Kelkay has been sold to Griffon Corporation

Kelkay has been acquired by Griffon Corp for $56m. Anthony Harker will become MD of Griffon’s AMES UK, which also acquired La Hacienda last July. Read more

Anthony Harker recently with Bob Hewitt

QD Group buys The Barn in Peterborough

QD Group has added The Barn Garden & Aquatic Centre in Peterborough to its Cherry Lane Garden Centres group and will carry out improvements. Read more

After a promising start 2017 lost its sparkle in the snow

After a strong March and April, growth all but evaporated, according to the latest GCA figures for 2017, especially in larger garden centres despite healthy plant sales. Growth in catering revenues slowed but remained positive. Read more

Homebase acquisition well below expectations with massive loss forecast

As a result of below-expectation trading Bunnings United Kingdom and Ireland (BUKI), the owner of Homebase, is expected to report an underlying loss of £97million before interest and tax in Westfarmers’ 2018 half-year results.

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Caulders gets go ahead for sixth centre

Caulders has received planning permission to redevelop a redundant nursery at Menstrie. Read more

Blue Diamond sales flat in second half of 2017

In a trading update Blue Diamond said although the group traded well and delivered growth in 2107, the sales increase had been lower than in previous years and the first half of 2017. Read more

Blue Diamond's flagship store at Redfields.

Blue Diamond warns that retail generally is weakening

Blue Diamond reports a strong 6 months to June 2017, but cautions that future growth rates may be affected by economic and political uncertainty. Read more

Simon Burke

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

Battery power drives Stihl’s sponsorship of Hillier at Chelsea

Stihl’s sponsorship of Hillier’s Chelsea exhibit underlines their drive to involve garden centres with the new era cordless garden tools, which will shortly be on sale at Hillier’s garden centres. Read more

Dobbies reshuffles Head Office

Dobbies has reshuffled its head office team as Andrew West and Lorrie Robertson leave for personal reasons. Nicholas Marshall remains as chief executive and Andrew Bracey as chairman. Read more

Andrew Bracey, Nicholas Marshall and Graeme Jenkins

Glendale buys Evesham nursery from Chamberlains

Glendale makes it 13 with the purchase of Harvington nursery in Evesham from Chamberlains on 2nd of January. Read more

Glendale's Badsey Nursery

Tildenet acquires Fleximas

Tildenet has acquired the specialist textiles and netting supplier, Fleximas, based in Burton-on-Trent. Read more

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

Bunnings adds a small format store to the UK trial

Bunnings UK continues to experiment with different formats with the imminent opening of a small format store in Bicester. Read more

Layout of Bunnings on Launton Road, Bicester

Amazon patents a new garden service

According to Modern Farmer, Amazon has patented an image recognition service that will provide gardeners with planting advice and a view of what their garden could look like in say 5 years. Read more

Klondyke plans to close Sycamore Park as 3 more centres are set for re-development

Klondyke is to close Sycamore Park Garden Centre if planning permission for housing is granted.  Moreton Hall is due to re-open partially, shortly, with other developments to follow. Read more

Sycamore Park is number 18 on the Klondyke estate map

Dobbies insists Marshall is still their chief executive

What is happening at Dobbies? Nicholas Marshall is no longer running operations, yet the company insists he is still chief executive. There is a new COO, a new head of purchasing and a new retail director. Gardenforum investigates. Read more

How was it after 2 days of Glee at the Spring Fair?

It is too early to judge whether the new Glee at the Spring Fair will become an annual event. Gardenforum believes it has potential, with a change of name and focus. Read our notes from the aisles. Read more

 Andrea and Tony Barnett, whose Potty Feet were named best new product

Gardman tackles output problems at Daventry

Gardman have taken steps to improve output from its new £30m Daventry distribution centre. Read more

Bents colleagues happy with their lot

Figures released from Bents Garden & Home’s latest colleague survey show a high degree of satisfaction among the staff. Read more

Squires to close Windsor centre

The 15-strong Squire's Garden Centres group is to lose one of its outlets when Windsor closes later this year.

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Fairways, Bents and Smart Garden take GCA’s top awards

Bents has pipped Barton Grange and Webbs of Wychbold to be the GCA Destination Garden Centre of the Year. Smart Garden has regained the prestigious Supplier of the Year cup. Read more

Garden Centre of the Year - Fairways Garden Centre, Ashbourne

Service pushes Woodlodge sales over £20m

Woodlodge turnover has grown from £11.5m to over £20m in the 4 years since Michael Wooldridge took control of the business. Plus, last January, the company won the coveted cup for GCA Supplier of the Year.  Gardenforum paid him a visit. Read more

Michael Wooldridge

Directors leave as Wyevale cuts head office numbers

Two directors are leaving Wyevale as the garden centre group acknowledges challenging trading conditions and reduces head office numbers. Read more

Steve Masters and Lisa Cherry

Burgon & Ball is sold to Canadian Group (Updated)

Burgon & Ball has been acquired by Venanpri Tools, the owner of the Bellota and Corona brands.  Heather Culpan will continue to be involved in the business in a role yet to be determined.

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Heather Culpan

Wyevale Ashford to close this weekend

Wyevale’s Ashford garden centre in Kent is to close its doors on Sunday to make way for a new junction 10a on the M20. Read more

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

Furniture outlet stores launch website is one of the first UK websites to offer the furniture outlet experience to online shoppers. Their offer includes garden furniture with a guarantee of the UK’s lowest prices. Read more

Ansell gets green light to rebuild

A year after its devastating fire Ansell receives planning permission to rebuild. Work starts in January, bigger than before. Read more

Ansell Garden Centre's new building

What can we learn from Dobbies’ latest accounts?

Dobbies Garden Centres delayed to the last minute the publication of their first accounts under its new private equity owners. They show how the trading arm has been separated from the properties. Read more

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