Drone footage from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue, filmed on Monday, shows the extent of the fire at the Gardman warehouse in Daventry and the company have issued a statement saying: "the fire has destroyed both the stock and the building"...
Drone footage from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue, filmed on Monday, shows the extent of the fire at the Gardman warehouse and the company have issued a statement saying: "...the fire has destroyed both the stock and the building".
Shortly after midnight on 12th March a major fire broke out at the Gardman warehouse in Daventry.
As communicated yesterday, thankfully there were no casualties and the emergency services remain on site as they continue to investigate. Northamptonshire Police have confirmed they have arrested a man on suspicion of arson connected with the fire.
Whilst we do not yet have full access to the site, our initial assessment is that the damage sustained by the fire has destroyed both the stock and the building. We are now working tirelessly on a business recovery plan to restore our supply position and help our customers.
According to the Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue website this afternoon (Tuesday) the man previously arrested on suspicion of arson has been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Northamptonshire Police have just issued a bulletin on their website stating that a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire. Roads in the industrial estate remain closed while firefighters continue to tackle the fire and work closely with the police and other agencies to maintain public safety....
Northamptonshire Police have just issued a bulletin on their website stating that a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire. Roads in the industrial estate remain closed while firefighters continue to tackle the fire and work closely with the police and other agencies to maintain public safety.
The bulletin goes on to report: Deputy Chief Fire Officer David Harding, from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We expect to have fire officers at the scene for at least the next couple of days while we continue efforts to extinguish the fire.
“This was an extremely large building on fire which required more than 50 firefighters, 10 pumping and two aerial appliances along with other specialist vehicles, to tackle it during the early hours of this morning.”
It will be some time yet before investigators can gain access to the building however, police have launched an arson investigation and would like to speak to anyone who may have information about the fire or who may have witnessed anyone acting suspiciously near to the warehouse late last night.
Anyone in the area affected by smoke from the fire is advised to close doors and windows as a precautionary measure.
Witnesses or anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Gardman CEO, Pete Utting spoke to GTN Xtra earlier this morning about the fire at their Daventry warehouse which broke out last night.
"All of the people on the night shift have been accounted for but we can not gain access to the site yet. When I left at 6:00am the fire was still burning." Speaking from the Peterborough head office Pete was devastated after a week when their pick rate had exceeded the 100,000 mark for the first time in their efforts to catch up on delivery problems from earlier in the year. "Staff are very shaken here. We are setting up crisis management teams but until we can gain access to the site we have no idea as to the extent of the damage."
As soon as we receive any further information from Gardman or the fire service we will publish more updates.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue @northantsfire tweeted overnight: 23:41 Currently in attendance at serious High Bay Warehouse fire, 10 pumps, 2 aerials and 2 High Volume Pumps in attendance, Parsons Rd,
Then at 4:25am they added: More than 50 firefighters are in attendance at a warehouse fire in Daventry. Fire crews were called the unit in Parsons Road, Drayton Fields Industrial Estate just before midnight on Sunday, March 11.
At 10:59 AM, today they have tweeted: Incident Daventry - Firefighting operations are still continuing using High Volume Pumps and Aerial appliances, assistance is being given to @northantsfire by @OxonFireRescue & @WarksFireRescue
BBC News reported on the fire that broke out last night at Gardman's Daventry warehouse and distribution facility.
According to the BBC website the fire broke out at 23:41 GMT on Sunday. They go on to report that firefighters are still at the scene and police said at this time there are not believed to be any casualties.
It was a bad week for garden centre trading with sales almost falling off our GTN Bestellers All Sales index graph but not the worst start to the year in recent history...
It was a bad week for garden centre trading with sales almost falling off our All Sales index graph but not the worst start to the year in recent history.
Despite last week’s lost days trading, GTN Bestsellers records show that total sales volumes for the first nine weeks of the year were 9.1% higher than in 2013.
As with the garden centres below we are keeping everything crossed for sales to get back to normal this week so that the nation gets gardening before Easter.
We asked garden centres across the country how things are getting back to normal?
Martin Stewart, Stewarts Garden Centres: “Yes, almost certainly the worst weeks trading to budget in my time.
“Our 3 centres were down 39% first 7 days of March. Down 12% since the start of our financial year (1st Feb).
“In the last 11 days that's £192,000 down on budget, money out of our cash flow during a VAT week too. Not fun.
“But on a positive note, yesterday all 3 centres were up on the same day last year and today (Thursday) it looks like all 3 will do budget! So, there is life in the old banger yet!!
“Our coffee shops have been rammed so we are clearly still on peoples radars.”
Julian Winfield, Haskins Garden Centres: “Not a good start for Spring. It has been a long-time since we have had snow so late, but not the first or I suspect the last! Last week was the first week of our financial year, so not a good start. However, I am confident that we will have good weeks again, historically if you look at spring trade for March, April, May and June we have only had 7 - 8 good trading weeks.”
a tough few days and we closed early Thursday afternoon but we just about might as well have not been opened. We just couldn't get any staff in on Friday at any of the centres so were closed all day Friday but we started getting ready to be able to open Saturday. Again a very poor day but Sunday was much better and had we not had the snow Sunday would have been a bumper day as it felt very much like Spring!
Mike Burks, The Gardens Group: “It’s been a slowish start to the week but getting busier all of the time.
“Luckily we had a very strong start to the year and it’s only the last few days of Feb and the first few of March that have been poor. Although we are now behind 2017 it’s not by too much in terms of sales but as those sales are dominated by January the margin for YTD won't look great at this stage.
“Luckily, we also missed out on the snow that many centres had before Christmas which was much more damaging and so we can't moan too much!
“We have no plans for additional promotional effort because it will be the weather that turns it around - just a bit of normal stuff and it should straighten out.
“The good news is that tea breaks have been outside all this week and so all is right with the world!”
Steve Searle, Monkton Elm Garden Centre: “We lost two and a half days last week and only opened Sunday because we had a digger in Saturday morning and a handful of staff to clear the car park.
“Taunton was hit harder than some of our close areas as we are in a valley and it seemed none of our roads were cleared once you came off the motorway that only had one lane opened until Saturday and then it was only 2.
“The week so far has been picking up but still 25% behind last year but more comparable to 2016 as last year was exceptional for a mild start.
“We feel Mothering Sunday should be a busy day as normal but it seems to be coming around way too quick this year as it is so early and even customers are saying they did not know it was this Sunday already. Our Spring offer goes out to customers from the 19th of March and runs through April so we are hoping this will be as successful as it was last year but we will wait and see how the weather performs as that is one of the key elements in all garden centre sales!”
James Ducker, Langlands Garden Centres: “We were 42% up on the same day last year for Wednesday.
“Our Sheffield coffee shop had to close due frozen pipes and both Sheffield and Leeds were hit again by snow today (Thursday.)”
Gerald Ingram, Planters and Garden King Garden Centres: “We were fairly lucky in that we lost at most 1 hour of trade.
“Trade is well down but positives are wild bird food, rock salt and coal. Customers have returned this week in the sun but still not spending like they did last year.
“The ground is now wet and cold which will delay a start. But I would rather have a bad March and a great April and May than the other way around.”
Adam Wigglesworth, Aylett Nurseries: “We lost 45% of turnover, but I’m sure we were lucky compared to others. We only had to close early on one day.
“By Wednesday trading had got back to the same as last year. There is huge enthusiasm out there, with customers out in their droves when the sun shines. Independent centres have a great advantage now as we are able to switch on promotions and turn things around quickly.”
“I really feel it for plant suppliers. This makes like very difficult for them.”
Tam Woodhouse, Millbrook Garden Centres: “It has been horrible. Crowborough has been without water for the last 4 days after the snow so we haven't been able to open the cafe. Sales figures seem to be taking a long time to recover even though the weather has improved.
“We have a big weekend of promotions planned for Garden Re-Leaf including a half price plant voucher which we hope will kick start spending on plants for this spring.
“We just need the sun to come out now please!”
Alan Roper, Blue Diamond Garden Centres: “Obviously the weather hasn’t had the impact we experienced in December and it is what it is we have had poor starts to the season before. An early Easter with this weather pattern could deliver another trading blow though.
“It could be a season where we are forever playing catch up, not overly concerned though. Been here many times before!”
And Bunker, Alton Garden Centre: “For us it is a little of a double edge sword firstly because of location on a main road. The road is cleared as a matter of priority but the down side of not being in a town means very few venture out. Especially as the message unless essential journey don't travel!
“We’ve not had problem with pipes or such like and as one of us gets in as normal regardless at around 7.30am so ready and tills open from 9am as usual. Also we have our own security on site 24 -7 overnight so any problems flagged up rather than coming in, in the morning to a flood.
“Trade of course has been non-existent apart from the usual snow shovels, salt and sledges.
“Business has improved this week but probably trading as a February rather than March and the big problem is a little like fresh bread: Say you buy bread every 3/4 days but the first loaf has not been eaten nothing wrong with it but do you throw that away knowing your fresh one is on its way or eat it making the fresh one a day or so old. That’s what could be happening with spring plants just now. Primroses look okay and saleable but not as vibrant as the new stock. Surely you dump them and bring in the new especially as its mother's day weekend BUT there’s nothing really wrong with existing plants!
“We need some good press and soon - although Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 is great and talks very often about gardening. Today he talked about a mum who wants a lawnmower for Mother's Day present not a meal or chocolates.
“For Mother's Day we will do our usual give away and I am doing some good offers on NEW stock from now until Sunday with a definite finish Sunday night. For example 2 spike orchid £8.99 on a 2.4 .1 now going out at £6.99. Planters already good value at £16.99 I’m going to drop to £9.99 just for Saturday and Sunday on that one also Primrose possibly 6 for £2 to drive sales and move some stock.”
Boyd Douglas-Davies, Hillview Garden Centres: “Great recovery this week so looking to be +10% v LY
“We were 75% off budget for the week as a result of the snow and the freezing conditions
“Monday after the snow was slow but Tuesday and Wednesday are trading back above budget and significantly up on the same days last year.
“Our spring flyer was distributed at the end of last week. We are re-running our hugely successful plant-a-thon at every store on Garden Re-Leaf day.
“Mothers Day lunches are selling really well along with afternoon tea bookings for Saturday and Sunday.”
Meanwhile in the North West, which usually tends to fair worst when we have bad weather, Russell Winteridge from Barton Grange tells us: “We didn’t lose any trading time. Business has been typical of a cold start to the season.
“We are a bit protected from by the Lakes to the north, the Pennine’s to the east and Bents Garden Centre to the south!
“Hardy plant sales were 50% down but indoor areas faired much better, our farm shop for example was only 9% down.
“The Flower Bowl building is covered now and rain proof so we had no effect there other than the cold wind blew a bit of rubbish around.”
If you'd like to add to this story with information about your trading last week, please use the comments button below or e-mail email@example.com
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year (week 9) Garden Products - down 63% Growing Media - down 69% Veg-2-Gro - down 69% Wild Bird Care - up 5% All Plants Index - down 75% All Items Index - down 61%
Dobbies have told GTN Xtra this week that Nicholas Marshall is still chief executive of the garden centre group following rumours that he'd left the company...
Dobbies have told GTN Xtra this week that Nicholas Marshall is still chief executive of the garden centre group following rumours that he'd left the company..
A spokesperson for the company said the position remained the same as a statement issued on the 12th January (see below).
"Dobbies announced a reshuffle of some of its senior leadership positions. Graeme Jenkins is the new chief operating officer, in addition to his present role as chief financial officer. He replaces Lorrie Robertson, who has left the company.
"Marcus Eyles, currently head of online and horticulture, will take the role of purchasing director, replacing Andrew West, who has also left the company for personal travel-related reasons.
Finding people willing to work for nothing isn’t easy. So it’s astonishing that five important people from the gardening industry signed up as unpaid Ambassadors to Greenfingers Charity at the recent Garden Press Day...
Finding people willing to work for nothing isn’t easy. So it’s astonishing that five important people from the gardening industry signed up as unpaid Ambassadors to Greenfingers Charity at the recent Garden Press Day.
Leading the charge was Guy Burtenshaw, who co-founded the important media exhibition in 2006 with Greenfingers Founder President Richard Jackson. They are pictured with Peter Seabrook after Guy was presented with a Greenfingers Garden Gnome to mark his handing over of the organisation of the event to the HTA and GIMA.
Also added to the unpaid army of Greenfingers Ambassadors is Neil Grant, wildlife expert, BBC Radio Sheffield presenter and Managing Director of Ferndale Garden Centre, Sheffield; David Denny, Marketing & Insights Manager at the HTA; Martin Simmons, Director of Operations at the HTA and colourful Chris Collins, ex-Blue Peter gardener, children’s gardening guru and thoroughly good egg.
John Ashley, Chairman of Greenfingers Charity said, “I am delighted to welcome these five new Ambassadors into the huge team of industry worthies who are happy to provide help and support for this successful charity. The Fundraising & Communications team at Greenfingers couldn’t be so effective without the knowledge, enthusiasm and fresh new ideas that new blood offers to both the industry and this charity that builds gardens for children with life-limiting conditions.”
Above: (LtoR) Peter Seabrook congratulates Guy Burtenshaw on his development of the Garden Presss Event together with Founder President of Greenfingers Charity, Richard Jackson.
Top picture: (LtoR) Linda Petrons, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Greenfingers, welcomes Neil Grant, David Denney, Martin Simmons, Chris Collins as Ambassadors recruited by charity Chairman John Ashley.
Woodlodge is preparing for a strong 2018 season after investing heavily in its warehouse and operations facilities to increase its offering to retail customers...
Woodlodge is preparing for a strong 2018 season after investing heavily in its warehouse and operations facilities to increase its offering to retail customers.
Following on from a phenomenal period of growth – including 2.2 million pots sold in 2017 alone - the leading pot and gardenware supplier was bursting out of its Tetbury headquarters, which currently covers over 100,000 square feet in the Gloucestershire countryside. Recognising that improvements were needed to maintain full capability of its distribution operations, the company set out to make the necessary upgrades. From new racking and painted protective flooring, to upgraded lighting, Woodlodge has managed to significantly increase the number of product bays, improving stock capacity for the constant flow of incoming stock.
Additionally, the new layout has made product identification and logistics easier. Faster selling items have been grouped together for a smoother despatch, whilst the additional space has helped to improve the efficiencies of the warehouse picking team.
Woodlodge Managing Director, Michael Wooldridge said: “With an increase in sales turnover of 40% over the past four years, the upgrades were needed to keep up with customer demand, whilst also ensuring complete efficiency during peak season. The new upgrades – though simple in their implementation - mean we can increase the product range we keep on the shelf, as well as creating a safer and more welcoming work environment for our staff.”
Trading since 1987 Woodlodge has witnessed year-on-year growth. The latest company stats include:
Sales of over £20 million in 2017, up from £11.5 million four years ago.
Distribution of products to over 2,000 garden centres and retail outlets nationwide.
130 staff working in peak season.
Employee numbers doubling in the last 5 years.
Over 300 lorries per month sent out to retailers over the Spring period.
Woodlodge’s new range additions this year include Feather, a collection of lightweight pots made of recycled plastic and painted different colourful glazes.
Other new products include a Driftwood finish pot, as part of their Rustic Garden collection, new shapes and colours in the Heritage Garden range and charity pots for Greenfingers and Marie Curie. There are brand new, innovative indoor planters coming to market, following on from the resurgence of houseplants.
To find out more about Woodlodge’s market leading product offering please visit www.woodlodge.co.uk
With the help of Bizzi, their friendly mascot, Hozelock are running a campaign to encourage gardeners to plant bee friendly plants to help save Britain’s bees...
With the help of Bizzi, their friendly mascot, Hozelock are running a campaign to encourage gardeners to plant bee friendly plants to help save Britain’s bees.
Honey bees are disappearing at an alarming rate* and Hozelock’s campaign is a call to action for gardeners nationwide to play their part – to benefit both the environment and food supplies, now and for generations to come. It is estimated that a staggering one third of all food is bee and insect pollination dependant* including coffee, chocolate and many fruits and vegetables.
From 20th March 2018, gardeners can visit www.plantapot.info and pledge to #plantapot for Bizzi, to be in with the chance of winning over £5,000 worth of prizes – including a holiday to the 13 Bees hotel in France as well as tickets to the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show! Hozelock are also donating over £20,000 to the Flowers for Bees charity to help them achieve their goal of protecting bees through their research, development, training and education programmes.
One of the biggest factors in the decline of bees is the lack of food for them nationwide. By planting a container for bees with bee-friendly plants and seeds, and keeping it watered and healthy throughout the foraging season, gardeners can have a huge impact on the availability of bee food throughout the year. No matter the size or location of the garden – from a small urban balcony to hanging baskets – gardeners play a key role in helping Britain’s pollinators.
Hozelock want to make it loud and clear to gardeners nationwide that their actions can make a huge impact. Hozelock are supporting the campaign with a range of eye-catching POS arches and FSDUs creating in-store theatre which will drive retailer sales and demonstrate a commitment to a cause that every gardener will love. Bizzi’s call to action ‘Plant a pot to help my friends’ will also promote cross-category sale opportunities across watering, planterias and planters.
With everything from Easy Drip automatic watering kits and Superhoze expanding hoses to the Pure collection – which provides a greener alternative to using chemicals – Hozelock has everything you’ll need to look after your garden and help nurture the wildlife who visit it.
Squire’s Garden Centres is taking part in a 12-hour “Plantathon” on Friday 16th March, to raise money for the charity Greenfingers on their annual Garden Re-Leaf Day...
Deputy Chairman Sarah Squire practicing for the “Plantathon”.
Squire’s Garden Centres is taking part in a 12-hour “Plantathon” on Friday 16th March, to raise money for the charity Greenfingers on their annual Garden Re-Leaf Day.
A team from Squire’s will be planting up pots at their newly re-opened Woking centre on Littlewick Road from dawn until dusk to raise money for Greenfingers, a charity who create magical gardens for children in hospices to enjoy.
Come and see the team at Squire’s taking on the “Plantathon” challenge and cheer them on. The planted spring pots will contain a beautiful Narcissi in the centre with four Polyanthus around the outside, and will be sold to customers for £6.99 each or two for £12, with all the proceeds going to Greenfingers.
Colin and Sarah Squire (Chairman and Deputy Chairman), Martin Breddy (Managing Director), Ed Ridgeon (Woking Manager), and many other employees at Squire’s in Woking, which has recently re-opened after an extensive redevelopment, will all be taking part.
Then on Saturday 17th March gardening guru Charlie Dimmock will officially open Squire’s new look garden centre in Woking. She will also be planting up pots to raise money for Greenfingers – and who wouldn’t want to buy a pot that’s been planted by Charlie’s fair hand!
Pictured: Deputy Chairman Sarah Squire practicing for the “Plantathon”.
Squire’s Garden Centre, Littlewick Road, Horsell, Woking, GU21 4XR.
Hertfordshire-based trade nursery Europlants once again made Thrive its chosen charity to support at its annual spring open days and this was a record-breaking year of fundraising...
Hertfordshire-based trade nursery Europlants once again made Thrive its chosen charity to support at its annual spring open days and this was a record-breaking year of fundraising!
Garden ambassador David Domoney worked his magic at the auction and raffle which brought in a staggering £3,750 for Thrive.
Sandy and Hazel from the Business Development team at Thrive spoke to hundreds of buyers, visitors and guests about our work and gave a short talk about James, just one of the many people we help.
Sandy said: "We were thrilled to be asked back and thoroughly enjoy meeting so many people in the industry and would like to thank the wonderful team at Europlants for their kindness and support.
"This event also brokers other offers of support for Thrive which we will be following up and look forward to announcing these."
Notcutts continue their support for Thrive
Gardeners from Thrive were presented with a cheque for £2,264 this month thanks to the fundraising efforts by staff and customers at Notcutts Garden Centre, near Oxford.
Notcutts are in their second year of supporting Thrive and also fund a bursary at Thrive to train people to become horticultural therapists.
Notcutts Garden Centre at Nuneham Courtenay, the nearest garden centre to Thrive’s head office and main gardens, is doing even more for the charity by donating the proceeds from their evening talks on flower arranging.
Sam Mallett, garden manager at Notcutts is pictured presenting the cheque to Sandy from Thrive. Also pictured are Aaron and Sam, client gardeners, with Jonathan Tew, Manager of Notcutts and Paul Scott, regional centre manager at Thrive, Berkshire.
Sandy Fitzgerald, Business Development Manager at Thrive said: "Notcutts are incredibly generous with their levels for support for Thrive and staff at the garden centre at Nuneham Courtenay have really taken us to their heart by donating proceeds from their evening talks and promoting the work of Thrive.
"We’re thrilled that we have formed such a strong partnership with them and we are already in discussions about plans to increase the level of support for Thrive."
Jonathan Tew, Centre Manager at Notcutts Oxford, said: "We’ve seen first-hand the amazing work Thrive carries out with people in the horticultural sector and we are delighted to continue to support them in any way we can."
Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown has partnered with Great Oaks care home in Bournemouth to donate houseplants for the residents...
Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown has partnered with Great Oaks care home in Bournemouth to donate houseplants for the residents.
Haskins' in-house plant expert, Alasdair Urquhart, visited the home and gave a brief presentation to residents on houseplants and the benefits these plants can bring. Alasdair explained to the residents that adding houseplants to a room is a simple yet effective way to boost physical and mental wellbeing.
The garden centre also donated a range of houseplants to the residents of Great Oaks. The houseplants, which include Areca Palm, Boston Fern, Peace Lily and Dumb Cane, will help to purify the air and eliminate any volatile organic compounds. Haskins gave advice on where best to place the plants in the home and also spoke with the management team about the care home's garden and the role it plays in improving residents' wellbeing.
Alasdair Urquhart, in-house plant expert at Haskins, said: "It was a real pleasure to be invited to give a presentation to Great Oaks' residents, who were keen to learn more about the plants we were donating. The home has extensive gardening opportunities for its green-fingered residents and we hope the plants we donated will be enjoyed and further improve their environment."
Ian McDonald, manager of Great Oaks, said: "The residents really enjoyed their visit from Haskins as many of our residents regularly help maintain our garden and have a keen interest in gardening. Alasdair's talk inspired residents to share stories of the gardens they once owned, what they grew and what they love most about the outdoors.
"We are so grateful for the generous donation of houseplants we received from Haskins, and the time Alasdair took to connect with our residents and offer them handy tips to help look after the plants."
Studies show that humans are generally happier when surrounded by a plant. Homes can be full of airborne pollutants, with carpets, paint and even people harbouring toxins - especially in the winter months, when windows are closed to the cold air outside and central heating is ramped up indoors. As well as cleaning the air, plants have been proven to reduce anxiety and brighten moods.
Haskins Garden Centre is located in Ferndown, Dorset. Visit www.haskins.co.uk for more information.
For the first time in the history of the Smart Garden Sales Manager of the Year Awards, Chairman Paris Natar was able to congratulate more than one winner who will share the trophy over the coming year...
For the first time in the history of the Smart Garden Sales Manager of the Year Awards, Chairman Paris Natar was able to congratulate more than one winner who will share the trophy over the coming year.
Stephen Kenny (Barrowbridge Ltd) covering the Republic of Ireland along with Mikki and Stuart Miller (All You Need Ltd) in East Anglia were announced joint winners for their fantastic performance in 2017.
Having just completed his second full year with Smart, Stephen was absolutely delighted with his achievement. “It’s been hard work but incredibly rewarding, and my win here today just highlights how quickly Smart has become the leading solar brand in the industry. A steady stream of innovative products and great service makes them a great team to partner with”.
Stuart comments “It’s a privilege to have won the award this year, especially as we were the runners up last year. We are very lucky to have access to such an extensive and innovative product selection, along with fantastic packaging and merchandising solutions from Smart, it makes the ranges easy for us to sell and for our customers to buy”.
All of the winners wanted to extend their thanks to the Smart team and also to their customers for their continued support. Jonathan Stobart, Managing Director, echoed these sentiments saying “Whilst I offer special congratulations to Stephen, Stuart and Mikki, all of our Sales Managers work incredibly hard in their areas, and the Smart team appreciate their passion for our products. However, it is our customers who make all the difference – as we continue to grow, we look forward to further strengthening our relationships and building a presence in store which ensures that the consumer is given fantastic choice and value for money”.
To find out more about Smart Garden’s market leading product offering please visit www.sgpuk.com
Staff at one of the UK’s leading nurseries is celebrating this month (March, 2018) after winning two awards from two garden centre groups it supplies plants to...
Staff at one of the UK’s leading nurseries is celebrating this month (March, 2018) after winning two awards from two garden centre groups it supplies plants to.
Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford was awarded Plant Supplier of the Year 2017 from Klondyke Group and also the Most Innovative Plant Supplier Award from Wyevale Garden Centres, which is a separate company under different ownership.
Colin Stanley, Retail Sales Manager at Wyevale Nurseries, explained: “We were delighted to be awarded the Plant Supplier of the Year 2017 Award at the recent Klondyke Group’s annual plant show.
“In our first three years of supplying the group we have thoroughly enjoyed working with the centres and head office team. It’s always great to see plants taking centre stage in a retailer’s offering. We are looking forward to continuing to build an even stronger relationship going forward.
“To add to this, we were also presented with the Wyevale Garden Centres’ Most Innovative Plant Supplier Award. We were over the moon to receive this recognition from one of our key retail customers. We’re constantly working with all our retail customers to ensure we select the best new plants available on the market to suit their particular customer demographics and business strategies.
“We have been delighted with feedback from a number of customers who are excited about the range of new plants we are bringing to the market. With our extensive plant development programme there is a new plant suited to most customers’ needs.”
In the past 12 months Ben Gregory, Product Development Manager at Wyevale Nurseries, has travelled more than 50,000 miles in search of new plants, travelling all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand and trips to the US.
Andy Smith, Head of Buying at Klondyke, said: “Our Plant Managers and Head Office team chose Wyevale Nurseries as our 2017 Plant Supplier of the Year, due to the great quality plants and fantastic level of service they provide. We have been working with Wyevale Nurseries for only a short time but have built up a fantastic relationship and look forward to developing this over the coming years.”
The forthcoming GIMA Day Conference – 12th April, Ettington Chase, Warwickshire, CV37 7NZ – is set to offer a varied selection of speakers, including two popular retail stalwarts who will be providing an insight into the state of retailing in the year ahead...
The forthcoming GIMA Day Conference – 12th April, Ettington Chase, Warwickshire, CV37 7NZ – is set to offer a varied selection of speakers, including two popular retail stalwarts who will be providing an insight into the state of retailing in the year ahead.
The latest foreign exchange fluctuations and how businesses can safeguard themselves, as well as an overview of the Bank of England’s economic outlook for the UK will complete the schedule for the day, providing attendees with much food for thought.
Providing a full day’s schedule of thought leadership, the Day Conference will be a must-attend for anyone wanting to stay ahead in this competitive marketplace.
Joining the Conference will be a well-known industry face - Martin Breddy, Managing Director of Squires Garden Centres. Martin moved into this role after 10 years at the helm of the Scotts Miracle Gro Company and will be using his session to provide an insight into what it is like to move from the supplier to the retailer side, and how his new role has helped him appreciate the pressures on the supply chain.
The second retailer joining the Day Conference will be Tony Blake (above), owner of St Peters Garden Centre, Worcester. A passionate member of our industry, Tony will be talking more about his career including his early days at Kew Gardens, to the formation of Choice Marketing – of which Tony was founder – through to his time today at one of Worcestershire’s most thriving garden centres.
The economic future of the UK will be addressed within Glynn Jones’ session. Glynn is the Deputy Agent, West Midlands and Oxfordshire for the Bank of England, and will be drawing on his expert knowledge and latest Bank of England data to provide an in-depth look at the UK’s economic growth potential, particularly in a post-Brexit world.
Tobias Woodward (above), Senior Account Manager at Moneycorp - the award winning foreign exchange specialists - will focus on the volatility of the foreign exchange markets, considered to be the biggest factor affecting GIMA members today. Focussing on the impact of Brexit upon this ongoing volatility, Tobias will also outline the ways that GIMA members can mitigate their exposure to this risk.
More speakers are also expected to be confirmed in the following weeks. Visit www.gima.org.uk to find out more.
GIMA’s Director, Vicky Nuttall said: “As a leading trade association, we recognise that we have a responsibility to our members to provide a platform for discussion and thought leadership. Our Day Conferences are an important part of this and are designed to combine unrivalled networking opportunities and relevant educational content. The forthcoming event has been put together to educate, inspire and arm those who attend with the right knowledge and skills to navigate the many external pressures and changes that will affect our industry in both the short and long-term. I’ve no doubt it’ll be yet another enjoyable day. I look forward to welcoming all those that join us.”
GIMA’s annual AGM meeting will also take place on April 12th. This closed event is open to full GIMA members only and will see the election of the honorary roles for the 2018/19 session.
Attending the GIMA day Conference couldn’t be easier. Simply book on-line at www.gima.org.uk or contact the GIMA team to book your place. Tickets are available for £60 + VAT for GIMA members, and £120 + VAT for non-members. Prices include refreshments and buffet lunch.
Writtle University College’s team for the Young Gardeners of the Year competition have unveiled their design. The annual competition is organised by celebrity gardener David Domoney and gives students invaluable experience of designing and building a show garden...
Writtle University College’s team for the Young Gardeners of the Year competition have unveiled their design!
The annual competition is organised by celebrity gardener David Domoney and gives students invaluable experience of designing and building a show garden.
Delivered in association with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, this year’s competition is being held at Ascot Racecourse for the first time, at the new Ascot Spring Garden Show this April. It will see six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges create a show-stopping back garden and go head-to-head for the title - which Writtle won last year, along with a Gold Medal.
This year’s team of nine Further Education students – guided by Lecturer Ben Wincott - have designed a garden based around a ‘floating’ decking platform anchored by a full-sized tree. They are now refining the design and identifying suppliers and sponsors ahead of the garden pre-build.
James Durham, from Hertfordshire, said: “The main concept of our garden is sustainability. We hope that our garden will be an oasis in the middle of the urban desert, giving the homeowner somewhere to get away from it all – a space that brings them closer to nature and wildlife in the heart of the city.”
The entrance to the garden is lowered and filled with harvested rain water, over which are porcelain stepping stones, lined by the sculptural and dramatic plant equisetum. The aim is to create movement, reflections and a natural element in the small 5m by 4.5m space. The team have suggested that a pump system could be used taking this water to irrigate the garden.
There are then steps up from this path to a decking area made of recycled plastic raised on stilts, which gives the illusion that it is floating amongst the plants. Through this, a full-sized tree grows, providing a natural shelter and intimacy. The planting will be predominantly dense thick grasses but with perennials referencing HRH The Queen’s colours of purple and gold as the Show is delivered in association with Ascot’s Crown Estate neighbours at Windsor Great Park.
Student Grace Fairbrace, from Chelmsford, said: “This is a really exciting project which gives us the opportunity to develop our design and build skills at a high-profile event. We’re really looking forward to it!”
The teams will have five days to build and plant their gardens in the Garden Terrace on the Grandstand of Ascot Racecourse, ready for the Show’s opening day on 13 April 2018.
Each garden will then be judged by an expert panel, which includes horticultural industry leaders, home and garden magazine editors, and acclaimed garden designers and landscapers. Entrants will compete to win gold, silver gilt, silver, or bronze awards. The overall winner will receive the Best in Show trophy, and visitors will be able to vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
GTN Xtra newshound received a tip off this week that Nicholas Marshall has left Dobbies and that Graeme Jenkins is now running the garden centre group...
GTN Xtra newshound received a tip off this week that Nicholas Marshall has left Dobbies and that Graeme Jenkins is now running the garden centre group.
In a management re-shuffle in January, Graeme Jenkins became Chief Operating Officer in addition to his then current role of Chief Financial Officer. He replaced Lorrie Robertson, who left the company.
Also in the reshuffle the head of online and horticulture, Marcus Eyles, replaced Andrew West as Purchasing Director,
It was stated by the company at the time that Nicholas Marshall, CEO at the 35-centre chain, would remain as Chief Executive.
But GTN Xtra has it on good authority that Marshall has now followed in the footsteps of Lorrie Robertson and Andrew West, and departed the group.
We’ve been told that Andrew Bracey, Chairman of Midlothian Capital, explained the reasons behind the departures in a talk to Dobbies management.
Nicholas Marshall took over at the top of Dobbies a year ago, on March 7th 2017, and within months of his arrival he had put together a team full of former colleagues.
GTN Xtra tried to contact Chairman Andrew Bracey for a comment but so far we’ve had no response.
Scotts UK have confirmed that Sheila Hill has left the business and Mark Portman has been appointed to replace her in the role of UK General Manager. Mark has been at Gardman for a short period of time as Group Sales Director.
Scotts UK have confirmed that Sheila Hill has left the business and Mark Portman has been appointed to replace her in the role of UK General Manager.
Mark has been at Gardman for a short period of time as Group Sales Director.
Prior to that role, he spent more than 7 years at Henkel, where he was General Manager, UK, Ireland & Nordics, .
Previously, he performed a series of increasingly senior Sales roles at Premier Foods where he was for 8 years, before which he was at New Covent Garden Soup.
Karl Kahofer, CEO, said: "I am delighted to welcome Mark to our company. He brings a wealth of relevant experience, an impressive track record of delivering results and a demonstrated focus on building company culture.
"His category experience with Gardman and his experience of working with our largest UK customers will also stand him in good stead.
"He will make a big difference to our UK business.
"Mark will join us at the latest beginning of April and until then the UK team will continue to report to Ted Linehan on an interim basis."
The unique mix of "The Beast from the East" and Storm Emma wreaked havoc across UK garden centres this week with reports of many store closures, frozen pipes and heroic efforts to keep trading...
The unique mix of "The Beast from the East" and Storm Emma wreaked havoc across UK garden centres this week with reports of many store closures, frozen pipes and heroic efforts to keep trading.
Centre closures started on Tuesday in Kent and East Sussex and then spread north across the country during the week causing the second business interruption for snow this winter in many places. Then the weather even hit the normally snow free West Country at the end of the week.
Neil Gow from Fresh@Burcot Garden Centre in the MIdlands tells us: "We have managed to remain open throughout despite 10ft snow drifts on the road outside.
"Trade has been about 1/5 of what it should have been with fuels, bird food and catering being the winners. The consolation is that at least it was this weekend rather than next when it is Mothers Day! We have a clear car park thanks to the team, who have battled their way through to work each day, motivated to walk up to 3 miles to help keep us open. It must be great to enjoy your work so much!
"Gardman have at last delivered an order to us, 4 weeks late, but most of what we need we have been getting from Stax – another Great Team at their centre at Birmingham!
Please add your comments about the effect of the Big Freeze on your business using the link below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd particularly like to hear of your hero's who kept services open for customers, how you plan to make up the lost business when the thaw gets underway and any risks you have of flooding when the snow melts away.
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts...
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts and weekly bestsellers sales tips.
The full charts which provide useful insight into product sales peaks, new trends and new link sales opportunities are published in the weekly GTN Xtra newsletter.
As the year goes on we give sales volume comparisons with 2015 as well as 2016 to allow your teams to see variations over a three year period.
Access is by subscription only. For £145.00 per year you and your team can have access to the most up-to-date gardening sales analysis that has already helped many UK garden centres increase their sales. To subscribe call 01733 775700, e-mail email@example.com or buy on-line using this link.
WARNING the GTN Bestsellers Charts seriously improve the business of our subscribers. Invest 15 minutes each week in improving your sales using the GTN Bestsellers charts and your turnover and customer satisfaction will improve too.
Get the GTN Bestsellers charts in full every week in the GTN Bestsellers newsletters for only £145.00.
GTN Bestsellers is the only industry source of weekly garden centre sales information, collating Epos data from centres with an aggregate turnover in excess of £120m.
Use the weekly Garden Products and Growing Media Top 50 sales volumes charts to plan your hotspot and other promotions and ensure you have the right products in stock to satisfy the needs of your customers.
The Pugh family are welcoming customers into their new Café Restaurant, The Orange Tree, at Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe. Here’s a picture review...
The Pugh family are welcoming customers into their new Café Restaurant, The Orange Tree, at Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe. Here’s a picture review.
“The smell of freshly baked cakes, ground coffee beans and our roaring log fire fills the air and will entice our family of customers into a cosy welcoming environment,” said a spokesperson for the Pugh family.
“All our food is freshly prepared in the Orange Tree kitchen, and where possible using locally sourced, Welsh produce. All our eggs are free range from local farms. We serve rustic, traditional home-cooked food for breakfast, lunch and light bites from 9am-4:30pm (Hot food served until 3pm).
“Our menu has a plethora of Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Meals and meals can be prepared to specific dietary requirements upon request, the beauty of having our very own chef.
“With the garden centre being at the heart of our business we want to become as transparently sustainable as we can, and help tackle the war on waste. All our packaging and takeaway options including Coffee Cups are plastic free and 100% compostable.
“For the first month of opening, we are encouraging our customers to take their coffee cups home and plant them in their garden with their free seeds to encourage them to be a part of our local environmental campaign.
“We have tried to become as energy efficient as possible from the get go by installing our log fire to provide heat, and we are bagging up our ground coffee beans at the end of each day to give to customers to use as a fertiliser in their gardens. Composting with Coffee is a great way to make use of something that would otherwise end up taking space in landfill. The benefit of using coffee grounds as a fertiliser is that it adds organic material to the soil, which helps support plant growth.
“Little seedlings are catered for with our versatile Children’s Menu, again offering free from options as well as our outdoor play area where Terry the Tractor lives.
“We have bought the outdoors in with a cosy rustic environment that will leave visitors feeling as if they’ve just dined in an indoor garden, with its botanical wall, wooden facades, natural features and ambient lighting creating a unique dining experience.
“Tables do not need to be booked, it’s a case of visiting our garden centre, finding a seat, taking the weight off and deciding what to taste first. The setting is perfect for all generations, taking time to chit chat with friends and just enjoying a lovely few hours in a relaxing environment.”
Here’s what some customers have said since The Orange Tree opened its doors:
“Absolutely loved our quick coffee and cake stop at The Orange Tree, will be back soon for a main meal. Fabulous location, beautifully done, my new favourite place.”
“The Orange Tree cafe is really lovely. Nice ambience, great coffee/food and very friendly staff. Nothing too much trouble. Been 3 times in the past week. Love it.”
“Great garden centre. The new Orange Tree restaurant is a great addition to the Pugh’s Garden Village Wenvoe. We went a few times to see if it had opened, only to find it had not, but never mind it is now, and yes it was worth the wait. The Orange Tree has been well designed and is very comfortable, it has a fantastic double sided log burner at it’s heart.”
“The menu is varied and seems to cater for all, with vegetarian and vegan offerings, there is also a daily specials board. It has been decorated and furnished to a very high standard.”