Members of the Garden Centre Association in the South Thames region are celebrating after picking up awards during a presentation evening at Haskins Garden Centre – Snowhill in Sussex.
The title of Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre category went to Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre (pictured above) and the Garden Centre category went to Squire’s Garden Centre – Hersham (below).
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Our fourth regional awards meeting so far, and the first of this week. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable, and it was fantastic to see attendees engaging with the feedback and celebrating their successes with their teams. Plenty of notes were also taken to share potential improvements with team members who weren’t able to attend.
“I’d like to congratulate all of our very worthy winners and give a big ‘thank you’ to Haskins Garden Centre – Snowhill for being wonderful hosts and Phil McCann for inspecting the centres earlier this summer and for sharing his findings.”
GCA Inspector Phil McCann was responsible for inspecting member garden centres in the South Thames area.
He said: “The standard of all the garden centres in the South Thames region was superb. The standard of displays and quality of plants and products ensures customers at each centre are experiencing some of the best retailing in the UK garden retail sector.
“Haskins at Snowhill has recently been redeveloped and is a sensational destination. Availability of everything any gardener needs, experienced or novice, is under one roof and the plant choice and quality are superb. Just allow a few hours browsing time when visiting – it is hard to resist!”
Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre also won the Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity and the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer.
Phil adds: “Squire’s at Hersham exemplifies a caring attitude towards customers and brings quality plants to the fore. The choice is super and quality pervades the whole centre. And it’s all backed up with great customer service.”
Squire’s Garden Centre at Hersham also received the Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer.
Ben Harrison, Operations Director at Haskins Garden Centre and also Area Chairman for South Thames, organised the regional meeting.
He said: “On Tuesday evening, the GCA South Thames met for the first time in 18 months and I was thrilled to host it on my home ground at Haskins Snowhill and to welcome 85 attendees from garden centres across the area.
“We all enjoyed a fantastic presentation about best practice from our area inspector, Phil McCann, and it was lovely to have everyone together again to share ideas and hear his comments about our area’s centres.
“While everyone has worked incredibly hard over this difficult period, I’d like to thank all the team at Snowhill, who won Best Destination Garden Centre, as it represents many years of hard work transitioning from their old centre into the new one we have today.”
The North Thames area awards meeting was yesterday (Wednesday, September 1) at Perrywood Garden Centre in Sudbury with inspector Andy Campbell.
Alyson Haywood will then be presenting her findings today (Thursday, September 2) for the North East and North West region at Tong Garden Centre in Bradford.
The full results for the South Thames region GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
Garden Centre of the Year: Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre (DGC) and Squire’s Garden Centre – Hersham (GC)
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Hillier Garden Centre – Eastbourne
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Thompson’s Plant & Garden Centre – Chislehurst
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Cooling’s Nurseries
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre (DGC) and The Millbrook Garden Company – Staplehurst (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre (DGC), Haskins Garden Centre – Ferndown (DGC) and The Millbrook Garden Company – Staplehurst (GC)
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Haskins Garden Centre – Southampton (DGC) and Squires Garden Centre – Hersham (GC)