Blogs


GCA Christmas competition winners announced

Castle Gardens National Christmas Display Winner 2021 in the GC Category

BARTON GRANGE Garden Centre and Castle Gardens have recently (December 2021) been announced as the national winners of the 2021 Garden Association’s (GCA) annual Christmas competition.

The garden centres were judged to have the best festive displays in the country by the organisation and will receive their awards at its annual conference in January 2022.

Barton Grange National Christmas Display Winner 2021 in the DGC Category

Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, says: “We’d like to say a huge congratulations to Barton Grange Garden Centre in Preston, Lancashire who won in the…

Wyevale Nurseries launches retail plant collections for 2022

Wyevale Nurseries Allium Lavender Bubbles

ONE OF THE UK’s leading commercial nurseries has put together a selection of plants for garden centres to follow the predicted trends for the retail sector next year (November 2021).

Wyevale Nurseries predict boldly coloured, British-grown and low maintenance plants that look set to be on-trend for 2022, so its plant collections for retailers include options ticking all the boxes.

Carol Dickinson, Head of Business Support at Wyevale Nurseries based in Hereford, explains: “Our 2022 promotional catalogue for garden centres showcases some of our boldest and brightest plants on…

Brightening up our homes at British Garden Centres

Christmas Themes from British Garden Centres - A Winters Tale

British Garden Centres has officially launched Christmas in all their centres across the UK and following their success, they are already seeing clear Christmas trends and success. This festive season has already seen a 30% increase in sales of Christmas Lights across British Garden Centres. 

People are lighting up all areas of their homes, whether it's for Christmas trees, garlands, around the fireplace or outdoors, this area of our Christmas departments is proving very popular this year. British Garden Centres are also proud sponsors of this year’s Illumination Street. For more…

Create The Ultimate Sustainable Halloween Home Makeover For Just £25.59

Halloween pumpkins trick or treat

When looking at giving your home a temporary makeover for the spooky season, it’s important to consider the effect that single-use items can have on the environment when they are thrown away and end up in landfill.

For example, 19 major UK retail outlets revealed that 83% of the material offered in clothing or costumes promoted for Halloween is plastic.

My Tool Shed are here to provide you with all the tips needed to make sure your home is full of ghosts and ghouls throughout October, but ensuring you can sleep well knowing you’re looking after the environment too. 

Winter Greenhouse Gardening Tips & know-how from Hartley Botanic

Oriental Poppies

KEY JOBS TO DO IN DECEMBER, JANUARY & FEBRUARY  & WHAT TO GROW: One of the most wonderful benefits of owning a Glasshouse or Greenhouse is the ability to extend the growing season – even in winter. A Glasshouse also provides an invaluable tool for the propagation of seeds and cuttings and the over-wintering of tender plants.

Heritage Glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has provided some useful tips and know-how for Greenhouse gardeners this winter, to help them make the most of their Greenhouses even in the coldest months. Insight has been taken from Hartley Botanic’s…

Kate & Tamara on focal points – garden design advice

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 on a wall in…

Zest 4 Leisure's new products are a big success at Glee

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 some…

Ready to inspire the next generation of growers.

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…

Take the stress out of Christmas with themed decorations

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?


Turning your garden centre into a ‘Christmas destination’ is no easy task though. There are lots to consider, how many baubles to buy, have you got enough fairy lights, which colours work together -…

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

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 availability,…

Why a real Christmas tree is more fantastic than plastic

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 pledges a…

'We need biosecurity initiatives which will work'

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 industry. Growers (or…

Bosch Product Review - Universal Aquatak pressure washer

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, according to Bosch,…

Gardening books your customers will love

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) 

Jen Stearns is the owner of Urban Sprouts, a speciality house plant store. Jen has a background in urban agriculture and small business operations and has spent the last four years helping…

The importance of gardens for those with dementia

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 take our ability to get outside for granted, to enjoy fresh air, sunlight, rain, and…

5 ways to financially improve your landscaping business

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 lawn care business has gotten a lot easier. There are now apps and other tools…