Blogs


Kate & Tamara - garden design advice

Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge brought their beautiful, carefully planned and atmospheric garden designs to the forefront of public attention when they won Channel 5’s The Great Gardening Challenge earlier this year. Here, Kate writes for Garden Trade Specialist about the importance of creating a focal point in a garden and explains how to achieve the look successfully…

A perfectly placed focal point in a garden can really make a space. It’s like sitting a beautiful vase of lilies on a table in a freshly decorated dining room or an expertly chosen piece of art hung… Full story

zest 4 leisure team

Award-winning Zest 4 Leisure, which manufactures and sources FSC® Certified timber garden furniture, fencing, trellis, gazebos, arches and a wide range of planters, is celebrating its best Glee yet.

The company showcased new products for 2020 at the recent garden and outdoor living trade show which were designed by the in-house design team in response to customer feedback, and based upon current and future market trends.

Commenting on their time at Glee 2019, Zest 4 Leisure Managing Director, Steve Morgan, said: “We had a fantastic response to our new products and received… Full story

A woman Greenhouse Gardening

Evika are Getting People Started on Their Greenhouse Gardening Journey.

Evika offers a new way for people to begin or continue their greenhouse gardening growing journey by welcoming others into their online community and providing them with an environment online to explore and share ways to produce their own food, use less energy, live healthier and save money, no matter where they live

We recently announced the release of the Evika G1 greenhouse range, a new collection of stunning, modern greenhouses that provides strength, safety and style.

The Evika experience… Full story

Christmas tree with themed decorations

With the festive period representing the busiest and most profitable retail period for garden centres, it is more important than ever to stand out from the competition. 


In the run-up to Christmas, customers want to immerse themselves in the festive spirit and they expect garden centres to deliver a magical experience.


Looking for a stress-free Christmas?


Full story

Tax rules IR35 – what you need to know if you employ contractors

Adrian Marlowe, managing director of employment law specialists Lawspeed, discusses new tax rules IR35 and what they mean if you use contactors…

For many years the options available to businesses for hiring in staff have included the use of contractors, and the number of people willing to work as contractors has grown exponentially over the last decade. Engaging talent therefore has been a relatively straightforward exercise given the few obstacles that have existed when hiring in contractors; all that is needed is to identify the person with the right skillset and… Full story

REAL Christmas tree - recycling tree image

With customers demanding eco-friendly products and plastic reduction hitting headlines week after week, will 2019 signal the death of the artificial Christmas tree?

Christmas tree growers have long been promoting the ecological benefits of buying real Christmas trees. They hope that this festive season will see customers ditching the plastic in their droves – shunning the boxed-up, chemically formed structures in favour of naturally scented and lovingly grown firs and spruces.

As the nation’s focus is shifted onto plastic reduction by the media and the government… Full story

Hossein Arshadi from Hillier Nurseries on the need for tighter biosecurity measures in the UK which will work in practice

Hossein Arshadi is a divisional director at Hillier Nurseries. Here, he discusses why existing biosecurity initiatives will not work in practice and what is still needed from the government, the media and the public to prevent a very costly breakdown in biosecurity.

Biosecurity Q&A with Hillier Nurseries

Q: In recent years there have been several plant health and biosecurity threats to UK trees and plants - for example, Ash dieback, Xylella and Oak Processionary Moth. How concerned is the industry?

There are many wide-ranging businesses within the… Full story

Bosch Aquatak pressure washer - product review

Universal Aquatak 135 High Pressure Washer (£179)

Editor Victoria Galligan tried out the Bosch pressure washer on her neglected driveway…

Jet washing is certainly a must for garden traders and for their customers alike. Whether it’s cleaning paving, vehicles or equipment, the job needs to be done well – and quickly. This model caters for a variety or different jobs with its clever adjustable nozzle, so I got cracking on my dull-looking driveway and dusty car.

The 3-in-1 nozzle on the Universal Aquatak performs 10% better than its predecessors,… Full story

gardening books - Decorating With Plants

Whether beginners or professionals, customers often turn to gardening books for horticultural advice and inspiration. Make sure you stock a good variety of gardening books for different needs and market the relevant products alongside them to maximise sales. Here's our pick of the latest gardening books on the market…  

 

The Inspired Houseplant, by Jean Stearns (Sasquatch, RRP £22.99) … Full story

Gardens are a stimulating, peaceful outdoor environment for those with dementia

When residents at Green Park Care Home in Warrington visited Bents Garden Centre recently, they thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to smell the roses and take in the brilliantly coloured lupins.

The trip was organised at the request of one of the care home’s residents, Dorothy, who recalled visiting there previously and not being able to go as regularly as she once had since moving to the home. This shows how important getting out and about is for someone living with dementia.

Many of us… Full story

5 ways to financially improve your landscaping business - a woman on phone in plant nursery

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re running your own landscaping business. There’s a lot to keep track of, from billing clients to actually showing up on site to get the work done. You likely started your landscaping business because you enjoyed the latter of those two things. Your passion lies in making beautiful landscapes, not behind-the-scenes paperwork.

While in the past you may have had to do everything with pen and paper once returning to the office, this isn’t the case any longer. Owning a… Full story

One of the top five plants from Wyevale Nurseries

The retail Sales Manager at one of the UK’s leading nurseries has picked his top five plants for garden centres for 2020.
 
Colin Stanley from Wyevale Nurseries selected the plants from the company’s 90th Anniversary Celebratory Promotional catalogue.
 
Colin explained: “I have selected my top five plants, which I think really show how we are at the forefront of new and innovative varieties and that display the diversity of our extensive range. They are Dryopteris ‘Jurassic Gold’, the Potentilla Double Punch Collection, Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’,… Full story

Designing the Perfect Cottage Garden

Bursting with colour, gradients of heights and whimsicality, it’s no wonder the cottage garden is growing in popularity. From the overgrown enchanted fairy-tale cottage in the woods to the coastal picket fenced Devon Holiday Cottages from Lyme Bay Holidays, there is certainly no shortage of inspiration to get that perfect look.

Creating an outdoor space which looks rural and unruly however, is not simply just letting your garden grow out of control, but rather carefully selecting the perfect… Full story

Antirrhinum majus or Snapdragon flowers are perfect for an allergy-free garden

As the days get warmer, customers are spending hours and hours out in the garden – which means investing in new outdoor living equipment. Relaxing outside on the grass with a cold bottle of beer, maybe with a BBQ sizzling away — a blissful afternoon by anyone’s standards! But if your customers suffer from allergies, particularly pollen allergies like hay fever, then the idea of relaxing out in the garden over summer in an allergy-free garden could seem like an unachievable dream. In dry or windy conditions, pollen spores spread quickly and aggravate hay fever symptoms. What seems like a… Full story

compost - an older man and younger child planting in the garden

Your customers all want to provide the optimum environment for their plants to grow. However, with so many tips and tricks out there, it’s difficult to know what advice they should follow. If they’re just starting out in a garden, they may be wondering what the difference between compost and fertiliser is — what are the benefits of each? Should they use them both?

In this article, compost and topsoil specialist Compost Direct explains more about the two essential items.

What is the difference… Full story

Christie barbecues electric public barbecue installed for Melbourne City Council 2019

All Urban is celebrating the launch of their exclusive UK partnership with Australian manufacturer Christie barbecues, the only dedicated public barbecue manufacturer in the world. As the global leader in the design and engineering of barbecues for communal use, their products are an excellent fit for All Urban, who specialise in supplying the UK landscape industry with innovative, world-class sustainable products which help create inviting and safer public spaces. 

Most cultures love a good barbecue and the British are no exception, with it being a rapidly growing trend. Three out… Full story