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 - members only

LBS rescue should complete next week

The future of horticultural wholesaler, LBS, looks secure as 2 new investors are to take control. The company hopes a CVA will be agreed with creditors next week. Read more - members only

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 - members only

Castle Gardens Christmas Display

Hillier celebrates a record year

The Hillier Awards Night celebrated a record year for the group. Suppliers and garden centres collected their awards as Robert Hillier praised the impact Chris Francis has made since taking control in March 2014. Read more - members only

Chris Francis with Robert Hillier, celebrating his 50 years service

Wyevale calls suppliers together for a progress update

Over 100 suppliers attended a meeting this morning to hear Wyevale’s CEO Roger McLaughlan and his team explain how the group is getting its act together and improving standards. Read more - members only

Roger McLaughlan

B&M on track for 50 new UK stores this year

B&M the discount home and garden retailer increased sales by 17% as consumers shift to discount formats. Margins fell, partly due to end of season clearance on gardening and outdoor products. Read more - members only

Stewarts apologises as demand for Santa swamps its website and phones

Demand for Christmas at garden centres seems higher than ever on the South coast. Haskins are expecting over 1m visitors, while Stewarts Garden Centres payment gateway and phones became swamped as 10,000 tried to book their visit to Santa. Read more - members only

Haskins Christmas crew at West End

LBS Horticulture in administration

It has been confirmed that LBS Worldwide Ltd is in administration. It is continuing to trade, managed by the administrators. Read more - members only

Performance of Homebase is disappointing says Wesfarmers as sales fall

Bunnings has reported a 14% drop in sales for Homebase over the last quarter. But they remain encouraged by the performance of the Bunnings pilots. Read more - members only

Gardman says it is making good progress despite losses

Gardman reduces losses in its first full year following the buyout in June 2015 by Rutland Partners LLP and says it has significant finance to invest in new categories. Read more - members only

Peter Utting

Carol Paris becomes a non-exec director at Briers

Carol Paris has joined Jackie Eades on the board of Briers, the UK’s leading garden glove and boot supplier, to guide it through its next phase of growth. Read more - members only

Carol Paris and Jackie Eades

Coolings is buying a third garden centre

Coolings Nurseries says it has agreed to buy The Potted Garden Nursery, which is located very close to Leeds Castle in Kent. They take over on Nov 1st. Read more - members only

Gary Carvosso

Deco-Pak takes a strategic decision to focus on garden centres

Deco-Pak is to sever links with a discount retailer so that it can develop a more creative offer for specialist garden centres. Read more - members only

Rod Slater holds a One Penny stepping stone watched by owner Mike Hall and his sons, Craig and David

As Wyevale refinances after massive losses, has it turned the corner?

As Wyevale refinances, Roger Mclaughlan has spoken for the first time since becoming CEO about how he and his new management team are working to get the core business right. Further acquisitions are firmly on the back burner. Read more - members only

Roger Mclaughlan, CEO of wyevale Garden Centres

WGC trading profit hit by switch to central distribution

Terra Firma says switch to central distribution was too much for Wyevale Garden Centres, hitting stock availability and sales in 2016. Trading profit fell 31%. Read more - members only

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 - members only

‘Out there’ plans set to continue growth at Thetford GC

Thetford’s expansion has lifted it into the GCA category for elite destination garden centres.  Further ‘out-there’ expansion is planned including a coffee shop in shipping containers – with a stage.   Read more - members only

L-R Lucy and Jean Nixon, Shane Hinkley, head chef James Feuer and catering manager Lisa Billman.

Stax extends its garden portfolio with Husqvarna

Stax has followed up this autumn’s E.P. Barrus deal with a second that will add Flymo and McCulloch to its garden tools range. Read more - members only

Simon Wright, Gary Fisher (Husqvarna), David Hibbert and Aaron Saunders

How sales have tumbled at Wyevale’s new centres

Accounts recently published show how sales have tumbled at garden centres acquired by Wyevale. The only exception is Woodcote Green, where the local management have been allowed to continue managing the garden centre. Read more - members only

Rosebourne starts building its second centre

Rosebourne has started building its second garden centre at a site near Aldermaston. It will replicate the formula successfully developed at Andover which opened a year ago. Read more - members only

The Rosebourne team: Neville Prest, Val Kempster, Salim Sajid and Jon Kitching

Bonnetts Garden Village opens its main store this weekend

Bonnetts Garden Village, the first garden centre for Chris Bonnett the owner of online retailer Gardening Express, is to open its main store on Saturday 11th November, having traded since late May in plants. Read more - members only

Downtown submits plans for £125m designer village

Downtown Garden Centre near Grantham, part of the Oldrid Group, has submitted plans for an outlet village with 107 retail outlets and a new garden centre. Read more - members only

Stax secures its supply chain with acquisition

Stax is to offer distribution to manufacturers following the acquisition of PDS Logistics last week. The deal will increase flexibility and improve availability as Stax takes control of its supply chain. Read more - members only

DaVinci Garden Ornaments has been rebranded

Melmar Stone has announced that it has taken on the range of hand cast resin statues that used to be sold by DaVinci Home and Garden Products. Read more - members only

Brexit leads Allensmore to extend perennial production

Brexit fears have increased demand for UK grown plants leading Allensmore to add a further 9 acres of outdoor production. Read more - members only

Brian Taylor

Scotts challenges Westland’s SafeLawn adverts and loses

Scotts Miracle-Gro called on the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) to find that two adverts for Safelawn by Westland were misleading. Their complaint was not upheld. Read more - members only

Irish grower to expand into the UK

One of Ireland’s foremost growers of nursery stock, Flannery’s Nurseries, is looking to develop its market by expanding into the UK with Bob Haward as their agent. Read more - members only

Bob Haward

Westland calls on the industry to avoid short cuts when there is a shortage of peat

Following a reduced peat harvest, which Westland admits will have a cost impact, the company calls on the growing media industry not to take short cuts by using materials like green waste. Read more - members only

Edward Conroy shows West + to Darmuid Gavin and the current DUP Leader, Arlene Foster.

Terra Firma confirms the re-financing of WGC after massive losses in 2016

Wyevale accounts for 2016 show a net loss of £122m after a one-off charge for non-recurring items of £73.6m.  This gives a new starting position for Wyevale, which has raised £216.5m in new finance to replace exisiting facilities that would have expired in 2018. Read more - members only

Chilton, a Wyevale garden centre

Phase 1 extension of Northern Ireland garden centre to open

Colemans Garden Centre in Templepatrick, N. Ireland is nearing the completion of phase 1 of a £5m redevelopment and expansion. Read more - members only

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