliers, creating maps of your site, display ideas andbackdrops of local

scenes along building walls.”

From Gardentime in Devon, Chris Varlowsays: “Itwas great to network with garden centredelegates form all around thecountry. The range and quality of the centres we visitedwas superb and as we were all on the same coach, the travel time was really useful for networking and discussion.

Iparticularly enjoyedthe excellent Smiths Garden Centre and took away some great ideas for plantaria signage. With permission from Mick Smith, Ialso took pictures of their till area which was extremelywell designed.We’ve sinceduplicated the design at Gardentime with great success!”

The tour itinerary:

• Webbs of Wychbold, Droitwich, Worcester

• St Peter’sGarden Centre, Norton, Worcester

• StratfordGarden Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

• Smith’sGarden Centre, Baginton, Warwickshire

• Ashwood Nurseries, Kingswinford, West Midlands

• Pacific Nurseries, Aldridge, West Midlands,

• Planters Garden Centre at Tamworth, Staffordshire

• Melbicks Garden Centre, Coleshill, Birmingham

28 November 2022 HTABusinessImprovement Scheme
On arecent HTABusiness Improvement Scheme study tour, delegates found visiting other garden centres agreat way to keep on top of trends and sharesuccess stories.
Formoreinformation on the HTABusiness Improvement Scheme search for ‘business improvement’ at or email
Delegates enjoyed visiting eight garden retailers including St Peters Garden Centre, Worcester Exploring the house plant section at Ashwood Nurseries
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Celebrating 20 years of making the right choice

30 November 2022 ChoiceMarketing
in four categories werepresented to: Westland –SundrySupplier of the Year (belowleft) Woodmansterne –GiftSupplier of the Year AllensmoreNurseries –Platn Supplier of the Year (belowright) Nexpay– Not forRetail Supplier of the Year
Morethan300 membersofChoiceMarketing enjoyedthe 20th anniversaryconference, trade showand awards.Prizes forthe winners
In October,ChoiceMarketing brought together its garden centremembers and suppliers to strengthen relationships and present awards for great achievement.GTN was theretojoin in the fun and capturethe special moments.

Firstly,the most posing question of all, howdoyou actually say Vitavia?! It is pronounced Vita Via, which is Latin for ‘way of life’.

To sell greenhouses or not?

We knowthis question floats acrosslots of minds when thinking of filling aspacewithin a garden centre. We hear the voiceinside your head, saying ‘we’re so busy,can we really deal with greenhouses on topofeverything else? The answer is ‘yes’. Youcan haveitall because

we areheretodoall the work and makethe journeyofselling greenhouses seamless.

• We visit your garden centretosee the space available and advise on display models we think would fit

• Our specialist installers will come and put up the greenhouses as agreed

• We supply POS to be displayed in the greenhouse to help customers who wanttoknowspecifics

• Oncethe customer decides on the model with or without installation, theycome to youtomake payment

• The order is then sent to us and then youcan forget all about it

• Our operations team contact the customer directly to arrange delivery

• Our team of drivers will deliver the greenhouse to the chosen location on a preferred date

• We havealist of recommended installers who will arrange an installation dateand time to suit the customer directly

• If the customer decides to install the greenhouse themselves, we haveafantastic customer service team to deal with installation queries

• If customers haveany greenhouse questions thereafter,theycan contact us directly So thereyou haveit, it really is hassle free.

November 2022 31 Promotion
The Vitavia Freya Greenhouse combines a generous amount of growing space with a contemporary pent roof The Janssens Helios Urban Greenhouse
of your garden centre’s
Selling greenhouses can be great addition to any garden centreand Vitaviaison hand with an extensiverange, first-class service and after-sales support
the leading name throughout Europe forquality hobbygreenhouses and the UK distributor forthe Belgian companyJanssens which markets middle and high-end greenhouses and garden rooms. To getintouch
or visit
TheVitavia Orion greenhouse has attractive curvedeaves foroptimum growing height.
be part
‘way of life’
Vitavia is

Lighting theway to a magical Christmas

Spruce up your doorway,windows and front gardens with displays that will add festive cheer to your street and makeyour neighbourhood smile

Onceagain this season’sIllumination Street campaign is kicking off to boost Christmas cheer on UK streets and raise moneyfor good causes through displays of lights, decorations and inflatables that transform front gardens into winter wonderlands.

In the current climate, Christmas displays will be adapted, but the resilienceofthe British people is clear as many arestill embracing the festiveseason and will be decking the halls.

The campaign has been founded by David Domoneywho says: “Christmas is abeacon of hope that lights up the nation during the cold, dark winter months. Although we areinuncertain

times, it’sinspiring to see communities come together and spread positivity and it’sheartwarming to see howChristmas displays areused as an opportunity to raise moneyfor charities close to communities’hearts.”

To keep the Christmas cheer going without breaking the bank, hereare some tips for creating adisplay this year:

• Get crafty and makethe most of resources around youbygoing on awoodland walk or using materials youhaveinyour home to decorateyour porch and windows.

• Opt for solar lights rather than relying on mains electricity

• Createa display using props and inflatables thatdon’trequirelighting or electricity to makeanimpact.

• Agood waytoget startedwith your display is to go on atrip to your local garden centre,which arethe best portofcall for advicewhen creating aspectacular Christmas display in your homeand garden. They will give yougoodfreeadviceonmany aspectsofoutdoorilluminatio Twitter: @illumination_st Instagram: @illuminationstreetofficial Facebook:@illuminationst #IlluminationStreetWeek 2023 runs from 5-11December and so why not join households across Britain by sharing your pictures?

Illumination Street wants to hear about your Christmas displays and the charities you’re raising moneyfor. Get in touch by emailing or on social media.

32 November 2022 Illumination Street

Making adiff f erence together

AtLOFAweare always looking at ways to help ourmembers andsupport our industry. Every year we donatea proportion of LOFA funds to charity and goingforwardwewantto ensure that people within our industry benefit from these funds.

LOFA havealways been fervent supportersof Greenfingers.Thischarity needs no introduction from me because, as we allknow, it creates amazingand

inspiring gardensfor children who spend timeinhospices. Thisyear ourdonation willgotowards agarden at DerianHouse, Lancashire, where garden designerChris Foreshaw willbetransforming atired courtyardgarden.For 2023 LOFA wanted to partner with more charities that hada similar connection to ourindustry.After much research we found two, Perennial andThrive. Thesepartnerships come at acrucialtime for bothorganisations, as they look to further theirimportant work in helping people in needand supporting those who work in horticulture.

Perennial,the Gardeners’Royal Benevolent Society,isanideal fit. Founded in 1839,ithelps those that work with plants, trees or grasswho arefacing overwhelming challenges, for example, an unexpected crisis or life changing eventincluding retirement. Supportalso helps with bereavement, moneyworries, ill health, homelessness, redundancy and family breakdown. No problem is toobig or toosmall and they neverturn anyone away For2023LOFAwillbesupporting Perennial’sPromoteHealth Campaignwhich provides free healthchecks to offer aglimpseintooverall well

being.These checks will be offered in aLOFA sponsoredhealthkiosk, located at industry events up and down thecountrythroughout theyear.Ifyou arevisiting,weurgeyou to givethe booth atry,itcould makeall the difference

The other organisation we areworking withis Thrive.Itbelieves gardeningcan bring positive change in people’s lives,and it’s not wrong.Through its therapeutic gardening and horticultureprogrammes, Thrivehas proven thatgardening canhavea profoundimpact on physical and mental well-being. LOFA are committed to supporting its work each year We arealso helpingwithits first BigGive Christmas Challenge from 29 November -6 Decemberwhere it aimstodouble the money LOFA has donated.

LOFA areexcited to partner with these charities that work tirelesslyto improve the lives of those withinand connected to our industry. We hope by workingtogether, we can increase awareness of thesegreat causes while raisingvaluable fundssotheycan continue their importantwork. We areproud to support their effortsand arelooking forwardto making adifferencetogether.




• or email

November 2022 33 Viewpoint
Left:Gina with Phil Swainston, Perennial’sCorporate Partnership Manager Below: Thrive in action.

I’ve some verybig shoestofill!

TakingoverasPresident of the Horticultural TradesAssociation from Boyd Douglas-Davies in early September is agreat honour but filling those big shoes is just alittle bit daunting!

Looking back over Boyd’s three-year tenureasPresident Icertainly hope the HTAand this great industrydoesn’thavetofacethe same challenges during my two-year Presidency.Brexit, Covid-19 and warin Ukraine were without doubt the biggest challenges and while theystill present real challenges Ithink it’sfair to say we arebeginning to learn to livewith Covid. Who knows wherethe warinUkraine will yetlead us but it is good to see the resolvetounitebehind Ukraine shows no signs of weakening

But what of the future?

Finding asufficient quantity and predictably consistent peat replacement still remains a real challenge for both growers and retailers.

At aGrowing Media Association meeting earlier this summer,welooked at the performanceofretail peat-free composts. It wasnot acheerful experienceand confirms my suspicions thereismuch work to be done. The HTAcontinues to supportthis inevitable transition away from peat and to impressupon DEFRA the challenges this and the timescales set presents to our industry. We haveargued that growers should not be disadvantaged by imported plants which arenot subject to the same growing media restrictions.

Some eye-watering increases in energy prices arebeing faced by all and just getting through to spring for some will be a challenge. The warinUkraine has given us all awakeup call and an added urgency to save, generateand use energy morewisely Of course, watershortage and lack of rain this summer has not gone away.I’m pleased to haverecorded over50mm of rain here in my garden in the last fewdays but still havecracks in the soil

wide enough to put my hand in! The HTAhas been invited to join the National Drought Group and James Barnes is nowensuring our industry’svoiceisheardinagroup dominated by water companies.

Getting out and about

Irecently attended the South West Growers ShowatExeterand while this is not the biggest trade showIwas impressed with the quality of stands, plants, products and services on show. Hats off to BruceHarnett and his team at Kernock Park Plants for their efforts in making this showhappen.

Also in the South West Ijoined aBusiness Improvement Scheme meeting of HTAmembers at Chacewater Garden Centre, Truro. It surprises me that moreHTA retail members don’tget involved in these regional groups. Thereisso much to gain from them in terms of comparing performance, sharing knowledge and generally having peers look your placeover. Theygive youareviewofwhereyou’re doing things right but moreimportantly wherethings could be improved. Ibelieve these groups especially suit the smaller business members of the HTAand represent very good value for money.

I’mdelighted to hear the many Association of Professional Landscape members of the HTAare still enjoying buoyant trade and Ihope to get out and meet moreofthem soon.

Finally,I’m pleased to reportthe HTASenior Leadership Team is now back up to full strength and youwill no doubt haveread that Fran Barnes will head up the team in lateJanuary2023asour newChief Executive.

Find out more

TheHorticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’s leading membership organisation and welcomes all sectorsof horticulture. Tojoin please email:

We have argued that growersshouldnot be disadvantaged by imported plants whichare not subjecttothe same growing media restrictions
Alan at the South West GrowersShowwith HarryKilbeyfromNostrand (left) and PeterWessel of Modiform (right)

Hartman’s Warehouse Wins!

With Christmas fast approaching, it won’t be long before we all shiftour focus back onto Spring/Summer 2023 and we cannot wait forwhat 2023 has to offer! To tickle your tastebuds, we have afantastic competition forour customers to get involved in, which will kick start your 2023 season perfectly

To help yougain early sales we have afantastic selection of products available to order forimmediate delivery, including our very popular Dubai and Singapore ranges.

Rope furniture is fast becoming aconsumer favouriteand the Dubai range is abeautiful example that consumers just love.Dubai offers contemporary design with beautifully soft textures. Paired with the modern Xerix aluminium frame, Weathered Teak Tuscan ceramic glass table tops, and our permeable Weatherready® cushions, the Dubai range offers incredible value formoneythat oozesstyle and comfort.

Acontrast of contemporarydesign to the Dubai, the Singapore range with its natural Teak texturesoozes opulence, sophistication and style in abundance. The beautiful natural teak worksharmoniously with a

contrasting Carbon frame. TheSlatecushions come with our permeable Weatherready® technology enabling the furniture to be left out all summer long. Boasting both dining and lounge sets to complete the look, the Singapore range comes with a3-year manufacturer’s warranty and really does have the wow factor in abundance.

Hartman has along-standing partnership with David Domoney, endorsing our products including the likes of Dubai and Singapore. To catapult our customers intothe newseason, In partnership with David Domoney, we are running afabulous competition that gives added value back to you. For every warehouse order received youwill be entered intoaprizedrawtowin agarden centre appearance, including a30-minutelivegardening masterclass from David Domoneyand aQ&A afterthe show. We will createasocial media teaser video foryou to promotethe event, as well as feature in David Domoney’s newsletter and website. Youwill also win asigned copy of David Domoney’s My Houseplant Changed My Life. Entryperiod forthe competition is 5th December 2022 –31st January2023, Terms & Conditions apply.

For more information on stock availability, please contact your area sales manager, or call 01952 23123, e: COMPETITION PRIZEDRAW! •David Domoney30-minuteLiveGardening Masterclass Show •Q&A Afterthe Show •Social Media teaser video •Event featured in David Domoney’s newsletter and Website •Access to David Domoney assets forevent promotion •Asigned copy of My Houseplant Changed My Life
LOVING OUTDOOR LIVING TheLeisure&Outdoor Furniture Association Join us and become partofaninspirational associationofcompanies all focused on the outdoor living industry

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