New gardening director for Homebase

Homebase appointed Mike Norton as director of gardening and building in July. The group, recently purchased by Hilco, is reported to be closing its horticultural offices in Swindon. Read more

Ames starts process of merging sales teams

Ames UK has started the process of rationalising the agency sales teams of Kelkay, La Hacienda and its most recent acquisition Anchor Fast. Read more

Graeme Jenkins is the new CEO of Dobbies

Dobbies names Graeme Jenkins as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect replacing Nicholas Marshall, who has not been seen at the business for some months. Read more

Graeme Jenkins

Notcutts gets consent for £multi-million upgrade of Woodbridge GC

Notcutts has been given planning consent for a major redevelopment and upgrade of its Woodbridge garden centre, the group’s original site. Read more

Julian Herbert, Caroline Notcutt, Nick Burrows, Nicky Dulieu, Bryan Laxton

Blue Diamond acquisitions begin the break-up of Wyevale

Contracts were exchanged today for Blue Diamond to acquire 8 garden centres from Wyevale as Terra Firma starts the break-up of the country’s biggest garden centre group. 2 other sites have also been sold. Read more

Percy Thrower - Soon to be a Blue Diamond Garden Centre

James Whiteley brings Nova Garden Furniture back to life

James Whiteley, managing director of the online retailer White Stores, has bought the trading name of Nova Garden Furniture and has started wholesaling. Read more

James Whiteley

Wyevale bidding enters stage 2

Wyevale bidders will be anticipating calls after the garden centre group announced the start of stage two of the sale where it will give additional information to those bidders who have made it through the initial stage.  Read more

Stax buys Groundsman brush range

Stax Trade Centres has added to its own-brand products lines with the acquisition of the Groundsman range of household brooms, brushes and dustpans, which was previously distributed by LG Harris. Read more

Simon Wright, Stax Purchasing Director

EWM bids for then withdraws from Wyevale

Soon after Sky News reported that Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day had lodged an offer for Wyevale, their bid was withdrawn. Read more

Wyevale's Percy Thrower garden centre

Homebase to axe 300 head office jobs

Hilco has started its remedial action after taking control of Homebase with an announcement that 300 head office jobs will go by November. How many stores will close? 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

A record May means Garden Centres close in on last year's figures

After a terrible start to the year, garden centres prospered in the warm May weather and all but recovered the sales lost in the earlier months. Read more

Squire's Twickenham

Pandemonium caused at Reigate Garden Centre closing down sale

Till queues were reported to be over 100 yards long at the ‘invitation only’ closing down sale at Reigate Garden Centre. Read more

Award winning Cowell’s saved from closure

Cowell’s garden centre, winner of the GCA’s best plant area, has in the last 3 weeks been saved from closure. Read more

Gordon Brown (L) with Cowell’s Darren Woodmass, Jane Keating, Mavis, Martin & Alan Cowell

Strikes at Stokesley rising from the ashes

The first major phase in the resurrection of Klondyke’s Strikes Stokesley centre is getting underway. Read more

Hortipak is co-founder of a new international horticulture media group

Hortipak has joined leading horticultural marketing groups across Europe and the USA to form the Media Concept Group. Read more

James Buffoni

Squire’s Garden Centres purchases Frensham Garden Centre

J. Squire & Co. Ltd (“Squire’s”) and Wheelhouse Warehousing Ltd (“Wheelhouse”) are pleased to announce the purchase of Frensham Garden Centre by Squire’s from Wheelhouse. The purchase was completed on 1 August 2018. Read more

L-r: Martin Breddy, Sarah Squire, David Wheelhouse, Colin Squire, Brian Phillips.

Anchor Fast acquisition demonstrates Ames’ UK ambitions

Ames makes its 3rd acquisition in a year, adding Anchor Fast to its UK stable that already holds Kelkay and La Hacienda. It plans continued expansion in the UK and Ireland. Read more

Anchor Fast Exmouth BBQ shelter

New MD for Vitax

Vitax Limited, one of the UK’s leading garden and horticulture manufacturers has appointed a new managing director as it drives forward with its ambitious growth plans. Read more

Carl Welsh and Mark Butler

Syngenta buys Floranova to build its flowers business in Asian markets

Syngenta announced today it has acquired Floranova a flower and home garden vegetable seeds breeder with a broad portfolio and customers in over 50 countries. Read more

Jeff Colegrave (left), Michael Kester (center)and Dominic Lacey (right)

Verisem buys Franchi Seeds to create new major seed group

Franchi Sementi has been acquired by Verisem Distribution, with Giampiero Franchi joining the parent company board to develop the company’s distribution, including in the UK. Read more

Scientists find 95% of Britain’s water butts contained legionella bacteria

Yesterday’s Sunday Times reports, “Homeowners who follow government advice to use water butts to hose their gardens and wash their cars risk exposing themselves to a dose of deadly legionella bacteria.” Read more

It’s been tough for garden leisure importers

Despite eye-catching new products at Solex, it’s been tough for garden leisure importers and not just because of the weather.  They have faced delayed deliveries, adverse cash-flows, rising costs and compliance with LOFA Assured. Read more

Animal foot stools from Gardeco

Farplants adds designer house plants to its range

Farplants, the West Sussex nursery co-operative for ornamental garden plants, has added house plants to its product portfolio for the first time. Read more

Scotts in UK becomes Evergreen Garden Care

Evergreen Garden Care UK is the new name for The Scotts Company (UK) and signals a new strategy and direction for the business. Read more

Will Wyevale be broken up?

Terra Firma says it has received a significant number offers for all and for parts of the business and is now considering its options. Gardenforum considers the signs to look out for. Read more

Shire Garden Buildings fully operational after a major fire

Around 50 firefighters and 12 appliances were called to a major fire yesterday at Shire the garden buildings manufacturer at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. Read more

Scheurich to buy Deroma

Scheurich in co-operation with Baikap is to buy Deroma by the end of 2018. This is the first of several new growth stages for the Scheurich company. Read more

Court victory for Hare Hatch Sheeplands

Court victory lifts the threat of jail hanging over Rob Scott after action taken by Wokingham Borough Council against Hare Hatch Sheeplands was ruled unfair and unjust. Read more

Rob Scott at Hare Hatch Sheeplands

Wesfarmers confirms completion date for Homebase sale

Wesfarmers has confirmed 30th June as the likely completion date for the Homebase sale to Hilco. The industry now waits to see what steps the turnaround specialist will take to return Homebase to health.  Read more

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