In This Issue
Shipley acquisition makes it 11 centres for Hillview
Blue Diamond follows up strong year with call for new investors
Bents set to celebrate its 80th anniversary
Positive signs that sales in garden centres are picking up
North American market is a great opportunity for British firms, says Gardenex director general
HTA Netherlands tour promises inspiration for retailers
Hozelock latest launches put users in the comfort zone
Scotland's snowdrops are popping their heads up early...
Pelargonium wins IPM's bedding award
spoga+gafa is searching for the unique youngstar 2017
UK’s leading garden centres scoop top awards
GCA announces three new inspectors at conference
Pansies regain GCA Greenfingers Challenge Cup
Cowells and Squire's pick up Ruxley Rose awards
Daniel Holden from Barton Grange is Rising Star
Woodlodge win GCA Associate of the Year Award
GCA Conference raises £30,000 for Greenfingers
Area Sales Manager Nursery Stock South
Plantarea Department Head Seasonal Plants - Essex
Wholesale Trade Sales Manager - Suffolk
Head of Catering - Warwickshire
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Q4 leads the way as fertilisers and chemicals sell well
Beetroot seed sales start to pick up
Early bird offers take 80% of growing media sales
Plant sales rise by 47% on the previous week
Pictures from the Greatest Christmas Gold-winning teams
Aylett Nurseries
Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Hayes Garden World
Bents Garden & Home
Brookside GC Kent
Pughs Radyr GC
Chessington GC
Mains of Drum GC
Barton Grange GC
Silverbirch GC
Walkers Nurseries
Castle Gardens
Fryers GC - Blue Diamond
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
Buy your subscription to GTN Bestsellers
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Church goers flock to Green Pastures restaurant
Situations Vacant
Area Sales Manager Nursery Stock South
Salary: Excellent - Depending on experience
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Plantarea Department Head Seasonal Plants - Essex
Salary: Excellent
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Wholesale Trade Sales Manager - Suffolk
Salary: £40,000 - £50,000 depending on experience
Read more»
Head of Catering - Warwickshire
Salary: Excellent
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Bents set to celebrate its 80th anniversary

Bents Garden & Home at Warrington is preparing to celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2017.

In 1937, Alfred and Margaret Bent started to sell roses from the front garden of their small terrace house. Since then Bents has evolved from a small specialist plant-based business to one of the country’s largest garden, home and leisure destinations, all of which is celebrated in a short film in which customers are thanked for their support.

Events planned for the year include seasonal surprises and random acts of kindness, all anchored by a spectacular summer garden party planned for the weekend of 7- 10 July.

Bents is now a destination that is no longer just focussed solely on the garden but also encompasses home, lifestyle, leisure and a day out. Under the guidance of three generations of the Bent family, it is a £20m turnover operation employing more than 430 people.

MD Matthew Bent said: “As a family business we’ve never been ones to rest on our laurels.  We’ve always followed our passions, taken chances and strived to innovate. And that is exactly how it all started in 1937 when my grandparents started to cultivate roses as a hobby in the front garden of their terraced house at 404 Warrington Road, just meters away from our current location.  Little did they know that it would be the start of something so unique and special.”

Milestones passed over the course of 80 years include the introduction of Christmas and catering, both helping to make it an all-year attraction and pioneering a number of key trends within the garden centre industry.

2007 saw the opening of the UK’s first Open Skies glasshouse (pictured), an all-weather destination where customers can shop for plants, and more recent years have seen the opening of a £10m extension housing new home and leisure departments, including a food hall.

Now, with its six dining destinations, adventure play area, landscaped lake and on-site nursery (where 60% of its plants are grown), Bents is a very different entity to the one Alfred and Margaret set up.

 But Matthew Bent says the business has worked hard to maintain the family ambiance for which the centre has established such a fine reputation. “I think my grandparents would be very proud if they could see us now,” he said.
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