Scotts starts TV advertising on March 19

Scotts starts its TV campaign on March 19 with 5 different commercials. But Scotts think demand for new products may exceed production, in which case the adverts for Expand ‘n Gro and Roundup® Gel may have to be tailored. See more... Read more

Barton Grange and Cowells named Garden Centres of the Year

Guy Topping was clearly delighted when Barton Grange Preston collected the trophy for the GCA 2011 Destination Garden Centre of the Year, beating last year’s winner Bents into second place. See more... Read more

Christmas and gifts up 20% in December

Buoyant sales of Christmas and gift lines and a 34% increase in catering revenues gave GCA garden centres a strong boost at the end of the year. See more... Read more

Mild winter may hit 2012 fruit harvest warns RHS

The RHS says we should expect a smaller harvest in 2012 unless there is a prolonged cold spell. Mild winters fail to give hardy fruit plants the period of chilling they need to encourage flowering. Plants can also blossom too early for the pollinators and be more vulnerable to late frosts. See more… Read more

B&Q heads for Bedford

Plans for the first B&Q store in Bedford are soon to be put before the council. The proposed location for the £18m development is close to the Interchange Retail Park east of Ampthill Road. Read more

RHS marks Diamond Jubilee with free trees for Schools

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has joined forces with online nursery to offer 2,000 schools five free trees each, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Read more

Are ferric phosphate slug pellets really safer?

Which? Gardening has published research that questions whether ferric phosphate slug pellets are any safer for pets and wildlife than those containing metaldehyde. See more… Read more

24% dividend increase from William Sinclair after profits rise

Sinclair increases dividend by 24% as sales and profits rise. But it could have been better with a good peat harvest and if retailers had not over-reacted to the slowdown last May and June. See more... Read more

Gardenforum's Review of 2011

Gardenforum's Review of 2011 tracks the year's trading and events. It also shows the high number of garden centres and nurseries that are investing despite the difficult economy. This review is open for all to read, see more... Read more

Late entrant in bidding for The Garden Centre Group

A fourth company has joined in the bidding for The Garden Centre Group. Final bids are now expected early in January, but the delay should not affect preparations for 2012. See more... Read more

Dobbies persists with new York application

In the past, Dobbies CEO James Barnes has claimed that he has yet to fail to win a planning permission. The planners at York have tested this claim. Dobbies has just submitted a new garden centre proposal, almost 5 years after its first unsuccessful attempt. See more... Read more

Armed attack at Frosts garden centre

There was an armed attack at Frosts garden centre in Woburn Sands on Monday. A masked thief held a staff member at gunpoint, while he robbed the safe. He is still at large. See more… Read more

Old Roundstone GC to close after Christmas

Haskins is to close Roundstone Garden Centre on Jan 6th in preparation for the opening of a new garden centre on the same site on Feb 27th. It will have the biggest covered plant area in the group. See more... Read more

Widmanns recalls range of Christmas decorations

Widmanns has issued a nationwide product recall on a range of Christmas decorations that look like sweets after health and safety officials said they were dangerous to children. See more... Read more

'Visit a new Dobbies' says Malcolm Scott

Last week's planning conference revealed why Malcolm Scott believes Dobbies have a formula that will be a challenge to other garden centres. See more... Read more

John Woods and Golden Acres announce online services

Two nurseries have launched online services for their customers. For John Woods it is a full online ordering system. For Golden Acres it is a complete plant list. See more... Read more

Llewellyns regain control of Ace Trolleys

The joint venture between Ace Equipment and Richard Allen Group, announced last May, is to be wound up. The Llewellyn family has regained control of the garden centre trolley business and starts manufacturing again on Monday. See more... Read more

G&L puts Percy Thrower/Waitrose plans on display

Garden & Leisure’s plans to redevelop Percy Thrower Garden Centre and add a full size Waitrose will go on display later this month. See more... Read more

Bents up 9% over Christmas

Bents expect full year sales to be up 5% after a 9% increase over Christmas. However, Matthew Bent is expecting a tough year ahead. See more... Read more

Another drop in sales at Homebase

Today’s interim trading statement from Home Retail Group shows that Homebase performed more resiliently than Argos, but still experienced a 2.6% fall in like-for-like sales in the last 4 months.. See more... Read more

Outstanding Christmas for the Garden Centre Group

The Garden Centre Group says it has had an outstanding Christmas, which caps a much better year with like-for-like sales for 2011 up 8%. This should encourage those engaged in the final bidding for the group. See more... Read more

Bransford Webbs is expanding

Bransford Webbs, a prominent grower of nursery stock for garden centres, is near to completing a new dispatch centre that will give the capacity to double turnover. See more… Read more

Bord na Móna UK takes on sales and marketing of Vital Earth

Bord na Móna has taken on the sales and marketing of Vital Earth products as it seeks to accelerate momentum in the UK. Tommy Gill, former head of Bayer Garden in the UK, will lead the new sales team. See more... Read more

Late surge adds sparkle to Christmas

After a slow start, Christmas trading finished strongly for garden centres with sales well ahead of last year and less seasonal stock left to write off. See more... Read more

Closing down sale at Roundtrees garden centres

Local news sources report that the company operating the two Roundtrees garden centres has entered administration. Blagdon Water Gardens has also closed. See more… Read more

NatWest backs Planters with £1.6m to buy Bradley

NatWest advanced £1.6m to Planters Garden Centre to fund the purchase of Bradley Nursery and Garden Centre in Stafford. It is the second site to trade under the Garden King banner. See more... Read more

Stewart gives Harcostar wider distribution

Stewart has taken on the UK distribution of Harcostar, whose range of water butts and accessories will extend Stewart’s traditional range of pots, propagators and garden accessories. See more... Read more

QE sells two garden businesses in the North

Quinton Edwards has sold 2 small garden centres in the North of England and says it is easier to sell small garden centres as the purchasers are more likely to raise the capital. See more... Read more

Garden furniture cushions B&Q sales

Kingfisher added 4.6% to sales for the 3 months to the end of October, helped by 68% growth from garden furniture at B&Q. At the same time, 2000 employees are enjoying a share in a £7.4m pre-Christmas windfall. See more... Read more

The first reports of Christmas thefts (UPDATED)

The first reports of Christmas thefts from garden centres have reached Gardenforum. Over the weekend more thefts have been reported. In one case the thieves were caught red-handed. See more... Read more

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