Celebration raises £20,000 for children

A 65th birthday, a 30-year business milestone; and an OBE in recognition of his services to business and charity all paved the way for a lavish celebration for John Athwal OBE of Premier Decorations Ltd in June – raising more than £20,000 for his favourite Fence Club charity to help sick and disadvantaged children. Read more

John and Jito Athwal (pictured centre) together with their children, partners and grandchildren.

Bents and Cowells take the top GCA plant awards

Bents and Cowells top the first day’s awards at the 2018 GCA conference. Also prominent were Fairways of Ashbourne, Stratford and Barton Grange Garden Centres. Read more

Ruxley Rose (Destination Garden Centre category) – Bents Garden & Home

Fire and theft disrupt Garden Centres' Xmas trading

Webbs was ramraided, Father Christmas had to flee a blazing grotto at Notcutts and thieves have been active as garden centres get busy for Christmas. Read more

Investment pays off for Creative Gardens

Creative Gardens beats the GCA averages following improvement works. Overall, almost as many centres were down in July as up. Read more

Creative Gardens' house plants area

Garden centres making the headlines around the country

Garden centres have made headlines in their areas for reasons as different as a fire, planning permission for housing, giving a facelift to a hospital garden and pleading not guilty to breaching planning laws.  Read more

Fire at Solent Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries to open in Covent Garden

Petersham Nurseries is to bring its passion for organic gardening, culinary excellence, ethical and sustainable sourcing to the heart of London in a new Floral Court luxury retail and residential development. Read more

Petersham Nurseries Courtyard

GCA names best Garden Centres for Plants

The GCA has named the regional winners in the competition to find the best plant retailers. The garden centres will face a second inspection before the national winners are declared in January. Read more

Barton Grange Garden Centre

GCA names its top UK Garden Centres

The Garden Centre Association names its best garden centres by region. The overall winners will be revealed at its January conference at St. Andrews from January 22 until 25. Read more

Burston Garden Centre

Stylish new look at Squire’s in Long Ditton

Squire’s Garden Centre in Long Ditton has a stylish new look, following a £700,000 investment to make it bigger and better than before! Read more

Plant area with a new canopy

Council threatens Hare Hatch Sheeplands with an injunction

Wokingham Borough Council has threatened Hare Hatch Sheeplands with court action despite a planning appeal being scheduled for September and a local petition signed by 8500 supporters. Read more

Rob Scott with Andrea Burlingham with some of the animals the centre needs to find homes for because

Grovewell buys MacFarlanes, near Folkestone

Grovewell Garden Centre has added a third garden centre to its group with the acquisition of MacFarlanes at Hawkinge. Read more

Edward Boult

Ingatestone garden centre ceases trading

Ingatestone Garden Centre in Billericay, Essex has been closed by its owner saying the business was no longer financially viable. Read more

Wyevale switches to Bord na Mona for its own brand compost

Bord na Mona emerges as the main growing media supplier to Wyevale Garden Centres, replacing Westland's William Sinclair.  The range will be marketed as Wyevale’s own compost. Read more

Lovania has ambitious plans for Seoint

Lovania Nurseries acquires Seoint Nurseries and Neil Alcock is made managing director. Read more

Neil Alcock

Garden centres escape damage from the floods

Northern garden centres seem to have escaped damage from the floods, but congestion from the Forth Road Bridge closure has affected sales in Scotland. Read more

Independent garden centres at either end of the country expand

Building starts on a new garden centre in Honiton, while work is nearly completed on an additional retail building for Threaplands in Scotland. Read more

Scott (L) and Grant Higgins

Christmas trading patterns have changed

Christmas buying is getting earlier and overall sales have dropped in many centres, not helped by snow on the peak live tree weekend, closing some centres. Despite this, overall garden centre sales are up for 2017. Read more

Snow affected Christmas Tree sales

A round-up of 2017, a year dominated by Brexit and Xylella

2017 started with a flourish but lost momentum and settled to be an OK year. Suppliers worried about Brexit, the living wage, higher costs and Wyevale. Retailers and growers worried about Xylella. Takeover activity reached new peaks among suppliers, but no major garden centres changed hands. The industry said goodbye to some old friends. Read our review – (open to non-subscribers). Read more

Plans for new Honiton GC look set for approval

Planning officials have recommended that plans for a new garden centre on the outskirts of Honiton are approved. Which means it could be trading by next spring. Read more

The new Bridgford Garden Centre rises from the ground

We have been sent a picture of the new Bridgford Garden Centre, near Nottingham as the steel is erected. It looks massive. Read more

Caution after a buoyant Easter

Garden centres report an excellent Easter and April with sales up 40% on last year and storm Katie. But chief executives tell us, “We must keep our feet on the ground,” and it will get tougher, with increased competition and inflation. Read more

2016 - a year of change

2016 saw second tier garden centre chains and independents invest as Wyevale consolidated. Homebase and Argos are sold. The HTA moved offices and moved to become the lead association for all gardening related businesses. Glyphosate, Xylella and the weather made frequent headlines. Scotts and Bayer looked for a way out of distributing consumer garden chemicals. Read our review – open to all. Read more

Bunnings buys Homebase

Garden Centres in the News

An example of when an event can backfire and two more garden centres look set to disappear into housing projects. Read more

Fire Brigade called to Wyevale’s Windlesham garden centre

The fire and rescue service was called to Wyevale’s Windlesham garden centre last week to rescue a man who was trapped upside down between two containers. Read more

Customers praise Trentham’s £1m new look

Blue Diamond completed a £1m refurbishment of Trentham Garden Centre at the end of March, winning the approval of its Staffordshire customers. Read more

Garden centres hitting the local headlines

A new garden centre opens near Braintree this week.  A man is arrested for assaulting a woman at Fermoys and British Garden Centres buy a small garden centre in East Durham. Read more

Customers hit by sickness at Old Railway Line GC on Mothers’ Day

40 people became unwell after visiting Old Railway Line Garden Centre on Mothers’ Day. The source of the outbreak is not yet known, but Norovirus could be the cause. Read more

Consent for potential new Blue Diamond GC at Leeds

Consent has been granted for a Le Friquet style garden centre at Leeds, making it potentially the 18th garden centre for Blue Diamond. Read more

Le Friquet

Director of Bristol garden centre must repay £125,000 after fraud conviction

Local newspapers report that the former finance director of Riverside Garden Centre in Bristol has been ordered to repay £125,000 stolen from a workers co-operative. Read more

Review of 2015 in the Garden Industry

2015 was an eventful year in the garden sector. Here is a round-up of some of the most important stories on Gardenforum throughout the year. This article is open to non-members. Read more

Bicester, one of the 8 garden centres bought by Black Rock for £112.5m

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive