Garden Trade industry news

Honda’s clever lawnmower that does it all for you

The summer heat and lack of rain has left many lawns in poor condition with exposed and loose roots that are susceptible to damage by inappropriate mowing.   Honda’s robotic lawn mower, Miimo, will help them recover naturally and give gardeners the added bonus of free time to relax or get on with other gardening jobs.

The three Miimo machines in the range are designed to maintain lawns, ranging in size up to an acre, in optimum condition and offer a choice of cuttings heights from 20 to 60 mm.  Changing the height of cut is essential to help damaged lawns recover quickly - in dry weather they should be at the higher end of the spectrum and lower as growth increases with rain.

The finely micro-shredded cuttings remain on the grass, acting as a mulch and providing the grass with essential nutrients and retaining moisture – two key factors in securing recovery of the grass. Meaning it’s good for the grass and there are no cuttings to be disposed of either.

GIMA AGM & Day Conference: Dobbies, Disruption & Megatrends

The forthcoming GIMA AGM and Day Conference is set to focus on three main themes – Dobbies, Disruption and Megatrends, together offering an insightful view into the current garden retail landscape.

Providing a full day’s schedule of thought leadership, the Day Conference will be a must-attend for anyone wanting to stay ahead in this competitive marketplace. 

Headlining the Conference will be Marcus Eyles, the Horticultural Director at Dobbies Garden Centres. With 38 stores across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, Dobbies remains one the leading garden centre chains, and during his presentation Marcus will be taking delegates on a journey as he outlines what Dobbies will be doing to develop the market going forward. Martin’s session will also highlight how Dobbies work collaboratively with suppliers to create opportunities in the marketplace.

Lavender plants in basket

British households have been urged to replace potentially harmful artificial air fresheners with fragrant flowers such as lavender or mint.

The garden whizzes at  have conducted research and found five of the best smelling house plants to use as natural scent alternatives.

While the level of chemicals used in air freshening products are regulated, a recent study found households using them contained higher levels of potentially harmful toxins.

Households exposed to air fresheners could suffer from a range of adverse health effects such as migraines, asthma attacks and earache.

These potentially harmful effects could be even more of a concern for families with young children.

But thanks to mother nature households can maintain a naturally fresh smell by replacing the artificial fresheners with fragrant foliage.

Aloe Vera - Tough Plant

Killing these house plants would be almost impossible as recent research has revealed the toughest shrubs busy Brits should have in their homes.

Researchers from online garden centre have identified six low-maintenance house plants that can still thrive even when neglected.

While many green-fingered Brits enjoy the look and health benefits of household plants finding the time to properly look after them can be a struggle.

From the cast iron plant to a barrel cactus, there are a number of low maintenance shrubs that can be used to make households greener without the need for constant care.

A spokesperson from said: “Many house plants require a lot of attention in order to survive. It can be easy to forget to water them or make sure they have enough sunlight every day, as busy work schedules and family life can often get in the way.

Garden Re-Leaf Day – where does the money go? 

In July 2011, Hillview Garden Store CEO and industry stalwart, Boyd Douglas-Davies announced the inaugural Garden Re-Leaf Day at the Garden Retail Awards in London.  Now in its eighth year, Garden Re-Leaf Day is the biggest charity fundraiser in the garden industry’s calendar and has raised over £600,000, including over £70,000 in 2018 alone.

Positioned as the garden industry’s answer to Comic Relief and Sports Relief, the aim of Garden Re-Leaf Day was to celebrate the start of the garden year with fundraising events to raise money for Greenfingers, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospices through the creation of magical gardens.

For the garden industry, the day creates valuable team building opportunities and brings more shoppers into garden centres earlier to extend the peak spring season. Garden centre managers, staff and other industry professionals tirelessly set up fun and exciting ways to not only raise money for Greenfingers, but also to promote gardening as an enjoyable pastime.

Woodlodge helps retailers to inspire a new generation of gardeners with ‘virtual sales assistants’

Retailers have a handy new tool to help drive demand for container gardening with the introduction of ‘virtual sales assistants’ – expertly crafted POS that provides shoppers with the confidence to make informed purchases.

Woodlodge’s inspirational and colourful POS boards will guide novice gardeners who aspire to grow flowers and edibles in containers, but lack the crucial gardening know-how needed to turn their ambitions into reality.

The consumer engagement boards, available now to place in-store, are packed with easy-to-follow, jargon-free advice, giving shoppers the confidence to make purchases and replicate ideas at home. Boards focus on easy-to-achieve gardening activities such as growing an acer in a container, cultivating bamboo in pots, planting bulbs in layers, growing roses in containers and creating a water garden in a barrel.

Feed birds using kitchen scraps

British households are being encouraged to feed birds using kitchen leftovers to combat declining wildlife numbers.

Outdoor experts at  have produced a simple guide detailing which foods are suitable for wild birds.

Feeding local wildlife in your backyard aids nature conservation and gardens are now considered an important element for a nationwide conservation effort.

Frequently thrown away egg shells, beef fat trimmings and stale hard cheeses are some of the scraps that are incredibly beneficial for wildlife due to high nutritional value.

A spokesman from  explained “The number of wild birds is decreasing within the UK at a worrying pace. However, homeowners can do their part by simply understanding which foods are safe for wildlife.

Steve Reed, Production Director of the Container Division at Wyevale Nurseries, with the Astilbes in the recyclable taupe plant pots

ONE OF THE UK’s leading commercial nurseries is now (March, 2019) using recyclable plant pots for all future retail plants that it’s currently potting.

Wyevale Nurseries has started to phase out its black plastic pots replacing them with taupe coloured pots, supplied by Aeroplas in the West Midlands, in a bid to fight the war on plastic. 

Jobs To Do In The Garden This March

AS we leave the cold spell behind and slowly creep into the warmer months, many homeowners will be heading out in the garden to prepare for the spring season ahead. 

UK gardening Superbrand Flymo has highlighted the key tasks we should begin to tackle throughout March to stay on top of our outdoor spaces. 


There’s plenty to do outside this month to prepare your garden for warmer weather. Perhaps you have ambitious plans for a flourishing garden this spring, or you’re refreshing your outdoor space for a new season. Either way, it’s important to get started now. 

A feline-friendly garden with Cats Protection

Green-fingered cat lovers can find out how to create the perfect feline-friendly garden to enjoy with their furry friend with Cats Protection’s 2019 gardening tips.

The UK’s largest charity has put together its top ideas for ensuring cats stay happy and safe outdoors, ahead of its attendance at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival from 9-12 May.

Cats Protection’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said the ideas would help owners who want to encourage their cats to stay closer to home.

She said: “Creating a feline-friendly garden where your cat will want to play, rest and explore is an excellent way to ensure they don’t wander far.

“It can be great fun coming up with ideas for new spaces for your cat to enjoy, which can also become an attractive feature in your garden. Whether it’s piles of logs to provide a scratching area or large bushy shrubs for hiding and snoozing under, there are lots of cheap and easy ways to transform a garden into a feline paradise.”