Slower start to Christmas in October

October figures released by the GCA show that Christmas lines sold more slowly than last year as gardening ranges benefitted from the weather. Read more

A Christmas display at Blue Diamond, East Bridgford

Garden centre visitors fall as transaction values rise

Garden centre sales rise 8% in September on the back of gardening sales and a revival in the growth of catering. However over the year, the number of garden centre visitors has fallen according to the latest GCA figures. Read more

Blue Diamond plants at newly acquired Bicester

Double digit increases in turf prices

Rolawn, a leading UK turf grower, has warned that prices are set to rise in the coming months, because of the extreme weather and rising costs. Read more

Plant sales wilted in the July heat but barbecues sizzled

Garden centre sales wilted during the July heat wave, with outdoor living alone showing strong growth. Even restaurant sales fell according to figures from the GCA Barometer of Trade. Read more

June sales were higher than April's

 “Don't panic!” said the old hands when sales were frozen in March and the daffodils had hardly broken ground, “It will even itself out by the end of June, it always does,” and they were right according to latest figures from the GCA. Read more

Percentage de/increase in sales over last year by month

Somehow, we clawed it all back

By the end of June most Garden Centres have clawed back the sales lost in March and April. There is praise for the great support from suppliers and fantastic effort by staff. Read more

Garden centres enjoyed a bumper May

The Beast from the East was forgotten as gardeners spent more in garden centres last month. Read more

At the end of April garden centres were -10% down for the year

By the end of May, many garden centres look set to make up what looked like an unbridgeable -10.5% shortfall in sales at the end of April. Read more

Squire's at Twickenham looking good

20% back in 7 days. We could do this!! (Updated)

The GCA figures for March are dismal, but after a week of better weather the mood has changed as a message from Stewarts Garden Centres shows.  Figures from Dobbies and Wyevale have been added. Read more

Cafe and Food Hall at Blue Diamond's East Bridgford GC

GIMA hears how to take the risk out of FX deals

Inflation is to fall, interest rates and wages are to rise. GIMA hears now is a good time for exporters, and how to reduce the currency risk with foreign exchange specialists.  Read more

Matthew Crate

Gender Pay reporting reveals interesting differences

Recently published figures show that the gender pay gap in garden retailers is generally smaller than the UK average. However, there are some interesting differences between the garden centre groups. Read more

Wyevale identifies 2018 gardening trends

Wyevale, the country’s largest specialist garden centre group with 147 stores, has published a report on the latest gardening trends revealed by a survey of 15,000 garden lovers. Read more

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

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

Bents crown their 80th year with the GCA Christmas display award

Bents have wrestled the GCA Christmas Display award back from Barton Grange, while Castle Gardens in Sherborne prove invincible yet again in the category for smaller garden centres. Read more

Castle Gardens Christmas Display

Are you ready for the Millennials?

The old ways of doing things won’t open new doors.  Cultivating Retail heard how Millennials’ different lifestyle and technology are disrupting shopping. Read more

Hubbub makes it fun!

The Choice Marketing awards go to …

At the Choice Marketing  Annual Conference and Dinner, Westland was named supplier of the year, Farplants was grower of the year and Widdop was awarded gift supplier of the year. Read more

Michelle de Lavis-Trafford, Sue Grant, Andrew Illingworth, Mike Cook from Choice

Cultivation St. Ambassador of the Year supported over 1,000 children

David Domoney congratulates this year’s Cultivation Street ambassador of the year, Dobbies’ Steven Purton, who regularly shares his expertise with a local charity, 4 schools, a college and a hospital to improve their communal spaces. Read more

David Domoney congratulates Steven Purton

Brexit: forewarned is forearmed says Gardenex

Gardenex advises companies to visit them at either spoga + gafa or Glee to get advice on preparing for whatever the eventual outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be. Read more

Amanda Sizer Barrett

GCA reveals their best garden centres in England and Wales

The Garden Centre Association has revealed the best garden centre members in each region following the 2018 inspections. Read more

GCA Inspector Roger Crookes and Mike Lind with staff from The Old Railway Line

The winners of the GIMA Awards 2018 are……

Neudorff’s VineWeevilFree - Nematodes scoops the GIMA Sword of Excellence for best product, whilst Woodlodge has for the first time been name the GCA Supplier of the Year at the GIMA Awards. Read more

The Neudorff team collect the Sword of Honour

Never has the outlook been so unpredictable for growers

The aisles of a busy HTA National Plant Show hummed with discussions about Wyevale, Brexit, technology, early wastage and the shortage of hardy nursery stock. Read more

Brett Avery on Far Plant's busy stand

Ornamental plant nurseries will continue to be exempt from business rates

A court case in 2015 opened up a potential loophole in the law which would bring nurseries into line with paying business rates. The Government has decided this week that this will not happen. Read more

Ball Colegrave

Suppliers experience bonanza order intake after holiday weekend

As sales take off at garden centres pressure falls on a supply chain already impacted by the fire at Gardman. Gardenforum checks stock availability. Read more

Don’t let retailers bully you says the Gamekeeper turned Poacher

Former head of Scotts Miracle-Gro, Martin Breddy, tells how different it is to be a retailer now that he is MD of Squire’s Garden Centres. Read more

Martin Breddy

Perennial revives annual Festival Dinner

Perennial is reviving its traditional Festival Dinner, a fantastic evening of fundraising, with the help of partners and supporters from across the UK horticulture industry. Read more

March, “That was one tough month” 

Sales may be down +/- 15% on last year, but garden centres are confident they can catch up. 2013 was worse. But as one garden centre owner explained, “A season normally consists of 7 strong weeks, so we can still recover but we need those strong weeks to start!” Read more

2 interest rate rises forecast for 2018

Economist Roger Martin-Fagg forecast 2 interest rate rises and volatile exchange rates for 2018 as we head for a soft Brexit. The Government will have to consider a property tax. Read more

Roger Martin-Fagg

Seabrook urges Garden Centres to back rose festival

Veteran Sun columnist and broadcaster, Peter Seabrook has called on garden centres to back a National Rose Festival Week in the 3rd or 4th week of June. Read more

Peter Seabrook

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

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