Chancellor’s statement and the NHS Covid-19 app

The NHS Contact Tracing App is now live. Garden centres should download the QR code to display at entrances.  We also summarise the Winter Economy announcement. Read more

Update on new Covid-19 rules for catering - Amended

UPDATED Thursday morning… The BBC reports that restaurants without an alcohol licence will NOT need to provide tables service.  The HTA is cautious saying It looks like the rules are evolving. Read more

Panel debates reality of 3m new gardeners?

Gardenforum hosted a panel debate at Glee Gathering with 4 leading retailers.  They split over whether the lockdown created almost 3m new gardeners. Read more

Sponsored Swim to save the Garden Museum

In 3 weeks, Director Christopher Woodward steps into the Atlantic to save The Garden Museum. A donor is offering to match every donation £1 for £1... so lets make his eyes water! UNLOCKED Read more

Early opening of garden centres saved the industry

So said James Barnes as he announced HTA plans to double grower membership. New industry growth plans are to be developed with Government. Read more

Brett Avery

The latest on import/export regulations after Brexit

A GIMA virtual seminar has updated members on import/export regulations after Brexit.  The HTA has also given an update on phytosanitary standards. Read more

BHETA lobbies for future of CE mark

BHETA calls for details of the UKCA safety mark due to replace the CE mark in January, as importers must brief overseas manufacturers in time for January delivery. Read more

GC sales up 16% in July despite deflated catering

Sales in July were excellent for garden centres despite a 50%+ fall in catering sales.  The latest GCA figures show sales of garden sundries continue to surge. Read more

Has garden centre catering changed for ever?

Has garden centre catering changed for ever as a flurry of garden centres reopen restaurants in time to participate in ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ in August? Read more

RHS careers videos to help recruitment

The RHS has created a new careers resource - rhs.org.uk/careersinhorticulture - with over 60 individual films showcasing some 45 different horticultural careers.

Read more

Government refuses compensation for UK Growers

The Government has rejected calls by The HTA and NFU to pay financial compensation to UK Growers following the Covid-19 shutdown.   Read more

Gardening sales grew despite the lockdown

Growth in the overall gardening sector since the start of lockdown was 3.5% according to the second quarterly economic report from BHETA.  Read more

Mr Fothergill’s recalls some Courgette Zucchini seeds from ranges

Mr Fothergill’s, the Newmarket based seed experts, have recalled stocks of Courgette Zucchini with the batch code I on the packet (located after the printed use by date) as a small number of seeds could produce bitter tasting fruits. Read more

Where’s the help for growers?

The HTA has criticised today’s mini budget with comments such as a missed opportunity and unlikely to have much impact amongst horticulture businesses. Read more

Praise for staff and suppliers as sales up 50% in June

There’s praise for staff and suppliers as some garden centres are 50% up in June and in a strong cash position.  “No-one put their prices up without good reason. No-one got awkward…” Read more

Pallets were not empty for long at Dobbies

Keep garden centres open if there's another lockdown

HTA says extending CBILS repayment terms to 10 years will be helpful to growers. Keeping VAT in hospitality to 5% will help garden centre catering. But it presses Government to keep garden centres open. Read more

HTA – ‘Covid restrictions could present real difficulties’

The HTA says the new Covid restrictions for hospitality could present real difficulties for the industry given such little notice.  Also, some issues need urgent clarification. Read more

James Clark

Garden centre sales prospered in August

Latest results from the GCA show sales are still significantly above last year, while average sales values are gently coming back to more usual levels.  Catering income has recovered strongly. Read more

Houseplants up almost 50%

Gardening a lifesaver in lockdown

Squire’s Garden Centres has released the results of their “Gardening during Lockdown” survey. Read more

Sarah Squire

Begonia ‘Sweet Spice Bounty’ royalties donated for horticultural scholarships 

Plant sales of Begonia ‘Sweet SpiceTM Bounty’ have been donated to the David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) to support students studying horticulture in the UK.   Read more

Begonia SweetSpice Bounty

Lockdown attracts 3m new gardeners

New research conducted by the HTA found that almost three million gardeners sprung up this year as a result of lockdown. Read more

Scholarship Season open for horticulture students 

Five horticulture scholarships are available from the David Colegrave Foundation (DCF). Students can get up to £2,500 to put towards their studies.  Read more

 DCF past winners from Scholars Season 2019-2020

Which plant varieties will be hot for 2021?

Which plant varieties will be hot for 2021?... the industry has voted at the Ball Colegrave Trial Grounds at West Adderbury. Read more

GCA members discuss challenges of re-opening restaurants and cafés

Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) recently took part in a virtual forum to discuss the challenges they faced with the re-opening of restaurants and cafés. Read more

Chris Brown - Turpin Smale Catering Consultants

GCA/GIMA panel debates to improve supply chain communication

The GCA and GIMA have started a series of online panel debates to improve communication and honesty through the retail gardening supply chain. Read more

Masks or No masks for garden centre staff?

From 24th July shoppers must wear masks in garden centres.  The staff don't have to.  What mask policy will garden centres follow for staff?  Will they police customers? Read more

Masked staff at Dobbies

June sales up 44% for garden centres

Garden centre sales hit record highs in June despite closed restaurants and other retailers reopening from 15th June.  Garden furniture sales gained +81% according to the GCA. Read more

Expert judges for Perennial’s HortAid-20 competition

Alan Titchmarsh and a panel of expert gardeners will judge the hard work during lockdown of Britain’s gardeners in Perennial’s HortAid-20 Gardening competition. Read more

Will garden centres go online?

Overall online retail sales grew 34% in May. Garden e-tailers were swamped. Garden centres developed an online offer during the lock down, but will they continue?  Read more

Duchess visits Fakenham GC during Children’s Hospice Week

The Duchess of Cambridge bought plants at Fakenham Garden Centre last week for a new garden at a Norfolk children's hospice.  Plans are also underway for an imaginative space created by Greenfingers. Read more

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