Leeds nonagenarian is treated like a queen at a Bradford Garden Centre

Tong Garden Centre

A passionate Leeds gardener, from Tong Garden Centre, celebrated her 90th birthday with ITV's Love your Garden presenter Katie Rushworth after winning a personal shopping experience with the celebrity plantswoman.

Born and bred in Leeds, Ivy Dobson was one of ten winners ranging from five to 91 years of age who enjoyed Katie's company and benefited from her gardening expertise at Tong Garden Centre last Saturday.

In addition to choosing low maintenance plants for all year round interest in pots, Ivy was presented with a surprise birthday cake and a planter bursting with…

Top tips for glorious garden parties

Garden parties

Summer is here and two Ribble Valley favourites, The Emporium in Clitheroe and The Shireburn Arms at Hurst Green, have joined forces to share al fresco entertaining tips to help stage the best garden parties this season. Here, Holly Tyne, interior design manager at the Moor Lane store and Didier Vincent, general manager of the 17th century inn, list their top pointers.

Al fresco dining can be a glorious garden party, a relaxed picnic or anything in between, but all need key ingredients to make for a memorable event.

Said Holly:

“The setting, the food and the…

Stewart Garden to release Strawberry Planter ahead of the summer

Strawberry Planter

To take advantage of the uniquely British obsession with the humble strawberry, leading garden product manufacturer Stewart Garden’s strawberry planter is the ideal solution for keen gardeners who want to grow their own fruit at home, but may not have a great deal of space to do so.

The versatile planter, which can be double or triple stacked to save space or to create an alluring cascade of strawberry plants, can also be used as a herb planter for gardeners who want more choice regarding the produce they grow.

The planter, made in the UK from premium grade, recyclable…

LOFAssured initiative gains strength across the garden furniture industry


LOFA’s (Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association) LOFAssured initiative ensures that all cushions sold by members comply with current government fire safety regulations.

LOFA is raising awareness of fire safety standards/regulations for garden furniture cushions in this young campaign and, already, seventeen members are certified with 21 in progress and soon to be completed.

Certified members are – 

A Mir & Co - 

A Dog’s life – West Midlands

West Midlands

Besotted pet owners admit their dog is ‘part of the family’ – with almost 50% of the pooches in West Midlands even having their own spot on the sofa, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 dog owners nationwide revealed just how much love there is for the family pet with six in 10 admitting they often see them as being like one of the children.

Over 60% of dog owners in West Midlands allow their pooch to sleep on their bed while over 20 in this region have turned down nights with friends because they can’t bear to leave their dog at home alone.

It also emerged having…

Greener, safer gardening with ecofective®


The ecofective® range from Sipcam, one of the world’s leading plant technology companies, offers unrivalled peace of mind, thanks to its new series of ‘Child and Pet Safe’ products. 

Made in Britain for the ethically conscious gardener, the range does not rely on conventional chemical pesticides or biocides but instead uses natural ingredients with favourable eco-toxicological credentials.

This means the range is inherently safer for both user and the environment, so children, pets and wildlife do not need to be kept away from the treated areas as Matt Jones of Sipcam UK…

Stewart Garden Programme deadline looms as National Children's Gardening Week approaches

Gardening Week

Ahead of National Children's Gardening Week, 26 May to 3 June 2018, the Stewart Garden Schools programme is making a last call for primary schools interested in taking on gardening projects as their 6 July deadline for applications looms.

The competition gives children and teachers an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of green space, communal working and growing plants to support their understanding of the world. 

New data released ahead of National Children's Gardening Week shows 94% of primary school leaders believe that school gardening benefits pupils' health and…

Gardenex and PetQuip event


Influential buyers from a German garden and pet product mail order company and online shop, a Polish importer and distributor of garden items as well as buyers from a leading wholesaler/distributor of garden and horticultural products across the Baltic States are to meet with British suppliers in the latest ‘Meet the International Buyers’ event organised by the Gardenex and PetQuip associations.  The Federation is also in contact with other overseas buyers who are considering attending.

GARDENA springs to life with new TV and multi-media campaign


Celebrating the 50 year heritage of the Original GARDENA System, which seeks to inspire gardeners this spring with the launch of a nostalgic, nationwide TV campaign with the strapline: ‘Bringing life for 50 years’ hailing the brands’ promise of leak-free watering for more than fifty years.


Phoenix natural gas supports Hillmount kids gardening club


Phoenix Natural Gas has today announced its support of the Kids Gardening Club at Hillmount. The free to attend club is hosted at Hillmount garden lifestyle centres in Ards, Bangor and Belfast on the first Saturday of each month.

Alan Mercer, Managing Director, Hillmount, said:

“As a fourth generation garden lifestyle centre, at Hillmount we are committed to teaching our next generation about the beauty of nature and the thrill of planting seeds which bloom into flowers or giving the children who attend plants to take away which grow into edible strawberries for them to…

Solar helps power Europe’s largest garden centre

Bridgford Garden Centre

Europe’s largest garden centre, Bridgford Garden Centre has installed a 250 kWp solar PV array on the rooftop of its new building, which is now open to the general public.

Bridgford Garden Centre, in Nottingham, now features the latest technology including underfloor heating and rainwater harvesting and is now also being powered by 925 solar panels, installed by energy solutions developer, EvoEnergy.

The 270W Trina solar…

TV and BBC Radio 4 gardening expert's pruning masterclass at Bradford Garden Centre


A Bradford Garden Centre has announced the second masterclass with TV and radio gardening expert and award winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show designer, Matthew Wilson.

Tong Garden Centre is the first centre in the North of England to host BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time regular panellist Matthew Wilson's Gardening School and will host a pruning masterclass between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Tuesday, 15th May.

Wilson, the former curator of RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate and respected writer, broadcaster and lecturer, will mix practical with theory in the half day course that…

Improving the customer experience through garden centre marketing

Garden centre marketing - customer service is key

Sue Benson, Managing Director at The Market Creative, offers five tips on improving the customer experience by improving garden centre marketing.  

1. Share expertise

Educating customers through garden centre marketing will show off your expert knowledge and increase their trust. From what bulbs to plant and how to look after your garden to what to buy next, make your expertise known with posters and banners scattered throughout. Consider displaying a chalkboard with bespoke information about the week’s weather and what plants are best to buy, putting visitors in the right…

GIMA Day Conference – full report


The GIMA Day Conference took place on 12th April at Ettington Chase Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, with over 65 members in attendance. With a packed agenda, the day tackled everything from the Bank of England’s current economic forecast, foreign exchange rates, GDPR and two industry stalwarts sharing an insight into their careers and hopes for the future. An overview of GIMA’s current activities completed the day-long conference.

Gazebos Can Help To Bring Greater Footfall And Traffic At Farmers Markets


There has been a rise in the popularity of farmers markets as people turn to their local suppliers in support of the local community because of Gazebos. In fact, research by Zoopla* highlighted how properties near a farmers market are likely to cost £87,180 more than the wider county area, showing the knock-on effects of this popularity. Stephen Evans, Managing Director at Market Gazebo World examines the rise of farmers markets in the UK and how gazebos play an important role in increasing footfall.

‘Shrinkflation’ still a problem says Johnsons Lawn Seed

Johnsons Lawn Seed

Leading UK lawn seed supplier Johnsons Lawn Seed is continuing to campaign for quality within the consumer market and looking to address the persistent problem of ‘shrinkflation’, i.e. packets being filled with less seed, or bulked out with cheaper, substandard seed. It’s a problem that continues to negatively impact the supply chain, says Consumer Manager Guy Jenkins.

Many manufacturers and suppliers have been reducing the overall content of their products on retailers’ shelves. Weights are being reduced but the prices do not fall in line, whilst packaging continues to increase in…