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Garden Trade industry news
Plant Finder team says garden centres are selling more online in COVID-19 crisis
GARDEN centres are using upgraded website software that recommends not only plants to gardeners but also care products as sales of gardening goods soar in the wake of COVID-19 (March 2020).
Joy of Plants’ Plant Finder plug-in has been added to 46 garden centre websites since it launched in 2018 including the Blue Diamond Group, Longacres, Barton Grange, Scotsdales and Perrywood.
Terri Jones, Managing Director of Joy of Plants in Twyford, says: “We’re hearing from our clients that they are experiencing an uplift in trade, as gardeners, who are self-isolating or social distancing, are ordering from them and asking for their items to be delivered, so they can spend the Easter break in their gardens.”
ONE OF the UK’s leading commercial nurseries has added a brand-new introduction to its promotional range – Agapanthus ‘Poppin Purple’ (March, 2020).
The new Agapanthus will be available from April (2020) onwards.
Colin Stanley, Retail Sales Manager at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, which celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year, said: “We’re delighted to add Agapanthus ‘Poppin Purple’ to our range. It’s a truly stunning plant and was recently crowned Best New Perennial at the 2020 IPM Essen, the world’s leading horticultural trade fair.
“Unlike any other purple varieties, this Agapanthus will rebloom throughout the season. It has intense, metallic, ‘true’ purple flowers. The flower heads form in full spheres giving a fabulous display for a prolonged flowering period.
Haskins Garden Centre in Snowhill, Crawley, has opened its doors to customers upon completion of a 12-month project to create a new, enhanced centre.
Following a £15million investment, the new centre now boasts a retail space of 11,813 sqm, including an outdoor plant area and 440-seat restaurant complete with a newly installed pizza oven. Additional space has also been created to accommodate 170 restaurant guests on an outdoor patio.
Up to 70 new jobs have been created to accommodate the centre’s expansion. Car parking has also been improved with 346 spaces now available for visitors to use.
The annual GIMA Day Conference is fast approaching (19th March 2020), and with the latest names joining the agenda it is set to be a valuable day of learning and networking for both members and non-members.
The latest name confirmed for 19th March is Phil Pond, from Scarlet Opus, the leading trends intelligence agency. During his session, Phil will be giving delegates an insight into how consumer and design trends are forecast, and how they can provide huge return on investment for companies who work with this type of information. There will also be a very brief snapshot to whet the appetite ahead of the Scarlet Opus led Consumer and Design Trends Seminar on 26th March, which is exclusively open to GIMA members.
STAFF at one of the UK’s leading commercial nurseries are celebrating after being granted the propagation licence for an award-winning Lomandra (March 2020).
Wyevale Nurseries will be growing Lomandra ‘White Sands’, the first variegated Lomandra, which was also the Winner of Best New Novelty at Groen-Direkt Spring Fair in Holland in January.
Kyle Ross, Production Manager at the Containers Division at Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford, explained: “We are delighted to announce that we have been granted a propagation license for Lomandra ‘White Sands’ and we are the only end product seller in the UK. By having a propagation license, we are able to take production material from our own stock plants and grow it on, ensuring the integrity of the plants are true to type.
Farplants, the leading wholesale nursery co-operative, have become a Platinum partner of Perennial – the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture.
Perennial is a ‘lifeline’ for many, providing free and confidential advice and financial assistance to over 1,200 people every year.
THE category with the biggest increase in sales during last year (2019) at garden centres across the country has been announced by the Garden Centre Association (GCA) as part of its Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Houseplant sales saw a year to date increase of 17.6% compared to 2018.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “We’re not surprised to see houseplants as the fastest growing category at garden centres across the country in 2019. Demand for them has been phenomenal.
“On a monthly basis, houseplants came out on top during January, May, August, September and October.
Haskins Garden Centre is delighted to confirm the acquisition of Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Garden Style and Birdworld, in Farnham.
This acquisition is part of a long-term plan for Haskins to expand its group of four garden centres across the south. The family-owned company has been looking for the right business, in the right location, for a number of years to add to its portfolio of sites.
Warren Haskins, Chairman of Haskins Garden Centres, explained: “We have long admired Forest Lodge, Garden Style and Birdworld and are delighted to welcome the businesses and its teams to the Haskins group. We have created a great culture within Haskins and have worked hard to develop a long-term plan for all our sites, with a view of remaining a family-owned, independent business. We are pleased to have held out for the right opportunity and believe that Forest Lodge, Garden Style and Birdworld will be a good cultural fit and will help support our future strategy.”
Johnsons Lawn Seed, the UK’s oldest grass seed supplier, is celebrating a 40% rise in lawn seed sales over the past two years, as demand strengthens for its market-leading portfolio of quality lawncare products.
The company, owned by DLF Seeds, says the UK market for grass seed has remained buoyant since autumn 2018, when demand tripled from garden retailers as consumers sought to repair lawns that were left parched by the UK’s joint hottest summer on record.
According to Johnsons, the sales bonanza, which drove demand for its Luxury Lawn, Shady Place, Lawn Thickener, General Purpose, Quick Fix and After Moss lawn seed mixes, has been joined by rising demand for its Country Meadow Grass and Wildflower Seed, a mixture of native wildflowers that chimes with consumers who are looking to attract wildlife and beneficial pollinators to gardens.