Garden Trade industry news

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Zest 4 leisure celebrates another successful GLEE

Zest 4 Leisure, a leading trade supplier of quality timber garden products including furniture, arches, arbours and fencing, is celebrating another successful year at Glee 2018.

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Warren Haskins with Garden Centre sign

The popular garden centre in Dorset is celebrating its 25th anniversary, having officially opened its doors in March 1994. Chairman Warren Haskins is also celebrating 50 years in the business, after taking over the family retail nursery in 1969.

The family-run garden centre group has grown from the humble beginnings of a small market garden in Coy Pond in Branksome, to operating four popular centres located across Dorset, Hampshire and West Sussex. The business has grown from a turnover of £17,000 in 1969 to a multi-million pound turnover and from employing seven people in 1969 to employing over 600 people. 

Warren Haskins, chairman of Haskins Garden Centres, commented: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the Ferndown centre the success story that it is today. When we opened the doors to our Ferndown centre, more than ten times the amount of people we expected to, turned up. 

“Over the years, Haskins has ridden the humps of recession and I put our continued success down to the fact we have never and will not rest on our laurels.”

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The Posh Shed Company Garden Centre Customer Service Shed

The makers of beautifully designed hand-made sheds, The Posh Shed Company will be displaying two of its sheds in Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) new 5,000m² plant centre at Wisley, near Woking.

The space, due to open to the public on June 10, has been expanded to meet the needs of gardeners who have just started growing, as well as those who have been growing for years. Top quality plants will be available, for indoors or outside, for home or business.

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Terri Jones reaching a new generation of screen-fingered gardeners

RESEARCH by the Office for National Statistics (2018) found 78% of adults use smartphones but according to one hi-tech horticultural company most garden centres are failing to engage with their tech-savvy customers.

The study found mobiles were the most popular devices across most age groups, apart from those aged 65 years plus, who preferred a tablet for internet shopping, entertainment and research purposes.

Terri Jones, Managing Director at Berkshire-based plant information company Joy of Plants, which provides Plant Finder Touchscreen Kiosks for garden centre’s plant areas, said: “A high percentage of adults from Millennials to tech savvy Generation X and baby boomers are using touchscreens on a regular basis whether it be on their smartphones or tablets.

“They will be using them in a number of ways from shopping, socialising or research. These devices are part of their everyday lives so why not incorporate them into a retail environment? Creating a modern plant area to appeal to these tech savvy gardeners is key if garden centres want to develop and grow new markets.

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White Hydrangea

ONE OF THE UK’s leading commercial nurseries has announced this month (May, 2019) that the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year for 2018 will feature in its 2020 retail catalogue. Wyevale Nurseries potted a small trial batch of Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ for 2019 and only has about 300 left for retailers but a large quantity will be available in 2020.

Colin Stanley, Retail Sales Manager at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, explained: “Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ is one of the most floriferous and vigorous hydrangeas. It has masses of white lace cap flowers with a hint of pale pink and has six times more flowers than the average hydrangea.

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RHS perfume Floral Street launches at Chelsea Flower Show

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) his showcasing an exciting new fine fragrance at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week. Electric Rhubarb has been produced in partnership with Floral Street, an innovative British company producing contemporary floral fragrances.

Electric Rhubarb packaging will feature the Floral Street and RHS logos against the background of a fabulous and colourful flower mural created exclusively for Floral Street by leading London photographer Matthew Donaldson. The Electric Rhubarb packaging will include the words: “For the sparkling, luminous, fun-loving and charming”. This fragrance is part of an extensive range of Floral Street fine fragrances.

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Forest Garden fence panels

The high winds at the end of March have blown in some good news for the UK’s leading manufacturer of domestic garden fence panels, Forest Garden, who have reported a 60% increase in demand.

The company was easily able to cope with this sudden boost in sales as it holds in excess of 375,000 panels at its facilities in rural Worcestershire.

“We keep a careful watch on weather forecasts as strong winds often herald a sudden peak in demand and we have to be ready,” says Forest Garden’s head of marketing, Nicola Simpson.  “The challenge is getting deliveries out of the door to our customers.  We deliver 7,000 loads to store each year, that up to 90 loads a day, and this can increase substantially following gales.”

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WOLF-Garten NHS gardeners

Leading garden tool supplier, WOLF-Garten, has donated a selection of high-quality tools to NHS staff for their communal garden, which is used to relax in after difficult call-outs.

The Chelmsford Ambulance Station, in Essex, reached out to the company asking for tool donations after it created a large pond and garden area late last year. The space is used by around 200 staff who work for the service.

To regenerate and expand the garden, staff were needing first-class, reliable tools to undertake basic daily tasks, such as weeding, planting and pond cleaning.

Emergency medical technician, Stuart Wilkinson, who has worked at the station for over five years has been at the forefront of this campaign. He also helped build the outdoor area at the station during his time on leave with PTSD.

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E.P Barrus Merchandising Team

Leading garden tools and accessories supplier E. P. Barrus has expanded its merchandising team to meet demand as the business continues to grow.

The latest recruit to the team is James Utton, who joins E. P. Barrus with years of experience in garden centre retail. James said: “I’m delighted to be part of the merchandising team at Barrus where I will be looking after the South East region of the UK. I have enjoyed my few weeks getting to know the business and the rest of the team have been a great help. Coming from a garden centre in my previous role has given me additional experience in setting up products in store and made me aware of the high level of service Barrus provides.”

The highly trained merchandising team at E. P. Barrus have developed strong relationships with its customers and play a crucial role in supporting retailers with a professional, flexible merchandising service.

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Greenhouse conservatory surrounded by flowers

Being inside a greenhouse can create an overwhelming sense of calm, the natural light combined with the warmth and the sound of trees or birds outside can provide a sanctuary for a number of different activities.

“Glasshouses and greenhouses are more than just places to grow and nurture plants,” says Griffin Glasshouses’ Linda Lane. “Our customers like to get the most from of their investment and often use them as an extension of their living space.

“Our free-standing greenhouses make the perfect location for a multitude of activities; the distinctive design means that the structure can either be placed in a secluded spot in the garden or close to the house. Being freestanding allows light to pour in from all angles and the range of features available are designed to offer customers maximum flexibility, ensuring they get a glasshouse that is perfectly suited to them.”