Local newspapers have reported this afternoon that the Wyevale Crowland Garden Centre will close on April 28th.
The Spalding and South Holland Voice reports that up to 19 members of staff face the possibility of redundancy.
The 8.8 acre centre was listed for sale at a value of £200,000, leasehold, but a buyer has not been found.
A spokesperson for Wyevale Garden Centres told GTN Xtra this afternoon: "We have been considering the future of the centre for some time due to the impact on footfall and sales since the opening the A16 Bypass. Despite our best efforts we are now having to take the decision to close the centre. We will seek to redeploy as many of our talented and experienced colleagues as possible within other Garden Centres in order to minimise any compulsory redundancies"
The site also features a Maidenhead Aquatics concession.
After the closure of Crowland that will leave 96 centres still to be sold as Terra Firma continue with the "Sale of the Century" as they seek to close their third fund, TFCPIII.
There is much speculation about who will be buying any of the remaining centres and indeed if they will all remain as centres after this announcement about Crowland. Rumours are that large groups and smaller independents appear to be in negotiation with agents Christie & Co. However Wyevale Garden Centres are unable to confirm any ongoing negotiations at the moment, so watch this space.
With sadness, we share news of Mike Dunnett passing away today (Tuesday 26th March 2019). Mike a well known and greatly respected industry pioneer was MD of Blakedown Nurseries for many years. His energetic, entertaining and always though provoking presentations at conferences in the UK and across the world were often the highlight of the event.
In more recent years Mike has split his time between consultancy projects and his stunning Worcestershire garden. Full details of funeral arrangements will be released when available. His family can be contacted via Adam Dunnett, Adamdunnett@hillier.co.uk
After a successful Awards evening where he announced three new centres for the group, Blue Diamond MD Alan Roper gave GTN Xtra his thoughts on the event and the motivational effect on his teams.
"Well our 14th awards were the biggest and best we have ever staged which was fitting given my 20th year. 500 people really enjoyed themselves and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 500 sore heads the next day. We pull out all the stops to ensure we showcase a grand event and we don't spare the money horses!!
"The unifying energising effect it has is priceless.
"This is the first year we invited suppliers and selected press, which everyone agreed worked well.
"I received many comments from people who felt moved by the interview that was played about my 20 year journey and my view of the team and culture I have built.
"I was obviously touched by the standing ovation and the comments Simon made about the fact that even though he has worked with some well known/ high profile retailers he had never worked with someone that had an unrelenting eye for detail as myself.
"I think the evening showcased what makes the Blue Diamond business shine, the people. A team of people that's been 20 years in the making."
See GTN Xtra's full report and pictures from the event here
Nisa Retail has announced it has signed a deal with Dobbies Garden Centres to support their new Foodhall strategy across its 35 garden centres.
Nisa's announcement says that the decision to join forces with Nisa was driven by Dobbies desire to develop its Foodhall offer. Customers can still expect to find unique, premium quality ‘foodie’ items in the Dobbies Foodhalls, but now a wide range of everyday groceries will be provided by Nisa. This extended range will give customers more choice and convenience, allowing Dobbies to cater for all customers’ needs under one roof.
The move allows Dobbies to harmonise its existing range with that of Nisa’s, utilising Nisa’s expertise available in range selection, planogram capability and promotional support.
“We’re delighted to partner with Dobbies and look forward to helping them on a journey to establish their Foodhall as a one stop shopping destination, and unlocking the full sales potential of these sites,” said Steve Leach, Nisa Retail sales director.
Nisa has worked closely with Dobbies retail team to develop a range of fresh, chilled and frozen products, while helping to dovetail an everyday range of ambient products into the existing Dobbies Foodhall range. The range will first be implemented at the Melville site, where Dobbies Head Office is based, in addition to sites at Dunfermline and Livingston will be the first, but the offer will roll out to the whole estate.
Rolling out to the whole estate could put Dobbies in direct competition with Tesco for convenience shopping at sites which are adjacent to Tesco stores such as at Inverness and Kings Lynn.
The Dobbies team have identified the potential sales in addressing visitors everyday shopping needs and moved to address this through the deal with Nisa.
Archie Stewart, Head of Food at Dobbies said: “I am delighted to see our new strategy come to life in the Foodhalls. Customers are increasingly shopping for less, more often and so we have created a Foodhall offer that caters to this top up shop mission, whilst also maintaining Dobbies’ uniqueness. The Nisa product range has provided Dobbies with a credible breadth of range, while other well-loved brand collaborations such as Booths and Luca’s Ice Cream, and a continued commitment to local suppliers, have helped to differentiate our foodhalls and enhance the shopping experience”.
“Nisa has enjoyed an exceptional period of recruitment and has proven again that it is perfectly suited to partnering with a wide range of different retail formats and we know that Dobbies will benefit greatly from the input of our specialist retail support teams,” added Steve.
Nisa currently supplies 4,000 independently owned stores. A spokesperson for Nisa explained to GTN Xtra: "Nisa doesn't have any company owned retail spaces and partners do not need to operate under a Nisa fascia. Nisa will supply Dobbies a range of branded and own brand goods which complement and expand its current range of products for the convenience of its customers. All sales will be Dobbies.
"Retailers have the option to stock either Co-op own brand or Nisa’s Heritage own brand. Dobbies will continue to sell the lines they currently carry, Nisa will be giving them the opportunity to complement that existing range with products to give customers more choice and convenience.
"Nisa can supply a wide range of fresh product lines, including meat, fruit, veg etc. The mix of product would be down to the store to choose what worked best for their business. So for example, and not specific to Dobbies, if a retailer already stocked a range of locally produced sausages and bacon, but didn’t have pre-packed fresh vegetables, they may decide that a further range of sausages wasn’t required but that a complimentary range of pre-packed veg was, in order to cater for a full meal occasion."
The best of March is still to come, says GTN Bestsellers
March has started well compared to last year but it’s not trading at the average March level over the past eight years at the moment. However with Garden Re-Leaf Day, a good weather forecast and Mother's Day still to come that could all turn around by the end of the month.
A visit to Blue Diamond Bicester Avenue this week revealed an excellent display of growing products including grow houses and veg trugs.
March has started well compared to last year but it’s not trading at the average March level over the past eight years at the moment.
However with Garden Re-Leaf Day, a good weather forecast and Mother's Day still to come that could all turn around by the end of the month.
A visit to Blue Diamond Bicester Avenue this week revealed an excellent display of growing products including grow houses and veg trugs. It was well stocked with a wide range of options. Anyone who wanted to grow their own would be sure to leave satisfied and ready to get growing. Is your growing sales area ready for old and new gardeners to satisfy their needs and questions?
GTN Bestsellers Top 50 sales volumes compared to the same week last year: week 11
• Garden Products Top 50 – down 9%
• Growing Media Top 50 – up 29%
• Wild Bird Care Top 50 – down 13%
• Veg 2 Gro Top 50 – up 55%
• All Plants index – up 15%
• All Items index – up 17%
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more and see GTN Xtras photo gallery from the event
Over 100 walkers and 30 cyclists took part in the fifth Garden Re-Leaf Day Challenge held in Buckinghashire with Wyevale Worlds End Garden Centre as the base for the day.
The evnent which will raised over £15,000 for Garden Re-Leaf Day and The Greenfingers Charity was started by a very green haired Boyd Douglas-Davies who came up with the idea for Garden re-Leaf Day six years ago.
Members of the UK garden retailing industry were joined once again by staff from Kew Green Hotels (below) and from Teleflex who have adopted Greenfingers as their charity of the year.
A special 100 milers presentation was made to three walkers who have taken part in every Garden Re-Leaf Day walk, Kimberley Hornby, Matthew Mein (who initiated the initial Thames Walk) and Vicki Nuttall.
Special thanks go to the team from Wyevale Worlds End for providing wonderful hospitality during the day. Thank you!
See the GTN Xtra photo gallery from the day below and look out for more images as we add them during next week
Bord na Móna has added three new ‘Best Buys’ to its credentials, across both branded and own-label products, following a triple award win in the latest Which? compost trials. Since 2010, the company has won significantly more awards than any other growing media supplier and continues to set the industry benchmark as the premium brand of choice for the garden centre channel and professional markets.
The annual Which? compost trials rigorously test and review over 25 composts and growbags across seed-sowing, young plant and container compost categories, with each formulation assessed based on its quality and performance.
The commended trio of Bord na Móna ‘Best Buys’ for 2019 includes the company’s own-brand Pro 5 All-Purpose Compost, which experienced unprecedented sales growth of +262% last year as a result of the industry’s shift towards premium ranges.
Two further recognitions were awarded for Bord na Móna’s own-label products in partnership with Wyevale Garden Centres, with the retailer’s Multipurpose Compost and Multipurpose with Added John Innes also receiving ‘Best Buys’. Bord na Móna has worked in partnership with the garden centre group supplying its own-label compost since 2016, with a total of six joint awards achieved during this period. The retailer also stocks Pro 5 All-Purpose Compost in all centres nationwide.
Steve Harper, Head of Commercial and Marketing for Bord na Móna UK, said:
“Two main focus areas for us have been to grow our premium range and establish a stronger presence in the garden centre channel, so we are thrilled to see both targets met with esteemed Which? Best Buys. As the largest garden centre group in the UK, Wyevale Garden Centres will remain a fundamental partner in our growth strategy for 2019/20 as we look to significantly grow our UK distribution and sales for both branded and own-label product.”
Mairi Devlin, Head of Trading at Wyevale Garden Centres, said:
“We are delighted to be continuing our collaborative relationship with Bord na Móna this year, and what better way to kick-start the peak gardening season than with two new awards for our compost range. We know customers’ core concerns when purchasing compost are quality and consistency in performance, which are evidenced across both our own-brand multipurpose products and the Bord na Móna Growise range.”
To find out more about Bord na Móna and the Bord na Móna Growise range, visit: www.thegreenergardener.com.
The Greenfingers Charity has confirmed some of the amounts raised from the numerous events on Garden Re-Leaf Day around the country:
Mr Fothergill’s have now raised over £10k for Greenfingers Charity
Longacres GC have raised £3,015
Alton Garden Centre raised £1580
The Old Railway Line raised £1450 at their Curry and Quiz Night
Great British Card Company….a whopping £2k
HTA over £1k
Vendors on special Garden Re-Leaf Day shows on QVC this weekend for donating £1.50 from each item sold.
Linda Petrons, Fundraising manager at the Greenfingers Charity told GTN Xtra: "We are thrilled that Garden Re-Leaf Day 2019 has once again seen so many events right across the country and so many friends “digging” deep to raise a fantastic amount to bring the gift of a garden to life-limited children and families who spend time in hospices. We are truly grateful to each and every business and individual who gave their time, resource, their energy and their money to make 2019 an absolutely brilliant one!
"We simply couldn’t do what we do without your help. Thank-you!"
Send us your photos from Garden Re-Leaf Day and we will add them to our gallery. E-mail: email@example.com
An application to build 11 houses on the site of Fresh@Burcot Garden Centre near Bromsgrove is to be considered by Bromsgrove District Council.
A developer approached owners Neil and Nicci Gow with the proposals, which include eight properties at market prices and three described as intermediate homes to be offered at “between affordable and market prices”.
Neil Gow confirmed that the application was purely speculative at this stage and initiated by the developer. “Like any good business, we think it’s sensible to explore all the options and assess the value of the site” he told GTN Xtra. “It’s too early to say what will happen – these things taker a long time to determine.”
The Gows started Fresh@Burcot (formerly a Hurrans centre) 11 years ago while Neil was still director of the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA). The business now employs more than 20 staff.
Local consultation on the proposals closes on 1 April.
Numerous road closures in the vicinity of the site have drawn criticism from Mr Gow over the years; a closure scheduled for this week is the 44th since the centre opened.
“We are a business dependent on people being able to get to us by road,” he told a local newspaper.
A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said they always notified business owners in advance of any works. Because many of the roads in the area were narrow and without footpaths footpaths, they often needed to be closed fully “for health and safety reasons”.
The Greenfingers Charity has sent a big thank-you to this year’s sponsors of Garden Re-Leaf Day...
The Garden Re-Leaf Sponsored Walk & Cycle Challenge was supported by a range of leading brands. Kickstarting the day, the team at World’s End Garden Centres – the start and end point, pictured –provided breakfast for participants and refreshments at the end.
Once again, SBM Life Science sponsored the medals handed to all participants at the finish. EPoS supplier CSY Retail sponsored the lanyards worn by every walker.
Woodlodge, long-term supporters of Greenfingers, provided event banners created on the company’s bespoke printing machines.
Hozelock helped to keep walkers and cyclists hydrated on their journey around the Buckinghamshire countryside. Some of the snacks for the walkers and cyclists were donated by Tesco at Gerrards Cross and Aylesbury.
Thanks to LOFA sponsorship, all finishers enjoyed a welcome drink after crossing the line.
Vitax’s Mark Butler along with Greefingers Charity Trustee Colin Wetherley-Mein, were on hand in the dedicated support vehicles and local personal trainer Louise Goodridge led all walkers and cyclists in a warm-up session before letting them loose in the Buckinghamshire landscape.
Greenfingers’ director of fundraising & communications Linda Petrons said: “We must say a huge thank you to all of our sponsors. Without their kindness and generosity, we would not be able to put on the event that we do. Being able to gather support and assistance from a wide range of industry friends means a huge amount to both us as a charity, but also to those children and families that benefit from the work we do – so thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Glyphosate, the Bayer/Monsanto active ingredient in a number of top-selling garden weedkillers, including Roundup, continues to come under pressure from EU regulators and the US courts.
A US Jury this week found glyphosate contributed to man’s cancer in the first part of a trial that will eventually decide whether the manufacturer is liable. Reports say there are more than 10,000 cases naming Roundup waiting for US court hearings.
Also this week, the EU named the four countries that will be responsible for assessing the weedkiller’s future within the EU.
Although glyphosate has been described by some researchers and environmental campaigners as carcinogenic to humans, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) claim it is not.
The chemical’s licence for garden use in the EU was extended for five years in November 2017 after a controversial vote in Brussels.
After this week’s hearing, a statement from Bayer said, “We are disappointed with the jury’s initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer. We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and that the company should not be liable.”
In the EU, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden have jointly agreed to take over from Germany as the lead countries responsible for assessing the safety of glyphosate. The Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG) will oversee the review process for the next round of relicensing, which starts in December, three years before the current licence expires.
France has been a leading campaigner against the use of glyphosate, which it aims to ban unilaterally for garden and agricultural use within three years.
Staff and customers at Torwood Garden Centre in Falkirk have raised more than £4,000 for the Maggie’s Forth Valley centre, which provides support for people with cancer and their loved ones.
The donation more than covered the running costs for a day’s care. The centre, at Larbert, needs £2400 every day to provide its free practical and emotional support.
Jamie Stevenson from the Torwood GC, said: “It feels like such a tangible outcome to know that our staff, volunteers and customers have provided all the incredible support at this fantastic local charity for a whole day.
“We know first hand how this helps, from trained staff to support groups and the tea and coffee served, on offer to people living with cancer, as well as their family and friends.”
The cash came from bucket collections throughout the year and during the annual Christmas reindeer parade, as well as all the money donated in its wishing well.
Cristina Pouso, centre fund-raising manager, said: “We are so grateful that Torwood Garden Centre is ‘paying for a day’ at Maggie’s Forth Valley. We rely entirely on voluntary donations to allow us to keep on developing our unique programme of support for people living with cancer and to be able to offer that support to everyone who needs it.”
A major fire has destroyed a garden furniture warehouse at Tyseley in the West Midlands.
The warehouse belonged to fast-growing rattan importer Dreams, which retails online, largely through channels like Amazon, eBay and Wayfair. Its brands include Yakoe, Harmonn, Roomee and Dreams Outdoors.
The warehouse is believed to have held several million pounds of stock and was completely destroyed.
The fire, reported at 5am, took 100 firefighters to bring it under control. No injuries were reported.
West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin joined a local garden centre based in Leigh Sinton in celebrating their growth over the last year.
Mrs Baldwin was asked to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the new shop area at Wykeham Gardens offering extra space for customers opened by Andy and Rachael Mahy.
She said: “It was good to see so many people shopping locally and showing their support for a great local business.”
Mrs Mahy added: “We are really excited about our new shop and it was lovely to see people browsing round.”
Wykeham Gardens, founded in 2012, is run by Andy Mahy (BSc Hort) and Rachael Nitz-Mahy (ANCH Garden Design) from their home on the Malvern Hills and the Plant Centre in Leigh Sinton.
Andy Mahy started his career many years ago after completing a degree in horticulture at Bath University. Rachael Nitz-Mahy moved into horticulture 10 years ago following a career as an aerialist with Exponential Aerial Theatre. She completed the Advanced National Certificate in Horticulture and in Garden Design. She is responsible for the garden design work, plant sales and propagation.
A firm favourite amongst tradespeople, Azpects’ new handy range of cleaning and protection products is proving a big hit with gardeners.
The professional-strength cleaning products are used to care for garden patios, paths, decking and even artificial grass. However big the challenge, Azpects’ EASYGarden range has the easy solution.
As the trades’ favourite for over ten years, Azpects has vast experience helping hard-working landscapers. Driven by demand, their landscaping products are now available in stylish consumer packs for garden centres, DIY stores and builders’ merchants.
Azpects new EASYGarden range has been specially designed to make gardeners’ lives easy by swiftly tackling a wide variety of garden cleaning and protection challenges.
The full EASYGarden range includes: Patio & Deck Cleaner, Algae Remover, Artificial Grass Cleaner & Sanitiser, Algae Remove & Seal, Black Spot Remover, Deck Protect, Grass & Foliage Greener, Patio Seal & Protect, Porcelain Cleaner & Sanitiser and Ornament & Statue Cleaner.
To stock the EASYGarden range, contact Ben Wright on 01473 760777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.azpects.co.uk/gardenproducts
Team Klondyke to take on the 3 Peaks Challenge
Team Klondyke, a group of intrepid Garden Centre managers and Head Office staff will put on their boots and take on the challenge of climbing the three tallest peaks in the UK to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, the Greenfingers Charity and the Multiple System Atrophy Trust...
Team Klondyke, a group of intrepid Garden Centre managers and Head Office staff will put on their boots and take on the challenge of climbing the three tallest peaks in the UK to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, the Greenfingers Charity and the Multiple System Atrophy Trust.
The first mountain to climb will be Snowden on 3rd April; followed by Scafell Pike on 16th May and ending with Ben Nevis on 13th June.
The challenge has been organised by the Garden Centre managers who wanted to raise funds and increase awareness of causes very close to their hearts.
The team have set a target of £10,000 to be shared between the three charities.
To make a donation to Team Klondyke’s fundraising page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/teams/klondyke3peakschallenge
Under-performing UK stores are among 15 earmarked for closure by B&Q, says owner Kingfisher.
Announcing the search for a successor to CEO Veronique Laury, who is to leave the business, the company said the closures would be on top of 19 planned Screwfix closures in Germany.
Kingfisher said 11 of the 15 under-performing stores to be axed over the next two years will be in France, while four B&Q branches will be in the UK and Romania.
However, more Screwfix stores may be opened in the UK following the trade-orientated subsidiary’s current buoyant performance, with a possible target of 800 outlets across Britain during 2019 and 2020.
A company statement said that while the majority of stores were delivering satisfactory returns on capital, some were loss making. The latter were “ a combination of owned and leased properties and the estimated cash costs of exit are expected to be covered by sale proceeds from the owned stores”.
The £1,000 Peter Seabrook Bursary for 2019 awarded by the British Protected Ornamentals Association has gone to James Pike, a grower at the Hortico Plant Centre at Pinkney, near Sherston in Wiltshire.
Part of the David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) Scholarship Season, this award supports commercial horticulture through the recognition and encouragement of talent that works in or will go on to work in the sector.
James returned to college to complete an RHS Level 3 course in Horticulture at Wiltshire College & University Centre in Lackham. He is keen to learn more about biologicals within crop management, especially pest control.
James said winning was “a very nice surprise” and would enable him to progress his horticultural education further.
Supporting James’ application, Simon Davenport, executive officer of BPOA, said: “BPOA is pleased, once more, to foster the continuing effort of Peter Seabrook and DCF in encouraging young horticulturists into careers in growing. As Peter has said so often, it is good to be involved in a job that offers so much to the aspiring trainee. We would encourage James to widen his knowledge of and contact with the commercial plant production trade. It is by increasing direct involvement with the trade that a young entrant such as James can enhance his employability and improve his career prospects. We wish him every success with his studies and training.”
Peter Seabrook said: “I wish James every success in his studies and just hope he gets as much pleasure and satisfaction growing plants as I have done. It is our good fortune to do a job which brings colour into peoples’ lives and puts smiles on their faces.”
DCF scholarships worth £13,000 have been awarded to 10 students with interests that include research, sustainability, crop management, breeding, horticultural therapy and commercial wholesale.
The foundation received a record number of applications from horticultural students studying at 22 colleges across the UK this year. “We believe we have selected some excellent candidates who are very worthy recipients of the David Colegrave Foundation Scholarships,” said Jeff Colegrave.
The next DCF Scholarship season opens in September.
2018 Glee New Product winners – where are they now?
The Glee New Product Showcase provides a one-stop-shop for all the latest innovations from around the show. Each year 11 products are selected as winners by a panel made up of leading industry figures and gardening experts. Six months have now passed since the 2018 winners were crowned, making it the perfect time to catch up with some of the brands to find out how the award has helped grow business, and to see what 2019 has in store...
The Glee New Product Showcase provides a one-stop-shop for all the latest innovations from around the show. Each year 11 products are selected as winners by a panel made up of leading industry figures and gardening experts. Six months have now passed since the 2018 winners were crowned, making it the perfect time to catch up with some of the brands to find out how the award has helped grow business, and to see what 2019 has in store.
Glee is always a key event in the calendar for Westland Horticulture. Not only is a prime opportunity to speak to existing retailers while recruiting new stockists, it is also the chance to showcase new products and unveil months of product development for the first time. At the 2018 exhibition, the company launched two new products - the Squirrel Proof Suet Pellets from Peckish and the New Rodenticides Range from Deadfast, both of which were awarded best new product awards in their individual categories.
The Deadfast range won the New Product Showcase award for “Best Garden Care – Chemicals, Fertilisers and Growing Media”. The win comes following a new partnership where Deadfast has joined forces with Victor, which is an expert in the pest control field. This has led to the new rodent repellers and traps which were showcased at Glee. In addition to this, the rodenticides also have a developed formula which contains Difethialone, an exclusive ingredient in the UK with no known resistance in rodents. GFK reports that Westland sales have grown to 21% market share in its first year of sale for Deadfast and Glee activity helped to secure this position.
Peckish used the show to launch a variety of new products, as well as new packaging and messaging. The Squirrel Proof Suet Pellets received the New Product Showcase award in the “Best Wildlife and Pets” category. The wild birdcare sector has had substantial growth which, combined with the product win, has allowed Westland to catapult Peckish to success in 2019 and further establish the brand’s position as the fastest growing name in the wild bird care market.
Both product wins provided a fantastic platform to launch and sell in ranges to both independent and mass retailers, and Westland has noticed a spike in interest from stockists since the show – not just for these products but for the entire product range from both brands.
This success is anticipated to continue throughout 2019, and the show and the award wins are key contributing factors towards this. Jo Wilkinson, Head of Communications and Insight at Westland, commented: “There are so many products for people to take in at Glee that it can be hard for retailers to know who to listen to and which products are going to bring them the most success. Fortunately for Westland the awards for our new products made them stand out from the crowd which has led to a significant increase of outlets stocking our ranges, and then the ongoing continued uplift in sales too.”
Another award winner was Block Blitz, who scooped the 2018 Glee New Product Showcase Best Tools & Machinery award for its Block Blitz Big Blitz, a super-sized dustpan and brush which also doubles as a light weight shovel. This was the company’s third Glee award, and its third attendance at Glee, coinciding with the company’s biggest stand and product range to date and as ever the team were delighted to win.
Dave Moore, Block Blitz Managing Director, said: “Our product range is expanding, and our business is gathering pace, with exciting plans imminent in terms of manufacturing and business development. Glee Awards are recognised in the industry and bring business opportunities and recognition within the sector, since the exhibition we’ve had a great response to Block Blitz across the board.
“Since Glee we have been incredibly busy launching new lines and building on our success from our first two years in business. This year, we’re planning to expand our range into builders’ merchants introducing larger pack sizes for professional use. Also, in the pipe line this year are some exciting developments that will see Block Blitz service providers offering Block Blitz treatment services in their local areas, and with our growing supply chain we’re confident that 2019 will be a busy year!
“Glee awards have no doubt played an integral part in our fast growth and we’re looking forward to another successful Glee this year, spreading the word again and of course we hope to come away with maybe another award and even more new stockists.”
Tilnar Art’s relationship with wildlife watercolour artist, Meg Hawkins, continues to bloom after having won ‘Best New Product’ in the Home, Gift & Clothing Category at Glee 2018 for the Meg Hawkins Recycled Aluminium Collection. This has helped Tilnar Art to continue to promote fair trade and how important the environmental impact we have as consumers is.
To this end Tilnar used Spring Fair to launch even more ‘New for 2019’ Meg Hawkins designs which included bees, hares, daffodils and many other wonderful designs, which adorn Tilnar’s signature range of fair-trade recycled and handmade food safe aluminium bowls, coasters and dishes. Each product also comes in a superb presentation box making a perfect gift.
Tilnar Art prides itself on being ahead of the curve as all the ranges are handmade, fair trade and recycled, offering a viable alternative as consumers begin to move away from plastic items. The Handmade Soapstone Collection has less than 1% environmental impact in terms of production and disposal compared to equivalent plastic or resin-based products. A zero-plastic product, the new Unicorns and Dinosaurs in this range are a must for this season.
Winners of the ‘Best of British’ award within the 2018 Glee New Product Showcase were Bloomin’ Amazing. Nick Finding from Bloomin’ Amazing said: “The first deliveries of Bloomin’ Amazing were made in early March 2018 following a long and careful product development process. This included very significant investment in dedicated packing and filling equipment, installed adjacent to the anaerobic digester from which Bloomin Amazing is produced.
“So, it is extremely exciting to be now delivering full lorry loads to over 80 garden centres across the UK, only 12 months after the first bags were produced. We must credit some of our success to the publicity we enjoyed after winning the GIMA Seed Corn Fund and the Best of British awards at Glee in September 2019. These two awards certainly raised the profile of Bloomin Amazing and led to many more enquiries from customers.”
2018 also proved to be a fabulous year for Primeur with the team securing a win at the GIMA awards for ‘Landscaping Product of the Year’. They also achieved accolades at Glee 2018 winning ‘Best New Product’ in the landscaping category as well as the coveted award for ‘Best New Product at Glee’ for its Medallion Recycled Rubber Stepping Stone.
James Keighley, Managing Director, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted. It has been a roller-coaster ride, but in a great way! The success of the awards has really helped to bring awareness of our products to more and more customers. Since Glee we have begun trading with many new garden centres and online retailers across the country. We are also working with a team of agents who are expanding our ranges into their existing customers.
“Our new doormat range ‘Mighty Mats’ was also launched during Glee 2018 and has grown in momentum since the show. We have carefully chosen a range that offers our customers doormats quality and designs that they are not currently available. In a competitive and challenging market, innovation and product development is key to creating new and exciting ranges that customers want to buy, giving garden centres something new and a point of difference in a core category.”
Online garden product retailers benefited particularly well from February’s unexpectedly warm weather, says a leading analyst.
Overall online sales recorded their strongest growth (+9.4% YoY) in six months, according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index. Despite falling below the five-year average of +10.6% year-on-year (YoY) for February, the growth provided some relief for online retailers after recent struggles.
The impact of the warm weather – which included the hottest February day on record – was particularly reflected in the garden sector, which experienced +33.3% growth compared to last year.
Health and Beauty also built on its recent strong performance with a +13.4% YoY increase for the month. In contrast, Gifts (-27.6%) and Electricals (-15.4%) both fared poorly during the month, and Clothing spend remained relatively flat (+0.9%) – perhaps due to it being too early for spring lines.
Stewarts Garden Centres has named a local hospice as its Charity of the Year.
Members from Forest Holme Hospice joined Paul Hilliam, the centre manager at Stewarts Christchurch centre, to announce the news.
The Christchurch and Broomhill Centres will fundraise with events and activities to support the dedicated hospice, which is based in Poole. Paul Hilliam said that the charity was chosen by staff from a selection of contenders suggested by customers.
“We are delighted to support the hard working and dedicated people who provide such great care and support for their patents and families,” said Paul. The first fundraising event is a = Dine and Demo evening next month.
Forest Holme provides end of life care and support to more than 1,000 people each year with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses in Dorset. The hospice, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is part of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and is supported by the charity, which needs to raise at least £850,000 each year to help enhance the NHS provision at the hospice and in the community.
Hannah O'Hare, fundraising manager at Forest Holme Hospice, said: “We are really excited about this new partnership and look forward to working together to raise vital funds to ensure that these essential services are there for future patients and their families during the most difficult time of their lives.”
Other fundraising events at the garden centres will include the popular pumpkin evenings and spooky walkway, Christmas preview evenings and various collections held during the year.
Robin Trumper from Hereford celebrated his retirement last week after 39 years of service at Wyevale Nurseries.
Robin, who was an amenity and landscape sales executive at the firm, started working there in October 1980.
MD Andy Johnson said: “Robin has been an incredibly loyal and committed member of the sales team for nearly 40 years, with an encyclopaedic-like knowledge of plants, suppliers and the history of production methods.
“He was always willing to give an opinion and answer all manner of questions to help colleagues and customers alike. Robin had been considering retirement for a number of years, with plenty of hobbies and interests to keep him busy, but in typical Robin-style, he decided the spring equinox was as good a day as any.
“On behalf of all the staff here at Wyevale Nurseries and our customers, I would like to wish him all the very best for the future. He will be missed.”
Prior to his role at Wyevale Nurseries, 65-year-old Robin worked as the under manager at Blenheim Palace Garden Centre for Great Gardens of England. He also travelled to the USA for 15 months to grow rhododendrons and azaleas.
The father-of-two has a National Certificate in Horticulture from the Welsh College of Horticulture and an Ordinary National Diploma in Horticulture from Pershore College.
Robin said: “It’s been a pleasure working at Wyevale Nurseries over the years. We’ve had a lot of laughs along the way and some good parties. I will, no doubt, miss the people and the banter but not the work anymore, after a lifetime of working. I am looking forward to getting stuck in to my allotment.”
Robin will also be spending his time beekeeping, fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.
Pictured: Robin Trumper receives a retirement gift from MD Andy Johnson.
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The latest Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report shows the positive start to 2019 continued into February (2019) as GCA garden centres across the country saw outdoor plant sales soar.
Sales in outdoor plants were up 61.1% compared to the same month the previous year (2018).
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “This year’s sales figures just prove what a difference the weather can make. In February 2018 we were greeted by the Beast from the East followed by an early Easter washout, which made for a very miserable start to the year, however this year the weather has been much milder, with only a dusting of snow very early on in the month.
“Gardeners have been able to get on with readying their plots for the season. They’ve also been working on hard landscaping as sales are up 58.79% compared to last year.”
Christmas sales were also up 54.92% during February and furniture and barbecue sales were up 33.61%.
Sales in garden sundries were up 29.66%, seed and bulb sales were up 24.5% and houseplant sales were up 16.96%.
Iain added: “So far we have had a very positive start to the year, and long may it continue. Both retailers and suppliers will be mindful of the big figures that came last year when the weather improved in May. Those figures will be difficult to beat.”
Sales in pets and aquatics were up 3.58%, gift sales were up 2.17% and catering sales were up 12.87%.
Clothing sales were up 5.88% and food hall and farm shop sales were up 2.87%.
Overall sales for the month were up 19.91% with a year to date change of 13.71%.
The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement. They are made available mid-month following the end of the prior month after all member garden centres have submitted their results.
The BoT reports allow members to compare their trading positions with other centres.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.
For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.
Let's not get carried away with plant sales
Plant sales, driven by young veg plants, are performing really well against last year but let’s not get carried away, year to date we are now only 3% up on 2017 sales levels and the first three weeks of March are 24% down on 2017...
Plant sales, driven by young veg plants, are performing really well against last year but let’s not get carried away, year to date we are now only 3% up on 2017 sales levels and the first three weeks of March are 24% down on 2017.
- Young Tomato plant sales doubled week on week to move up to be the second bestselling plant of the week, outselling everything else apart from Primulas.
- Petunias also doubled in sales to move up to No 6 in the GTN Plants Chart.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email email@example.com
Ball Colegrave is to offer extra stock of its popular Speedplanter to satisfy increased demand.
Speedplanters, for either baskets or containers, come with seven premium plants per Speedplanter in 14 tried and tested colour themes and will establish in two to three weeks. They are supplied as a trolley of 70 planters.
A special 30cm wide net pot pre-planted in a range of colour themes is placed on top of a container filled with compost pre-charged with slow release fertiliser, and then just watered.
Making the most of growing on
Three weeks into March and Garden Product sales are up on last year but we need a strong last two weekends to match March sales in 2017 and 2014, the previous best two March’s of the past five years...
Three weeks into March and Garden Product sales are up on last year but we need a strong last two weekends to match March sales in 2017 and 2014, the previous best two March’s of the past five years.
Fortunately we have Garden Re-Leaf Day and Mothers Day to come so how are you making sure you maximise garden product sales as well as plants, gifts and afternoon teas?
This weeks GTN Garden Products Chart reflects a lot of small plant and seed growing activity. This is the segment of business we all missed out on last year because of the bad weather, so hopefully you are making the most of it.
- The Stewart 38cm Propagator Cover Clear is a new entry at No 28 and the Stewart Flower Pot Saucer 8 inch Terracotta is a re-entry at No 11.
- Gardman’s Solar Clear Hanging Jar Light is the highest new re-entry, in at No 5.
- Smart Solar’s Eureka! Firefly Lantern is also a new entry at No 20.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Grow your own activity drives compost sales
Prospects for a good year of growing media sales continue but although sales for the first three weeks of March 2019 are more than double last year we are behind sales for the first three March weeks of 2017 and 2014...
Prospects for a good year of growing media sales continue but although sales for the first three weeks of March 2019 are more than double last year we are behind sales for the first three March weeks of 2017 and 2014.
Multi purpose composts account for the majority of sales and most lines in the GTN Top 50 increased sales week on week, no doubt as a result of plenty of grow your own activity. Are you making sure every seed tray or young plant sale are accompanied by bags of relevant compost? It could be just a small bag, but it’s a great extra sale.
- Evergreen Garden Care Levington John Innes No3, 25 litres, is the highest chart climber last week, up 22 places to No 20.
- Westland Gro-Sure All Purpose Compost, 25 litres, is a re-entry at No 29.
- Westland Gro-Sure Vermiculite, 10 litre Pouch, is also a re-entry at No 45.
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HTA Catering Conference: first steps and next steps
This year’s HTA Catering Conference, sponsored by Frobishers, (Wednesday 3 July, Horticulture House, Oxfordshire) is aimed at those looking to take the next steps to grow their catering outlet, develop a pop up or embark on catering for the first time...
This year’s HTA Catering Conference, sponsored by Frobishers, (Wednesday 3 July, Horticulture House, Oxfordshire) is aimed at those looking to take the next steps to grow their catering outlet, develop a pop up or embark on catering for the first time.
Host for the day is horticultural business consultant Neville Stein, who will set the scene by looking at the benefits a catering outlet, whether a permanent café or seasonal offer, can bring to the wider business.
Paul Pleydell from Pleydell Smithyman will then outline what you need to consider in designing your service area and café space, including maximising space, layout and customer flow.
Other features of the agenda include:
- Caroline Benjamin from Food Allergy Aware on strategies for dealing with allergies, intolerances and lifestyle choices within your menus.
- Bean to Cup versus barista? Looking at all the considerations to take on board when choosing a coffee supplier.
- James Debbage from the award-winning Green Pastures Garden Centre and Plant Shop on menu planning, covering customer type, busy times of day, preparation space and “quality over quantity”.
- The programme will feature additional case studies from businesses across the industry.
To find out more and book your place click here.
Veg to Gro doubles sales
Veg 2 Gro is the biggest beneficiary of a March with no snow. Three weeks into the month and sales are double last year and not far behind the good start to march we had in 2017. ..
Veg 2 Gro is the biggest beneficiary of a March with no snow. Three weeks into the month and sales are double last year and not far behind the good start to march we had in 2017.
Young Tomato plants lead the way with eight of the GTN Top 10 being tomato varieties from Quantil.
- Another Quantil tomato, Tumbler, is a re-entry at No 11.
- Quantil Strawberry Romina 8.5cm is the only new entry for the week at No 13.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
Squire’s garden centres have warned customers that turf may be in short supply this year.
Advising that the cheapest way to get a new lawn is to sow lawn seed, they add that the quickest and easiest way is to lay turf. However, there could be shortages.
Sarah Squire, chairman of Squire’s, said: “The cumulative effect of several extreme weather events over the last year has started to impact stock levels of turf nationwide. However I am pleased to report that turf is currently available at Squire’s Garden Centres. We are expecting high demand for turf this year so customers should call us first to check availability.”
Wild Bird Care drops
Only ten of the GTN Top 20 Wild Bird Care products increased sales last week as overall sales dropped from the previous week and were down by 13% on last year...
Only ten of the GTN Top 20 Wild Bird Care products increased sales last week as overall sales dropped from the previous week and were down by 13% on last year.
If we don’t get any more bad weather (fingers crossed) how are you planning to increase your Wild Bird Care and Wild Life sales? If you’ve got a great idea please share it with us: email@example.com
- The biggest increase of the week went to Gardman Hedgehog Bites 650g which re-entered at No 22.
- Gardman Nyger Seed 1.8kg was the highest chart climber, up 32 places to No 11.
To subscribe to GTN Bestsellers email firstname.lastname@example.org
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
Fermoys and Le Friquet are the Garden Centres of the Year at Blue Diamond
See the full Blue Diamond Winners List and GTN Xtra's photos from the awards event
Blue Diamond celebrated their annual awards last night at Chateau Impney in the West Midlands with Fermoys and Le Friquet winning the Acorn and Oak Cups for Blue Diamond Garden Centres of the Year. Trelawney and Redfields won the Blue Diamond Restaurant of the Year Awards and Managing Director Alan Roper was presented with a special award to recognise his 20 years at Blue Diamond...
Blue Diamond celebrated their annual awards last night at Chateau Impney in the West Midlands with Fermoys and Le Friquet winning the Acorn and Oak Cups for Blue Diamond Garden Centres of the Year. Trelawney and Redfields won the Blue Diamond Restaurant of the Year Awards and Managing Director Alan Roper was presented with a special award to recognise his 20 years at Blue Diamond.
Over 500 staff from the 30 centres were joined by suppliers at the prestigious evening where winners were lauded across the group activities from Stock Management to Pastry Chef of the Year. Full list of winners below.
On receiving his special award from Chairman Simon Burke and Life President Geoffrey Dorey, Alan said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute. There are 500 people in this room and there is a strong bond and strong connection between everyone of you. The energy, the sense of achievement and all being proud to work together as a great team. All I can do is lead, but you need a great team of people. Without exception you’re just brilliant. Thank you.”
Earlier in the evening Alan announced a new centre development had been agreed at Elevden in Suffolk with further developments in progress at Totley in the Peak District, Tewkesbury and Scotch Corner.
“The group increased like for like turnover by 33% to £128m excluding Wyevale acquisitions and East Bridgford in 2018 and projected sales for 2019 are £170m.
Full list of Blue Diamond Award Winners 2019:
Stock Management Award: 3 Shires
Home Award: Carol Spain - Fermoys and Sarah Thompson - Redfields
Christmas Award: Dennis Risdon - Trelawney and Matt Gouveia – Le Friquet
Visual Merchandising Award: Suzie Young – Redfields
Fashion Award: Helen Danning – Trelawney and Amanda Brown-Reed – St Peters
Garden Care & Décor Award: Julie Sills – Harlow and Clye Hooper – Le Friquet
Garden Features & Containers Award: Andrew Lloyd – 3 Shires
Wild Animals Award: Suki Crook – St Peters
Furniture & Outdoor Leisure Award: Tracey Uphill – Chatsworth and Matt Gouveia – Le Friquet
Seeds & Bulbs Award: Fergus Keating – Brambridge Park and Tina Luker – Trentham
Seasonal Plants Award: Martina Mallett – Matlock and Anna Lancaster – Redfields
Hardy Plants Award: Peter Shirley – Fryers and Gemma Woods – Derby
Indoor Plants Award: Katie Wardell – Newbridge and Kevin Fleming – Trentham
Best Garden Centre for Social Media Engagement: Grosvenor
Best Garden Centre for Customer Engagement and Loyalty: Fermoys
Customer Service Superstar: All Blue Diamond Customer Service Managers
Head Chef of the Year: John Waldron – Newbridge
Pastry Chef of the Year: Tracey Miller – Chatsworth
Restaurant of the Year: Trelawney and Redfields
Core Garden Centre of the Year, The Acorn Cup: Fermoys
Destination Garden Centre of the Year, The Oak Cup: Le Friquet.
The awards in each category were presented by the group specialist teams based on performance over the whole of 2018 against the Blue Diamond BPI measures (Business Performance Indicators including profit per customer.) Centres are grouped according to size with smaller “Core” centres grouped as Acorn and larger “Destination” centres as Oak.
Five former employees of gloves and boots supplier Briers have joined Smart Garden Products following the latter’s recent acquisition of the brand...
They are (pictured, left to right):
- Tara Truman – national account manager
- Charlotte Prentice – key account manager
- Domenic Guglielmucci – assistant category manager
- April Raven – graphic designer
- Emily Swindells – data & content controller
Smart’s MD,Jonathan Stobart, said: “We’re delighted to welcome this cohort of Briers personnel into our business which will help us integrate the Briers product ranges into Smart and develop the brand ongoing.
“We now have a firm grip on the supply chain for gloves and boots and are rebuilding stock levels as fast as we can to help customers with supply ongoing."
A Harrogate charity shop and garden centre saw its takings plummet to just £3 last Monday because of roadworks outside.
The road was closed temporarily and some drivers were turned away, even though the shop, which can take up to £350 in a day, was billed as open for businesses as usual.
Steve Scarre (pictured), chairman of the Horticap charity that runs the shop and garden centre, urged drivers to insist they be allowed to access the shop if workmen try to prevent them.
He said the roadworks could result in a loss of up to £5000 if things continued.
“‘We rely on income from the sale of goods in our shop and tea room, but we’ve had no passing trade because we’ve had no passing traffic,” her said. “The roadworks are causing deadlock in Harrogate; it’s not a good situation. I understand that the road needs doing, but we could have had more notice, and it could have been managed better.”
He has urged shoppers to continue to come because, despite ‘road ahead closed’ signs, people can still drive into the shop car park. “There is an arrangement for anybody wants to go to Horticap and the contractors have been helpful in the main.”
Horticap provides adults with learning disabilities training in horticulture, crafts and rural skills.
A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman said: ‘I am very mindful of the effect which the road closure is having on this very worthy charity. If there were a way to carry out this major road repair without a road closure we would do it.”
Three themes have been set for Next month’s GIMA AGM and Day Conference (10 April, Ettington Chase, Warwickshire) - Dobbies, Disruption and Megatrends.
Headlining the Conference will be Marcus Eyles, horticultural director at Dobbies Garden Centres. With 38 stores across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, Dobbies a leading garden centre chain; Marcus will outlines what Dobbies will be doing to develop the market and highlight how Dobbies works collaboratively with suppliers to create opportunities in the marketplace.
In a special session entitled ‘The UK Gardening Industry – futureproof or ripe for disruption?’, Steve Collinge, MD of Insight Retail Group Ltd and executive editor of Insight DIY, will tap into knowledge garnered from a 30-year career with companies like LG Harris, Spear & Jackson, Cuprinol and Akzo Nobel Dulux, exploring ways that the industry can prep itself for the unknown, as well as recognising its strength in a time of retail turmoil.
The effect of consumer-facing megatrends on the gardening of tomorrow will be studied in Philip Benton’s session. As research manager for Euromonitor International’s Home & Tech division, he will outline the latest ‘megatrends’ and explain how they have the power to transform and disrupt entire product categories. He will draw from Euromonitor's home and garden research to show how the gardening market is being shaped by these global drivers.
GIMA’s AGM, a closed event for members only, will take place before the conference opens.
Tickets cost £60 + VAT for GIMA members and £120 + VAT for non-members. You can book on-line here www.gima.org.uk or contact the GIMA team by email email@example.com
After Red Nose Day for Comic Relief it's time to go Green for Garden Re-Leaf Day and the Greenfingers Charity.
Garden Re-Leaf Day is only 5 days away on Friday 22nd March 2018. It's your opportunity to get the season going again with fun activities in store to increase footfall, generate extra local publicity and raise some money for Greenfingers to help our industry charity build more gardens at Childrens Hospices in their 20th year.
In July 2011, Hillview Garden Store CEO and industry stalwart, Boyd Douglas-Davies announced the inaugural Garden Re-Leaf Day at the Garden Retail Awards in London. Now in its eighth year, Garden Re-Leaf Day is the biggest charity fundraiser in the garden industry’s calendar and has raised over £600,000, including over £70,000 in 2018 alone.
Positioned as the garden industry’s answer to Comic Relief and Sports Relief, the aim of Garden Re-Leaf Day was to celebrate the start of the garden year with fundraising events to raise money for Greenfingers, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospices through the creation of magical gardens.
For the garden industry, the day creates valuable team building opportunities and brings more shoppers into garden centres earlier to extend the peak spring season. Garden centre managers, staff and other industry professionals tirelessly set up fun and exciting ways to not only raise money for Greenfingers, but also to promote gardening as an enjoyable pastime.
But where do these vital funds go? Most will already be aware that the money raised is used to build Greenfingers hospice gardens which enable children and their families to enjoy special time together outside enjoying the therapeutic benefits of nature, and away from the bedside.
Greenfingers work exclusively with each hospice to come up with a unique design that suits the needs of the children and families they care for. Each garden is created with top industry designers and landscapers, as well as help from the local community, volunteers and gardening clubs.
In total, 55 Greenfingers gardens have been built since the charity’s creation in 1998 with many being funded by monies from Garden Re-Leaf Day. The inaugural Garden Re-Leaf Day in 2012 raised more than £55,000 for Greenfingers, helping a specially designed, family garden to be built at both Robin House Children’s Hospice in West Dunbartonshire, and Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Stoke-on-Trent.
2019 is a big year for Greenfingers gardens, with a further four set to be completed. The Nest and Rest Garden at Grace House, Sunderland, is set to be made a reality under the expert eye of Sean Murray, 2015 winner of the BBC's Great Chelsea Garden Challenge. Designed to attract wildlife, this garden will utilise interactive water features, sensitive planting and sheltered areas to provide families with an invaluable outside space for respite and relaxation, as well as stimulating features that can be used for therapies and reflection.
Over at Claire House Children’s Hospice on the Wirral, Carolyn Willetts of CW Studios, will be transforming the outdoor space into a Garden of Colour. Featuring a Creation Station, Rainbow Meadow, A Quiet Place and sensory Falling Leaves, this garden will be a feast for the senses year-round.
Little Harbour Children’s Hospice in St Austell is set to be transformed by local landscape architect and designer, Darren Hawkes. Darren takes his inspiration from the landscape that surrounds him, and his designs have a harmonious feel to them. He says "I love the relationship between plants and hard materials. The opportunity to highlight shapes both in foliage and form as well as in colour is one that I relish". His plans for the Little Harbour garden include all-weather facilities, including a covered hide out festooned with coloured glass panels.
At Richard House Hospice in London, Greenfingers is working with garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin from Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer to create a new special sensory garden. The brief is to 'create a sensory garden which takes families on a journey through the woodland area, starting with a colourful archway and then connecting with different sensory elements of the garden.' It also all needs to be wheelchair accessible.
Greenfingers Director of Fundraising and Communications, Linda Petrons said: “Garden Re-Leaf Day has resulted in life-limited children and families who spend time in hospices being able to enjoy precious time together in a Greenfingers garden. It’s really easy to take part, you can sign up and participate in one of this year's organised initiatives such as the Garden Re-Leaf Walk and Cycle Challenge. Why not organise your own event, and register it so that it can be included in all the media briefings that raise awareness of the cause?”
You can sign up to take part in 2019 Garden Re-Leaf Day events (March 22nd) or register your own by visiting the Greenfingers Charity website www.greenfingerscharity.org.uk/gardenreleaf
Here's a list of some of the events already planned for Friday:
Altons Garden Centre – Quiz
Aylett Nurseries Limited – Goodwill Coffee Morning and Tombola, 8.30-12pm, 22nd March
Haskins Garden Centres – Raffles running 15-24th March at Ferndown, Roundstone, Snowhill and West End Garden Centres
Holiday Inn Chester South – Mount Snowdon climb on 22nd March
Longacres Garden Centre – Are holding a Sponsored Static Cyclotron in the Bagshot Branch and holding an ever-popular Raffle.
Old Railway Line – Are holding a Curry and Quiz Night
Perrywood – Are holding a Quiz.
Poplars Garden Centre – Are Having a Curry and Quiz Night, plus a Raffle on 22nd March.
Rowlawn Limited – Are hosting various events including a Mucky Dip and a Cake Sale, from 10.30-4pm on 22nd March.
Squire Garden Centres – Will be hosting a Create and Grow Mother's Day Planting Weekend from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st March at all centres except Chertsey, between 9:30am-3:30pm (10.30am on Sunday).
Sunshine Garden Centre – Children's Activities
Thurrock Garden Centre – Are holding a Raffle, plus hosting a number of free Children's Activities on 22nd March, where people can donate to Greenfingers Charity.
Whitehall Garden Centres – On Friday 22nd March they will be donating £1.00 from every hot drink and cupcake sold in their restaurants. They will also be holding a raffle from which all proceeds will be donated to Greenfingers Charity.
Plus there's the Garden Re-Leaf Day Walks and Cycle Rides that start and finish at Worlds End Wyevale Garden Centre, where the GTN team will be based for the day.
If you want to find out more about how to get involved in Greenfingers Garden Re-Leaf Day 2019, whether by putting on events in your garden centre, through sponsored solo activities or simply by donating - contact the Greenfingers office on 01494 674749 or email Linda@greenfngerscharity.org.uk.
See our gallery of photos from previous Garden Re-Leaf Days. Enjoy and have some great fun!