Plant area managers and buyers reminded to sign up for Plant Area Forum

PLANT area managers and buyers are being reminded to book their places at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) third annual Plant Area Forum at Ball Colegrave this month (July, 2018).

Places are available for the event, facilitated by GCA inspector Roger Crookes, on Wednesday, July 25 for £79 per person and can be booked via or by calling the GCA office direct on 01244 952170.

Roger, who believes that plants are still the core business for garden centres, said:

“Our past Plant Area Forum events have been a huge success and this year’s promises to be just as inspiring and motivational for all who come along. This year we are responding to feedback from delegates who attended previous years and are looking at how we can work more closely with suppliers. We have an opportunity now to shape how the UK plant areas look and perform in the future, and for this to happen, we need suppliers of plants, pots and plant area services to join us at the forum and be part of the discussion.

“During the forum we’ll also be aiming to understand our custoGCA Plant Area Forummers better and understand what they are looking for and how we can help them to invest time and money into their gardens. We’ll discuss how we and our suppliers can develop our plant presentation to make it easier for customers to become life-long, successful gardeners."

“The day will also give delegates the chance to see the Ball Colegrave trials grounds and be one of the first to see their new introductions for 2019. There is also the opportunity to network with like-minded people from garden centres across the country."

“The potential to grow our market is still huge and the Plant Area Forum is a fantastic opportunity for delegates to share ideas and information, discuss the challenges we face, as well as analyse sales and profitability and discover potential opportunities. By talking with other plant area teams and suppliers I hope we can develop more commercial opportunities to boost our plant retailing into the 21st century.”

Roger will also be joined by GCA inspector, Michael Cole, who will be bringing his knowledge of commercial plant retailing to the forum.

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

The GCA Plant Area Forum takes place at Ball Colegrave in Oxfordshire on Wednesday, July 25 from 10am until 4pm. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Places cost £79 per person and members can find a booking form on the GCA website or contact the GCA office direct on 01244 952170.

For further information about the GCA, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, log on to or follow the organisation on Twitter at